What are the Symptoms of High Cortisol Levels?

What are the Symptoms of High Cortisol Levels?

High cortisol levels, a condition known as hypercortisolism or Cushing’s syndrome, can result from various causes, including overproduction of cortisol by the adrenal glands, excessive use of corticosteroid medications, or underlying medical conditions. Here are the common symptoms associated with high cortisol levels:

  • Weight Gain and Central Obesity: Accumulation of fat, particularly in the abdomen and upper back (buffalo hump), leading to a round face and a “moon face” appearance.
  • Muscle Weakness and Wasting: Thinning of the muscles, muscle weakness, and a decrease in muscle mass, especially in the arms and legs.
  • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Elevated blood pressure, often requiring medical management to control.
  • Skin Changes: Thin, fragile skin that bruises easily, purplish or reddish stretch marks (striae) on the abdomen, thighs, and breasts.
  • Excessive Hair Growth (Hirsutism): Increased growth of hair on the face, chest, back, or abdomen, particularly in women.
  • Menstrual Irregularities: Irregular menstrual cycles, absence of menstruation (amenorrhea), or abnormal hair growth in women due to hormonal imbalances.
  • Insulin Resistance and Glucose Intolerance: Impaired glucose metabolism, leading to high blood sugar levels and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Osteoporosis and Bone Fractures: Weakening of bones, making them more prone to fractures and osteoporosis.
  • Emotional and Behavioral Changes: Mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression, or difficulty concentrating.
  • Fatigue and Muscle Fatigue: Chronic fatigue, muscle fatigue, and decreased stamina, often interfering with daily activities.
  • Sleep Disturbances: Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or having restorative sleep patterns.
  • Increased Thirst and Urination: Frequent urination (polyuria) and increased thirst (polydipsia) due to elevated blood sugar levels and possible diabetes.
  • Cognitive Impairment: Difficulty with memory, concentration, and decision-making.
  • Weakened Immune System: Increased susceptibility to infections and delayed wound healing.
  • Libido Changes: Changes in sexual desire or decreased libido.

It’s important to note that these symptoms can vary in severity and may not all appear in every individual with high cortisol levels. If you suspect you have elevated cortisol levels or experience persistent or concerning symptoms, it’s crucial to seek medical attention for evaluation, diagnosis, and appropriate management. Treatment for high cortisol levels aims to address the underlying cause and may involve medication adjustments, lifestyle changes, or, in some cases, surgery.

  • Recent Posts

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Tags