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What are the Symptoms of Cushing’s Syndrome?

The signs of CS appear slowly over time. Some people may only have a few signs while others show greater changes. Common symptoms of CS are:

  • "Moon face" (round and full face)
  • "Buffalo hump" (fat bulge between the shoulders)
  • Gaining weight around your belly
  • Skin becomes thin. You may bruise easily and find pink or purple stretch marks on your belly
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Fatigue and trouble sleeping (cortisol is released based on normal sleep patterns)
  • Mood swings and sadness
  • Lack of muscle strength (difficulty standing up from a seated position)
  • Bone density loss
  • Sexual abnormalities
  • More body hair
  • Menstrual changes in women
  • Women may also see their appearance change and become more masculine (virilization)

The signs of CS often appear slowly. A series of pictures of a person’s appearance may be the best way to show the changes.

Doctors sometimes describe patients with CS as having "Cushingoid" features. These features are also side effects of cortisone related drugs such as prednisone and prednisolone.