Cushing Syndrome

Disease database

Cushing Syndrome is a rare hormonal disorder that occurs when the body is exposed to high levels of the hormone cortisol for an extended period of time. This condition can have a significant impact on a person’s physical appearance and overall health. In this article, we will explore the various symptoms of Cushing Syndrome and discuss potential treatment options.

Weight Gain

One of the most noticeable symptoms of Cushing Syndrome is unexplained weight gain, particularly in the face, abdomen, and upper back. This weight gain is often accompanied by a round face and a hump on the back, known as a buffalo hump. These physical changes can be distressing for individuals and may lead to body image issues.

High Blood Pressure

Cushing Syndrome can also cause high blood pressure, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks and strokes. It is important for individuals with this condition to monitor their blood pressure regularly and work with their healthcare provider to manage it effectively.

Fatigue and Muscle Weakness

Individuals with Cushing Syndrome often experience fatigue and muscle weakness. This can make it difficult to perform daily activities and may impact overall quality of life. It is important to listen to your body and rest when needed, while also engaging in regular exercise to maintain muscle strength.

Mood Swings

Cushing Syndrome can affect a person’s mood, leading to mood swings and emotional instability. It is important for individuals with this condition to seek support from loved ones and healthcare professionals to manage their emotional well-being.

Increased Thirst and Urination

Excessive thirst and frequent urination are common symptoms of Cushing Syndrome. This is due to the impact of cortisol on the body’s fluid balance. It is important to stay hydrated and monitor fluid intake to prevent dehydration.

Thinning Skin and Bruising Easily

Cushing Syndrome can cause the skin to become thin and fragile, making it more prone to bruising and slow healing of wounds. It is important to take extra care of the skin, avoid activities that may cause injury, and seek medical attention for any wounds that are slow to heal.

Acne and Stretch Marks

Another common symptom of Cushing Syndrome is the development of acne and stretch marks. These skin changes can be distressing for individuals and may require dermatological treatment to manage.

Treatment Options

While there is no cure for Cushing Syndrome, there are treatment options available to manage the symptoms and improve quality of life. The most common approach is to reduce the levels of cortisol in the body. This can be achieved through medication, surgery, or radiation therapy, depending on the underlying cause of the condition.


Medication can be used to inhibit the production of cortisol or block its effects on the body. These medications may have side effects, so it is important to work closely with a healthcare provider to find the most suitable treatment plan.


In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove tumors or glands that are producing excessive cortisol. This can help to normalize hormone levels and alleviate symptoms. However, surgery carries risks and should be carefully considered in consultation with a healthcare provider.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy may be used to target and destroy tumors or abnormal cells that are causing the overproduction of cortisol. This treatment option is typically reserved for cases where medication and surgery have not been effective.


Cushing Syndrome is a complex hormonal disorder that can have a significant impact on a person’s physical and emotional well-being. It is important for individuals with this condition to work closely with their healthcare provider to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. While there is no cure, there are treatment options available that can help to alleviate symptoms and restore hormonal balance. By understanding the symptoms and seeking appropriate medical care, individuals with Cushing Syndrome can lead fulfilling lives.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
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