Cushing's Syndrome

Atlanta Endocrine Associates

Scott D. Isaacs, MD

Endocrinologist & Weight Loss Specialist located in Atlanta, GA

Even the slightest hiccup in one of your endocrine glands can throw off the balance of hormones in your body. When this happens, the result can be an endocrine disorder such as Cushing’s syndrome. Dr. Scott Isaacs of Atlanta Endocrine Associates is specially trained to diagnose and treat endocrine disorders, and helps patients in the Atlanta area get to the bottom of symptoms like unexplained weight gain and fatigue. To learn more, call the office or schedule an appointment online.

Cushing's Syndrome Q & A

What is Cushing’s syndrome?

Cushing’s syndrome is a rare disease that occurs when your body produces too much cortisol, or when your body is exposed to high levels of cortisol for a long time, such as from corticosteroid medications.

Cortisol is a hormone produced by your adrenal glands and regulated by the pituitary gland. It helps regulate important functions like blood pressure, blood sugar, and metabolism, but when there’s too much of it, you can develop Cushing’s syndrome.

What are the symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome?

Symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome might include:

  • Weight gain (especially belly fat)
  • Stretch marks
  • Acne
  • Bruising
  • Diabetes
  • Depression, mood swings, or anxiety
  • Generalized weakness and fatigue
  • Decreased fertility, libido, or menstrual disorders
  • Muscle weakness

Cushing's is a severe disorder, and it’s important to obtain a proper diagnosis. Dr. Isaacs is uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat Cushing’s syndrome and other disorders of the adrenal and pituitary glands.

What are pituitary gland disorders?

The pituitary is often called the “master gland” of the body because it controls other glands. The pituitary gland makes several important hormones, and too much or too little of these hormones can cause an imbalance that can lead to infertility, menstrual disorders, growth disorders, and Cushing's syndrome.

A few of the pituitary hormones include:


This pituitary hormone is best known for stimulating breast-milk production after childbirth. Certain prescription medicines or pituitary tumors can cause prolactin levels to go up. Too much prolactin can cause headaches, menstrual problems, and vaginal dryness in women; too much can cause erectile dysfunction, low testosterone and breast growth in men.

Growth hormone (GH)

This pituitary hormone stimulates body growth and development during childhood, and in adulthood, it plays a role in maintaining a healthy body composition, including muscle mass and bone strength. Too much GH can cause acromegaly with facial changes, insulin resistance and abnormal enlargement of extremities. Growth hormone deficiency can cause fatigue, weight gain, muscle weakness and depression.

Adrenocorticotropin (ACTH)

This pituitary hormone stimulates the production of cortisol, and too much cortisol can cause Cushing’s syndrome. But pituitary disorders can cause a wide spectrum of symptoms, both hormonal and neurological, because of the gland’s location near the brain.

Dr. Isaacs can control these symptoms with medications, and when necessary, give expert referrals to patients in need of surgery. To learn more about any of these endocrine disorders, call Atlanta Endocrine Associates or schedule an appointment online.