Cushing’s Suppport and Research Foundation
Cushing’s Disease It sounds as though it should be something soft or fluffy; something that would be okay. I’d never heard of Cushing’s Disease until January 26, 2007.
That’s the date my endocrinologist recognized several physical characteristics in me that were typical of patients with excess production of the hormone cortisol, a constellation of symptoms referred to as “Cushing’s Syndrom.”
By February 2, I was undergoing a CT and MRI scan for a possible tumor on the pituitary gland. I was scared and it didn’t take me long to realize that “Cushing’s” is not soft or fluffy.
I underwent two surgeries at Cedar’s Sinai Medical Center in April and June of 2007. The second surgery removed my entire pituitary gland. For more information on my Cushing’s experience go to www.nursing.advanceweb.com (for Nurses and search under Kathie Harrington. The article was posted on 9-18-08 and is titled “Cortisol, Cushing’s, and Me.”) www.rehabilitation-director.advanceweb.com (for Rehabilitation Directors and search under Kathie Harrington. The article was posted on 1-20-09 and is titled “The Undiagnosed Truth.”) Another article about my experience with language processing post surgery is titled “Language and Processing Problems with Cushing’s and What to do About Them.” This is posted on the CSRF site with a search under Kathie Harrington.
Characteristics of Cushing’s Disease ARE:
- Abdominal Weight Gain
- Poor Concentration
- Poor Short Term Memory
- Excessive Hair Growth
- Red, Ruddy Face and Neck
- Extra fat around the back of the neck (buffalo hump)
- Round Face (moon shape)
- Fatigue/Muscle Weakness
- Menstrual Irregularity
- Stretch Marks on abdomen/thighs
- Hip and Shoulder Weakness
- Swelling of feet/legs
- Excessive Hunger
- Excessive Thirst
- Frequent Urination
Cushing’s is rare and most often found in women between the ages of 20 and 40 (I am not within that range!) Cushing’s can also occur during childhood.