Moon face is a medical abnormality caused by large fat deposits in the face, back or abdomen. It is a sign usually associated with Cushing's or Cushing syndrome.
Cushing's Syndrome is a group of related signs and symptoms caused by prolonged exposure to medications (glucocorticoids) such as Prednisone and Hydrocortisone (Cortisol) or a tumor such as tumors of the pituitary or adrenal glands.
The adrenal glands sits above each kidney and are part of the endocrine system. They produce hormones such as Cortisol, androgens (similar to testosterone) and aldosterone that help regulate blood pressure, metabolism and the immune system.
Tumors of the adrenals causes excessive or decreased release of hormones such as cortisol into the bloodstream.
Cases caused by pituitary gland tumors in the brain are known as Cushing's disease.
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of Cushing's Syndrome include:
(This list is not complete)
Cushing's Syndrome is diagnosed by testing the urine and saliva for the presence of high levels of Cortisol.
Cushing's disease is diagnosed by testing blood for the presence of ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) caused by tumors of the pituitary gland.
Most cases of Cushing's Syndrome can be cured by slowly stopping the medication that causes it or by safely removing the tumors.
Medications such as ketoconazole can be used to suppress the synthesis of cortisol in the blood.
Removal of the adrenal glands is often a last resort.
Tumors can also be treated with chemotherapy and/or radiation.
This has been your Medical Minute.
More Info On the Web
Cushing Syndrome - Mayo Clinic
Cushing Syndrome - Healthline.com
Cushing's Syndrome - WebMD
Cushing's Syndrome - Medicinenet.com
Cushing's Disease - UCLA Health
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