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.
Overproduction of the hormone aldosterone from the outer portion (cortex) of the adrenal gland or a tumor containing that type of tissue. Excess aldosterone (pronounced al-do-ster-one) results in low potassium levels (hypokalemia), underacidity of the body (alkalosis), muscle weakness, excess thirst (polydipsia), excess urination (polyuria), and high blood pressure (hypertension). Also called aldosteronism and Conn’s […]
“hyper-” meaning high, beyond, excessive, above normal + “baros” meaning weight. Hyperbaric oxygenation is an increased amount of oxygen in organs and tissues resulting from the administration of oxygen in a compression chamber at an ambient pressure greater than 1 atmosphere* of pressure. Hyperbaric oxygen is used to treat gas gangrene, some soft tissue infections, […]
An elevated level of the pigment bilirubin in the blood. A sufficient elevation of bilirubin produces jaundice. Some degree of hyperbilirubinemia is very common right after birth, especially in premature babies. Treatment of hyperbilirubinemia in the newborn involves exposure of the skin to special lights and removal of serum from the blood and replacing with […]
- Hyperbilirubinemia type I
Better known as Gilbert’s disease, a common but harmless genetic condition in which a liver enzyme essential to the disposal of bilirubin (the chemical that results from the normal breakdown of hemoglobin from red blood cells) is abnormal. (The errant enzyme is called UDP- glucuronosyltransferase). This enzyme abnormality results in mild elevation of bilirubin pigment […]
- Hyperbilirubinemia, neonatal
Elevation of the bilirubin level in the blood of the newborn, which results in yellowish staining of the skin and whites of the newborn’s eyes (sclerae) by pigment of bile (bilirubin). In newborn babies a degree of jaundice is normal. It is due to the breakdown of red blood cells (which release bilirubin into the […]