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Cushing Syndrome

Cushing Syndrome

Cushing syndrome occurs when one's body is exposed to high levels of the hormone cortisol for a long period of time. The most common cause of this condition is due to the use of oral corticosteroid medication which is sometimes called hypercortisolism. Too much cortisol can produce some of the hallmark signs of Cushing syndrome - a fatty hump between your shoulders, a rounded face, and pink or purple stretch marks on the skin. This condition can also result in high blood pressure, bone loss and, on occasion, diabetes.

The symptoms of Cushing syndrome vary. Some of the common signs and symptoms of Cushing syndrome include:

• Thinning, fragile skin that bruises easily
• Slow healing of cuts, infections, and insect bites
• Acne
• Pink or purple stretch marks on the abdomen, thighs, breasts and arms
• Weight gain and fatty deposits, commonly around the midsection and upper back, in the face and between the shoulders

Other signs and symptoms include:

• Muscle weakness
• Loss of emotional control
• Depression, irritability, and anxiety
• A headache
• Cognitive difficulties
• New or worsened high blood pressure
• Bone loss leading to fractures over time
• Glucose intolerance that may lead to diabetes

Women with Cushing syndrome may experience thicker or more visible body and facial hair and irregular or absent menstrual periods. Men, on the other hand, may experience decreased libido, decreased fertility and erectile dysfunction.

The recovery period from Cushing syndrome usually depends on the severity and the cause of the condition.

Here are a few tips that may help you on your journey back to good health:

• Gently soothe aches and pains with as hot baths, massages
• Monitor your mental health and seek help promptly if you're depressed, or having difficulty during recovery
• Eat wisely
• Increase activities slowly and don't push yourself too hard

Contact your doctor if you're taking corticosteroid medications to treat conditions such as asthma or arthritis or if you experience any signs or symptoms of Cushing syndrome!

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