Two new treatments will soon be available for a rare and frequently misdiagnosed disease. Symptoms of Cushing’s disease, an imbalance in the hormone that regulates metabolism, maintains cardiovascular function and helps the body respond to stress, often mimic those of better-known and more common illnesses.
Symptoms of Cushing’s include weight gain, depression, diabetes, fatigue and high blood pressure—all of which also occur in a number of other, more common conditions, including thyroid disease. Doctors frequently fail to spot Cushing’s because of its rarity.
New treatments have recently become available. The drug mifepristone was approved to treat the disease in February, and another drug, pasireotide, has shown promise and is being investigated. In a study, patients with Cushing’s disease saw their blood pressure, raised by the condition, return completely to normal less than a year after successful treatment.