Possible Cushing's?

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi everyone, I'm a 28 year old female and I'm having some symptoms that are making me concerned. I have gained 50-60 lbs in the last 9 or so months and have recently noticed a "buffalo hump" on my back. I am also starting to grow more hair on my chin and neck. I've always been petite and have never been this heavy before in my life. I have been eating better and exercising but I still gain weight. My face us getting rounder and most of the weight gain seems to be in my face, neck, and trunk. I have a 16 month old, so everyone keeps telling me I just need to lose the baby weight. However, a few months after I gave birth I had lost the weight and then some. It just started shooting up somewhat recently. I'm also a lot bigger than I ever was while pregnant. I have always had very irregular periods and bad acne.

The appearance of the buffalo hump is making me think of Cushing's as a possibility. I made an appointment with my PCP for next Friday (3/16) to ask for a cortisol test. Any advice or insight from anyone?

Also, it may be unrelated but I have been having stomach pains since pregnancy that a doctor is thinking is my gallbladder. I'm having an endoscopy and colonoscopy done soon to rule out other causes and if those are normal then I'll be having my gallbladder out. But a nurse practitioner at the office I've been going to said it could be my pancreas and not my gallbladder?

Thanks.

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  • Posted

    Hi and welcome.  Your symptoms certainly sound like they could be Cushings, for me particulalry the excess hairiness.  Not everyone experiences this but I certainly di, also excessive sweating.  Whilst waiting for a diagnosis I did not tell my GP these symptoms because I thought they were just personal problems, then I happened to watch an episode of Doc Martin who said that these 2 symptoms could mean Cushings.  I went to my GP and was immediately tested for Cushings.  Do write down everything you think of.  We all have very different symptoms.  What also interests me is your mention of Gallbladder.  I am trying to find a common factor in those of us who get Cushings and recently I have come across several people who have had gallbladder problems.  I di and eventually had my Gallbladder out a few years ago.  I hope some of the others will reply.  Let us know how you get on please.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. I am definitely planning on taking a list of symptoms with me to my appointment. I'm worried because my doctor is not the most supportive. I'm afraid she will just brush me off and send me on my way. But something is definitely not right. I'm in the US and my insurance requires me to see my primary care doctor first, but should I ask for a referral to an endocrinologist?

      That's really interesting about the gallbladder issues. Perhaps there is a connection.

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  • Posted

    I've also had fairly bad headaches, always behind my right eye. Not sure if that could be related as well.

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  • Posted

    Hi again, there is a lady on the forum who lives in the US and is very knowledgeable about Cushings.  She comes up as Cyclic Cushings and I hope she will be on the forum soon.  Everybody seems to be offline but rest assured others will get back to you.  Your doctor has probably never seen a Cushings patient so will struggle to make a diagnosis, they are sometimes scared to make that diagnosis.  The headaches could be part of the Cushings depending on where your tumour is.  It can be either in the Pituitary Gland or the Adrenal Glands.  Hope you hear from the others.

     

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  • Posted

    Hello there, your story sounds exactly like mine. After I had my baby  2. 5 years ago. I started to gain weight.  I became bigger than during my pregnancy.  Terrible headaches, high blood pressure which I never had before. I'm sure you know all the symptoms of cushing's I had them all. I also thought that the pain was because of my gullblader.  After the ct was done we found out that I  had an adenoma on my adrenal gland, functioning one . First I saw endocrinologist they did tens of tests, and now I'm going to see a surgeon next week.  My advice to you is going straight to endocrinologist, don't waist your time with primary doc. It took an year for them to diagnose me. 

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    • Posted

      Yes, I've also been having issues with high BP and mine had always been normal or slightly lower than normal! I am worried that maybe my gallbladder isn't actually an issue and that it's something else because I don't have any other symptoms consistent with gallbladder issues. I would love to go straight to an endocrinologist, but I have to get a referral from my primary doctor for insurance to pay.

      I'm glad you found your answers and are working toward a solution!

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  • Posted

    Just an update. I saw my primary care doctor today. She did what I thought she would do and rolled her eyes and said I must not be eating well or exercising. I mentioned Cushing's and what I knew about it and she scoffed and said, "it's a little more complicated than that." Which, again, is the attitude I expected. She did agree to test my cortisol and is also going to order tests for prolactin, TSH, T4, testosterone, insulin like growth factor, and DHEA sulfate. I'll be having the blood work done either Thursday or Friday of next week. She wouldn't give me a referral to and endocrinologist yet, though, which is a little frustrating.

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    • Posted

      Hi , wait for the results.  If cortisol is high, she has to send u to see endocrinologist. I'm having my surgery in two weeks.  Hope it will fix my problems because I'm getting worse each day.  Everything is hurting. Please keep us updated.  I will do the same. 

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    • Posted

      So glad that you are having your surgery soon.  Please let us know how you get on, how you feel etc as it will help others waiting for their ops.  We are always honest on this forum so do say exactly how you felt.  Good luck and we will all be thinking of you.
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    • Posted

      Thank u Vicky, just few days left. I pray God for relief.  I have never imagined Cushing's is so hard to deal with. I will keep u updated how I feel.  Oh, by the way I want to ask you a question.  I know after surgery they give us cortisol through medicine for some time till the other gland wakes up. What about aldosterone and other hormones that were produced by the gland that was removed?we still need them after gland is removed don't we? So my point is how we get aldosteron if remaining gland is sleeping and the second removed? Please let me know if you have any idea.  Thank you

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    • Posted

      Hi.  So glad you do not have long to wait now.  I myself had a tumour removed from my Pituitary Gland rather than my Adrenal Glands so I cannot answer your specific question.  I am sure that there will be someone else on the Forum who had similar to you.  For me I am still on drugs to replace the hormones I no longer produce.  I am sure that your Endo will do the same for you.  Sorry I cannot be of anymore help. If there are others out there who have had Adrenal surgery can they answer Irene's questions.  Take care and keep in touch.

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  • Posted

    Hi Just be patient. If your results are positive she will refer you to an Endo.  Your G.P. has probably never seen a Cushings patient before and is still of the opinion that we are all fat, lazy people!  You know your body and she does not.  Let us know when you have your results.  You are at least now on the way.  Good Luck.
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  • Posted

    Hi you definitelly sound like me. I had a 16 month old too.  When I was browsing on the internet about how to lose weight, I learned about buffalo hump incidentally. I have it for years but don’t know when it started to appear. It was going to be checked when I was pregnant, but I didn’t want to be exposed to X-ray during pregnancy. Then I read about Cushing’s syndrome. I have been having irregular periods all my life except when I was on birth control for 3 years. I was tested for PCOS and it was negative.  Also, I have an high glucose and cholesterol level.  I had a gestational diabetes from the begining of the pregnancy.  I have a round face, excessive hair growth, balding, unnecessary anxiety and sometimes  high blood pressure with no reason. Some other symptoms that I am recently complaining about are  easy bruising, slow healing of cut and increase in the number of moles. So, I started to think that these could be happening  because of Cushing’s syndrome. So yesterday I asked my pediatrician to be checked for the cortisol level. She directly ordered saliva test after listening my story. I just did my saliva test. 
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    • Posted

      Wow, that sounds a lot like me! I've also been tested for PCOS several times and it's always negative. This last time they found 3 fibroids in my uterus.

      I'm glad you're being tested. I wish I could have done the saliva test. I just had my AM cortisol drawn this morning. I was told it needed to be done around 8 am and arrived at the clinic before 8, but they didn't actually draw it until 9. I'm hoping that doesn't mess up my results. Good luck, let me know what your results show when you get them!

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