The stress hormone cortisol is produced when the body encounters stress. Situations such as trauma, illness or high anxiety can cause the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Sometimes there is an overproduction, which can lead to Cushing’s syndrome. This affects more women than men.
There are various reasons why the adrenals may overproduce cortisol. Tumors in certain areas such as the pituitary, adrenal gland, pancreas, thyroid, etc. can cause the body to develop the condition. Use of oral corticosteroids can cause Cushing’s syndrome as well.
Symptoms and Signs of Cushing’s Syndrome
Cushing’s syndrome affects individuals differently. Some of the common symptoms and signs are:
- Bruises heal slowly
- Excessive hair growth
- Fatty deposits on upper back, around the neck, etc.
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar levels
- Increased thirst and urination
- Lack of concentration
- Menstrual irregularities
- Poor short-term memory
- Round and moon-shaped face
- Thinning skin bruises easily
- Weak muscles
Women experiencing Cushing’s syndrome may have a disruption in their menstruation, causing it to become irregular or stop altogether. This can impact a woman’s ability to conceive.
There are many conditions that have the same symptoms as Cushing’s syndrome, so it can be difficult to diagnose. Sometimes getting an accurate diagnosis can take a long period of time as other conditions are ruled out.
There are tests your doctor will perform to determine the levels of cortisol in your blood and urine. These tests can show if the body is producing excessive cortisol. Imaging tests may be performed to check the adrenal glands and pituitary or other areas for tumors.
When a diagnosis has been made, a treatment plan can be put in place. The goal of any treatment is to lower the levels of cortisol in the body. Your doctor will determine what treatment will be most effective based on the cause of the syndrome. Depending on the cause and subsequent treatment, the chances of conception could increase when cortisol levels are reduced.
The doctors at Neway Fertility will work with you to maximize your chances of becoming pregnant. Contact us today, and schedule an appointment for a consultation.