Cushing's Syndrome (Hypercortisolism): Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Cushing's syndrome, also referred to as hypercortisolism, is a hormonal disorder caused by prolonged exposure of the body's tissues to high levels of the hormone cortisol.

Signs and symptoms of Cushing's syndrome include upper body obesity, facial swelling with a rounded face, an abnormal fat pad between the shoulder blades, and increased fat around the neck. Other associated symptoms include thin arms and legs, fatigue, weakness, high blood pressure, mood disorders such as depression, weakening of the bones, easy bruising, irritability, and anxiety.

Cause of Cushing's syndrome (hypercortisolism)

There are different causes of Cushing's syndrome, including pituitary gland tumors, tumors of the adrenal gland, taking glucocorticoid hormones for the treatment of diseases, or overproduction of cortisol in the body for any reason.

Other cushing's syndrome symptoms and signs

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.