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Helena (hummerbird), Steroid-Induced Bio

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Hi! My name is Helena (hummerbird). I am going to be 60 next week, Nov 16. I have come full circle with this.

I knew I had adrenal problems 12 years ago when I got stuck in the ‘fight or flight reflex’. I paid to have saliva tests done and it showed that I was dumping cortisol into my system early evening with my lowest point being 6am in the morning. I showed my allopathic doctors the tests but none would put any stock into saliva testing and just blew me off (this was 2002).

Some of my first signs were extreme insomnia yet when I did sleep I would still feel extremely fatigued, flushing of the face, neck, chest, and back, weekly migraines and daily headaches which started after I was 45, unexplained weight gain, crazy buzzy internal tremor adrenaline smacking (I could actually taste it!) jitters that would not go away, hypersensory (especially to light and sounds), feeling painfully sunburned even though I had not been out in the sun, pain in my legs going way beyond restless leg syndrome, totally fearful of everything, developing a hump between my shoulders and a host of other symptoms.

I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia 03, then SLE Lupus 09 (positive ANA but no markers).

We moved to Colorado in 2012 and then back to Oregon 2014 and when I saw my rheumatologist again after 2 1/2 years (Oct 2014), he said it looks like you have Cushings? So at the moment I am suspected to have Cushings. I have been reading up on it and I am totally textbook (including the fact that I could literally step into the profile of the picture of the woman with Cushings).

Not sure if this is drug induced or if the prednisone finally brought out the demon that’s been tormenting me. My rheumie wants me to slowly wean off the prednisone. My dosage was 5mgs per day unless I was flaring (dealing with horrible muscular pain and internal tremors) then I was to do a step down starting at 30mgs back to 5mgs. I probably do a step down every other month.

My internist in Colorado wanted me to get off my Percocet 10/325mgs 4 times a day and try to deal with the pain. For the first time in my life I used MJ edibles to get off the Percocet with only a week of hard withdrawals. I was on the MJ edibles for 3 weeks until I realized I was allergic to it! I now take 2 Tramadol 50mgs 3 times a day to control pain. On the negative side this is not working because I have too much breakthrough pain but on the positive side I have a clearer head (I’m able to focus and read again!).

Over the years my days have gone from one ‘down’ day a week to a whole month of down days. I have lost my quality of life and pretty much my social skills. My venturing now is from my bed to the bathroom, kitchen, and possibly my recliner if I’m not feeling too dizzy.

I have three saints in my life, my husband and my two girlfriends who take care of me. I know that God has a plan for my life and I have faith in knowing that I’m going to feel well again some day. It has been a long and expensive road to travel to get to this point. I am not looking to have Cushings but it is a diagnosis that finally fits completely. I’m looking forward to meeting the support group.

Love you all and thanks for taking the time to read my post.

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Lauren, Undiagnosed Bio

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Hello. my name is Lauren. I am currently being tested for Cushing’s and am scared.

I have hypothyroidism/ Hashimoto’ s auto immune disease. Also my sugar is pre-diabetic.

I am 53 years old.  I don’t have a lot of the symptoms. I had gone into my endo and told him how rotten I feel. So he started with some testing. My ACTH number was 278 and my cortisol was 19.
This was around the middle of November.

However, in August i herniated a disc. I have been on oral steroids  for 5 days in August, a epidural steroid shot in my back in August, had back surgery end of September and put on a steroids for 5 days and had a steroid shot in my knee in  October. Also on a lot of pain killers and meds. I am off all meds for the last 4 weeks, off pain killers since October.

Also, I have had a very stressful and sorrowful last 10 years. I buried my 22 year old son 2.5 years ago.

I am hoping this is causing the reading.
I am glad I found this site. Thank you for reading this. I pray we all get well.

Thank you,
Lauren

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Tiffiny D (Tiffiny 3), Pituitary Bio

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Hi! My name is Tiffiny.  I am 34 years old. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression back in May because of weird pains in my back and on the right front of my stomach. I thought something was wrong with my kidneys and sciatic nerve. I kept getting weird tingling in my legs and face. I was told it sounded like anxiety attacks, which I am sure they were. I am stressed all the time and I don’t know why. I am also very short tempered. I was prescribed meds but I didn’t think I was depressed or have anxiety, so I didn’t take them.

About a year ago I started having weird things going on with my tongue.  Every time I would eat anything my tongue would burn and wouldn’t quit bothering me.  I noticed that I had white, longer looking taste buds too. I thought it was something I was eating so I kept cutting out foods. Nothing was helping, is it anxiety, is it my imagination, what is wrong with me? I googled burning tongue and lots of things came up, geographic tongue, burning mouth syndrome, and thrush. I decided on August 17, 2014, to go have a doctor take a look at it. He diagnosed me with thrush. I was treated for two weeks. The meds seemed to help but the burning was still there.  A month later, one of my kids had a doctor’s appointment. At that appointment, I asked the doctor then if he thought the thrush went away. He said “no it looks like you still had it.”  I mentioned to him that I also have major peach fuzz on my face, lots of darker hair on my belly, and darker pigmented spots on my face. I thought I had too much testosterone. He thought my body was for sure out of whack because of the thrush and ordered a bunch of hormone tests. I came in the next day and had my labs done. This is when I found out I had high cortisol!! My results were 28.5 should be between (6.2-19.4). Okay, what the heck is cortisol?? He referred me to an endocrinologist to have it checked out.

The endocrinology appointment was scheduled for November 3, 2014, three months later, really! I put myself on the cancelation list and got in rather quickly, September 30. Thank goodness because I am a severe stress case! At the endocrinologist visit, the doctor walked in and said “wow, you are not what I was expecting.”  He started talking about the symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome.  I am 5’3, 110 pounds, an avid runner and I eat pretty well. I do have very thin arms with bulkier muscles.  My veins do poke out on my lower arms and are very visible, very dry hands and red fingers. The red hands/fingers started about two or three years ago which I was told it was Reynold’s disease or some skin condition. The red hands bother me very much, they look very old for my age and it is embarrassing.  The doctor then ordered me an ACTH test and two 24 hour urine tests because my blood cortisol results were very concerning to him. Both tests have confirmed Cushing’s.  My ACTH levels indicated that it most likely is a pituitary tumor. I was ordered to have an MRI a week later and they found a 6.5mm to 7mm. tumor in my pituitary gland. At this point I was referred to a neurosurgeon.

I met with the neurosurgeon a week later. Their pituitary clinic happened to be the following Friday and they only do it once a month, which happened to be on Halloween.  He ordered two more night time saliva tests, a week a part, and the results where two and three times past the limit. I am now scheduled for surgery on Dec. 9th and I am totally freaking out. I do notice weakness in my muscles and have an achy body sometimes. My hair on my head has been falling out a ton for many months. I thought it was from nursing and a bad hair coloring! I keep finding more symptoms I really didn’t notice. Face is getting rounder on one side, I am shaky, cold all the time and believe I am losing feeling in my fingers. It is very hard to distinguish between hot and cold, I have to use my arm. My memory is horrible! I do get acne under my chin and on the sides of my jaw. I get obsessive about everything! I am very antisocial, think everyone is judging me or looking at my face hair, hands, etc. I feel so bad for my girls and husband! My obsession with my tongue and peach fuzz has hopefully saved my life! Trying to be POSITIVE for the steps forward!!

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Britt (Britt), Undiagnosed Bio

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Hi there, my name is Britt. I am 20. I am going in for testing with the UCSF clinic in one month!

I am scared and excited because I have had Cushing’s symptoms for 4 years now and NEED to find out what is wrong with me. I actually found this webpage looking for answers AND I had an idea after reading an article about doing a survey on Cushing’s and Blood Type. It’s self-reported of course but I’d appreciate it if anyone would take it, whether or not you’ve been diagnosed!

Thanks and wish me luck! :)
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2CND967

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Don S (Don S), Undiagnosed Bio

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My name is Don.  I am 35and I am a career firefighter with 14 years on the job.

10 years ago I was injured badly at a fire and almost immediately noticed a change.  My skin began peeling off and I began gaining weight.

I knew about cortisol and its effect on the body because my mother passed away from Cushings at 46 after years of taking steroids for respiratory problems.  My doctors dismissed my issues as stress following the trauma.  My accident happened in March and by July, I had gained  80lbs.  I was constantly fatigued and developed acne all over my body.

A year or so later, I began having stomach issues.  Nausea and Reflux were with me everyday.   I continued to have high serum cortisol throughout the past 10 years but each time, it suppressed to just below the 1.8 threshold with dexamethasone so my doctors just dismissed it as stress.

In 2012, the dizziness and blurry vision began.  My spine is weak and my joints hurt constantly.  My legs are so skinny and weak, they shake when I stand and my heart races from any exertion.  I managed to continue working until a year ago when I accepted that I was putting myself and others at risk.

For the past year I have been paying guys to work for me in order to keep my job and insurance.  I worked hard for this career and promotions and I will not give it up without a diagnosis and confirmation that I can no longer do the job.

I have a new Endo now and she ordered a Urinary Cortisol.  It came back 4X higher than the upper limit.  She is convinced I have Cushings and it isnt just stress.  I have the following symptoms.  Weight gain of over 100lbs, Long purple stretch marks on my flank, side, and groin, Blurry vision, tachycardia, weak limbs, tremors, anxiety, puffy face, dizziness, stomach issues.

I am hoping after 10years of suffering, I may finally have my answer and that I can begin getting my life back.  I have a wife and 3 year old that really count on me and all I have been doing is letting them down.  Our lives are on hold because we do not know what the future will bring.

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Raveh I, Adrenal Bio

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Hello, my name is Inbar & I’m from Israel.

First of all I want to apologize my poor English, It’s only what I have learned through high school. Second I’m thrilled & exited finding other people who are facing the Cushing syndrome difficulties, fears & symptoms.

In my small country I wasn’t able to find any other forum I could share with.

Since the Cushing disease is more common, there is an association for those who have it. After speaking to one of there representatives I was disappointed to find out that the physical, mental, emotional and psychological difficulties are not the same & unfortunately they could not help me in any way.

I had a 5 cm tumor on my left adrenal which was removed 8 mounts ago.

I have carried this illness for at least 5 years facing all of the symptoms.

Since January I’m seeing a psychiatrist & taking all kinds psychiatric pills.

Yesterday I started seeing also a psychologist & came out very disappointed, since my problem is chemistry, psychological treatment won’t help.

I would be thankful for any self experience from any one.  I’m very close to having a breakdown.

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Dawn M (Lind8588), Steroid Induced Bio

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I have suffered from severe asthma and environmental allergies since I was a young child.  They used steroids as a way to help me breathe and stop hives.

As I got older, things just got worse.  More steroids, more allergy medications, etc.

Two years ago I started losing energy, lacking the urge to eat, having daily headaches, gaining weight even with exercise and sleeping a lot.  I thought it was stress as I was finishing my doctoral degree.  My regular doctor tried everything.

Finally, she sent me to Mayo in Minnesota and they diagnosed me with exogenous Cushing’s.  I had the buffalo hump, striae and moon face.  They did not give me any medications but told me to stop taking steroids.  Also, they found that my Vitamin D was a 9 so they loaded my Vitamin D.  I slowly started to feel better for the first six months.  I now seem to be going back downhill.  I am exhausted all the time.  I have no idea where to turn.  I am starting here and also looking for a local endocrinologist, otherwise I may return to Mayo.

 

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