What is Cushing Syndrome? | Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Cushing Syndrome is a rare condition that is caused by overproduction of cortisol hormone. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is produced in the adrenal glands. This hormone is very useful especially when you are dealing with stressful conditions. It is produced in bursts in the morning with few in the evening. When the body has too much of this hormone, the excess hormone can throw off other body’s systems. Although most of the instances of Cushing Syndrome can be cured, the symptoms may take a longer time to ease up.

This condition is very common in women than in men and it usually affects people from 25-40 years. Some of the patients develop this condition because the adrenal glands have a tumor that leads to the release of too much cortisol. Several other people develop it because they make too much of ACTH which initiates adrenal glands to produce too much of cortisol.

Causes of Cushing Syndrome

As I had already stated, this condition is caused by too much production of cortisol which is produced in the adrenal glands located in your liver. The most common cause is linked to medications called glucocorticoids which are in other words known as Steroids or prednisone. These medications are prescribed for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and lupus. Studies show that taking too much of them for too long can cause Cushing Syndrome.

The other common cause is the existence of tumor in your Pituitary gland which is found in the brain. Also if there’s a tumor in the adrenal glands, there’s likelihood of this condition developing. Although this isn’t a condition passed in families, there are some rare cases where it develops because there’s a gene problem in the family.

Read also, What is Facial Plethora as it is closely related with cushing syndrome so you could have a better understanding of the condition.


The fact is that people with Cushing Syndrome don’t develop the same signs and symptoms. For this reason, you need to analyze them closely because your condition maybe different from another person’s. However, some of the most common symptoms includes;

  • Acne
  • Rounded rosy face
  • Weight gain
  • Thinning skin
  • Tiredness
  • Sleep problems
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Kidney stones
  • Irregular periods in women
  • Extra hair growth on the body and face
  • Osteoporosis

If you notice any of the above symptoms, then it’s time to visit your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Children with this condition are likely to be obese and grow slowly.


First of all, the doctor will have to carry on some tests to detect the existence of Cushing syndrome and later the cause. If the overproduction of cortisol is caused by the steroids you are taking, then the doctor will see if you can stop taking them. If the condition is caused by a tumor, then the doctor will recommend more tests to determine the location of the tumor and corrective measures taken. A surgery to remove the tumor may be done. The other way is that the doctor can shrink the tumor using medicine or radiation. On your part, eat well because a healthy diet can ease some symptoms of Cushing syndrome.