Causes and Risk Factors
Prolonged or excess exposure to cortisol as a result of:
- Long-term use of corticosteroid hormones such as cortisone or prednisone
- Tumor or abnormality of the adrenal gland, which causes the body to produce excess cortisol
- Tumor or abnormality of the pituitary gland, which causes the body to produce excess cortisol (in the case of a pituitary tumor, it is called Cushing's disease)
- Rarely, tumors of the lungs, thyroid, kidney, pancreas, or thymus gland produce hormones that trigger the syndrome
Factors that increase your risk of Cushing's syndrome include:
- Chronic use of corticosteroid medicines
- Age: 20-50 years
- Sex: female (much more common in women)
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