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Causes of Cushing's Disease
There are mainly three causes of Cushing's disease and two of them are related to both humans and animals.
1. Steroids given for various conditions such as asthma create the over production of cortisol. Sometimes this occurs after an organ transplant when steroids are used on a long-term basis.
2. The second most common cause is tumors formed on the pituitary gland. These tumors are not cancerous but they stimulate the production of cortisol.
3. Cancerous tumors on the lungs, adrenal glands, and pancreas.
A chain reaction of hormones usually occurs which increases the level of cortisol. The first step is the production of CRH (corticotropin-releasing hormone) by the brain which stimulates the pituitary glands to make another hormone called ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone), which in turn tells the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Although the overproduction of cortisol is the source of this disease, cortisol is important for many functions in the body such as regulating blood sugar and metabolism.
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Symptoms of Cushing's Disease
One of the most common symptoms of Cushing's Disease is weight gain. WebMD states, "Weight gain-especially around the waist-is the most common symptom."
Cushing's disease also has other symptoms that usually develop over time such as severe fatigue, high blood pressure, very weak muscles, increased depression and irritability, increased thirst, increased fat on the back and between the shoulders, abnormal hair growth, skin changes, and irregular menstrual periods in women.
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Natural treatment for Cushing's disease
There are non-alternative treatments available for Cushing's disease that involve surgical removal of non-cancerous and cancerous tumors to inhibit the production of cortisol. Some patients on steroid drugs are also taken off the medicine in small stages to avoid danger. A person suffering from this condition should see a naturopath or doctor immediately as the condition could worsen very fast.
Natural treatment for Cushing's disease is also possible through several different methods and there are also some home remedies recommended by experts alongside other treatments. The following are some natural treatments that can be used to treat Cushing's disease:
1. Diet changes must be made in order to reduce fat intake and processed foods. Only 30 percent of fat intake is recommended. An increase in fiber intake such as whole wheat is also important to maintain a good diet. WebMD states, "Eat a low-calorie, nutritious diet high in protein and calcium. This can help prevent muscle and bone loss caused by the high cortisol levels in your body."
2. Vitamin B and D supplements are are often used to restore the body to optimal health. FreeMD.com suggests to especially increase B vitamins such as B1(thiamin), B2(riboflavin), B3(niacin), B5, B6 and B12. Cushing's disease patients must check with their doctor first to determine which vitamins are appropriate for them.
3. Herbal supplements such as dandelion and burdock root can be taken to detoxify the body of harmful substances and preserve important nutrients. Consultation of a naturopathic doctor is important as certain herbs can be harmful depending on the person's condition. Other herbal remedies are also available on the market that normalize the production of cortisol by the adrenal glands.
4. Reducing salt intake is crucial because of high blood pressure issues common amongst patients with Cushing's disease. Cutting back on salt helps to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with high blood pressure and help to keep the blood pressure low.
5. Exercise is another important therapy which can help alleviate the sudden and often dangerous weight gain amongst Cushing's disease patients. Exercise along with proper diet should ensure a reduction in symptoms and restore health faster. WebMD states, "Get regular exercise to help maintain muscles and bone mass and prevent weight gain. To maintain muscle and bone mass, try weight-bearing exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, or lifting weights. To prevent weight gain, try aerobic exercise to increase your heart rate. Examples of aerobic exercise include fast walking, jogging, cycling, and swimming. Consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program."
6.Cushing's disease in animals is often treated with homeopathic medicine such as cortisone and thallium. Asenicum is used to control thirst in dogs. AlternativePetHealth.com states, "Other alternatives include a variety of herbs such as kelp, nettle, rosehips, wormwood, burdock, milk thistle, garlic, clivers, clover, and apple cider vinegar. Herbs should be given in tincture and monitored closely."
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WebMD: Cushing's Syndrome - http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/cushings-syndrome-topic-overview
FreeMD: Cushing's Syndrome Home Care: Diet - http://www.freemd.com/cushings-syndrome/home-care-diet.htm
AlternativePetHealth.com: Cushing's Disease - http://www.alternativepethealth.com/cushings-disease.html
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