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Sylvia, Undiagnosed Bio

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Sylvia submitted two versions of her bio:

1)

Hi , my name is Sylvia. I’m a 36 years old mother of two.

I am not one to go to doctors. Usually I go about every 4 or 5 years. I last went to a doctor in 2008 and had a battery of test. To this day the only dx i got was anemia. I had lab,ct,mri,lumbar puncture, and other tests with no answers.

Recently I went to an urgent care due to feeling bad. Thought i had a kidney infection. Had trouble urinating, feet swelled up, and burning in my sides. They told me I had high blood pressure no kidney infection. Also my lab came back high whiteblood count. I’ve never had high bp but elevated white blood counts for several years. Every time I have lab its high. They had me repeat the lab 2 days later and it was higher. So then i did a 24 hr urine test and my creatine level was high.

So they sent me to a kidney specialist now he is  wanting to rule out cushings. I had never even heard of it before, I went today for a renal ultrasound and in 3 weeks i will do a 24 hr urine cortisol test. Then i will see him the next week.  so 1 month till I hear anything.

Let me just give you my history of symptoms:  elevated white blood counts when i have no cold or infection  recent high blood pressure  swelling in feet, legs, face, and hands gained 50lbs this year  have battled weight for years unable to lose more than 30lbs ever and that is with extreme diet and excerise  mood swings very irratable depressed extreme anxiety  sleep deprivation  can go for days without sleep never really noticed the hump on the back of my neck as abnormal thought i was just fat and that was part of it but reading about cushings makes me wonder if its a symptom.

I haven’t been dx with cushings yet but all signs point to it. I feel weird saying this because i don’t want this but for years i’ve not had an answer and in a weird way it would be a relief to know why i always feel bad, fatigued, no energy. I’ve always just said well its because of the weight. Obese people don’t have energy. But now It’s affecting my whole life.I can’t do things with my kids or be close with my husband who i love to peices. I just want an answer so i can be better.  sorry thisis so long but its a decade of issues and hard to get it all out .

thanks for reading my story.

~~

2)

My name is Sylvia i’m 36 married for 17 yrs with 2 great kids.

I’ve never been one to go to the doctor.I have to be about dead to go. I haven’t seen a dr. since 2008.

Last month i started having some kidney problems and decided to go to a urgent care clinic thinking it was probably a kidney infection. I had went on a trip over the labor day holiday and went about 8 hrs from where we live.

i have noticed when i ride for a long time or walk long distances my whole body would swell up. by the time we got home my feet were 3 times the size and i couldn’t pee. so the urgent care did test i didn’t have a kidney infection but my bp was high and whiteblood count high also.

i have had a high white count for years and nobody could ever figure it out other than anemia. two days later the dr called me to repeat the lab and the whitecount was even higher. i also had a 24hr urine test that came back abnormal high creatine level. so they referred me to a blood specialist and kidney dr. went to the blood dr. first which i had already seen in 2008 for the anemia, they said i was ok probably just a person who runs a high whitecount naturally. so that didn’t help me. but i did ask for them to order a mamogram and found a nodule so i go for a biopsy next week. so maybe it was a higher plan to go there. hoping for a good result.

then i went to the kidney specialist and he is the one who brought up cushings. i had never heard of it before. and at the time i was so overwhelmed that i didn’t even ask any questions went today for a renal ultrasound and in three weeks i redo the 24hr urine to check the cortisol levels. i didn’t know about cushings till i got on here.

i have just about all the symptoms. i’ve gained about 50lbs this year and have been under an extreme amount of stress. had a family tradgedy and figured all the anxiety and depression was from that but i’ve had bouts of depression in the past. i also have swelling in my hands feet legs and stomach. headaches, joint pain, recent high bp, mood swings, irriatability, no sex drive, panic attacks and severe fatigue. and i never noticed the hump on the back of my neck as abnormal till i read about it. i thought it was from the extra weight. i have gotten up to 315lbs. i can’t find clothes to fit anymore and my stomach makes me look pregnant. my self esteem is low and i’ve always been very social and now i don’t want to be around people at all.

i’m really hoping i can find out whats wrong with me. i just thought i was obese and fat people don’t have energy so they feel bad. i don’t want to have cushings but i’ve felt bad for so long it would almost be a relief to just get diagnosed so i wouldn’t feel like it’s all in my head.

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Susan W, Pituitary Bio

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A Golden Oldie

After 2.5 yrs of testing, I was diagnosed with Cushing’s (which was un-diagnosed for over 20 yrs).  My Pituitary Tumor was removed on 10/20/11.

My surgeon has recommended Radiation/Gamma Knife treatment which will be discussed at my post srgery checkup 1/10/12.  I also have noduals on both my adrenals.

Other symptoms:  obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, muscle weakness, sleep apnea, fatigue and depression.


Susan submitted a second version of her bio.

My testing -> diagnosis -> surgery journey took 2.5 years.  I have always had a weight problem.  All my Doctors ever asked if I was interested in a liquid diet, liposuction, gastro bypass or go to Weight Watchers, and eat less.  But when I reached 375 lbs I knew something had to be done.  Things were way out of control.  I could no longer handle this by myself, I needed HELP.

I had seen comercials on TV which talked about excess Cortisol leading to excess belly fat .   So, I asked my Primary Care Doctor if she could test my Cortisol level.  She just laughed and said I would have to go to an Endocrinologist (Endo).  She did not even provide a referral.  Through my insurance company I found an Endo.  On 7/3/09,  my first appointment with the Endo, she agreed to test me but felt I just had a fatty liver.

When the test results came back, they showing excess Cortisol.  This started a series of saliva, blood test, 24 hr urine, MRI, and CAT Scan tests.  Then I was referred to another Endo Dr Findling in WI (I live in IL) for another opinion and the IPSS test..  (Dr Findling said I looked like I had Cushings for over 10 yrs.)  This was followed by Ostrascam and PET Scan.  Armed with the diagnosis of Cushing’s Disease we were off to get a surgeon.  The first doctor I seen in IL was a bust.  Then I was referred to Dr Oldfield in VA, who performed my surgery on 10/20/11.

Now in recovery, I still get weak, tired and sleep a lot.  I have been using a walker and cane to get around.  Interesting to see that other Cushings also have problems with mobility, aches and pains.  I hope this gets better.  I have follow-up appointment 12/21/11 and 1/11/12 with the Endo and surgeon.  I am off my High Blood Pressure and 2 of the 3 Diabetes meds.  I have lost 30 lbs in the 7 wks since surgery.   I can;t wait, 1 more wk before I can start swimming again.

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Sherry, Undiagnosed Bio

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A Golden Oldie

I am a Veteran who goes to the Veteran Clinic for my healthcare.  I have been going there for a little over a year.  I go to a womens clinic for both my primary care and gyn.

Backing up a bit…Since my youngest son who is turning 18 next month was about 3, I recall the onset of many of the symptoms of Cushing’s Disease.  However, I didn’t realize what was going on. I believe a lot of my symptoms started when I fell down backwards down a flight of stairs breaking my elbow and wrist.  I really haven’t been the same since. I have slowly put on 120 pounds over the years, all of it being in my mid-section.  I have suffered off and on migrane headaches. My arms and legs are thin as rails compaired to my mid body.  My skin has gotten transparent and dry.  I have the thick cushion of fat tissue between my shoulder blades.

Then in 2007 I had a severe hysterectomy due to massive bleeding/clotting and cysts.  I had serious complications which include blood clots in my legs and also a PE.  I have gone down hill from there.  My bones, muscles and joints ache so bad and can barely get up and down.  I can’t hardly stand more then a few minutes at a time. I have fluid retention so bad that my current doctor finally put me on lasix daily. Finally I suffer from depression and anxiety and I hate to go out in public because of my condition.  Though my husband gets frustrated with me he is still very protective of me and helps.

I have had so many doctors imply  that my problems are phycological or due to my obesity and I am simply tired of that.  I am on 17 medications now due to blood pressure, fluid retenstion, thyroid, diabetes, neuropathy, depression and anxiety, cholesterol and to insure against a heart attack.

I am 52 years old and I feel like my life is coming to an end.  I just recently was reassigned to another primary doctor as my old one left the clinic.  I didn’t like her at first, her personality was so different from my last doctor.  But Friday she did a completed physical and gyn exam.  She asked me if I had ever been diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease.  I had never heard of this disease.  She started pointing out all the classic signs. She decided she wanted me to have a blood test and was very determined I had it done.  I went home and researched it and indeed I have all but maybe one of the symptoms.

I am a little bit nervous about it and realize its a waiting game as far as tests and more test.  On the other hand I feel like I can finally put a name to what’s been going on and hopefully feel better.  I am glad I found this support group and would enjoy talking to others

UPDATE March 6, 2012: Also, additional systems include excessive hair growth on my face, foggy vision, inability to concentrate, red patchy marks on my arms and I have been told I am slightly bi-polar as well at suffering from anxiety and depression.

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Sue, Undiagnosed Bio

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A Golden Oldie

Hello – My name is Sue and I’m 42 years old.  Before Friday, 10/15/10, I had never heard of Cushing’s.  I went in for a physical and had routine blood work done (fasting) and then went in the next day for a cortisol and aldosterone test.

This was a new doctor who didn’t know my history… she noticed my ::blush:: beard, red puffy face, and central obesity and then started asking me some questions.  I stll had no idea why this many questions.  She said that she wanted to get an abdominal ultrasound and wanted me to seen an endocronologist.  Ummmm…. ok… still had no clue. After my cortisol came back at 23, she called me back in and explained that she wanted to get a CAT scan of my abdomen.  I asked her what this was all about, and she said that she thinks that I have Cushing’s.

I have been on blood pressure medication since 1998, and my ‘normal’ bp is 135/90.  At my physical it was 155/100, another warning sign… she doubled my meds and had me come in the next day.  BP was better 145/90, but was still high… so she prescribed an additional medication.

I don’t want to make this too lengthy, but I have several other symptoms too…  I am currently disabled due to depression/anxiety, and I have even gone through ECT treatment twice for it.  I take meds for depression, anxiety, sleep and psychosis.  I have to take a potassium pill every morning to maintain a healthy level and some mornings I can’t even move for a while due to joint pain.  Hot flashes and night sweats are not frequent, and I thought I was going through the beginning of menopause.  At times I would have sweat dripping off of my forehead.  If someone would look at a picture of me and see if maybe I resemble a Cushie??  I am waiting for the appointments, but the more I read about it, the more it sounds like me.  Thank you.


Sue also submitted a second version of her bio:

Hi!  My name is Sue, I am 42 and I live in Central Massachusetts.  During my physical with a new doctor, my blood pressure was found to be high, even though I have been on Hypertensive meds since 1998.  She doubled my dose, and it was still high.  She then put me on an additional medication, and that took it down a little bit. She then noticed my razor stubble on my neck and chin and asked about that.  Prior blood work showed that my cardiac inflammation was 5X’s the “high” limit (2 years ago) and the doctor at the time told me to take 1 adult dose asparin a day.  I had severely low potassium and she told me to take a supplement.  I am 5’5″ and weigh 224 pounds an it’s literally ALL in my stomach and cest and back.  My face is all puffed out and red and splotchy.  I suffer from sleep apnea and I lose my breath if I lay down flat on my back.  I thought I was having hot flashes, because I have been having night sweats and during the day I sometimes get so flush and hot that the sweat literally drips onto the table.  I have rosacea and I flush easily.  I am disabled due to depression/anxiety/psychosis and I have even undergone ECT treatment for it (electroconvulsive therapy-shock treatment)

I was reading some of the bios and started to cry…  I could see me in so many of the stories and pictures.  Could it be possible that all of my issues are related to this disease that I had never even heard of before?  I do not want to be sick, but if it is Cushing’s that I have, I will have hope that I haven’t let myself go. 🙂  You all seem to be very loving and supporting.  Thank you for being here.

There are other symptoms I have, but these are the most bothersome.  My blood cortisol level came in at 22 and my aldosterone was high also.  I am waiting for an appointment for an abdominal CAT scan and a referral to an endochronologist.

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Jackie (samsmom), Adrenal Bio

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Jackie (samsmom) first started dealing with Cushing’s in her family when her youngest child was born in 1999.

Jackie has appeared on the Discovery Health tv show pilot, Mystery Diagnosis, discussing her fight for a cure for her younger daughter, as well. 
Download from amazon.com: Mystery Diagnosis

Later at the NIH, the gene (PDE11A) responsible for Sam’s illness was found. Her father carried the gene as did her two sisters.

Sam’s doctor at NIH, Dr Stratakis has written several papers on Sam’s case including one that was published in April, 2008. For more on PDE11A or iMad, please see A cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase (PDE8B) that is mutated in adrenal hyperplasia is expressed widely in human and mouse tissues: a novel PDE8B isoform in human adrenal cortex.

Jordan, Jackie’s oldest daughter, has recently had her adrenals removed. She had one removed laparoscopically and the other was an open adrenalectomy.

Listen to Archived Interview from May 15, 2008

Jackie last updated her bio 10/12/2009.  This is another Golden Oldie.

~~~~~~

On march 22nd 1999 Sam was born 5 weeks prematurely, weighing in at 5 lbs 11 oz after a difficult pregnancy and delivery. Sam didn’t ever ‘look’ right to me. I had had two daughters prior to Sam and never felt such a feeling of unrest and anxiety about a baby. The doctors assured me there was nothing wrong with Sam. She had enormous chipmunk cheeks and was bright red. She was very agitated and struggled with feeding due to the size of her cheeks. It was determined within the first 24 hours of life that Sam had “breathing difficulty” and trouble keeping her tempeture up. She was sent to the NICU the evening of her birth.

Around day three… Sam’s ‘pediatrician’ told me that Sam was having high blood pressure readings. A neonatologist was called in to observe her. Her pressures remained high and she was immediatly prescribed high bp meds. After weeks of increasing and adding additional doses Sam still had high bp. On day 18 she was transfered via ambulance to Seattle Children’s hospital.

She was catherized and given a 24 hour urine free cortisol test. She had necrosis so bad in her diaper area she almost lost concousness when her diaper was changed. Her bum was so raw and bloody it bleed through her plastic diapers down her leg. They lay her under a heat lamp and managed to make contact with the bulb to her skin. She got a 3rd degree burn. The 24 hour urine test was botched in the lab. Her hematicrit was 18. They sent us … home. On two different kinds of bp meds and a tube of desitin.

Sam was better off at home. We had a bp machine and monitered her every 4 hours. She was losing weight due to her feeding difficulties and she vomited anything she did manage to get down. Her bp slowly came down. We went to see an endo at about 4 weeks old who wanted to take blood out of her juglar vein for a blood test. All sam’s veins had collapsed at this point. I told him I would take Sam and jump out the window with her before I would allow the jugular blood draw. I left the building.

Over the course of the next month we realized we were on our own. Bill and I noticed that the bp was coming down so we slowly weaned her off the bp med and antibioltics(for the necrosis). Sam was rarely awake at this point and very frail and pale. We felt the meds were doing her more harm than good. We saw countless doctors who all came to the same brilliant conclusion; all these odd symptoms were simply due to her prematurity. Her serum cortisol at this point was 45. The so called doctors said she was under a great deal of stress, and dismissed the idea of Cushings syndrome. Because babies (even children) don’t get Cushing’s… after all.

At about 3 months Sam’s features started to normalize. The puffiness went slowly away… she began to feed better and the necrosis healed. Slowly she started growing but still vomitted most of her feeds. She screamed relentlessly and slept infrequently and for short bits… I sleep upright in a chair with Sam on my chest the first 9 months of her life. Sam awakened hysterically ever 2 hours on the dot. This continued until she was four years old.

Sam was slow to walk, speak, roll… she was small and thin and very crabby all the time. We trudged on… my other two daughters nearly invisible due to the needs of Sam. I knew Sam was sick. I knew there was something wrong. My husband diagreed with me. He told me to trust the experts. So reluctently, I did. Sort of.

At 19 months of age Sam, still waking every two hours, would be drenched with urine from literally head to toe. This was very strange. I ended up putting towels under her because I ran out of sheets. I slept in a cot in her room. With 10 days… Sam had gained 10 lbs. She was BRIGHT red and agitated. Her bp went back up… her appetite was vorocious. The only thing that soothed her was me rocking her back and forth and patting her back. She fell asleep to Ryan Adams “Stars go Blue”…she would scream until I repeated the song over and over and over…. She would hold her head and cry and cry… finally to sleep for two hours… the repeat.

We brought her to a new endo who thought she had prader wili syndrome. I explained she had gained 10 lbs in 10 days. He might as well have laughed at me. He said she was obese and had behavior problems. He told me it would take 5 weeks to get the PW test results back. When we did it was negetive. Though her cortisol was 49. Stress, he said, stress. By then Sam had shrank back down to her present weight and her chipmunk cheeks were gone. SHe still woke up every two hours and demanded ‘her song’ to get to sleep.

When she was well enough, I flew Sam to Arizona Childrens Hospital and visited with an endocrinologist in Scottsdale. This is the first I heard about cyclical Cushing’s syndrome. No tests were ordered as Sam was asymptomatic at that time. She remained Cushing’s free for about 6 more months.

At around 31/2 years… Sam went into a particularly bad cycle. She was so sick she couldn’t stand up. She sat and cried and cried and cried. Nothing could console her but that damned Ryan Adams song and her black cat Max. She gained 15 lbs in as many days. She got a face full of acne and stretch marks on her stomach. She rocked and cried and held her head.

About this time I posted my first post on this board. I was desperate, angry, terrified and sick with grief. I KNEW Sam was going to die. My posting was answered by the angels that are here… all agreed Sam had Cushing’s, all gave me strength and validated me… all were rooting for Sam. At the doctor the next day she had a urine test that showed protein in the urine. i was told to go to Children’s Hospital immediatly; Sam was diabetic. Huh?

I went in to the hospital raging. I demanded the endo on call…. I shouted at the fellow. I snapped at the nurse…. I kicked the bed out of my way….. and in walked Dr. Dan Gunther. Sam was screaming, I was screaming… he was calm. He sat down. He listened… he nodded…. I went on and on about Cushing’s and the board and the high bp and the acne and the necrosis and no one caring…. and the ‘Stars go blue’… for 2 solid hours. He took notes. I showed him pictures… I showed him what she had looked like 5 days prior…and 10…. He ordered an immediate ultrasound of her adrenals and sent us home with 3 jugs for 24 hour urine cortisols.

Dr. Gunther called me the next day (Thanksgiving) to see how she was. He told me he would help her. He told me he would help me. He told me “no one is going to die.”

Sam and I went to war with the urine tests. She was a champion. She was excessivley urinating at this point (and not night trained anyhow) so I woke her every hour to pee in a little bed pan. Soon Sam was standing up on her little bed, peeing in her sleep and hitting the repeat on her trusty CD player so she drift back off to her song.

Sam’s first 24 hour urine came in a 2900. Dr. Gunther admitted her for testing. He contacted Dr. Stratakis at NIH and followed the testing protocal recommended by him. All of Sam’s tests reveiled a Cushing’s diagnosis. On day 3 Dr. Dan told me there was some suspicion among the hospital that Sam had been given mega doses of steroids and was being posioned. I looked at him as though he had gone mad. He said that some docs felt I was giving her steroids. They thought I had Munchausen by proxy. I assaulted Dr. Dan verbally and he took it. Then he told me that he disagreed with them and kept Sam another day to prove that Sam’s adrenals were the ones making the steroids, not Sam’s mother.

The tests showed that Sam’s adrenals were in fact making the cortisol. I was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Dr. Dan sent us to NIH in February of 2003. Sam was not in a cycle at that time. Sam still tested positive for Cushing’s throughout 2 grueling weeks of testing. On the way home on the plane… Sam started shouting for her song… then she started eating all her food…. then my food…. then tried to get the guy’s next to me food…. I turned on “Stars Go Blue” and just ***knew*** she was starting a new cycle.

Within 10 days of arriving home and 3 more 24 hour urines it was determined that Sam was in a cycle. She gained 12 lbs. Dr. Stratakis told me via phone that she would need to have the bilateral adrenalectomy as she had tested positive for PPNAD. But first she would need to show high numbers AT NIH. They could only schedule us back the end of March… for the first time I prayed that Sam would STAY in the Cushing’s cycle…. Sam turned 4 on March 22, 2003. She got a guniea pig, a pony and twin kittens. She was too sick to care.

On March 28th we arrived back at NIH. Sam was coming OUT of the cycle rapidly, however Dr. S was very startled by the difference in her appearence.. I was insane with anxiety that she would have low numbers and be denied surgery. But my Sam pulled if off…. her 24 hour urines were around 500…. a little lower each day. Dr. S could actually WATCH Sam could out of her cycle.

Sam had a BLA on April 8 2003 (Harvey Cushings b-day and Cushing’s awareness day). Her surgery was successful. She stayed in the ICU for 16 days. 3 of those on an epidural for pain management. She was brave and strong and happy. She was all bubbles and smiles…. and didn’t have so much as a tylenol when the epi came out.

In Summer of 2005 the Discovery Health channel contacted me regarding a new show they were producing called “Mystery Diagnosis”. I agreed to tell Sam’s story along with Dr. Dan who had become one of our closest friends. Our show aired in November 2005.

In September 2006 Dr, Stratkis contacted us and told us he had found the gene responsible for Sam’s illness. Her father carried the gene as did her two sisters. I did not. Both of Sam’s sisters went back east for testing. Each were negative for active Cushing’s Syndrome.

In April of 2007, my eldest, Jordan (15 then) was back at NIH. She had had a 60 lbs weight gain during the school year. I knew what was happening. Dr. S’s tests confirmed it. Jordan had her left adrenal gland removed in October of 2007. There were complications and only one gland could be taken at that time. She recovered from that surgery within 2 weeks and we arrived home October 11, 2007. I recieved the devestating news that Dr. Dan Gunther had passed away. His death ruled a suicide.

During Christmas break Jordan began to get sick again. Her weight increased and her bp and sugars rose. I took it upon myself to find an endocrinologist and surgeon at Stanford University Advanced Cancer Center willing to preform her unilateral adrenalectomy. Dr. Jeff Norton preformed an open procedure and Jordan has recovered nicely. She has had little relief from Cushing’s symptoms and is still unable to go to school. Every day is a baby step for all of us. My life is a maze of pills 3 times a day for 2 kids at 3 different times. Forever.

Jordan and I will travel to NIH the last week of May 2008 for post op/6month testing. I am praying she does not have an active Cushing’s tumor on her pituitary.

I often wonder what happened in my other lives that dealt me such a tragic hand… whatever it was I hope it was fun. Sometimes I pretend I am a character in a Robin Cook novel… it isn’t that far of a stretch.

I miss my friend Dr. Dan everyday. My heart still aches whenever I think of him. I may never get over his death.

As I type this Jordan has just come in from a pedicure with her middle sister and Sam is watching Scooby doo… I can hear Sam’s CD still playing upstairs where she left it on… I swear to God it’s playing Ryan Adams “Stars Go Blue”.

 


Jackie and Jordan were the subjects of a Live Interview in the Cushing’s Help Voice Chat / Podcast series May 15, 7:30 The topic was Cushing’s in young people, the fight to diagnose, the amazing gift of a GOOD endocrinologist.

Listen to CushingsHelp on internet talk radio

Debra LF (DebraLF), Undiagnosed Bio

2 Comments

Hello, I  am in search of opinions please.

I present with most of the outward physical characteristics: age 57 “weight gain (obese which began about 1991 with a sudden 60 lb increase in 2 months and no explanation, physician had wanted me to go to a Mayo clinic for eval but at the time I could not spare time nor expense…and more recently continuring weight gain, easy bruising, (menses stopped at age 50, but don’t recollect too many probs except migraines), ravenous appetite, occasional trouble sleeping, depression or mood swings, anxiety, fatigue and altered mentation which is trouble concentrating or decreased memory and now diagnosed ADHD.

1-3. Physical abnormalities include new onset obesity, mine is more recent weight gain, primarily in the abdominal,  buffalo hump which presented suddenly a few summers ago but has been brushed off by doctors…, rounding and reddening of the face which began about ten years ago, thin skin, decreased muscle strength, high blood pressure, and excess hair growth on face, have to shave every day, some times twice, have 5 o’clock shadow, but I have already been to a local endocrinologist in Billings, Montana, there are only a couple in this sparsely populated area, and none of the lab tests showed anything particularly abnormal…open to suggestions, thanks so much…

Erin, Undiagnosed Bio

1 Comment

Hi. My name is Erin and I’m 28 years old. The first time I ever heard of Cushing’s was a couple weeks ago while doing a search for hormonal imbalance. I’ll explain why later. I am currently doing a 24 hour urine cortisol test, and thought that in between peeing in the large container, I’d share what little story I have.ufc

I have always been a normal weight and healthy, well, up until about 5 years ago. I mean, obesity was NEVER a word that had to be used to describe my weight. I’m 5’8″ and lingered around 140 lbs my entire life. I was quite the drinker, too. I started gaining weight when I was about 22 or 23, and started taking Adderol to get the weight down, and it worked like a charm. (I am currently a recovering alcoholic and have been in recovery for over a year now.)

When I started trying to get sober, I noticed little things, but mainly the weight gain. I have always had larger hips and thighs and a smaller waist, so when I began to look 6 months pregnant, I thought it was odd (and embarrasing). I have bruised very easy every since I was a teenager, but in the past few years the bruises come easier and are quite large. My acne will just not quit, and I started sprouting these thick hairs on my face, chest, and abdomen. My face has ballooned out like a pumpkin, and I don’t hardly recognize myself anymore.

In May 2012 I had a miscarriage at 12 weeks. During the pregnancy I started getting these purple stretch marks all over my thighs and hips, and since I had neve been pregnant before, decided this was normal. Before then I was having trouble getting pregnant, but just chalked it up to bad timing. After the miscarriage, I noticed my menstrual cycles were different. They had shortened from 26-27 days to 22 days, and just didn’t seem right. I started seeing my gynecologist every month, but kept getting dismissed because it hadn’t been a full year since the loss, and my hormones were probably still imbalanced. I did get them to test for PCOS, and everything came back normal, including an ultrasound, which just made me seem crazy.  I switched gyns and eventually had a hormonal blood test, which revealed very low estrogen and progesterone, and I was referred to a fertility specialist. Another blood test there revealed my ovaries are not responding very well and not secreating enough of the AMH hormone.

About a month and a half ago I decided to battle the bulge, and joined a gym and changed my diet. After 2 weeks of cardio and strenth training almost every day, I hadn’t lost a pound. Then at week 3, I finally noticed a 2 pound weight loss, but that’s when the knee pain started. For no reason at all, my knees became VERY sore, swollen, and were bruising from the inside of the joint. I saw an orthopedic who couldn’t find any evidence of injury, gave me a cortisone shot in each knee, and sent me on my way. I should also mention that a week before that I had a cortisone injection in my back for a herniated disc that was causing sciatic nerve pain.

A few days after the last set of injections in my knees, I started feeling very ill and run down. I had also just missed a period for the first time in my reproductive history, and after a negative blood pregnancy test, was told my hormones were too low for my period to start on its own. I thought I was feeling under the weather because of the missed period, so that’s when I started looking up hormonal imbalances online. When I came across the word Cushing’s, I couldn’t stop reading about it. I thought, oh my god, these people are me! They look like me! Thinking back over the years, all of these individual symptoms could be explained away due to stress, inactivity, lifestyle change, etc. But collectively, I started to see the bigger picture.

So, I am currently testing with my PCP. I am selfishly hoping that I get a quick diagnosis, or if it isn’t Cushing’s, that they find some other reason for all of these symptoms. But from what I’ve read this is going to be a long process.

Desirae (Desirae805), Undiagnosed Bio

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I am a 24 year old newly graduated registered nurse (dec 2011). Who is currently undergoing testing to confirm or r/o cyclic cushings at UCLA.

I have always struggled with my weight and self esteem and I finally had enough in april when I went to see an endo to see what was going on I mean how could I not be losing weight netting 1100-1200 calories aday and doing spin class and 5k walks! I have done every diet known to man and ws even anorexic for a while.

I had elevated urine test at UFC of 69.7, not high enough to confirm cushing but is very suspect because of my s/s. I have round, face, abd obesity (most people think I am pregnant), stria, hair loss, fatigue, anxiety, tachycardia, muscle cramps (low potassium), buffalo hump, and so on and so on. I am so frustrated I just want to cry all the time, I just want to know what is wrong.

Curently I am to see my doctor in 6 weeks and have 10 24 urines and 12 salivary cortisols to do. I am a nurse and doing a 24 urine at work is hard. I am supposed to get married next year and I want to feel beautiful not sick, not tired, not neck pain, and not heavy.

I am tired of hearing you probably don’t have that it’s rare when obviously something is going on. AND I HATE hearing your YOUNG you can lose weight when ever you want.

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