Cushing syndrome is when your body has abnormally high levels of a hormone called cortisol. This can happen for a variety of reasons, the most common of which is overuse of corticosteroid medications.
Symptoms include a round-shaped face, upper body weight gain, and skin that bruises easily. Women may also notice increased body hair and menstrual irregularities. Men may develop erectile and fertility problems. Children who have this condition are often obese and have a slowed rate of growth.
There is no single definitive test for Cushing syndrome. In addition to a physical examination, blood, saliva, and urine tests are usually required. After diagnosis, additional tests are needed to identify the cause. Treatment will depend on the specific cause.
Cushing's syndrome is diagnosed with tests such as the 24-hour urinary free cortisol level test, the dexamethasone suppression test, the CRH stimulation test, CT scan or MRI, and the dexamethasone-CRH test.
Treatment depends on the specific reason for cortisol excess and may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or the use of cortisol-inhibiting drugs. Medications can get cortisol levels under control.
Cushing syndrome is also known as Cushing’s syndrome or hypercortisolism.
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