A rare hormonal disorder, Cushing’s syndrome exposes the body’s tissues to overly high levels of the hormone cortisol, which is why it is also frequently called “hypercortisolism.” Between 10 to 15 million people every year deal with it. Patients typically have upper body obesity, rounded faces, fat necks and fragile and thin skin.
One of the symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome is bone and muscle loss. Over time, the effects of this loss can be difficult or impossible to reverse, but eating a low-calorie, high-protein diet along with calcium and vitamin D supplements can help slow or stop it.
It’s recommended that if you are suffering from Cushing’s syndrome, you limit your fat intake to 30 percent of your total food consumption. It’s also important to monitor your cholesterol, as the increased levels of cortisol can also cause cholesterol counts to rise. It’s recommended to focus on eating low-cholesterol foods (limiting your intake to less than 300 mg of cholesterol a day) while getting at least 25 to 30 g of fiber a day such as whole grains.
Cushing's syndrome patients also are susceptible to high blood pressure. Take several steps to minimize your risk for dangerous blood pressure levels, one of the most effective is to change your diet to reduce sodium levels. Significantly lowering your salt intake is a good place to start.
Cushing’s syndrome frequently causes a sudden and dangerous weight gain, especially in the upper body and head. Frequent exercise can help keep your weight under control. In addition, it will also help strengthen your muscles and bones. Because people suffering from Cushing’s syndrome are frequently overweight or have other health problems, it’s important to focus on aerobic exercises such as walking, jogging, cycling or swimming to control weight.
It’s important to take extra care of any wounds while receiving treatment for Cushing’s syndrome. An increased amount of cortisol will inhibit the healing of wounds, sometimes leading to infections and other issues. Make sure to clean all wounds, use an antibiotic soap and ointment and proper dressing to avoid having your wounds get infected.