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Cindy's Story

Hi, I'm Cindy, age 51, live in St. Charles, Missouri, near St. Louis.

I'm a lucky one! I think I've had Cushing Syndrome about a year. I truly think my mom had it, too. Got my diagnosis last week, 2/7/02, from my wonderful doctor, Paul Altsheler, a nephrologist. He is referring me to an endocrinologist and hopefully a surgeon soon.

My symptoms include: huge weight gain in tummy, skinny arms and legs, reddish complexion, buffalo hump (can't we think of a nicer name!), fatigue, loss of muscle in upper legs and arms, and tingling/numbness of fingers.

In 1999, I lost 130 pounds, all by healthy means, after suffering from weight problems my entire life. I had lost 100 pounds three times before but could never keep the weight off. I got a determination to try one more time, learned so many wonderful things to help me, God kicked in His support, and I continue to this day to have a positive attitude and kept the weight off, wrote a book about my experience and have become a motivational speaker and humorist. See my website at Email me at


After losing the weight, a year later in May, 2001, I realized my clothes weren't fitting as well and my weight was fluctuating a little but I wasn't overly concerned because I knew I had in "right" in the head and I wasn't overeating. My ankles were swelling, I was bloating, and my blood pressure was high and I was treated for that with additional medicine. This continued for a few months until December, 2001, when I became fully distended like I was 10 pounds pregnant and have been that way for two months now.

Went to new doctor and within five minutes, he said that cortisol being emitted by a lesion on my adrenal gland was probably causing my problem. I had had a cat scan and had taken the results with me and he picked up on it right away. I know how fortunate I am to have found him after reading all the stories of the suffering other woman have endured for years. I'm being referred to an Endo this week and if he can't see me soon enough, I'm parking myself in his office every day until he sees me. Surgery will probably be next.


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