Cushing’s disease is a relatively rare condition, caused by increased level of the hormone cortisol in the blood, which means that this is a hormonal disorder. It usually affects the people who are between 20 and 50 years of age, and those who are more susceptible to this are also people with type 2 diabetes, and those who are obese, have high blood pressure, and do not regularly check their blood sugar level. It is interesting that this condition appears among animals as well, especially dogs and horses, and it probably has something to do with various functions that hormone cortisol has in every body. In humans, it helps in maintaining the blood pressure, regulates the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins, it stabilizes the effects of insulin, but it also helps the body to better respond to stress.
The symptoms of Cushing’s disease are not the same with everyone, and they tend to differ among men and women, but generally, the great majority of the patients have slender arms and legs but fat neck and round face, and their upper part of the body is heavily built. Other signs of this condition are related to skin, since it gets bruised easily, and it is thin and fragile; pink stretch marks may appear on various parts of the body, such as breasts, stomach, thighs; the bones are easily fractured, even in some usual activities, such as bending, or lifting something. Men may experience decreased desire for sex, or the lack of it, as well as erectile dysfunction or even infertility, while women may experience irregular periods, or menstrual period can even disappear entirely. Other symptoms of Cushing’s disease which are typical of both sexes, are increased sweating, as well as increased urination and thirst, dilatation of capillaries, insomnia, weight gaining, high blood pressure, and even depression and anxiety.
However, people should be aware of the fact that these symptoms do not necessarily have to imply Cushing’s disease when they appear, because they can be signs of some other condition as well, which does not have to be related to the low level of cortisol. As for the treatment, it is possible to treat this condition, but the method depends on the reason for the increased level of cortisol, since there can be several of them, and each requires different approach. In some cases radiation helps, in others chemotherapy, while the most extreme cases include surgery.