Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Cushing's Disease Underlying Cause

The most common cause for Cushing's disease is a pituitary tumor. The pituitary tumor stimulates the adrenal glands to produce too much cortisol.

The important functions of cortisol include:

  • Assisting the body in its response to stress
  • Carbohydrate and fat metabolism
  • Helping balance the effects of insulin in breaking down sugar for energy
  • Helping the immune system's response
  • Maintaining blood pressure
  • Regulation of protein

Additional causes of Cushing's disease include:

Continue to Cushing's Disease Anatomy

Last Updated: Jun 18, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Cushing's Disease References
  1. Burch WM. Cushing's disease. A review. Arch Intern Med. 1985 Jun;145(6):1106-11. [3923962]
  2. Heaney AP. Novel medical approaches for the treatment of Cushing's disease. J Endocrinol Invest. 2004 Jun;27(6):591-5. [15717660]
  3. Mahmoud-Ahmed AS, Suh JH. Radiation therapy for Cushing's disease: a review. Pituitary. 2002;5(3):175-80. [12812309]
  4. Medical therapy of Cushing's disease. Pituitary. 2002;5(2):77-82. [12675504]
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