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Lor, Pituitary Bio

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golden-oldie

From Tuesday, June 9, 2009

9-07

COLON SURGERY: 1’ colon removed (pre-cancerous pulup/tumor removed.)
10-07

HEAD/NECK/SHOULDER/THROAT PAINS: hundreds of daily: “pops” in neck, terrible stabbing pains in base of skull, throat, shoulder, with hundreds of random screams of “ouchhh” daily for months. Tests or Treatments tried: chiropractors, ibuprofen, hot packs, x-ray on neck normal, physical therapy, MRI on neck normal
1-08

BODY JOLTS & INVOLUNTARY MOVEMENTS START: electric jolt sensations and myoclonic type jerks and involuntary movements – mostly when relaxed. Movements will stop if I get up and move around. These come with or without loud screams, gasps or other vocal noises. Tests or Treatments tried: EMG normal, MRI of head and normal, pain meds no help, oral steroid by Physiatrist no help,
1-08

SLEEPING PROBLEMS: wake up every night and sometimes stay awake for many hours – happened entire 2008, but 2009 was better.
2-08

MOUTH/JAW/TONGUE START: randomly the tongue tingles or twtiches, the jaw & cheek have pain (like someone is pulling off my face), the mouth/throat/tongue/and/or gums get ice cold, the mouth waters for hours. Tests or Treatments tried: more blood work normal, except a 7x higher than normal inflammation which neuros said had to be a lab error. Got steroid shot in head where the stabbing pain is. EEG recommended due to small seizure like movement when injecting the steroid.
4-08

MUSCLE TWITCHES START: randomly, different muscles twitch, hundreds of times daily (it is like body is making popcorn). Tests or Treatments tried: took a coupld stress free vacations. (I now its not stress related anyway but since the doctors cannot diagnois me, they don’t know what else to think. No help – same symptoms. Seen Neurologists with no answers. Got another steroid shot in head.
8-08

KNEE POPPING STARTS: just like neck from 10-07, one day it started to “pop” with pain hundreds of times daily. This made it hard to walk for months. Tests or Treatments tried: knee x-ray-normal and a special Lymes Blot test in California = negative.
11-08

Another Neurologist: Repeated inflammation test=normal.
12-08

Rheumatologist ran more blood test=normal
OTHER SYMPTOMS IN 2008-2009:

INVOLUNTARY MOVEMENTS / TWTICHED CONTINUE

ALL MOUTH SYMPTOMS CONTINUE

GASPING FOR AIR (take in a huge gasp of air, happens randomly, a several times daily)

LEG WEAKNESS / PAIN

INSIDE ELBOW AND MIDDLE FINGER, LOWER BACK AND BIG TOE PAIN

FATIGUE

HIGH PULSE 130+ doing nothing

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE 145/97 average

HEART HURTS (just occasionally)

EAR ACHES/RINGS (CT of sinus area was normal)

NIGHT SWEATS (occasionally / only on head/neck area)

NECK HUMP

SKIN (acne, ichy, sweaty)
1-09

Tests or Treatments tried: Tried depression pills for 2 months with no help. I do not believe I have depression/anxiety issues though.
3-09

Tests or Treatments tried: Went on another fun trip to Disney World – had very strong symptoms most days
3-09

WEIGHT GAIN: (necklace didn’t even fit because my neck / stomach is getting fat).

Cortisol level checked and was high, so Endo specialist was recommended).
5-09

DIAGNOSED WITH CUSHING’S

4x6mm tumor on pituitary and high cortisol level. Scheduled for consult/surgery at Mayo in July.
7-09

UNDIAGNOISED and called Borderline Cushing because symptoms not are typical of Cushings.

They reviewed MRI – says its either a tumor or a rathke’s cleft cyst

CHEST XRAY – normal

EKG – normal

EMG – normal

ENT Dr. – normal exam – cannot explain mouth symptoms

COLONOSCOPY

MAMMOGRAM

DERMOTOLOGY – skin cancer diagnosed, shaved and treated

MRI on neck & spine- normal

EEG – normal

CERVICAL SPINE MRI – normal

MOVEMENT LAB: my movements don’t fall into the myroclonis catagory because I move faster than 100 milliseconds (?), even though they are a split second movement

SENSORY PROVOKED POTENTIAL NEUROLOGY LAB – normal

DEX SUPPRESSION & CRH & CORTISOL TEST, did not suppress, and had high and normal cortisol

OTHER URINE AND BLOOD TEST

PARANEOPLASTIC PANEL blood work – results show striated muscle antibodies which is either a neuro, myasthenia gravis, or a hidden tumor so get a lung scan recommended
9-09

LUNG/ADRENA CT SCAN: did not show lung tumor but showed enlarged or nodules on both adrenal glands
10-09

blood test & urine- (did 24 hr urinary metanephrines and fractionated catecholamines and blood aldosterone concentration and renin activity – all normal) (cortisol at highest end of normal)
11-09

new MRI – same as before
12-09

new CT of adrenals – no change. Await new results of striated muscle antibody test.

Dr recommends I wait 6 months to see what changes.
6-10

bi-lateral neuro angiogram confirms Pit. Cushings
Pituitary Surgery May 12, 2010
Back to work after 2 weeks. Its been 1 month since surgery and muscle pain and weekness is gone, heart pounding gone, high blood pressure down, but still have unusual symptoms such as involuntary movements and mouth symptoms. Still have enlarged adrenals.

 

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Brenda, Steroid-Induced Cushing’s

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golden-oldie

 

I have had Cushing’s for two years. I have been to Mayo Clinic four times in the last two years, and just recently was accepted and seen at the National Institue of Health’s Rare Disease Program in Bethesda, Maryland. I am from Michigan.

I am 34 years old-a RN, BSN who had worked for ten years happily as a nurse-then I became quite ill due to my Interstitial Cystitis-my Urologist put me in the hopstial-I came out of the hospital after five days, and ten days post hospitalization I awoke with severe joint pain, pitting edema, night sweats, fever, Short of Breath, I had a seizure the next day…..I had only been 135 puonds-very active, worked out-played the clarinet in my church orchestra weekly for three services.

After this illness-I was put on steroids to decrease the joint swelling-turns out I was exposed to Legionella disease during the hospital stay and most likely contracted it after taking a shower at the hospital. My world has been turned upside down since then…I was gaining 10-12 pounds of fluid WEEKLY…finally when I went to Mayo Clinic my first visit in 11/07, they felt the Cushing’s was related to the steroid’s I was on-which was not a high dose, to try and decrease all the swelling-no one thought could pin point why I had so much fluid retention-this was about four months from when I first became ill and I know was 195 pounds!

I returned again to Mayo 1/08 and then again 4/08….in April of 2008 it was an urgent visit-I had been passing out DAILY in my condo in Grand Rapids, MI-two hours from my family-my friends would find me-or I’d wake up fallen on the floor, etc-my internist had me come immediately to Mayo-I was set up with a leading Endocrinologist at Mayo and within 24 hours I was diagnosed with Cushing’s Syndrome and Adrenal Insufficiency-my Urine Cortisol and ACTH stim test were awful. I was put on Replacement Hydrocortisone (At this point I had been off ALL steroids for five months-but continued to gain fluid-I was now 240pounds…they did a tissue biopsy-when they cut into my skin fluid came running out-they-at Mayo had NEVER seen anything like this!).

After returning from Mayo-(my father took me for the ten hour drive each time, we would be there about 8 days-he was such a rock for me as I had always been the independent child in the family…now I needed help-and that was hard to accept). I forgot to mention at this point I was developing many skin rashes, my hands looked like they had been chemically burned all the way up to my elbows….I had allergy/PATCH testing done-found out I was literally allergic to almost everything in the environment-All preservatives in medicine, formaldehyde, lanoline, rubber, adhesive, all chemicals, fragerances-even toothpaste, makeup, it was unreal!

Five days after returning home-I ended up in the hospital in GR-I had a secondary cellulitis/bacterial infection with fever on my hands and arms-I was put on IV antibidics …unfortunately the “hospitalist” I was assigned (In Michigan your internist doesn’t round on you-you are assigned a hospitalist to take care of your inpatient care)…anyways-he didn’t believe I needed to triple my steroid dose when ill-so he refused-I fell into a coma that day! Thankfully one of my good friends, also a RN, came to visit when all th staff was trying to awake me-and my friend said, “my God-she’s in an adrenal crisis!” Once they got the Cortisol in me I was okay. But that was terrifying-I could hear everything the nurses, and medical staff was s aying and I couldn’t talk, blink, move anything-I had tried to call my internist before I slipped into the coma-but I couldn’t talk-I remember hearing the receptionist-but I coudln’t talk-they found my cell phone on the floor where I had dropped it.

it has been a hard road-i returned to Mayo 11/08……at this point I was 300 pounds-they did a full body CT, MRI’s of knee’s, etc-all my tissue is full of fluid-they honestly wre not sure what to do-they just hoped that by tryijng to wean down on the steroids my body would start making aCTH and “Cortisol-I brought intormation on the Rare disease Program at the NIH-my internist at Mayo and in Grand Rapids, MI referred me-I also sent a letter with photo’s. I kept a photo journal from the beginning of my journey-taking photo’s of my striae, abdomen, buffalo hump, arms, legs, abdomen, and SEVERE fluid retention – I took these photo’s monthly so the doctor’s could see how this progressed-this was one of the most helpful things I did.

Thousands are referred to the Rare Disease Program-only 50-100 are accepted. I was accepted. My father and I flew out to the NIH May 17th and returned May 22nd. They paid for our travel, all hospital charges, and lodging for my father at the Safra Lodge there on the NIH campus.

I met the guru of Cortisol-Dr. Nieman-she was incredible. It was an amazing experience to be there-like Mayo-their philosophy is “we are here for the patient” unlike many doctor’s I had run into in Grand Rapids-I’m sure many can relate to some doctor’s that don’t even have ten minutes for you-here and at Mayo then spend 1-2 hours with you-you are their priority. It’s refreshing.

They changed my replacement steroids from Prednisone to Hydrocortisone, I’ve slowly been weaning-but I’m stuck at 10mg in the am, 5mg at 2pm, and 5 mg at 6pm. I also had many other consults while there.

Currently I have a WONDERFUL internist in Grand Rapids-I had to change doctors 2/08-I had been with a family practice doctor and this was just way out of his expertise, I also have a wonderful Urologist, Dr. Casamento whom has been my urologist for over ten years-he has been SO kind and helps me handle my Interstitial Cystitis.

Other than that I have transferred my care to Univ. of Michigan. I have the Chief of Endocrinology at U of M as my Endocrinologist-he is awesome-so intelligent-and he works with the NIH and my internist to help formulate a plan.

I also have a wonderful Rheumatolgosit at U of M- I have a lot of damage to my knee’s-and as I said-my weight is now at 300 pounds-they say over 50% is fluid-and you can tell-my skin is SO taught, nothing is flabby….I’ve been on so many diuretics-nothing helps-next step is to see nephrology at U of M.

They Cushing’s Syndrome symptoms are hard to deal with-you have to learn to adapt-the abdomen, the buffalo hukp, the stria-I look just like the diagram on your website-I had to cut my hair very short as I was sweating ALL the time-another bad side effect. I have had to go from being able to live in my third floor condo-to moving home to my parents-I can’t do stairs anymore-I do PT exercises daily at their home-I have to use a walker at all times, I also have to sleep upright-as my abdomen is SO distended if I like even at a 45 degree angle I feel like I’m suffocating. I PRAY for a miracle-the NIH and Mayo had NEVER seen someone with such severe symptoms of Cushing’s. They now are not sure if I have primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency.

In the meantime I have some major damage and arthritis in my spine/knee’s ankles-but I’m not a surgical candidate per my ortho doc….he’s just doesn’t know how to help me.

I think the hardest things for me are just ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living) shower, even using the bathroom, hygeine, etc….and still not allowing anyone to help me-I’m stubborn that way-but the worse the abdomen distends, the worse the fluid gets-the harder it is for me.

Thankfully I have so much loving support from family and friends-but qualify of life is so low. I no longer get out of the home-it’s too hard-and the stares I get from people, and the laughs because of the Cushing’s is hard….I had been getting my groceries using an Amgio cart-but now that I’m living with my parents they take care of that.

Thankfully I had no problem getting disability-but COBRA and my medical bills have taken my entire savings. My church family even pays every other COBRA-but at 540.00 a month-plus all my other bills/mortgage, etc-it’s been a devestation financially.

I wish everyone with Cushing’s the best of luck-just know you are NOT alone. My faith has sustained me in hard times-I can’t imagine not having faith to get throgh this.

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Leah (Lele), Undiagnosed Bio

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I am a 34 year old woman, not yet diagnosed, but suspect Cushing’s.

When I came across this website, it was like other people writing my life story.

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism 15 years ago, with depression about the same time.  Once on thyroxine, I improved.

About 8 years ago, I started gaining weight, especially around the stomach.  Then as time passed, other symptoms appeared.  The depression was coming back worse than ever, despite increased doses of anti-depressants.  I suffered with extreme fatigue, joint and muscle pain, shortness of breath and rapid heart rate.

I had tests for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Latex sensitivity, ECG and echocardigram, stress echocardiogram, chest X-ray, lots of blood tests.  The only thing abnormal was low iron.  I tried iron supplements, which do not agree with my stomach, so had to abandon.

Since then, I have pretty much struggled with further symptoms, the latest being the red stretch marks, the buffalo hump, fat on my shoulders (makes it hard to carry shoulder bags – they just slip off!), red, hot, puffy face, excess sweating, even in cooler weather, night sweats, pins and needles in arms, cramps in legs, high blood pressure, bruise easily, sores slow to heal – and that’s just the physical symptoms.

I am so depressed and low on self-confidence that hardly go out anymore, don’t have many friends, and had to stop working as nurse, which is the job I love.

I finally got my local doctor to send me to an endocrinologist in March this year.  She did an ultrasound of my thyroid (showed a tiny nodule) and ordered a 1mg dex supression test.  When the dex test came back negative and I went back to see her, I just cried my eyes out.  She referred me to see a psychiatrist, and said she was done with me.   The usual – you can’t have Cushing’s, its too rare.  No urine tests, nothing.

I called the Pituitary Foundation in my state who are really helpful, and gave me loads of information. The lady mentioned cyclical Cushing’s.  But they can’t tell you which doctor who can help you, it is different in Australia because you need to be referred by your local doctor, and they have no idea who can diagnose Cushing’s or what tests to order.  So now I have really lost hope of getting a diagnosis, it like fighting everyone all the time, just to be taken seriously.

There are days when I have no fight left in me, and wonder how bad it is going to get, will I get diabetes, heart disease?

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Genevieve (JenNYC), Undiagnosed Bio

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to-do-diagnosis

 

I have many Cushings symptoms. I developed severe, often incapacitating IBS nearly 12 years ago and believed I had Crohn’s or Celiac Disease. All tests came back negative.

Around 5 years ago my symptoms got worse, and my normally thin to average weight shot up, despite normal diet and exercise. I became depressed, anxious, and had painful joints and flu-like symptoms. I also had irregular periods and skin problems (dry skin/eczema, acne, frequent brusing and skin infections and bug bites that never healed). My blood pressure at times was high and other times normal, my face would flush, and I had kidney infections and kidney stones.  My hair started to thin. The worst part was the weight gain- all in the face and stomach area; although my arms and legs were thin by stomach was bloated and very heavy.

I was told by several doctors to excerise and diet and have– nothing works. I had blood tests done and they found low ferritin, very low iron/Vitamin B/Vitamin D, alternating high and low blood pressure & thyroid. I was diagnosed with anxiety or fibromyaligia, depending what doctor I went to. I was told I did not have IBS, although I have diarrhea almsot daily.

I also have low muscle tone, poor energy, insomnia, chronic fatigue during the day, and wake up in night sweats.

The one test that was finally ordered for high cortisol (24 hour urine test) came back ‘normal’ range– so either it was a fluke or I really am crazy.

I don’t know what to do. Doctors, family and friends, tell me “just diet and exercise”–thinking weight gain is just a willpower issue– but what about all these other symptoms? I feel like I have flu every da y and miserable. My joints ache severly and although I have been working out, calorie counting, and doing Weight Watchers, and (alternately raw vegan and liquid diets) for months I don’t lose any weight and look 7 months pregnant.

I need advice.

Haven T (Haven T), Undiagnosed Bio

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I am a 32 year old female in Arkansas.

I have not yet been diagnosed with a disease but highly suspect I have Cushings.  Over the past 3-4 years I have developed a Buffalo Hump, lost my libido, have drenching night sweats every night, fatigued during the day, tire easily when I excercise, my hair is thinning rapidly, suffer from periods of depression, bruise easily, heal slowly, and scar easily.  I also have these little bumps on my arms and torso as well as stretch marks on my sides and upper thighs.  I have never had a weight problem but the past couple of years I have gained 70+lbs and have had little luck losing weight and/or keeping it off.

Every time I go to the doctor they do a blood panel and always come back with the same answer “Everything is fine”.  EVERYTHING IS NOT FINE!!!!!!!!

I recently was referred to a sleep doctor and during my appointment yesterday I told the doctor I feel like I might have Cushings and need to see an Endocrinologist.  I finally got my referral and hope I am on the road to a diagnosis of some sort and an explanation for what is going on with me!

Marian (MaidM), Adrenal Bio

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Hi!

I have provided a timeline of my Cushing’s related tests and symptoms.

Symptoms since 1994

Diagonsed: August 2012

Surgery:  August 2012

 

Other Key Dates/Symptoms:

1993-2009:  NIght sweats, heart palpitations, difficult losing weight, anxiety

 

2010:

+Kaiser Acupuncturist  checked DHEA levels.  Lowest she had ever seen.

+Referred to Kaiser endocrinologist (Dr. Lee)

+ACTH Very low

+Cortisol moderately high

+Abdomen CT showed 2 cm growth (Mis-read as possible cancer by radiologist)

+MRI showed possible small brain adenoma

+Referred to NIH

+Labs normal

+Reviewed MRI/ CT.  CT showed 2 cm adenoma (benign) and no brain adenoma.  (They said Kaiser overead the MRI and were sure about the CT not showing any cancerous characteristics)

+Initial diagnosis: Psuedo Cushing’s and revised to Cyclical Cushings

 

2012

+Increased symptoms.  Weight gain, hump, fluid retention, moon face, fatigue, irritability

+NIH follow up showed high cortisol (confirmed 2X), low DHEA, low ACTH

+Suppression test confirmed Cushing’s Syndrome

+Bone scan showed 25% bone density loss in 3 years.

+Diagnosis: “Sub Clinical” Cushing’s Syndrome (borderline…I don’t  “look” like Cushiing’s unless you compare before and after photos.

+Repeat CT confirmed benign 2 cm adenoma (no growth)

+Surgery scheduled for Aug 27, 2012.  Re-scheduled for Aug 29, 2012.

 

Hope this helps!

Feel free to contact me,

MaidM

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