People with Cushing’s syndrome may have these signs or symptoms:
- Weight gain, especially in the upper body while maintaining thin arms and legs
- Severe tiredness
- Muscle weakness
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar
- Mood swings
- Bruising easily
- Thinning skin that heals poorly
- Difficulty controlling body temperature
Lab tests, including urine and blood tests, can show if you have Cushing’s syndrome and a possible cause of it.
Imaging tests, such as an MRI or CT scan, may be used to check for tumors or other issues with the adrenal and pituitary glands – the glands that help control cortisol levels in the body.
If you take a steroid medicine, like cortisone, know the signs and symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome. If you have any of the signs and symptoms, see your healthcare provider. Early treatment may help prevent any long-lasting effects of the condition. If you use a steroid inhaler, rinse your mouth after breathing in the medicine.
People who are obese and have type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of developing Cushing’s syndrome. They can lower their risk by:
- Getting recommended amounts of physical activity
- Eating a healthy diet
- Controlling blood sugar levels
Cushing’s [KOO-shings] syndrome is a rare hormone disorder caused by long-term exposure to too much cortisol [KOR-tuh-sawl]. Cortisol is a hormone made in your body to protect your health. It helps:
- Reduce inflammation
- Control blood sugar
- Control energy production
- Maintain water and sodium balance
- Control blood pressure
- Support development of a fetus
Too much cortisol can cause certain health problems. Sometimes, long-term use of the steroid medicine cortisone [KOR-tuh-zohn] — an artificial form of cortisol used to treat inflammation — can lead to Cushing’s syndrome. Sometimes, tumors can make chemicals that cause your body to make too much cortisol.