What Are Symptoms of Cushing's Syndrome?
It's important to know that not all people with Cushing's syndrome exhibit the same symptoms.1,2 Everyone is different. Your healthcare professional may give you a physical exam, order lab tests, and then refer you to an endocrinologist.2,4
- Hair growth on the abdomen, face, neck, and/or thighs
- Hair loss (for women)
- Rounding of the face (aka “moon face”)
- Excess fat on the back of the neck (aka “buffalo hump”)
- Dark red or purple stretch marks
- Excess weight gain concentrated more in the abdomen, less in the arms and legs
- Abnormal menstrual cycles
- Type 2 diabetes
- Bruising easily
- Thin skin
- Poor skin healing
- Swelling of tissues, usually in the legs
- Problems sleeping
- Decreased concentration
- Decreased sexual drive
- Impaired memory
- Pituitary-related Cushing’s (Cushing’s disease) accounts for more than 70% of cases in adults
- Cushing's syndrome is more common in adults between the ages of 20 and 50
- Females account for 70% of all Cushing's syndrome cases
More often than not, symptoms alone are not enough to diagnose Cushing's syndrome.1,3
The best way to diagnose Cushing's syndrome is through tests conducted by a healthcare professional, like an endocrinologist, who can measure ACTH and cortisol levels in your body.1,2
After lab tests, your healthcare professional may order an MRI scan or a CT scan in order to see if a tumor is causing your symptoms.4
- Frequently asked questions about transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenomas. Massachusetts General Hospital Web site. http://www.massgeneral.org/neurosurgery/services/faq_surgery_adenoma_nendoc.aspx. Accessed April 13, 2013.
- Cushing's Syndrome and Cushing's Disease: Your Question's Answered. The Pituitary Society Web site. http://www.pituitarysociety.org/public/specific/cushing/cushings.pdf. Accessed April 13, 2013.
- Nieman LK, Biller BMK, Findling JW, et al, eds. The Diagnosis of Cushing's Syndrome: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline. Chevy Chase, MD: The Endocrine Society; 2008. https://www.endocrine.org/~/media/endosociety/Files/Publications/Clinical%20Practice%20Guidelines/Cushings_Guideline.pdf. Accessed April 13, 2013.
- Adrenal diseases: Cushing's syndrome. The facts you need to know. National Adrenal Diseases Foundation Web site. http://www.nadf.us/diseases/cushings.htm. Accessed April 13, 2013.
- Cushing's syndrome/disease. American Association of Neurological Surgeons Web site. http://www.aans.org/en/Patient Information/Conditions and Treatments/Cushings Disease.aspx. Accessed April 13, 2013.