Cushing's Syndrome

Friday, September 26, 2008

Well, I got my results back from my endocrinologist yesterday. Did I mention that I LOVE this doctor? I had to fight my PCP to see her (I've fired him and will NOT be going back to his office) but my being proactive with my health proved worth it in the end.

Last Thursday I went to see Dr. Dahir for the first time. She sat down and asked me "So tell me your story. What's going on with you?" You mean you actually WANT to know what's going on with me? So I told her about the headaches, the hair growth, the weight gain, the mood swings, the period problems, etc. She automatically diagnosed PCOS but wanted to run a battery of tests to rule out everything else. She also put me on Metformin, a diabetic medication, to help with the PCOS and insulin resistance.

So they took vile after vile of blood and on Friday I went back and did my glucose tolerance test. On Sunday, I did a 24-hour urine collection (fun stuff). And now, after only a week of being under her care, I already know my results.

She called yesterday afternoon to discuss my lab results, which meant she had found something. She said my glucose, thyroid and estrogen levels all came back normal, so I'm not diabetic, nor do I have hyperthyroidism. Good to know! However, she said my urine analysis came back abnormal.

She said the level of the hormone cortisol was elevated. Normally, it would be between 10-20. When it gets around 50, they start to get alarmed. Mine came back at 208! Which meant I have Cushing's syndrome. To go read more about Cushing's, follow this link:

It's caused one of three ways. First, my adrenal glands (located above my kidneys) produce too much steroid, causing facial hair growth and weight gain, much like taking a synthetic steroid. Second, there could be a tumor on my pituitary gland causing it to secrete too much cortisol. Or third, there may be a tumor somewhere else in my body causing an overproduction of cortisol.

So now we have to do tests to see what my root cause is, and then we'll know how to treat it.

Even though something is wrong with me, I am so RELIEVED to know that there was something else causing this and it wasn't a failure on my part. I really try to be healthy and stay active, so it's been a VERY hard year for me with this weight gain and depression. Plus, all of the symptoms of Cushing's I have. It's nuts.

So yes...please say a prayer for me if you will and wish me luck. I'm glad to know what's wrong with me now. Now it's time for healing!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hear that, that is the sound of everyone writing down your doctor's name! And good for you firing your PCP.

    You've taken the first step of many, continued healing.

    3435 days ago
  • KIM0429
    Hi... My name is Kim. I was just stoping by your page, trying to get to know others with PCOS. I read your blog and was wondering if since you have Cushing's, does that cancel out the diagnosis of PCOS??? I was diagnosed with PCOS in Sept. 2001, but then in 2003 when my husband and I wanted to start to conceive, I started having trouble with high blood pressure nad depression and so my doctor tested me for Cushing's to see if that was what was wrong with me INSTEAD of the PCOS. I ended up have normal cortisol levels in my urine, so I didn't have it. Wow, that probably more than what you needed to know, I was just curious if you then have both syndromes or if like I said , one cancelling out the other... Kind of a personal question, sorry!!!
    3435 days ago
    dang that girlfriend of yours was right....sorry you have it Rach but I know that you are for sure gla to know that it truly "IS" something. Now I get to worry like a mom.
    love ya girlie

    3436 days ago
    As GI Joe used to say- "Knowing is half the battle!" You must be so relieved to FINALLY have some answers! Good for you for not just accepting some doctor's half-hearted response! Good for you for taking charge of your life! emoticon Now that your battle for diagnoses is ending, you can concentrate on treatment! I have no doubt you'll be just as successful with this task!

    And remember, you have many friends pulling for you! Stay strong! emoticon
    3436 days ago
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