Cushing's Syndrome Research Paper

1134 Words 5 Pages
Cushing’s Syndrome is an endocrine disorder caused by elevated levels of cortisol in the body. The endocrine system is made up of several different glands which produce hormones that regulate various functions of the body. The adrenal glands, located at the top of each kidney, are responsible for the production of cortisol. Cortisol is essential in the regulation of blood pressure, and cardiovascular function. Cortisol also aids the body’s stress response, and helps to metabolize proteins, carbs, and fats (Cushing’s Syndrome:Causes,n.d.,p1). Cushing’s Syndrome, also called hypercortisolism, may develop if cortisol levels are too high. Complications of Cushing’s Syndrome include unusual bone fractures due to osteoporosis, hypertension, …show more content…
This is sometimes referred to as exogenous Cushing’s Syndrome, because the cause originates outside of the body. Corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone, are often prescribed to treat certain inflammatory conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or asthma. Corticosteroids may also be used for the treatment of certain autoimmune disorders or to prevent rejection of a transplanted organ(Causes,n.d.,p1). These treatments require higher doses of cortisol than is needed by the body, therefore effects of excess cortisol can occur. Cushing’s Syndrome may also be caused by prolonged use of injectable corticosteroid medications. Such medications are commonly used to treat back or joint pain. Corticosteroid inhalants and skin creams, however, are less likely to cause Cushing’s …show more content…
Truncal obesity and fat accumulation around the back of the neck, known as a “buffalo hump”, are also common. Other symptoms of Cushing’s Syndrome include hypertension, kidney stones, bruising easily, emotional disturbances, and bone loss. Males may experience a reduced sex drive or difficulty getting an erection. Females may experience irregular menstruation and abnormal hair growth on the face and neck. Cushing’s Syndrome can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms often mimic symptoms of other conditions (Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine,p3). For example, eating disorders, depression, alcoholism, and polycystic ovary syndrome share many of the same symptoms as Cushing’s Syndrome. A physician will likely suspect Cushing’s Syndrome if the patient has been taking corticosteroid medications for an extended period of time. If not, however, there are special diagnostic tests used to identify the

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