What is Cushing's syndrome?
Cushing's syndrome occurs when your body is exposed to high levels of the hormone cortisol for a long period of time. Cortisol is also sometimes called a "stress hormone" and is a natural steroid hormone that's like the "cortisone" in some medicines. Cushing's syndrome can be caused by the body making too much cortisol or it can be caused by taking too much corticosteroid medicines (which contain cortisol).
Cushing's Disease: Clinical Manifestations and Diagnostic Evaluation by LF Kirk, Jr., M.D., RB Hash, M.D., HP Katner, M.D., and T Jones, M.D. (American Family Physician September 01, 2000, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20000901/1119.html)
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff