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Jenny (Jenny), Adrenal Bio

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Hi I am a 34 year old female who has just been diagnosed with Cushing’s Syndrome.  I am married with two children ages 10 and 4.  My husband is an active duty Marine and I am a former Marine.

I’ve always been healthy up until now.  I had pretty much a yawn worthy medical history and I wish I still did.  I guess it started two years ago when I started having to use the bathroom frequently at night.  I did go to the doctor and they just told me to quit drinking before bedtime.  I chalked it up to having children and maybe just a weak bladder.  I wasn’t thinking rare disease.

Then I noticed that I started to gain weight and my close weren’t fitting right at all.  I chalked that up to sitting at my desk job all day and not getting enough exercise.  I did go to the doctor to have my thyroid tested and it came back normal.  So once again I am thinking it is me and I just need to exercise more.

My husband received orders to California and we moved here in July of 2012.  By this time my emotions are all over the place, my weight keeps creeping up but I think it is just stress.  Determined to get back in shape I start exercising everyday at 630 in the morning.  Normally I am not a morning person by any means but since we moved here I find it hard to sleep.  I worked out for three months following an exercise regiment but the weight stayed on.  My periods started to be further in between and would only last a couple of days, I went to the doctor for that as well.  I was told there is “irregular” periods and then there is “irregular” periods and mine were not that bad.  I had them test my thyroid again, it was normal.

Once again determined to beat the weight I started walking vigourously and watching my calorie intake.  I noticed that I would have tingling in my toes at times and that my calves seemed weak.  I thought I pulled a groin muscle but I didn’t let it slow me down I just kept going.  My face started to get rounder and puffier, my skin seemed so thin that I could see all of the vessels.  I knew something was wrong but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

I started to do my research on the internet and that is when I discovered Cushing’s.  But I thought it is so rare I can’t have this.  I started going to a Chiropractor for neck pain and when they took my blood pressure they were so alarmed they took it a couple of times to double check.

In March I went back to the doctor and told them to test my cortisol levels.  My husband was due to deploy in April so he planned a surprise vacation to Angel’s Camp in Northern California.  By this time I can hardly walk because of my pulled groin muscle, but I was determined to have fun with my family.

The second day we were on vacation I could hardly walk so I went to prompt care and had x-rays done.  The x-rays did not show anything so they sent me on my way with crutches.  By the 4th day of vacay I stayed in bed resting because I really couldn’t walk.  I got up to use the restroom and I had the crutches and fell backwards.  I ended up fracturing my hip.  I had surgery and told the doctors I was currently getting tested for Cushing’s and that my 24 hour urine test came back abnormal.

They had a really hard time keeping my blood pressure under control during my hospital stay.  While I was on vacation the endocrinologist office had called me to schedule an appointment but first I had to have another 24 hour urine test and dexamethasone test done before the appointment which was scheduled for April 23.  Well upon our arrival back home I was referred to Orthopedics because of my hip.

Ortho took x-rays and it was determined that after the surgery my hip was not aligned right and a second surgery ORIF was needed. It was conveniently scheduled for April 23 (the day I was supposed to see Endo).  I had my second hip surgery done and while I was in the hospital they were so concerned with my heart rate and blood pressure they did a CAT Scan for pulmonary embolism.

Well thankfully I did not have a PE but they did discover a nodule on my left adrenal gland.  I am having it removed on June 11th and from what I’ve read I am terrified of the aftermath.

Is there any good news out there?  I really hope so, I just want to be healthy and enjoy life again!

Lavane V (lvowell), Pituitary Bio

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The pituitary gland

The pituitary gland

I was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease in September 2012.  I started my search for a diagnosis back in March.

So here is how my story goes… in January of 2012, I decided that i was going to change my diet and exercise.  I had weight to lose from a previous pregnancy.  I began working with a nutrionist and personal trainer.  I spent a lot of time working out and logging everything that went into my mouth.  I even tracked my water intake. It became very obvious that for a hard as I was working that something was wrong.  i was gaining weight instead of losing.  I was also feeling very run down.  I had also started noticing that I did not have very many patience for much of anything and I felt very uptight about silly stuff.  I decided to go have my hormones checked.

At first the doctor told me that I was extremely deficiet on vitamin D and needed to drink a lot more water.  He said we need to run more tests.  He did a salivary test and some bloodwork to check my corisol levels.  On my follow up with him he said that i had very high cortisol levels and wanted to run more test.  He then went on vacation for a few weeks.  I was unable to get answers from his nurse and then he was so behind when he came back that i could never get an appointment.

I started researching on the interenet about high cortisol levels.  Everything that I was reading sounded like me.  Weight gain (i had gained 100 lb), exhaustion, stretch marks, blurred vision, high blood pressure, water retention, etc.  I found another endocrinologist and made an appointment.  I told him all my symptoms and what I felt was wrong with me.  He asked me what i wanted him to do.  I suggested some of the tests that  I had read about because I thought i might have cushings and he said, “ok, let’s get started but, cushings is very rare and I doubt that is what is going on”.

After running blood work, 24 urine test, plus many more test, he told me that I had Cushing’s Syndrome.  He indicated that this was very rare and that he had not seen but one case before.  He ordered an MRI.  The radiologist that read my MRI said that he did not see a tumor.  However, he did say that he saw “sinus disease”.  Now I have never hear of that so i questioned it.  I was told that I would need to go to a ENT doctor for learn more about that.

The endo doc wanted to proceed with the IPSS test.  I keep studying on the interenet about the disease and all the testing.  I even watched a few pituitary surgeries.  I just felt like I need to know everything possible besides, I could not sleep so this was a great way to spend hours.   I also kept reading all that I could on this site as well. I met with a local neurosurgeon and he scheduled the IPSS test.  I asked him about how we would proceed if my test results showed positive for a pit tumor. I was basically told since no tumor was seen in my MRI that the IPSS test would help them to decided which side of my pit they would take.  I was totally not comfortable with just losing part of my master gland.  I kept my scheduled test but started to research experts in cushing’s.  Then I researched which were covered by my insurance.

In the meantime, I kept the appointment for the IPSS since I didnt want to lose any time.  I checked into the hospital and got prepped for my test only to have the doctor come in to tell me that we would not be doing the procedure because the company that made the medications used for testing no longer was making the mediation.  Now then, how do you not know this before you prep someone for the procedure?!?!  I told the doctor that there were other hospital that were treating cushing patients and were performing this test.  I had been reading about them on the boards.  He told me that there was not anyone in the US that had the meds.  That was when I really knew that I was going to have to leave my state to get treatment.

I called my endo and explained what had happend and asked for a referral to MD Anderson in Houston, TX.  I also went online and did a self referral.  I just kept following up with them.  They have a pituitary tumor board that reviews cases.  My case was approved and I had my first appointment in Sept 2011.  I spent on day running tests, having an MRI and meeting with the a new endo.

Within 48 hours, he confirmed that I did have cushing’s disease and showed me the tumor on my pituitary.  In November 2011, I underwent transphenoidal pit surgery.  An 8mm tumor was removed.  There was some concern because the tumor was right up against my cavernous sinus cavity.  This is where your carotid artery is and the surgeon did not want to get close to this artery.

Unfortunalely, I did not experince a “crash” after surgery.  My levels did indicate they were in the normal range so the doctors sent me home with a perscription of hydrocortisone.

English: Cavernous sinus

English: Cavernous sinus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

for me.  He is going to confer with my endocrinologist and then I will go from there.

Shannon (Shannon), Undiagnosed Bio

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Hi, my name is Shannon.  I’ve had years of frustration with symptoms that go unexplaiined.

I read about Cushing’s today while trying to seek out explainations for the 9 years of issues I’ve had.  This includes multiple trips in an ambulance to the ER with elevated blood pressure, heart rate, and SEVER PANIC ATTACKS.  Mine do not last 10 minutes, they can go on for hours if Im not given Ativan.

Also, in the past couple years I wake up out of dead sleep with a sudden panic and jolt.  My heart feels its going a million miles a minute.  Sometimes it goes away after a few minutes, but a couple times its lasted longer.  Also, people accuse me of pregnancy even though I am not pregnant and I carry weight around my midsection.

I have a round face, and I do have a hump on the back of my neck.  I experience mood swings, and depression.  The repeated attacks that I have with panic, is wearing on me and my emotional aspect of knowing I look pregnant despite diet and exercise is very exhausing.

If anyone has any thoughts or answers, please help.  Oh…I have these episodes of panic daily…Ive had thousands of them.

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)

Judi L (judi), Undiagnosed Bio

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I have been seeing the endo for the last couple of weeks.  Lots of blood tests, saliva test, 24 hour urine test.  Thyroid scan, with nodules, thyroid biopsy benign, small goiter,and diagnosed with hashimoto.

Currently type 2 diabetic fairly controlled with Victoza, but very insulin resistance.  First blood tests showed high cortisol, high ACTH, second series of blood tests showed normal to high cortisol and still high ACTH.  Doctor said possible cushings.  Have had extreme fatigue, beard on chin.  Muscle and bone pain consistently.  Wake up with headache and extreme fatigue.Bone scan diagnosed with osteopenia.  Appt. with endo tomorrow to get results of 24 hr. urine test.  Salavia test said was normal.

Have problems with sleep, sleep all day off and on, or have days when I cannot go to sleep at all.  She said that I had the hump, muffin top, and belly fat, lean arms and legs.  Eyes are puffy all the time now.  Have problems losing weight even though I eat healthy all the time, and have excluded gluten, sugar, and going to go diary free.  Eat lots of vegetables and fruit as well as a little protein.  Have not had a mri or cat scan yet.  Probably will be next on the list.  Will post after my doctor’s appt. tomorrow and update my bio.

I have a lot of symptoms of cushings and she mentioned this with my second doctors visit after the first series of blood test, but wanted to do other tests to make sure.

Lisa (sagrae), Undiagnosed Bio

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Im a mother of 4 use to work full time till I got to sick and very tired.  Not sure what I have been to alot of drs. My tish flucuates my t4 is always in low range of normal, my cortisol tends to be very low in am and through the day. Ive done saliva test blood tests and urine tests. Im either boarderline or below and its been almost 2 years, 2 surgeries and alot of stress and financial hardship to my family. I had sleep apnea surgery first, then my ovaries removed (that proved the pcos i knew i had). Ive now been told I have reactive hypoglycemia. Been put on many different anti depressants to control my moods, since I never know from one minute to the next how I will be.

saliva test   reference range

1.6               7.0-10.0

1.9               3.0-6.0

.9                  2.0-4.0

.9                  <1.5

serum cortisol tested 1 month later

.6                 4.0-22.0

free testo

3                  2-45

 

t4 tested 1 year ago

5.0               4.7-13.3

t4 tested 2 weeks ago

1.11            0.8-1.8

tsh tested 3months ago

1.94            .40-4.50

tsh tested 1 year ago

4.14             .35-4.94

my acth test

20                6-50

lh test

58                10-54.7  keep in mind ive had a total hysterectomy 6 months ago

 

Im wondering how a dr can figure out what is wrong with me if everything flucuates all the time, and im wondering what is wrong with me? please anybody out there please shed some light on what this could be . Theres days i really feel out of my mind. Current medications started 3 months ago lithium 900 welbutrin 150 estradial 1mg provera 5mg

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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