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Sonja D (Kiwi), Ectopic Bio

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Diagnosed in 2003 with a Carcinoid Lung Tumour which was surgically removed in May 2003.

After a number of years of “not feeling myself” and consulting with the family doctor, it wasn’t until I showed him hair growth on my face and asked him if we had completed all and every test possible related to hormones.

Two tests to do; one was cortisol and the other testesterone.  Results were in the next day, showing cortisol levels four times the normal range.  Bingo!  it was like I had won the lottery.

A flurry of additional tests were conducted, a visit to an Internal Medicine Specialist and finally a referral to the Endocrinologists at the University Hospital.  On meeting the endocrinologist her first words were: “It’s very nice to meet you.  I’m very excited you were able to come in today’.  Is she nuts, I thought.  Since when is a doctor “excited” to meet a patient?  This was the beginning of a most wonderful patient/doctor relationship and it continues today along with the full team of endocrins at this hospital.

It was confirmed I had Ectopic Cushing’s Syndrome in February 2011.  My health deteriorated rapidly with no sign of any tumour which was likely the cause of the extremely elevated ACTH and Cortisol levels.   A Bilateral Adrenalectomy was performed in May 2011 and in November 2011 the elusive lung tumour was sighted in the same location as the one removed in 2003.  It has not grown in the last six months so it is being left “undisturbed” at this stage.

Jestina (jestina902), Pituitary Bio

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Hello there! My name is Jestina and I’m 16 years old. I just recently found out that I have Cushing’s from an endocrinologist in Washington D.C. It has taken three years to find a diagnosis. I have struggled with hormone issues ever since I was thirteen and my old family doctor originally diagnosed me with diabetes and PCOS. I didn’t think that it was unusual, especially because my mom has PCOS and diabetes runs in my family. My doctor told me that I was going through treatment for PCOS by giving me a pill to take. When I would take it, I would become very sick and I had unbearable stomach pain. It got to the point where I stopped taking it because it was hurting so badly. I was also not having any results. I still had unusual hair growth and I was starting to gain weight. This went on for a year.

About a year later, I started to face horrible back pain. I have scoliosis and my family, along with my specialists believed that it was caused by my spinal fusion. I started physical therapy when I was 15. I started to develop the “buffalo hump” and my physical therapist believed that it was the cause of spending too much time online. I thought that it was very strange though because I didn’t go online very much. I didn’t even have Facebook or any other type of social networking account. So, I went through about six months of therapy and I saw a small improvement but it didn’t last very long.

When I turned 16, I started to face even worse pain than before in my upper back. I went through multiple rounds of X-rays and spent two months home from school while my specialist was trying to find what was wrong but each time, he could never think of a reason for why I would be facing so much pain. I ended up going through a round of pain injections and it eased the pain enough for me to be back in school for the remainder of the school year. On my follow-up appointment after having the injections, my specialist suggested that maybe my pain had been caused by a hormonal problem. My mom decided to change family doctors and we went into her office less than a month ago. When my new doctor reviewed the medicines that I had been taking, she then informed us that the medicine that my old doctor gave me was actually for my diabetes and that it was the reason why I hadn’t seen any results. After I described my symptoms, (buffalo hump, moon face, unusual hair growth and weight gain, etc.) she left the room for about forty minutes to research. When she returned, she suggested that I had Cushing’s and that I should see an endocrinologist. She ordered a few rounds of blood tests and gave a referral to a doctor in Washington D.C.

My endocrinologist reviewed the blood tests and agreed with my family doctor that I most likely had Cushing’s. He ordered more blood tests and a 24-hour urine collection and they came back the way that he expected. I am now awaiting a CT scan for my surgery which should happen sometime in the next few weeks. I am hoping for great results. Apparently once my surgery is finished, I shouldn’t see anymore problems with diabetes, PCOS, or the symptoms that come along with Cushing’s.

Thank you so much for reading my bio!

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