When adrenal glands produce excessive amounts of corticosteroids in the body, it leads to Cushing’s syndrome. Cushing's syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms due to prolonged exposure to corticosteroids.
The following are the most common symptoms of Cushing's syndrome. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Buffalo hump: fat deposit between shoulders
Round face: fat deposition in face
Striae on the skins
Thinning arms and legs
Fragile and thin skin
Bone and muscle weakness
High blood pressure
High blood sugar
Irritability and anxiety
Excess facial and body hair growth in women
Irregular menstrual cycles in women
Reduced sex drive and fertility and Erectile dysfunction in men
A pituitary gland tumor (pituitary adenoma)
An ectopic ACTH-secreting tumor
adrenal gland disease
Familial Cushing syndrome
External supply of steroids: taking of glucocorticoids prescribed by a health care practitioner
In addition to a complete medical history and medical examination, diagnostic procedures for Cushing's syndrome may include:
Urine and blood tests: for level of hormone in urine and blood
Specialized blood tests: Dexamethasone suppression test, CRH stimulation tests etc.
Imaging: CT, MRI to detect anomalies in pituitary and adrenal glands
Bone loss (osteoporosis)
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Frequent or unusual infections
Loss of muscle mass and strength
Treatment for Cushing's syndrome depends on its cause.
Reducing corticosteroid use
Surgery: may be needed to remove tumors or the adrenal glands.