Type of disease: Rare conditions
Cushing’s syndrome is an endocrine disorder caused by prolonged exposure of the body’s tissues to high levels of cortisol (a hormone produced by the adrenal gland). It most commonly affects adults between age 20 and 50 years. Signs and symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome include upper body obesity, fatigue, muscle weakness, high blood pressure, backache, high blood sugar, easy bruising and bluish-red stretch marks on the skin. Affected women may also experience irregular menstrual periods and increased growth of body and facial hair. This condition may be caused by a variety of factors including long-term use of corticosteroid medications, tumors in the pituitary gland or adrenal adenomas.Treatment depends on the underlying cause, but may include decreasing the dosage of corticosteroids or surgery to remove tumors.Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.