There is new research to indicate individuals suffering from extreme stress exposure, releasing an over abundance of cortisol, may develop a condition similar to that of Cushing’s syndrome. As an active adult, under varying degrees of high stress, understanding the impact this stress may have on the female body, as well as the treatment options, may provide for a change in lifestyle leading to less stress.
With true Cushing’s Syndrome, a secondary disorder develops, usually around age 35, with symptoms exhibited as obesity, especially in the torso area, rounding or fullness of the face and neck and disproportionate limbs. A woman under highly stressful situations, leading to an overproduction of natural cortisol in the body, may also exhibit these same Cushing’s syndrome type symptoms without suffering from a true Cushing’s syndrome complication.
Under normal circumstances, Cushing’s syndrome can be diagnosed through urine samplings over a 24 hour period. It is through this urine specimen that healthcare professional can determine if a woman suffers from Cushing’s syndrome or a secondary Cushing’s syndrome type condition associated with high, prolonged stress levels.
While women suffering from true Cushing’s syndrome are usually treated through surgical intervention and even chemotherapy, women who suffer from Cushing’s syndrome type symptoms, without a true Cushing’s syndrome diagnosis, must seek out alternative treatment options. For women under prolonged very high stress, a healthcare professional may prescribe cortisol-inhibiting prescription medications. However, use of such prescription medications may lead to further long term health complications.
When suffering from Cushing’s syndrome symptoms, a woman must first determine if the condition is truly Cushing’s syndrome or a condition similar to that of Cushing’s syndrome, simply associated with excessive and prolonged stress levels. If diagnosed with the latter, to reduce and improve the Cushing’s syndrome symptoms, rather than take cortisol-inhibiting prescription medications, a woman must find alternative methods for reducing cortisol production. In other words, reduce stress.
To reduce a high stressful lifestyle, women begin by writing down the entire negative, as well as positive, stressors in her life. In doing so, a visual picture can be obtained of the factors which may be increasing cortisol production. Once the list is made, begin by picking simple items from the list which can be eliminated or, at least, modified so as to reduce, even in part, some of the stress associated with it. For example, if a stress indicator listed is attending school, a woman may begin to modify this stress indicator by reducing the number of hours, taking different types of classes or seeking out educational support groups which assist with stress management in students.
As with any stress issue, women should focus on appropriate health, diet and exercise as the hormonal levels of the body, including cortisol, are produced, in part, by the intake of food and the amount of energy spent in a day. Through a combination of diet, exercise and reduction in positive and negative stress factors, women suffering from Cushing’s Syndrome type symptoms, with an increased production of cortisol, will find improved physical and mental health and, in many cases, a reduction in obesity around the neck, face and torso.