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It may take time to be diagnosed with Cushing's disease

There is a process to diagnosing Cushing's disease, and it normally takes time. People may have symptoms from excessive cortisol levels for some time before Cushing's syndrome or Cushing's disease is suspected. Different tests can identify if your symptoms are the result of excessive cortisol. When these tests confirm that there is excess cortisol in the body, additional tests are used to determine if this hypercortisolism is caused by Cushing's disease or a different form of Cushing's syndrome. Each test may be performed multiple times because the level of cortisol in your body can change throughout the day. The only way to be sure results are accurate is to repeat the tests.

The process of diagnosing Cushing's disease

There are generally 3 phases in the diagnostic process and you will likely see more than 1 doctor, including an endocrinologist.

Phase I: Confirm clinical suspicion
For more information about each test, click its name.

Phase II: Confirm hypercortisolism
Medical tests will be performed to measure the level of cortisol in the body. These tests should only be done when a form of Cushing's syndrome (including Cushing's disease) is suspected.
For more information about each test, click its name.

Phase III: Determine if Cushing's disease is the cause of hypercortisolism
For more information about each test, click its name.

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