font size

Definition of Hyperadrenocorticism

Hyperadrenocorticism: Excess hormone called "cortisol". Often called Cushing's syndrome, it is an extremely complex condition that involves many areas of the body. It results from an excess of cortisol and its effects on the human body. Common symptoms are thinning of the skin, weakness, weight gain, bruising, hypertension, diabetes, weak bones (osteoporosis), facial puffiness, and in women cessation of periods. One of the commonest causes of Cushing's syndrome is the administration of "cortisol-like medications" for the treatment of diverse diseases. All other cases of Cushing's syndrome are due to excess production of cortisol by the adrenal gland including 1) an abnormal growth of the pituitary gland, which stimulates the adrenal gland, 2) a benign or malignant growth within the adrenal gland itself, which produces cortisol and 3) production within another part of the body (ectopic production) of a hormone that directly or indirectly stimulates the adrenal gland to make cortisol. Harvey Cushing (1869-1939), a neurosurgeon, described hyperadrenocorticism due specifically to an ACTH-secreting basophilic pituitary adenoma, a benign pituitary tumor that puts out ACTH (AdrenoCorticoTropic Hormone) that, in turn, drives (or overdrives) the adrenal gland.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3831
Last Editorial Review: 8/28/2013

Drug Medical Dictionary of Terms by Letter

Top RxList Drug News

Diabetes

Find tips and advances in treatment.

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations