Cushing’s syndrome is an uncommon syndrome that happens when your body has too much of a hormone called cortisol. It is also called hypercortisolism. Cortisol is a steroid hormone commonly called the “stress hormone.” Your body releases extra cortisol during times of stress, helping out by:
Cortisol also helps by shutting down, temporarily, systems that your body doesn’t need during times of increased stress, such as digestion and reproduction.
Cortisol is essential to:
The adrenal glands (two small glands on top of your kidneys), pituitary gland (in your brain), and the hypothalamus (the part of your brain above the pituitary gland) control cortisol levels.
The cortisol levels found in Cushing’s syndrome are typically caused by a medication or a tumor.