Symptoms of high cortisol

Symptoms of high cortisol

What are the clinical symptoms of excessive levels of cortisol?

Prolonged and inappropriately high levels of cortisol lead to Cushing’s syndrome, characterized by:

• Obesity, especially central (truncal) obesity, with wasting of the extremities, moon facies, supraclavicular fat pads, and “buffalo hump”

• Thinning of the skin, with facial plethora, easy bruising, and violaceous striae

• Muscular weakness, especially proximal muscle weakness, and atrophy

• Hypertension, atherosclerosis, congestive heart failure, and edema

• Gonadal dysfunction and menstrual irregularities

• Psychological disturbances (e.g., depression, emotional lability, irritability, sleep disturbances)

• Osteoporosis and fractures

• Increased rate of infections and poor wound healing


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