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Kathryn (Kathryn), Pituitary Bio

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Originally posted February 7, 2008

Hello,
My name is Kathryn and I am new to the site. I know it sounds silly but I feel a bit shy and embarrased about introducing myself. This is probably because I have spent so much time over the last eight years being very upset in social situations due to my appearance and inability to think clearly. Cushings has ruined a lot of my life and left me quite worried about the future, but I am trying to come to terms with it.

On the bright side I have been very lucky to have very uncomplicated surgery for removal of my pituitary adenome. I am on replacement of cortisol, thyroxine and soon to be on growth hormone. With a bit of luck I will soon be feeling better.

Unfortunately the excess cortisol has been masking severe osteoarthritis and so I will soon be going for a hip replacement.

 

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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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Emma (emma22), Undiagnosed Bio

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Hi there,

I’m not really sure where to start! I’m 22, and work full time (10-12 hour shifts) as a porter in the operating department of a city centre hospital- so i’m very very active, constantly walking/lifting/carrying on a daily basis.

I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue when i was 13 after a bout of severe flu/repeated shingles infections, and never really recovered, but i was gradually well enough to live a more or less normal teenage life. I have never struggled with my weight (a constant 9 stone at 5 foot 5), until a year ago, when i suddenly started suffering from extreme weight gain (7 stone in 10 months), fatigue, acne, mood swings, hair loss where there should be hair/hair growth where there shouldn’t be, stria, irregular periods (and when they arrive they’re incredibly heavy, buffalo hump, heat intolerance and all manner of horrible symptoms.

I’ve been diagnosed after tests and ultrasounds with PCOS and hypothyroidism, and am currently being treated with 75mg thyroxine (to be increased), and am due to start on metformin.

There’s been very little improvement in how i feel, and after a pretty horrible meeting with the endo, in which all she really did was call me fat, tell me to stop the late night trips to mcdonalds (I’M VEGAN! mcdonalds is pretty much the antichrist to us!) and refer me to the dietician. i felt really let down and all i could do was try to hold the tears in until i got back to the car.

she didn’t seem to realise that for a 22 year old woman to be feeling more like a 90 year old, is a pretty horrific experience. but i digress…

i’m due to be tested for cushings in a few days time with the low dose dexamethasone, and i know this is awful to say, but i’d jump for joy knowing what’s going on with my body at last.

although i know i have pcos and an underactive thyroid, i just know that there’s something else going on with me, and unfortunately my consultant just won’t listen to me.

my social life has disapeared, i just feel too goddam ill, not to mention my incredibly unsupportive boss, who seems to want to make my life a living hell because i’ve had to take a lot of time off work- she even screamed at me until i cried when i collapsed at work one day. i’ve actually taken to hiding in the toilets in the afternoon to have a nap, and to regroup, just so i can get through the day. never mind that i’m a 22 year old who has gained 7 stone in under a year- it’s hard to feel great about myself!!!

anyway, hopefully one day i’ll find out what’s wrong with me

this was me last year:

 

and this is me now:

quite a difference huh?! and apologie for the poor fashion sense!
anyway, wish me luck, and and my best wishes for everyone going through diagnoses/treatment for any health issues, we’ll get there in the end 🙂

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