Cushing’s Disease vs Cushing’s Syndrome: Difference and Comparison

Cushing’s Disease is a rare endocrine disorder that affects the way the body produces and stores its natural hormones. Cushing’s Syndrome is a rare form of Cushing’s Disease.

However, this syndrome may be associated with the symptoms of Cushing’s Disease, including high basal cortisol levels and muscle wasting.

Cushing’s Disease and Cushing’s Syndrome are exceptionally indistinguishable, yet they are distinguishable.

Key Takeaways

  1. Cushing’s disease results from a pituitary gland tumor that increases adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) production, whereas excessive cortisol levels from various sources cause Cushing’s syndrome.
  2. Cushing’s disease represents a subset of Cushing’s syndrome cases, accounting for about 70% of instances.
  3. Treatment for Cushing’s disease involves surgery to remove the pituitary gland tumor, while Cushing’s syndrome treatment depends on the underlying cause.

Cushing’s Disease vs Cushing’s Syndrome

Cushing’s disease is caused by a pituitary tumour that produces excessive amounts of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Cushing’s syndrome can be caused by a variety of factors, like the use of corticosteroid medications or tumours in adrenal glands or in other parts of the body that produce cortisol.

Cushings Disease vs Cushings Syndrome

Cushing’s Disease is a hormone imbalance most commonly caused by prolonged exposure to too much cortisol, which is made in your adrenal glands.

The high cortisol levels are treated with medications that block the effects of this hormone on the body.

Cushing’s Syndrome is caused by a benign tumour in the pituitary gland that secretes ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone), which stimulates the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol.

Endocrinologists then examine the surgically removed tumour to help determine the cause.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCushing’s DiseaseCushing’s Syndrome
DefinitionCushing’s Disease is a well-noted disorder that influences the body to produce and stores its natural hormones. Cushing’s syndrome influences may lie in the action of abnormal hormones or neurological functions within the body.
RootIts root is prolonged exposure to surplus home production of cortisol. Its root is the production insufficiency or absence of cortisol.
Risk FactorsDeveloping serious conditions such as various types of cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Pancreatic exocrine insufficiency with chronic pancreatitis and diabetes mellitus.
IndicationSevere weight gain, muscle wasting, thinning hair, and fatigue. Fluid retention, weakness, slow digestion, and poor bone density.
IdentificationThrough physical examination such as MRI scan, urinary test, cortisol, and blood test.Through physical examination such as eye testing, MRI scan, dynamic testing, and blood test.

What is Cushing’s Disease?

Cushing’s Disease is a well-noted disorder that influences the body to produce and stores its natural hormones.

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Moreover, it is a hormone imbalance that is most commonly caused by prolonged exposure to surplus home production of cortisol, which is manufactured in the glands such as adrenal glands.

Moreover, the surplus cortisol hormone levels are treated with medications that block the effects of this hormone on the body.

Cushing’s Disease may have a genetic predisposition to higher levels of corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH).

The surplus or overabundance production of cortisol can result in troublesome symptoms and an increased risk of developing serious conditions such as various types of cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

Moreover, the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) can be a reason for producing surplus cortisol.

Cushing’s Disease is due to one of two types of tumours. In the pituitary gland, these tumours are non-cancerous and can be very small or large. These tumours are called pituitary adenomas or adenomas.

However, the tumours in the adrenal gland located directly above the kidney are carcinomas. Cushing’s disease symptoms include weight gain, thickening of the skin, eyes, and bones, high blood pressure, and glucose intolerance.

What is Cushing’s Syndrome?

Cushing’s Syndrome is found to be lower in women than men. It is also possible to experience troublesome and annoying aftereffects like hair loss, weakness, and weight gain.

The cause of the disorder may lie in the action of abnormal hormones or neurological functions within the body.

Cushing’s Syndrome has no suppression of basal cortisol levels as in Cushing’s Disease. One of these factors is a history of long-term steroid or anti-inflammatory administration.

An MRI scan of the pituitary gland can sometimes show tumour enlargement or other abnormalities that may indicate positive results.

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Cushing’s Syndrome can be effortlessly spotted by physically examining. Eye signs are early development of cataracts or glaucoma, seborrheic dermatitis, hoarseness, and hypertension.

Pancreatic exocrine insufficiency with chronic pancreatitis may be found, with poor appetite, weight loss, and diabetes mellitus. A complete blood count with elevated white blood cells is also associated with Cushing’s syndrome.

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Main Differences Between Cushing’s Disease and Cushing’s Syndrome

Cushing’s Disease is a well-noted disorder that influences the body to produce and store its natural hormones, whereas Cushing’s syndrome influences may lie in the action of abnormal hormones or neurological functions within the body.

Cushing’s Disease root is prolonged exposure to surplus home production of cortisol, whereas Cushing’s syndrome root is the production insufficiency or absence in cortisol.

Cushing’s Disease develops serious conditions such as various types of cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis, whereas Cushing’s syndrome develops pancreatic exocrine insufficiency with chronic pancreatitis and diabetes mellitus.

Cushing’s Disease indicators include severe weight gain, muscle wasting, thinning hair, and fatigue, whereas Cushing’s syndrome indicators include fluid retention, weakness, slow digestion, and poor bone density.

Cushing’s Disease Identification through physical examination such as an MRI scan, urinary test, cortisol, and blood test, whereas Cushing’s Syndrome Identification through physical examination such as eye testing, MRI scan, dynamic testing, and blood test.

Difference Between Cushings Disease and Cushings Syndrome
References
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1521690X09000700
  2. https://academic.oup.com/edrv/article-abstract/36/4/385/2354703
  3. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11102-014-0569-6

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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8 thoughts on “Cushing’s Disease vs Cushing’s Syndrome: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The article provides an in-depth analysis of Cushing’s Disease and Cushing’s Syndrome, making it an invaluable resource for those seeking to understand these disorders.

    Reply
  2. I found the comparison table to be extremely helpful in understanding the distinctions between Cushing’s Disease and Cushing’s Syndrome.

    Reply

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