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Cushing's Disease

Descriptive
Cushing's Disease

Cushing's disease is a fairly rare disease; fewer than 200,000 cases are reported in the US each year. But, to those who have it, it can be both a strain physically, as well as an embarrassment. The very visible physical symptoms, as well as the not-so-visible symptoms, can make life difficult. But what exactly is Cushing's Disease, and how is it treated?

What is Cushing's Disease?

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Cushing's Disease is an affliction that affects mostly those between the ages of nineteen and sixty or higher. It rarely affects children, though it could. It can cause unpleasant visible symptoms, as well as non-visible symptoms. Thankfully, it's fairly rare, though it is chronic, and can last for years at a time.

What Causes Cushing's Disease?

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Cushing's Disease is caused by an excess of cortisol in your body. This stress hormone can wreak havoc on your body, causing a lot of problems. This can be due to a lot of things. One of the most common causes of Cushing's Disease is steroid use. But it isn't necessarily drugs; you can have other defects, such as a tumor, cause an excess of cortisol to be released.

Who Is Most Susceptible?

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The age range for those who are susceptible to Cushing's Disease is fairly inclusive.

If you are between the ages of nineteen and sixty (or even older), you are in the average age range for Cushing's Disease. Children aren't immune, though; they can have it, too. You are at an increased risk if you have taken steroids in the past, or if you have other hormonal disorders.

How Is It Diagnosed?

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You'll definitely need tests run to diagnose this disease. Though the outer effects are fairly obvious, doctors will almost always perform tests to diagnose you with Cushing's Disease. Likely, they'll want to run tests more than once, to be sure, as well as to track how much cortisol you're producing.

Symptoms

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There are a lot of symptoms, mostly those connected with hormonal disorders.

The most prominent feature will be a fatty hump between your shoulder blades. You may also have a rounded face and stretch marks. Your legs may become thin, and your middle may become large and distended. Hairiness, sweating, fatigue, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, irritability, and weight gain are also symptoms.

Treatment

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Treatments for Cushing's Disease normally revolve around the need to remove or fix what is causing the excess of cortisol. This can include self-care, such as decreasing or stopping steroid use. Radiation and surgery may be used, if a tumor is to blame for the hormonal imbalance. Other medications may be available to help.

Is It Curable?

Absolutely! Because Cushing's Disease is caused by a hormonal disorder in the pituitary gland, simply correcting what is causing it will cure you of this disease. So, removing a tumor, stopping steroid use, or any number of things will help to cure you.

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Cushing's Disease is an uncomfortable, unpleasant problem. Though it is a rare disorder, those that have it are faced with very visible, very troublesome symptoms. Thankfully, it is not only treatable with medication, lifestyle changes, and surgery, it is also completely curable! Cushing's Disease really isn't the mysterious problem normally envisioned, after all.

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