Meet Dr. Theodore Friedman in Denver

Theodore C. Friedman, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr.  Theodore Friedman will be back in Denver, Colorado and will host a free patient support group on Sunday November 10, 2013 at 10 am at his sister’s house.

152 S Trenton

Denver CO 80230

It’s in Lowry

Please bring your questions.

Feel free to mention this to other Colorado patients.

Differences Between Cushing’s Syndrome and Cushing’s Disease

What’s the difference between Cushing’s Disease and Cushing’s Syndrome?

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Cushing’s syndrome is a hormonal disorder

Cortisol is a normal hormone produced in the outer portion of the adrenal glands. When functioning normally, cortisol helps the body respond to stress and change. It mobilizes nutrients, modifies the body’s response to inflammation, stimulates the liver to raise blood sugar, and helps control the amount of water in the body. Cortisol production is regulated by the adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), produced in the pituitary gland. Spontaneous overproduction of cortisol in the adrenals is divided into two groups – those attributed to an excess of ACTH and those that are independent of ACTH.

Cushing’s syndrome is the term used to describe a group of symptoms that occur when a persons’ cortisol levels are too high (known as hypercortisolism) for too long. The majority of people have Cushing’s syndrome because they are regularly taking certain medicine(s) that continually add too much cortisol to the body. Doctors call this an “exogenous” (outside the body) cause of Cushing’s syndrome. Other people have Cushing’s syndrome because something is causing the adrenal gland(s) to overproduce cortisol. Doctors call this an “endogenous” (inside the body) cause of Cushing’s syndrome.

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Cushing’s disease is a form of Cushing’s syndrome

Cushing’s disease is the most common form of endogenous Cushing’s syndrome. It is caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland that secretes excessive amounts of a hormone called Adrenocorticotropic hormone, or ACTH. Fortunately, this type of tumor is typically benign. Unlike a cancerous (malignant) tumor, a benign tumor stays in its original location and will not spread. After you are diagnosed with Cushing’s syndrome, it is important that your doctor continues the diagnostic process to determine the cause of hypercortisolism.

From the message boards It is not only a tumor that causes Cushings Disease—many of us have the rarer form of this rare disease which is Pituitary Hyperplasia. It also causes CD and may be nodular (shown on MRI s a tumor) or dispersed (meaning spread throughout the gland).

How a pituitary tumor causes Cushing’s disease

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ACTH is a hormone produced in your pituitary gland. ACTH travels to your adrenal glands and signals them to produce cortisol.

Pituitary adenomas are benign tumors of the pituitary gland which secrete increased amounts of ACTH, causing excessive cortisol production. Most patients have a single adenoma. First described in 1912 by neurosurgeon Harvey Cushing in his book The Pituitary Body and its Disorders, Cushing’s disease is the most common cause of spontaneous Cushing’s syndrome, accounting for 60 to 70 percent of cases.

If a person has Cushing’s disease, it means that a group of abnormal cells has built up in the pituitary gland to form an ACTH-producing pituitary tumor. These abnormal cells produce ACTH, just as normal pituitary gland cells do—only far too much. The excess ACTH travels to adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are then bombarded with signals to produce more and more cortisol. As a result, the adrenal glands continuously secrete too much cortisol.

Ectopic ACTH Syndrome

Some benign or malignant (cancerous) tumors that arise outside the pituitary can produce ACTH. This condition is known as ectopic ACTH syndrome. Lung tumors cause more than 50 percent of these cases. Other less common types of tumors that can produce ACTH are thymomas, pancreatic islet cell tumors, and medullary carcinomas of the thyroid.

Adrenal Tumors

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An abnormality of the adrenal glands such as an adrenal tumor may cause Cushing’s syndrome. Most of these cases involve non-cancerous tumors called adrenal adenomas, which release excess cortisol into the blood.

Adrenocortical carcinomas, or adrenal cancers, are the least common cause of Cushing’s syndrome. Cancer cells secrete excess levels of several adrenal cortical hormones, including cortisol and adrenal androgens. Adrenocortical carcinomas often cause very high hormone levels and rapid onset of symptoms.

Familial Cushing’s syndrome

Most cases of Cushing’s syndrome are not genetic. However, some individuals may develop Cushing’s syndrome due to an inherited tendency to develop tumors of one or more endocrine glands. In Primary Pigmented Micronodular Adrenal Disease, children or young adults develop small cortisol-producing tumors of the adrenal glands. In Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type I (MEN I), hormone secreting tumors of the parathyroid glands, pancreas and pituitary occur. Cushing’s syndrome in MEN I may be due to pituitary, ectopic or adrenal tumors.

Risk factors

Obesity, type 2 diabetes, poorly controlled blood glucose (blood sugar levels), and high blood pressure may increase the risk of developing this disorder.

Adapted from http://www.cushiewiki.com/index.php?title=Cushing%27s_Disease_or_Syndrome

Where Can I Find…?

Also in the Cushings-Help family of websites

Cushing’s FAQ

A FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).  Directions are in each category for adding your own question.

IMPORTANT: The information and material posted on this Web site is intended as general reference information only. Specific facts and circumstances may alter the concepts and applications of materials and information described herein. The information provided is not a substitute for professional advice and should not be relied upon in the absence of such professional advice specific to whatever facts and circumstances are presented in any given situation.

Please note that there are several questions waiting to be answered at this time. Your question will be answered as soon as possible.

This is a different website than the message boards and requires a different log-in, although you may use the same log-in name and password.

 

Adrenal Insufficiency

Adrenal insufficiency is a life threatening chronic illness. An active and vigorous lifestyle with normal life expectancy is possible as long as the prescribed medications are taken regularly and adjusted when indicated. As with most chronic diseases, adrenal insufficiency demands that the patients take responsibility and develop self-management skills and techniques.

Read an article on Adrenal insufficiency

Cushing’s Types

Cushing’s Disease/ Cushing’s Syndrome: Cushing’s is a hormonal disorder caused by prolonged exposure of the body’s tissues to high levels of the hormone cortisol. Your adrenal glands, which are right above your kidneys, release cortisol when they receive a chemical message from your pituitary gland. The message comes in the form of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), which travels through the bloodstream.

Cushing’s Disease Is the result of a pituitary tumor which causesthe emergence of secondary male characteristics (like hair growth, acne, etc.), and ovarian failure. Other symptoms usually include high blood pressure and water retention.

Cushing’s Syndrome: Causes the same symptoms, but is a disorder marked by overproduction of adrenal hormones, which can cause a drop in LH and FSH.

An estimated 10 to 15 of every million people are affected each year. Cushing’s is an increased concentration of glucocorticoid hormone (ACTH) in the bloodstream that is being produced by an adrenal gland tumor (adenoma). Ectopic Cushing syndrome refers to the production of ACTH in a location other than the pituitary gland or adrenalgland. Examples of ectopic sites include thymoma, medullary carcinoma of the thyroid, pheochromocytoma, islet cell tumors of the pancreas, and oat cell carcinoma of the lung.Symptoms include weight gain, central obesity, moon face, weakness, fatigue, backache, headache, increased thirst, increased urination, impotence, mental status changes, and muscle atrophy.

Treatment varies with cause. If an ACTH secreting tumor is involved then it must be removed surgically.

More about Cushing’s.

Talk about Cushing’s with people who understand.

Subcategories:

Growth Hormone

Human Growth Hormone (hGH) is produced in the pituitary gland of humans, and the hormone is secreted throughout a person’s lifetime. It promotes growth in children and plays an important role in adult metabolism.

More about HgH

Where Can I Find…?

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