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buffalo hump, headaches, foggy vision, weight gain???
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buffalo hump, headaches, foggy vision, weight gain???

Hello all...
I am a 26 year old female with overall normal good heath, except for the last couple of years. I feel as though I am falling apart...and I'm only 26. I have been constantly putting on weight, 50-55 pounds within the last two years. Even though I'm not eating anymore. It also seems to all go to my stomach, it looks like I'm 9 months preg and about to pop. (It's not like I'm on my butt all day eating bon-bons...lol) I take my kids for walks frequently and I only eat two meals a day (I'm not a lunch eater, never have been.)
Now next to the weight gain I have a ugly buffalo hump (not sure if it is that) It is hard almost like a bone under it. I noticed it the end of last year. It is big and I feel like I can only wear collard shirts. I feel tired all the time, which is hard when you have two little kids. My arms feel really weak. My back kills me just to bath my kids. I have little back problems due to a car accident 4 years ago, but it feels worse now than after the accident. I'm begining to wonder if the back pain is coming from something else. I also have had Migraine headaches my whole life (a family curse) I have been getting a lot of headaches lately, but they feel different than before, more in the back of my head and top of my neck. My vision seems to be bad too. I mean I can see just fine. I have always had perfect vision, but it seems foggy now, like I can see fine, but its cloudy...hope you understand what I mean.
I am a divorced single mommy of two. I am living on child support and I don't have heath insurance (a very log story.) I'm trying to get on adult medicaid, but it doesn't really pay much. I can't afford to just go into the doctor because I have questions. So can someone please help me figure out if I need to see a doctor, or if it is all normal getting old stuff.
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Also~ Can anyone tell me if a buffalo hump is hard or soft. I looked it up and it says a fatty area, but does that mean it is suppost to be soft. Because mine isn't, so maybe its not a buffalo hump??? Please clear this confusion up for me..lol
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"Buffalo humps" and weight gain are common in people with Cushing's Syndrome. Other symptoms of Cushing's Syndrome are:

Weight gain, particularly around your midsection and upper back
Fatigue
Muscle weakness
Rounding of your face (moon face)
Facial flushing
Fatty pad or hump between your shoulders (buffalo hump)
Pink or purple stretch marks (striae) on the skin of your abdomen, thighs, breasts and arms
Thin and fragile skin that bruises easily
Slow healing of cuts, insect bites and infections
Depression, anxiety and irritability
Thicker or more visible body and facial hair (hirsutism)
Acne
Irregular or absent menstrual periods in females
Erectile dysfunction in males
High blood pressure

Cushing's syndrome is considered to be a rare disease. If you have any of these symptoms, then consider calling your physician and getting a referral (if you need one) to an Endocrinologist.

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I agree completely with plategirl.  I was going to suggest cushings syndrome also, after I had seen a report on it you sound exaclty like what the women were going thru.  Please please see if you can get to a doctor, I sympathize grealty with your situation.  But if this is your problem it can be taken care, if and when you finally get to a doctor please let them know that they should check your pittuary, and thryoid as well.  I wish you well
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I had my thyroid tested last July and it was fine my doctor said. And he said that the only test once a year.
Thank you all for your input and advise
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Just to let you know if an endocrinolgist doesnt request the testing usually general doctors only run one thyroid panel, to get an accurate thryoid test you must have all the t levels of thyroid checked as well.  My sister who was never feeling good went to her regualr doctor who did  a thryoid test told her it was fine.  she than went to an endo doctor who ran the  complete testing and she had hypothyrodism. Also please do look into cushings.
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I agree strongly with AlChris. This is very important --- and you can't keep on going like this.

Here's a link that may be helpful and for your sake, I really do hope that you see an Endocrinologist soon. They should be looking at your cortisol levels:

http://endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/cushings/cushings.htm

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Goodness I will try and search the web for you and see if I come up with anything.  You definelty cannot keep living that way it is not in your head.  
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Okay this is really freaky! I have been looking at the symptoms for the Cushings and I swear I have most of them. Even little things that I really never thought about. I hope its all in my head. But seriously, it scares me. Does anyone know of a websight that I can talk to a doctor and ask questions that you don't have to pay a fee for? We have a doctors free clinic here, but its really hard to get into. Plus I don't know if they do test there and if they would just send me somewhere else.
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Not my ex-husband....lol
He has become a drug addict since the divorce, so you know where all his money goes...lol !
I'm in the process of trying to get on Utah Medicaid, but it don't really pay much. My old ward has a few doctors, so I thought I'd see if one of them might help. Even though their field is different.
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Oh another thing I should mention. If you are having vision problems you should get to the eye doctor because if you do have a pitituary tumor that is causing this they may be able to see it upon examination. The pituitary tumor is located in your head behind the eyes and if it is big enough it can cause pressure on the optic nerve and can cause vison problems. I am starting tohave those problems at this time, as the tumor grows. I have been seeing double for a few weeks now and I am having problems focusing from looking at one thing to another. I have an appt with the eye doctor on the 30th.

If you are also dieting and exercising you butt off trying to lose this weight and you do have cushings, good luck, because it wont budge. I think its pretty darn impossible to lose weight if you have cushings. Thats my opinion anyways because like I said I have had gastric bypass, and can not eat much and I have gained up to 20 pounds in one month.

Maybe MedHelp should add an endocrinology or cushings forum for people like us. That would be really helpful.
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Does anyone have an idea on how much these test cost?
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Hey I think I know you !! How are you doing now ??



Cherish,

I can only tell you that you have to put yourself first. You have two children and if you don't take care of your health, it will have an effect on them. It is important that you do get seen. As far as footing the medical bill --- do you have family members' who can help you ? How about your ex husband ? If worse comes to worse, put the bill on your credit card and pay whatever you can every month. Talk to your physician and let him/her know the situation that you are in. There are some very compassionate physicians' out there who will try to help you the best way they can. Also, you may be able to get assistance from your state.... I would recommend calling your Senators. Trust me, they will try to help if they can.

If your physician prescribes medication for you --- check with WalMart or Target's pharmacy to get it refilled and also check online for that Partnership of Prescription America.
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Hello again. there are more responses on this thread than the other one, with more information, and the above posters are correct. They posted some great information about cushings disease.

However, you do not need to have you thyroid tested for cushings, this will not detect it. I have been there and done that. What you need it to have you cortisol levels tested, but be careful. I had my family care doc test me and he did the 24 hour urine test and my levels came back normal. I knew it had to be wrong because I just knew that I had cushings, so I went and saw a specialist. I went all the way across state to an endocrinoligist and they made me do a 3 day saliva cortisol test, then after that was complete I had to do a blood cortisol test, then finally they did the urine test. My saliva and blood test numbers were way off of the normal zone.

I was so relieved to finally find out why I had gained 120 pounds in a year, but then I got angry because if my family doc would have done a better job and given me the right tests sooner perhaps I wouldnt have gained so much weight. My cushings is caused by a tumor that is on my pituitary gland, so those of you who suspect cushings should have an mri done to see if you have this as well. Just to let you know, even though I have a tumor on my pituitary they will not remove it until it gets to a certain size, so I have to suffer from the side effects of cushings until then. (all of those that platlet girl posted...I have most of them) its a royal pain in the arse!!!
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I would definitely suggest contacting Sharmyn McGraw, the head of the UCLA Pituitary Patient Support Group. She is a wonderful person, has all kinds of helpful information for patients who need financial help and help finding doctors, and will do everything she can to help you.

Her email is ***@****. You might mention you heard about her from Ellen at Caring Counterparts.

Ellen
***@****
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Can I ask....what is caring counterparts?? Is it a store for counter parts?? Just curious.
Thank you so much for that information, by the way. I will for sure e-mail her. Is she a volunteer?
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:) Maybe I should take up selling spare parts for counters as well...

I started Caring Counterparts last October as a non-profit to help patients who have been undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for a long time and have complex conditions. We provide project management training and support to help patients approach their condition as a project, and doctors as resources.

I wanted to offer the service as a way of giving my 25-year search for a diagnosis meaning. (I decided to become the project manager of my own health in March of last year, and diagnosed myself within a week with a pituitary tumor and Cushing's symptoms. I had pituitary surgery in October and am in the process of getting my life back.)

The website is still being polished, but it's up and running:
www.caringcounterparts.com.

Thanks for asking. :)

I'm glad the information was helpful. Sharmyn's a good friend to any patient, and her work is all volunteer. She works with one of the best brain surgeons in the country.

Ellen
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lol...I guess it was kind of a dumb question, I just saw the counter parts and thought, "kitchen"...lol. Thats cool what you do. I went to the wesite, and I was the first one to vote for how I found the site (I feel so special...j/k.)
I'm going to e-mail her for sure. I think I'm going to make a list of all the problems I have been having in the last year or so, so she'll know more about what I have been feeling. I've been "surfing the web" looking at different medical pages on Cushings. I can't believe how many different signs there are that I have. A lot of them I just thought was from getting older or something...its crazy.
Thank you again for you help! I will let you know what happenes!
Cristen
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You're welcome - and thank you! I'm glad you found the website. :)

I like your idea of creating a list. I did kindof the same thing - I created a list of all possible Cushing's symptoms, and checked off the ones I had, and made a note of the ones that hadn't been tested yet so I didn't know if I had (like osteoporosis).

Please do let me know how things are going for you...

Ellen
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GOOD NEWS!!!! I was just approved for Utah medicaid. I am so excited that I can now go to the doctor and not have to pay an arm and a leg. I am now trying to figure out if we have a endo doctor here. St George Utah is in short supply when it comes to specialist. My obgyn is my PCP (weird I know) so I'm gonna make an appointment for him for another problem of mine and then hopefully he'll help get me in somewhere else.
Thanks to everyone for their help, it was much apprieciated!!!
I'll let you all know what I find out.
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