Normal 24 hour cortisol, but I have a ton of other Cushing's symptoms?
Hi! So, I went to my college health center about 2 months ago. I was dieting (1200 cal/day) and exercising regularly for 3 1/2 months, but I just keep gaining weight. I am always tired, I have really bad headaches OFTEN, and I get dizzy a lot. I have gained like 75 pounds in the last 8 months, I started growing hair on my chin (which I wax off, because that's gross), I have purple stretch marks on my belly and inner thighs and I have this weird layer of fat on the back of my neck, sorta where C7 and T1 meet. My skin takes forever to heal, I have developed mild eczema and I occasionally get hives for no apparent reason, and all of the sudden I am allergic to raspberries.
My thyroid level are normal. My estrogen and testosterone level are also normal, but I am on birth control, so I don't know if that effects it. My glycerol and cholesterol levels were a little high, but my doctor didn't seem to think that was a problem.
My doctor told me that he thought I might have PCOS, so I went an got an ultrasound of my ovaries. I didn't have any cysts, so he ruled that out. His next theory was Cushing's. He ordered a 24 hour urinary cortisol test. My test came back negative for high cortisol. It was 39.8, and the normal range was from 4-50. I am taking a saliva test tonight to see if my night time cortisol is high.
Is it still possible for this to be Cushing's? I looked up the symptoms, and I have almost all of them, but apparently my cortisol levels don't indicate it. Anyone have any suggestions as to what could be wrong with me?
Yes - it is possible. One test does not rule Cushing's in and out.
Free cortisol can have issues (saliva tests may have same issue). Also you may be cyclical - and so you may be testing on a day that you are low, or your average may just be ok. I had it myself - I was low during the day and high at night so my urine tests were largely normal.
You need several sets of testing - over and over.
It sounds like you have the hump - do you have the clavicle fat pads?
No, my collar bones look normal. The worst part of all of this is the sleepiness. It's almost impossible for me to get up for my 8am class. So, if the saliva test comes back normal, should I continue getting tested? My doctor kind of have up on the cushing's idea when my urine came back normal, but he gave me the saliva test just to confirm. So it might be kind of hard to convince him to keep testing for Cushing's.
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