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Addison's Disease Message Board

Addison's Disease Board Index


Oh...I hear the torture in you that I hear in myself. I am not diagnosed yet and I am going nuts trying to figure out what is wrong with me. I am currently awaiting more test results and another visit to the doctor. I empathize!!

Cushing's is very much like other endocrine diseases in that everyone responds to hormonal abnormalities differently. Few ever have all of the symptoms of any disorder but that shouldn't rule out the disease. Also, it takes many years (many!) for full blown Cushing's to arise in most people, while some never get the whole picture of symptoms. So most start out with just a few symptoms and add on more with time. Symptoms may also come and go as cortisol levels can vary or be cyclical in the early stages of the disease. Along those same lines, dexamethasone suppression testing that turns out normally can be very misleading. Most in the early stages of the disease WILL suppress normally and their doctors will send them away. You really need a doctor who understands this and has a high index of suspicion, if it is indicated.

There are quite a few Cushies who have true Hashimoto's which appears before Cushing's, I'm not sure if there is a relationship there or not. So, you don't have to have central hypothyroidism for the diagnosis. Some have concurrent sex hormone alterations due to FSH/LH abnormalities, some have GH deficiency, some don't...everyone is different with this one.

You may have misunderstood me in my first isn't what your cortisol is at any given moment in time, it is what it is OVER time. (Hence the 24 hour urine collections that Chris suggested) Quite a few cushies WILL have very low morning cortisol levels as a part of the "loss of diurnal variation" I mentioned but then later in the day have very high levels. Don't let your cortisol level throw you.

PCOS can indeed cause quite the constellation of symptoms but it should not cause the fatigue you mention, unless you have undiagnosed diabetes (which you said you had been worked up for and didn't have) or uncontrolled high blood pressure (which would be a result of obesity, not PCOS directly). MANY women are misdiagnosed with PCOS when they have Cushing's, because the elements of PCOS (and metabolic syndrome X) are a PART of the big picture of Cushing's.

That said, I certainly hope this isn't what is wrong with you. I hope you have an issues that is more easily addressed. But...if you don't look, you wont find a problem and this is something to just consider.

Good Luck to you and know you are not alone in your frustration!

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