Cushing’s disease is caused by extended exposure to high levels of cortisol, a hormone. It can occur if the body releases too much of the hormone naturally or if the person is taking oral corticosteroid medication. There are treatments that can help return the body’s cortisol products to a safe level. The sooner the disease is diagnosed and treated, the more likely a person is to recover.
Cushing’s disease is caused by a buildup of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is produced naturally, but some people also take cortisol medication to treat various illnesses, such as arthritis and asthma. Over time, this can lead to too much cortisol in the body. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands, and it plays a role in how the body responds to stress and how the metabolism works.
The symptoms of Cushing’s disease can vary by individual. The cortisol levels and the length of time the person has been suffering from the disease can also play a role in the symptoms and their severity. Some of the most common symptoms of the disease include:
Cushing’s disease can be hard to diagnose because many other illnesses have the same symptoms. It can sometimes take months or even years for Cushing’s disease to be diagnosed. Doctors use a variety of tests to diagnose it, including:
Cushing’s disease can be treated. The sooner it is treated, the more likely a person is to recover from it. Some of the most common treatments used include:
The prognosis for people with Cushing’s disease is good as long as they seek treatment. In addition to medical treatment, people who have Cushing’s or who are at risk for it should focus on staying active, eating healthy, and getting regular checkups to monitor cortisol levels and symptoms. If undiagnosed or diagnosed too late, Cushing’s disease can be fatal.