Cushing's syndrome digital illustration

Cushing's syndrome Save

ICD-10 code: E24

Chapter: Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases

Cushing's Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Cushing's syndrome is a rare hormonal disorder that occurs when the body produces too much cortisol, a hormone that helps regulate metabolism and respond to stress. This excess cortisol can cause a wide range of symptoms and health problems, including weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and osteoporosis.

The most common cause of Cushing's syndrome is a pituitary gland tumor that stimulates the production of cortisol. Other causes include adrenal tumors, prolonged use of corticosteroid medications, and tumors in other parts of the body that produce cortisol.

Symptoms of Cushing's Syndrome
  1. Weight gain, especially around the midsection and upper back
  2. Facial rounding, often referred to as a "moon face"
  3. Acne and other skin problems
  4. High blood pressure
  5. Irregular menstrual periods in women
  6. Muscle weakness and fatigue
  7. Depression and anxiety
  8. Increased thirst and urination
  9. Bone loss and increased risk of fractures

If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to talk to your healthcare provider. Cushing's syndrome can be difficult to diagnose, as many of the symptoms can be caused by other health problems. Your healthcare provider may order blood tests, imaging tests, or other diagnostic tests to determine if you have Cushing's syndrome.

Treatment for Cushing's Syndrome

The treatment for Cushing's syndrome depends on the underlying cause. If the syndrome is caused by a pituitary gland tumor, surgery may be needed to remove the tumor. Adrenal tumors may also be surgically removed. If the syndrome is caused by prolonged use of corticosteroid medications, your healthcare provider may gradually reduce your dosage or switch you to a different medication.

In some cases, radiation therapy or medications that block cortisol production may be used to treat Cushing's syndrome. Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine the best course of treatment based on your individual needs and medical history.


Cushing's syndrome can cause a range of symptoms and health problems, but with proper diagnosis and treatment, many people are able to manage their condition and lead healthy, active lives. If you're experiencing symptoms of Cushing's syndrome, talk to your healthcare provider to determine the best course of action.