WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today announced the designation of April 8, 2008 as “National Cushing’s Syndrome Awareness Day.” Inhofe’s resolution (S. Res. 498) creating the designation passed the Senate last night by unanimous consent. Inhofe introduced this resolution to broaden public awareness and show his continued support for those suffering from this disease.
“Cushing’s syndrome often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, many times leading to death, because the initial symptoms are shared with a number of milder illnesses,” Inhofe said. “Since awareness is low, doctors do not always run the tests necessary for diagnosis, and patients do not know to ask for them. It is my hope that ‘National Cushing’s Syndrome Awareness Day’ will help Oklahomans and everyone suffering with this disease to receive the best possible health care.”
Cushing’s Syndrome is an endocrine or hormonal disorder. It is caused by over-exposure of the body’s tissue to high levels of the hormone cortisol. An estimated 10 to 15 people per million suffer from this debilitating disease. Common symptoms include abnormal weight gain, skin changes, fatigue, diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression.
Over-production of cortisol is commonly associated with the treatment of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. Additionally, delayed treatment of Cushing’s Syndrome significantly reduces treatment options, such as radiation therapy. Thus, it is imperative that both doctors and patients heighten their awareness of Cushing’s Syndrome.