May 31, 2023
When cortisol levels in the body are excessive for an extended period of time, Cushing syndrome develops. This can happen when the body produces too much cortisol or if you take drugs called glucocorticoids, which have a similar effect on the body to cortisol.
Some of the prominent signs of Cushing syndrome, such as a fatty hump between the shoulders, a round face, and pink or purple stretch marks on the skin, can be brought on by excessive cortisol. High blood pressure or bone loss can also be a result of Cushing syndrome. It can occasionally lead to type 2 diabetes.
Reduced cortisol levels and symptom improvement are possible with treatments for Cushing Syndrome. The likelihood of recovery is improved the earlier treatment is initiated.
Read this blog further to get a quick overview of this important topic for medicine and ace your NEET PG exam preparation.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is frequently referred to as the "stress hormone." When you are stressed, your body produces more cortisol. Cortisol is necessary for :
Cortisol levels are regulated by the pituitary gland, located in the brain, the hypothalamus, a region of the brain above the pituitary gland, and the adrenal glands, two tiny glands located on top of the kidneys.
Cortisol is highest in early morning as it is a stress hormone so during early morning as people are proceeding to perform their daily activities the cortisol levels increases. 75% of daily cortisol is produced in morning hours.
Earliest presentation is loss of diurnal variation. The cortisol levels are different during the day and this variation is known as diurnal variation. In cushing syndrome this variation is lost.
Ectopic ACTH production leads to increased Cortisol levels. ACTH acts as partial melanocyte stimulating hormone like action thus leads to hyperpigmentation on creases of skin (palms and soles)
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It is caused due to bilateral Adrenalectomy which is performed to treat bilateral adrenal adenoma producing a mass effect. During surgery to prevent addisonian crisis IV Hydrocortisone drip can be given to the patient and post op to maintain the cortisol levels in the body life-long hydrocortisone supplementation is added. Due to static levels of steroids, no feed-back inhibition on ACTH is present so the ACTH will be increased thus resulting in Hyperpigmentation on creases of palms and soles. Only Pulsatile release of cortisol can inhibit ACTH production.
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