Hi! I heard that one of my good friends has cushing's syndrome. I remember that I study about it when I was in medical school more then ten years ago. I know that is some kind of hormonal disorder and that it’s also called hypercortisolism. Please, tell me is it pituitary or adrenal gland that are causing cushing's?
Yes, you are right. Cushing's syndrome is a hormonal disorder caused by an abnormally high circulating level of corticosteroid hormones. The pituitary gland controls the activity of the adrenal gland. Overactivity of a tumor of the pituitary can lead to overgrowth of the adrenal glands, and that causing excessive secretion of corticosteroids.
Cushing's Disease can be caused by both an adrenal tumor or a pituitary tumor. These growths are als called adenomas.......I had a small 5mm adenoma on my Pituitary gland. It was an ACTH producing tumor that caused my adrenal glands to produce way too much Cortisol. A tumor directly on the adrenal gland can also be the cause of an abundance of Cortisol in your system.
Cortisol is the 'stress' hormone or the 'fight or flight' hormone.
Cushing's Disease can be quite treacherous and you need to find a really qualified endocrinologist and neurosurgeon to help you.
I had brain surgery in 2003 to remove my tumor. Just in case anyone is reading this that has, or might have this disease....I wanted to let you know that there is hope. I was extremely ill for a very long time with this disease. It took many years of suffering before I was diagnosed. But, today, I am completely cured and feeling a million times better.
It was really rough for a long time and I never thought I would feel 'normal' again. But I do feel really good. It took a toll on me, that is for sure....but I am cured!
There's a lot more info out there about Cushing's nowadays. There is a website called Cushing's Help that is really good. You really have to educate yourself with a disease like this. Most endocrinologists are not that familiar with this disease.....and the one that are...well, as awesome as they are....they do not have a lot of time to discuss all the issues with you. They just don't. And my brain surgeon was incredible....but did not have hardly any time to have lengthy discussions.
Good luck to anyone on the Cushing's journey.