My name is Marki, and I am a 21 year old student. I have been suffering from Cushing’s-like symptoms for a while now, and the doctor at my college health center just recently told me that I most likely have Cushing’s.

My symptoms have all intensified over the past few years. I have gained almost 60 pounds in the last 11 months, I feel weak and tired almost all the time and my muscles have gotten so weak that I have a hard time walking up 2 flights of stairs to my apartment. I sleep for at least 10 hours a night, and have to set at least 5 alarms to be able to wake up for my 9:15 class, and I still end up missing it a lot of the time. I feel like I am walking around in a fog most of the time, and school is harder than it’s ever been. I am having a really hard time retaining information, even after studying for hours.

About 3 years ago I started growing hair under my chin, and getting stretch marks on my boobs. The stretch marks have now appeared on my belly below and around my belly button. My hair has always been really thick, and I have noticed that it is a lot thinner than it has ever been. I have also developed a lot of new allergies, including raspberries, tide laundry soap, nickel, and something else that I haven’t figured out yet, so I have a rash all over my stomach, armpits and thighs. I have had severe headaches since I was about 14, and they are getting more and more common. I also get frequent sinus infections. I got implanon (a type of birth control that they implant in your arm) about a year ago, and haven’t had a period since it was inserted. I have been on birth control (perscribed because of the hair on my chin) since I was 17, so I don’t really know if my period would be regular without it or not.

When I went into the health center I told the doctor about all of these symptoms, and his first thought was PCOS. I had an ultrasound, and there were no cysts. He then started testing me for Cushing’s and referred me to an endo in San Francisco. The endo ordered both a 24 hour urine test and a midnight saliva to be done before my appointment. These were the results:

24 hour-

range- 0-50

me- 49.7

Midnight saliva-

range- .5-1

me- 9.16

So, my free cortisol was within range, and my saliva was more that 9 times the normal levels. I have read a lot about Cushing’s in the last two weeks, but I still have a lot of questions! If anyone has any advice on how to deal with the sleep issues, what tests to request, or any other advice, I would really appreciate it! I need to figure out how to stay awake during the day so I can pass my classes!


My names Marki, and I am a 21 year old senior at Westmont College. After I finish my bachelors I plan on going to Physicians Assistant school to get my masters. This has been a crazy year for me. A few months ago, my doctor told me that I might have Cushing’s, and since then it has been a constant parade of tests. My body and attitude have changed SO much, and it is making school and life in general really hard. I am lucky to have the support of my family and friends, and I can’t wait to get through this and get on with my life! If anyone has any advice, feel free to message me 🙂