Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What happens if you have Cushing's syndrome?"
My doctor wants me to have a bunch of tests done because of my cortisol levels. He thinks it could be Cushing's syndrome because I also have weight gain. What will happen if I have this? How do you make it go away?
Cushing's syndrome is a relatively common disorder of the endocrine system. This can have many life threatening and serious complications. Fortunately, if diagnosed early, treatment is available which can prevent these complications. Cushing's syndrome refers to a constellation of symptoms that occur when the body makes to much steroid. Our body makes steroid in the adrenal gland, two glands that sit ontop of either kidney. The brain tells the adrenal to make steroid. Our body needs steroid to help grow, maintain energy levels and for overall health. Excess steroid can have many problems. These include weakening of the bones, weakened skin. Heart damage, and a weakened immune system. These complications can be prevented if treated early. The key is seeing if it is the adrenals fault that they a making too much steroid ( cortisol) or if it's the brain's fault because the brain is incorrectly telling the adrenals to make the steroid. If the pituitary gland ( part of the brain) is the culprit, this is known as cushing's disease. The most common cause of excess steroid is actually people taking too much steroid as medicine...like for asthma or for lupus. See your doctor for more information. If needed, he make refer you to an endocrinologist.
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