Cushing Syndrome

What is Cushing's Syndrome?

It is a disorder caused by excessive level of hormone Cortisol in the body, also known as the stress hormone. The excess of this hormone can disturb the body condition, causing fat to store around the neck and belly with the thinning of arms and legs. It is more common in women than men and in the age group of 25-40.

Every year, about two to three people per million are affected. It affects women three times more often than men. However, a gentle degree of the overproduction of cortisol without any symptoms is more common.


The most visible symptoms of the disorder include rapid weight gain, especially around the collar bone forming a buffalo hump called lipodystrophy in medical terms and forming moon face. This is most commonly seen in women aged 25-40 years with thinning of legs and arms. Other symptoms may include:

  • High blood pressure.
  • Reddish face and stretch marks
  • Weak muscles and bones
  • Acne
  • Irregular menstruation and unwanted hair growth in women
  • People also face cognitive conditions like attention dysfunction, depression and anxiety disorders


Some of the most probable causes of this disease are:

  • The usage of corticosteroid medications.
  • Ectopic ACTH syndrome.
  • Tumor and adrenal gland abnormality


The prime risk factors of this disease include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney stone
  • Weakness and muscle loss
  • Bone fracture


To prevent the occurrence of cushing syndrome, one should take care of these things:

  • Getting daily check-ups.
  • Monitoring the mental health
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Exercising brain

How is it diagnosed?

The disease can be easily diagnosed by physical exams. The physical exam is followed by listing down medications the patient has been taking in last few months. The laboratory tests are performed o...

How is it treated?

At Medanta, the treatment for the disorder – either medication or surgery – is prescribed based on patient’s case history which includes the complexity, cause and medications patient was under in the past. 


  • Medication

    If the cause of the syndrome is long-term use of corticosteroid medicines, the doctor will instruct the patient on how and when to slowly decrease the dosage of those medicines while managing asthma, arthritis, blood pressure, or any other condition.

  • Surgery

    When the cause is a tumour, the treatment involves its removal surgically. If the removal of tumour is not possible due to some reason, then medication is used to stop the release of cortisol hormone. Radiation is also used to shrink the tumour. Removal of tumour may lead to full recovery, but in a few cases, a tumour may recur which may be life-threatening.

When do I contact the doctor?

You should immediately consult a doctor, if you begin to experience high blood pressure, acne breakout, weak bones and irregular menstruation in women. The doctors at Medanta would immediately start the treatment and destroy all the symptoms you have been facing. 

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