Cushing’s disease happens when the body produces higher levels of cortisol (steroids) than it can handle. This high level of cortisol can either be produced by the adrenal gland overworking or the brain telling the adrenal gland to produce more steroids. Many times, this causes the adrenal glands not to function properly which can cause issues with metabolism, stress level, and blood pressure.
A less common version of Cushing’s Disease is called the adrenal dependent Cushing’s. This occurs when a tumor forms within one of the adrenal glands after there has been an increase in cortisol production; these adrenal tumors may or may not be cancerous.
In the more common cases, tumors will form in the pituitary gland. These tumors will cause an overproduction in hormones signaling the adrenal glands to produce cortisol.