Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Signs & Symptoms of Cushing's Disease/Syndrome

Cortisol Baby above
Have you ever been asked, "When are you due?" and you're not pregnant?  Do you have a pot belly but you eat like a bird?  Tired all the time, except when you're so wired you can't sleep, and even then you're tired?  That and more are:

Signs & Symptoms of Cushing's Disease/Syndrome

Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor, but I don't trust that 98% of endocrinologists know a lot about Cushing's.  So don't believe me or them, do your own research.

You do NOT have to have ALL of the symptoms below to have Cushing's.

More "Official" Symptoms

If you feel like a hypochondriac, buck up, you may just have Cushing's!
  • acne
  • anxiety
  • bone loss (osteopenia or osteoporosis)
  • bone pain or tenderness
  • "buffalo" hump 
    My lovely Cushing's "buffalo" hump
    shown here in an MRI
  • cognitive dysfunction (loss of words, brain fog, memory loss, etc.)
  • darkening of the skin (hyperpignmentation)
  • decreased fertility or infertility
  • depression
  • easy bruising
  • edema in hands and feet
  • erectile dysfunction
  • excess sweating
  • glucose intolerance
  • hair where it shouldn't be (hirsutism)
  • headache/migraine
  • high blood pressure
  • high blood sugar / diabetes mellitus
  • high cholesterol and triglycerides (hyperlipidemia)
  • hypothyroidism
  • impotence
  • increased appetite
  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • infections
  • insomnia
  • insulin resistance
  • irregular to no menstruation
  • little to no libido
  • loss of hair where it should be
  • lowered immune system
  • mood swings and irritability
  • muscle weakness
  • PAIN
  • potbelly
  • purple striae
  • rapid weight gain
  • red face (plethora)
  • round/puffy "moon" face
  • severe fatigue
  • thin arms and legs
  • thinning skin
  • thyroid nodules
  • upper body obesity
  • vision loss (especially peripheral)
  • wounds slow to heal

Less "Official" Signs & Symptoms

  • cherry angiomas
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • vitamin D deficiency
  • diabetes insipidus
  • reversed diurnal rhythm (up at night, tired during day)
  • supraclavicular fat pads (see photo B)
  • hypercalcemia
    • causing kidney stones
  • large breasts in women
    • causing men to stare shamelessly
  • scalloped tongue
  • vision problems
  • seborrheic dermatitis
  • snoring
  • sleep apnea
  • stiff joints (during highs for cyclical)
  • lack of sweating
  • very young looking for your age
  • backache, neckache, headache, everythingache, which occur with routine activities
  • cannot lose weight without starvation (and even then maybe not)
  • loss of friends due to 
    • mood
    • fatigue
    • inability to be physically active
    • shame or ridicule about appearance (by yourself or others)
    • having to stay at home to collect buckets of urine, etc.
  • disbelief of others of your symptoms
  • others getting tired of hearing about your Cushing's symptoms and all the urine you've collected on your last high
  • then I digressed...

Signs & Symptoms of Cyclical Cushing's

  • Same as regular Cushing's but some are more present during highs or lows
  • bursts of energy or mania for a period of time (aka "highs")
  • extreme fatigue for a period of time (not necessarily as long as the energy, aka "lows")
  • spurts of weight gain (maintain for weeks then all of a sudden up 10 lbs with no food or activity changes)
  • cortisol withdrawal symptoms right after the high
  • striae get darker in highs and lighter in lows

I'll post more as I think of them...


Unknown said...

This is an awesome list!!

Unknown said...

I have about all of these. I was diagnosed with MS in 2006. All my drs try to group it under MS. Then MS dr says it doesn't seem like a normal MS symptom. I have feel crazy and like no one believes me.

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