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Candy (cjbritton), Undiagnosed Bio

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In seeing an endocrinologist about normalizing my thyroid levels (Hashimoto’s), he became suspicious of Cushing’s.

I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2006 with a suspected onset of 13-14. We’ve done one blood test that came back further pointing to Cushing’s along with the signs & symptoms (i.e. buffalo hump, moon face, sweating, ruddy complexion, etc…). I will be seeing another endocrinologist in the near future (current one is closing his practice & moving to the Middle East) to confirm a diagnosis of Cushing’s.

If I do have Cushing’s it has to be endogenous, as I do not take any steroid mediations that are known to cause exogenous Cushing’s. I take Nasonex periodically, but not any more than I absolutely have to & I’m told that is too small a dose to be a problem.

Wish me luck in getting answers.

Dee (Dee), Pituitary Bio

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My menstrual cycle ended when I was 38 years.  After a hormone panel, my doctor told me I was in menopause.

At this time, the whites of my eyes started hemorrhaging and my skin became paper thin, bleeding and bruising.  I was tested for Von Willebrands which came back negative.

A few years passed and my blood pressure sky rocketed, my hair started falling out, my teeth were breaking and I was gaining weight and unable to stop it.  I grew a heavy beard, black hairs on my arms and thighs.  My face became distored, my head was pushed towards my feet from a hump on my back.  I was losing the use of my legs, and unable to hold a pen or pencil.  I started to look 7 months pregnant with a larged mid-section.  I couldn’t retain simple instructions, and had to stop driving.

I saw numerous doctors, and each worked with the symptoms as the came, but no one put everything together.  My feet and fingers were numb, and I was losing the ability to think correctly.  I had severe depression and anger issues.

I saw an article in Reader’s Digest about a mysterious illness and took it to my current doctor.  She really didn’t think I had Cushing’s because it was so rare, but my 24 hour urine test came back postive.  Next I was sent for the MRI which showed the tumor on my pituitary.  I had surgery June 27,2007.

It took 18 grueling months to wean off the Prednisone.  I had chronic nausea and diahrrea during this time.  My Endocrinologist did not study up on Cushings and removed my Prednisone 1 week after my surgery.  I crashed and was taken to the ER in serious condtion.  He did it to me again a few weeks later, with the same results.  After the second time, he left my Prednisone alone for the next 18 months.

October 27, 2011 I had Paraespohcial surgery where my stomach had been pushed into my lungs.  It was a very diffcult surgery and recovery.  I am now batteling Celiac, which after reading up on Addisons, I am wondering if I have Addisons?  I had Addison’s crisis twice when my predisone was removed to quickly after my brain surgery.

Even though I am cured of Cushings, it seems the side effect continue to make their debutes.  I am grateful for where I am today, even though I don’t know what is around the corner.   I guess what’s around the corner will be dealt with when I get there, but for today, I am thankful.

Jarryd (Medboy), Pituitary Bio

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I’m a 19 year old male student with Cushing’s syndrome. Basically had accelerated weight gain since late 2011, despite frequent exercise and heavy dieting.

Started to feel a lot more irritable and tired, lost strength at the gym, developed big unsightly purple stretch marks across my abdomen

Initially my doctor just told me that I was getting fat and should do more cardio/eat less. She even commented on how it showed quickly in my face (mild moon facies)

It was entirely reasonable for her to think this, but when the stretch marks didn’t fade as they normally would i did a google search and returned.

Urine test, blood ACTH and cortisol test, repeat urine test. Soon I was sent to an endocrinologist who confirmed Cushing’s syndrome.

I just had an MRI of my pituitary after the ACTH signs pointed to a pituitary source. The Endocrinologist said it appeared to have a 3mm lesion, but it was not 100% conclusive so I am to undergo petrosal sinus sampling for confirmation within the month. Hopefully that will confirm the adenoma with surgery ideally soon after that.

I’m happy to have got it reasonably early; most of my symptoms are still relatively mild, but it really does make you put other things on hold until you can fix it, which means i’m sort of stuck in a lull until its all fixed. I would appreciate any advice for things to do in the mean time to help me feel like i’m doing something positive rather than just waiting.

Location of the pituitary gland in the human brain

Location of the pituitary gland in the human brain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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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