The adrenal glands, a pair of endocrine organs located above the left and right kidneys, are responsible for secreting hormones necessary for the body’s normal metabolism, such as cortisol, aldosterone, adrenal androgens, and epinephrine. Among them, cortisol, a kind of steroid hormone produced in the adrenal cortex, is a representative glucocorticoids and plays a role in supplying energy necessary for the body to fight stress, and plays a role in the synthesis of normal cells in each tissue of the body. are in charge. Cushing’s syndrome is a disease that occurs when cortisol, which plays an important role, is produced excessively or when the concentration is maintained above normal. It is often diagnosed in people in their 30s and 40s, and it is known that the incidence in women is about 8 times higher than in men. In many cases, Cushing’s syndrome is caused by the adrenal glands producing more glucocorticoids than necessary. When the pituitary gland secretes a lot of adrenocorticotropic hormone that regulates the secretion of glucocorticoids due to the cause of tumors in the pituitary gland It is known that it occurs when the adrenal gland produces a lot of corticosteroids, which in turn increases the production of glucocorticoids in the adrenal gland. In addition, it has been known to occur even when glucocorticoids are administered externally for a long time due to treatment and various factors. Now, let’s learn more about the various symptoms that appear when Cushing’s syndrome occurs, as well as various information related to treatment and management.
The main symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome
The main symptom of Cushing’s syndrome is central obesity caused by the accumulation of fat on the face, neck, chest, and stomach. A round face shape occurs in the lunar face, and various symptoms such as water buffalo hump where fat is abnormally accumulated on the back of the neck, and pleurisy on the facial skin appear. In addition, excess subcutaneous fat accumulates in the chest and abdomen, leading to obesity. And in contrast to the accumulation of fat in the center, the arms and legs do not gain weight, and symptoms such as muscle weakness and muscle atrophy appear. In addition, symptoms such as thinning of the skin, acne, bruising, hirsutism, and scarring may occur. Symptoms may also accompany it.
Cushing’s syndrome is not easy to detect because it does not show any specific abnormalities in the early stages, and even if symptoms do appear, it is not easy to recognize them as general obesity. If treatment is delayed or if left unattended because it is considered a temporary weight gain, the risk of various diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis may increase due to worsening of related symptoms. In addition, as the wound does not heal well, it increases the risk of infection of the skin and mucous membranes, increasing the risk of various infectious and inflammatory diseases, and complications may occur. And when the symptoms continue, it greatly amplifies anxiety, depression, irritability, and helplessness, as well as induces psychological atrophy and extreme emotional changes, which can lead to the occurrence of various related diseases such as sleep disorders, depression, and anxiety disorders. . Therefore, it can be said that it is important to recognize the various symptoms mentioned above and to receive professional treatment through an appropriate diagnosis and examination process without delaying treatment if the occurrence is suspected.
Cushing’s Syndrome Treatment and Management
1. Examination and Treatment
Cushing’s syndrome can be diagnosed by checking the concentration of glucocorticoids in the blood or urine through blood tests and 24-hour urine tests. If Cushing’s syndrome is suspected through blood tests and urine tests, detailed tests such as abdominal CT or pituitary MRI scan can be performed to check the condition more precisely. According to the diagnosis results through various tests, if the cause is a tumor in the adrenal gland, surgical treatment is performed to remove the tumor. And when it is impossible to remove the adrenal tumor, the treatment method using drugs is implemented. In principle, if the pituitary tumor is the cause, treatment to remove the tumor is performed, but if necessary, drug treatment and radiation therapy are also performed.
2. Stress Management
It is known that there is no special method to prevent Cushing’s syndrome, but as excessive stress acts as a factor influencing the occurrence, it is possible to reduce severe mental stress that causes extreme emotional changes, It is important to find your own stress-relieving methods such as meditation and exercise and practice them consistently.
3. Maintaining healthy eating and lifestyle habits
In addition, it is recommended to improve irregular lifestyle habits that aggravate the related symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome, such as elevated blood pressure and blood sugar. It’s possible.
And if the cause of Cushing’s syndrome is due to steroid-related drugs such as glucocorticoids, it is better to stop taking it.