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Cushing syndrome

  • Alternative Names



    Treatment depends on the cause.

    Cushing syndrome caused by corticosteroid use:

    • Slowly decrease the drug dose (if possible) under medical supervision.
    • If you cannot stop taking the medication because of disease, your high blood sugar, high cholesterol levels, and bone thinning or osteoporosis should be closely monitored.

    Cushing syndrome caused by a pituitary tumor or tumor that releases ACTH:

    • Surgery to remove the tumor
    • Radiation after removal of a pituitary tumor (in some cases)
    • You may need hydrocortisone (cortisol) replacement therapy after surgery, and possibly continued throughout your life

    Cushing syndrome due to an adrenal tumor or other tumors:

    • Surgery to remove the tumor
    • If the tumor cannot be removed, medications to help block the release of cortisol

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    Removing the tumor may lead to full recovery, but there is a chance that the condition will return.

    Survival for people with ectopic tumors depends on the tumor type. Untreated, Cushing syndrome can be life-threatening.

    • Diabetes
    • Enlargement of pituitary tumor
    • Fractures due to osteoporosis
    • High blood pressure
    • Kidney stones
    • Serious infections

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of Cushing syndrome.