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Leda's Story

Hello everyone. I am finally (keep your fingers crossed) on the road to recovery. I see a lot of new names on the board so I thought I would introduce myself and tell my story. If it helps one person get a diagnosis it will be worth it. Here goes:

I had my second and last child in November 1992. It was a reasonably normal pregnancy, and within 6 months I was back to my normal weight of 160 lbs. I had a hysterectomy due to uncontrollable periods in 1993.

In 1995 I started to experience moodiness and headaches. I thought I was going crazy. When I went to my GYN crying she said that I was experiencing perimenopause. I was only 30 years old but I assumed it was due to the hysterectomy. She gave me hormones and told me to give it a few months to see if things improved. During that time we moved to another state. Things did not improve and I went to my new GP and asked for help. She told me that I was not perimenopausal. She did all the blood work and said that everything looked normal and I was just depressed. By this time my weight had made it up to about 190 lbs. She put me on Zoloft. After a couple of weeks she raised my dosage to 2 pills daily instead of 1. I was sweating so badly that she changed the Zoloft to Prozac and I began taking 2 20 mg. pills each day, and I still take the same amount. This seemed to take the edge off my moodiness but the rest of my body continued to fall apart.

I ballooned to over 240 lbs. My once low blood pressure was now dangerously high and my low blood sugar had turned into full blown diabetes. I had and still have flank pain (mostly right side), headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, etc. All the while my doctor is telling me that depression is taking a toll on my body. I never questioned her diagnosis. She moved away last year. (We are military, that happens a lot) and I got a new GP who fully agreed with everything that my old GP said. She put me on HCTZ for my high blood pressure.

About 5 months ago she was out sick when I went for my appointment and I saw a new doctor. Right away she noticed my hump and asked me if I had been tested for Cushing's syndrome. She sent me to the base endocrinologist who has now done 2 24 cortisol tests along with the dexamethasone suppression test and every other blood test you can imagine. I have been poked more than a pin cushion. But it seems to have worked. One of my 24 hr UCortisol test came back elevated. This combined with all my other test results have given me a diagnosis of syndrome X (aka insulin resistance).

This nasty little disease , coupled with PCOS has given me all of my problems. The doctor told me that because of the stress that this disease has put on my body it has also produced pseudo-Cushing's. This is nothing light of Cushing's only means that you have all the symptoms of Cushing's but it is not caused from steroids or tumors.

Stress can cause pseudo-Cushing's for anyone. Not just mental stress. Most of my stress is physical due to the overworking of my organs to keep up with the insulin resistance. I am taking Metformin 3 x daily to help regulate my insulin and I have to watch what I eat very carefully. I will have to continue this for the rest of my life. But I am going to have a life. In 10 days I have lost 10 lbs. and I am not running marathons yet but I am having more good times.

Things do seem to be improving. I hope and pray that it continues for me and that you all find the help that you are looking for. It really is all in finding the right doctor, so my advice to all of you is keep trying until someone listens.


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