WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Cushing syndrome is a condition where you have increased levels of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is a hormone made in the adrenal glands, which are just above your kidneys. Cortisol helps your body deal with stress and helps keep blood sugar and blood pressure levels normal.
- Medicines may be given to decrease or block cortisol in your body. You may need medicine to decrease your blood pressure or blood sugar levels. You may also need medicine to decrease pain. Ask your primary healthcare provider (PHP) how to take this medicine safely.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your PHP if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your PHP or specialist as directed:
You may need to return for more tests or treatment. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Eat heart-healthy foods. Eat foods that help protect the heart, including plenty of fruits and vegetables, nuts, and sources of fiber. Eat foods that contain healthy fats, such as walnuts, salmon, and canola and soybean oils. You may need to eat foods low in cholesterol or sodium (salt). You also may be told to limit saturated and trans fats.
- Manage your blood sugar levels. Cushing syndrome can increase blood sugar levels. Work with a dietitian to find the best foods to control your blood sugar.
- Weigh yourself daily. Weigh yourself at the same time every morning after you urinate, but before you eat. Weight gain can be a sign of extra fluid in your body.
- Manage stress. Elevated cortisol levels may increase your stress and anxiety levels. Learn new ways to relax, such as deep breathing.
Contact your PHP or specialist if:
- You gain more weight than your PHP said you should.
- Your pain is worse or does not go away even after you take pain medicine.
- Your symptoms get worse.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have trouble staying awake or are confused.
- You have a severe headache or feel dizzy.
- You have blurred or double vision.
- You have chest pain.
- You have trouble breathing or shallow breathing.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.