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Cushing’s and the Immune System

Question: What effects does Cushing’s have on the immune system and does the immune system recover after treatment of Cushing’s?

Answer: Cushing’s syndrome, with its elevated cortisol levels, certainly suppresses the immune system. Patients with Cushing’s syndrome are at risk for many unique and unusual infectious diseases. Patients with severe hypercortisolism may develop many of the same infections seen in patients with AIDS, such as tuberculosis, pneumoncystis, and fungal infections. The effect of elevated cortisol on the immune system is completely reversible and immune system function should return to normal after treatment of Cushing’s.

By Dr. James Findling MD (June, 1997)


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