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Cushing’s syndrome

GC: n

S: NHS - http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cushings-syndrome/Pages/Introduction.aspx(external link) (last access: 1 June 2017); MEDLP - https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000410.htm(external link) (last access: 7 March 2018).

N: 1. - Cushing (pn): Harvey Williams Cushing was an American neurosurgeon (1869 - 1939).
- syndrome (n): “A number of symptoms occurring together," 1540s, from medical Latin, from Greek syndrome "concurrence of symptoms, concourse of people," from syndromos "place where several roads meet," literally "a running together," from syn- "with" + dromos "a running, course". Psychological sense is from 1955.
2. Cushing syndrome occurs when your body is exposed to high levels of the hormone cortisol for a long time. Cushing syndrome, sometimes called hypercortisolism, may be caused by the use of oral corticosteroid medication. The condition can also occur when your body makes too much cortisol on its own.
3. The signs and symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome can vary depending on the levels of excess cortisol.
  • Common signs and symptoms involve progressive obesity and skin changes, such as:
    • Weight gain and fatty tissue deposits, particularly around the midsection and upper back, in the face (moon face), and between the shoulders (buffalo hump)
    • Pink or purple stretch marks (striae) on the skin of the abdomen, thighs, breasts and arms
    • Thinning, fragile skin that bruises easily
    • Slow healing of cuts, insect bites and infections
    • Acne
  • Women with Cushing syndrome may experience:
    • Thicker or more visible body and facial hair (hirsutism)
    • Irregular or absent menstrual periods
  • Men with Cushing syndrome may experience:
    • Decreased libido
    • Decreased fertility
    • Erectile dysfunction
  • Other signs and symptoms include:
    • Severe fatigue
    • Muscle weakness
    • Depression, anxiety and irritability
    • Loss of emotional control
    • Cognitive difficulties
    • New or worsened high blood pressure
    • Headache
    • Bone loss, leading to fractures over time
    • In children, impaired growth
4. Causes: You can get Cushing's syndrome when there’s too much cortisol in your body for too long. Cortisol comes from your adrenal glands, which sit on top of your kidneys.
5. Treating Cushing's syndrome: The main treatment for iatrogenic Cushing's syndrome is to decrease or withdraw the use of corticosteroids. However, this must be done gradually to avoid any unpleasant side effects.
For endogenous Cushing's syndrome, surgery to remove the tumour is usually recommended. If surgery is unsuccessful or it's not possible to remove the tumour safely, medication can be used to counter the effects of the high cortisol levels.
Although treatment is effective, it can take some time to bring the symptoms under control – any time from a few weeks to a few years in some cases.
Left untreated, Cushing's syndrome can cause high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
6. The symptoms and signs may include rapidly developing adiposity of the face, neck, and trunk, kyphosis caused by osteoporosis of the spine, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, amenorrhea, hypertrichosis in females, impotence in males, dusky complexion with purple markings, polycythemia, pain in the abdomen and back, and muscular wasting and weakness. When secondary to excessive pituitary secretion of adrenocorticotropin, it is known as Cushing's disease.
7. Cultural Interrelation: We could mention episode 9 Deception from the TV series (2004-2012) House M. D. (season 2).
We could also mention episode 16 Heavy from the TV series (2004-2012) House M. D. (season 1). In Spanish version (episode 16, season 1, footage: 36:13), it is called enfermedad de Cushing (Cushing's disease and not Cushing’s syndrome).

S: 1. OED - http://www.goo.gl/Qccj4q(external link) (last access: 2 April 2017). WNMDT - http://www.goo.gl/os6Gm9(external link) (last access: 1 June 2017). 2 & 3. MAYO - http://www.goo.gl/zHaIie;(external link) http://www.goo.gl/ehUAaK(external link) (last access: 1 June 2017). 4. WebMD - http://www.goo.gl/WYXLES(external link) (last access: 1 June 2017). 5. NHS - http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cushings-syndrome/Pages/Introduction.aspx(external link) (last access: 1 June 2017). 6. TERMIUM PLUS - https://goo.gl/A0zoYY(external link) (last access: 1 June 2017). 7. http://house.wikia.com/wiki/Deception(external link) (last access: 6 March 2018); http://www.housemd-guide.com/season1/116heavy.php(external link) (last access: 6 March 2018); TMH p. 63.

SYN: hyperadrenalism, hyperadrenocorticism.

S: MEDICALDICT  - http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Cushing%27s+disease(external link) (last access: 1 June 2017)

CR: high blood pressure



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