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All about Conn's syndrome causes of Cushing's syndrome symptoms of Cushing's syndrome diagnosis of Cushing's syndrome treatments for Cushing's syndrome Cushing's disease

What causes Cushing's syndrome?

The most common cause of Cushing's syndrome is taking cortisone-like medicines orally (by mouth) every day for weeks to months. Prednisone is the most common medicine that's taken this way. Inhaled steroid medicines for asthma and steroid skin creams for eczema and other skin conditions don't cause Cushing's syndrome. Even oral medicines taken every day for

short periods of time or every other day for longer periods don't often cause Cushing's syndrome.

The next most common cause of Cushing's syndrome is Cushing's disease. Tumors in the adrenal glands or somewhere else in the body can also cause Cushing's syndrome. The endocrine system consists of glands that produce hormones that regulate processes throughout your body. They include the adrenal glands, pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, pancreas, ovaries (in females) and testicles (in men).

The adrenal glands produce a number of hormones, including cortisol, which plays a variety of roles in your body. For example, cortisol helps regulate your blood pressure and keeps your cardiovascular system functioning normally. It also helps your body respond to stress, and regulates the way you convert (metabolize) proteins, carbohydrates and fats in your diet into usable energy. However, when the level of cortisol is too high in your body, you may develop Cushing's syndrome.

Cushing's syndrome can develop from a cause that originates outside of your body (exogenous Cushing's syndrome). Taking certain medications over an extended period of time, such as corticosteroid medications by mouth, may cause your cortisol level to rise. That's because these medications are synthetic forms of cortisol. Your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids to treat inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease, or to prevent your body from rejecting a transplanted organ.

More information on Conn's syndrome

What is Cushing's syndrome? - Conn's syndrome (hypercortisolism) is a condition where the adrenal glands over produce the mineralocorticoid hormone aldosterone.
What causes Cushing's syndrome? - The most common cause of Cushing's syndrome is taking cortisone-like medicines orally (by mouth) every day for weeks to months.
What are symptoms of Cushing's syndrome? - The symptoms of Cushing's syndrome are due to the effect of excess cortisol on the body. Weight gain and obesity are the most common symptoms.
How is Cushing's syndrome diagnosed? - To diagnose Cushing's syndrome, doctors review the patient's medical records and do a physical exam. A definite diagnosis involves seeing if there is too much cortisol in the body.
What're the treatments for Cushing's syndrome? - The treatment for Cushing's syndrome depends mostly on identifying the cause and removing it. Treatments for Cushing's syndrome are designed to lower the high levels of cortisol in your body.
What is Cushing's disease? - Cushing's disease is a disease in which the adrenal glands overproduce certain hormones. Another medical term for this disease is hyperadrenocorticism. 
Endocrine disorders Mainpage

Topics in endocrine disorders

Adrenal insufficiency
Addison's disease
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
Conn's syndrome
Cushing's syndrome
Nelson's syndrome
Bartter's syndrome
Adrenocortical carcinoma
Pituitary gland disorders
Thyroid gland disorders

All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005