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You have a much greater chance of experiencing high cortisol at certain times due to increased stress in your life than you do of ever being diagnosed with Cushing’s disease, though Cushing’s disease is usually caused by tumors on the adrenal or pituitary glands and often causes symptoms like rapid weight gain, a swollen face, fatigue, and water retention/swelling around the abdomen and upper back. It impacts women between the ages of 25 to 40 most often, although people of any age and gender can develop this condition. While symptoms of Cushing’s disease and high cortisol tend to be similar, those caused by Cushing’s disease are usually more severe, last longer and more often cause other complications. Symptoms of high cortisol levels include weight gain; a puffy, flushed face; mood swings and increased anxiety; fatigue; trouble sleeping; irregular periods and fertility problems; high blood pressure; acne or other changes in the skin; higher rates for bone fractures and osteoporosis; muscle aches and pains; .
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