Though rare, this disease often goes undiagnosed for years as the symptoms are common and can be easily misinterpreted for other ailments. Cushing’s syndrome is found more common in women compared to men. While there are very few exceptional specialists who treat and deal with this disease, earlier diagnosis can help men and women alike, to manage this disease.
Cushing’s syndrome, a pituitary gland disorder, is caused by high levels of steroid hormones in the body tissues. Cushing’s disease is cause for the Cushing’s syndrome where a tumour in the pituitary gland activates overproduction of the ACTH hormone. When this happens, the adrenal glands are affected, which in turn, produces excess cortisol, a steroid hormone. Tumour growth in any of the adrenal glands can also cause Cushing’s syndrome.
Since the Cushing’s syndrome grows gradually and exhibits very common symptoms, many Cushing’s syndrome patients go undiagnosed for several years- some as many as a decade. Symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome include central weight gain (around the trunk), decreased libido, hirsutism (excess hair growth on face and body), increased blood pressure, diabetes, stretch marks (as in pregnancy), proximal myopathy, easy bruising, round facial features with redness as well as behavioural changes such as depression and occasional mood swings. Absence or irregular occurrence of periods as well as male impotence may also indicate as potential symptoms for Cushing’s syndrome. Cushing’s syndrome can affect anyone but is found more prominent in the middle age.
If two or more of these symptoms describe you, contact your healthcare provider today.