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While many people are familiar with the more obvious veterans’ disabilities, such as traumatic brain injuries, amputations, and post-traumatic stress disorder, fewer people are familiar with the more hidden wounds of war. Cushing’s syndrome is one of these hidden diseases.

What is Cushing’s syndrome? 

Cushing’s syndrome is a hormone disorder in which too much cortisol is produced by the body. This excess hormone, which is usually produced in times of stress, can cause a number of health complications, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, weakened bones and muscles, depression, and anxiety.

What causes Cushing’s syndrome? 
The most common cause of this serious hormone imbalance is steroid medication. However, the disease can also be brought on by tumors or other defects of the pituitary gland or adrenal glands. In the case of veterans who develop Cushing’s syndrome, some believe that soldiers and other military personnel under great amounts of prolonged stress can begin to produce too much cortisol, causing all of the complications that come with an overload of the hormone. In other cases, a veteran who is receiving treatment for another service-related medical condition (such as arthritis, asthma, or an organ transplant) could suffer from Cushing’s syndrome as a result of that treatment.

How do you treat Cushing’s syndrome? 
The treatment for Cushing’s syndrome depends on the cause of issue. Those who suffer from the illness because of another medication should be tapered off of that medication, while those who suffer from the syndrome because of a tumor should consider surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. It is imperative that those with the disease seek treatment, as having high levels of cortisol in the body for prolonged periods of time can lead to serious health problems including diabetes, heart disease, and death.

Can I receive veterans’ disability benefits for Cushing’s syndrome? 
If there is medical evidence that your Cushing’s syndrome was connected to your service in the military, you can absolutely apply for veterans’ disability benefits. If you would like to learn more about how to apply for veterans’ disability – or if your medical condition qualifies for these benefits, you may wish to speak with a Houston veterans’ disability lawyer. Call Morgan & Weisbrod today to learn more about your case.

Morgan & Weisbrod LLP

by Paul B. Burkhalter
Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.


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