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Buffalo Hump
Dr. Cushing
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 Adrenal Crisis?


Cushing's disease is an endocrine condition, first described in 1932 by neurosurgeon, Dr. Harvey Cushing, It is due to tumors of the adrenal cortex, the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland or prolonged use of cortisone drugs.   


It is more common in women. The female to male incidence is about 5:1 for Cushing's syndrome due to an adrenal or pituitary tumor.
Ectopic ACTH production is more frequent in men due to the increased incidence of lung tumors in this population.
The peak incidence of Cushing's syndrome due to an adrenal or pituitary adenoma occurs in ages 25-40 years.
Ectopic ACTH production due to lung cancer usually occurs later in life.  

Symptoms include (Note: Not every patient has every symptom):

Fatness of the face, sometimes called "moonface", neck and trunk
Facial plethora
Puffy eyes
Softening of the spine
Absence of menstruation
Ruddy complexion with purple markings
Pink or purple stretch marks may appear on the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, arms and breasts (striae)
Easy bruising, poor healing after cuts and bruises,
Diminished resistance to infections
Osteoporosis (thin, weak bones)
Diabetes mellitus
Muscle weakness
Kidney stones   
"Buffalo hump", a fat accumulation over the upper back and trunk
Facial hair in women (Hirsuitism),
Enlarged clitoris
Peptic ulcers
Low resistance to infection
Mental disturbances, including depressions and hallucinations may occur, moodiness, anxiety or irritability; confusion or psychosis
Severe fatigue, weak muscles, lack of energy, high blood pressure and high blood sugar
Women: irregular menstrual periods, new facial hair and a receding hair line 
Men also may have decreased fertility with diminished or absent desire for sex
Children also tend to be obese with slowed growth rates and remain short.


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This page last modified: Monday February 10, 2003