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    Old 03-06-2005, 06:55 PM   #1
    Kim57's Avatar
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    HRT and Cushing Syndrome?

    Not knowing what forum to look this under, I'll try this. Here is my question: Is it possible for Hormone Replacement Therapy to cause Cushing's Syndrome? I have been on HRT for about 7 years now (I am 47). First taking Premarin and now on Vivelle *** patch. In these last few years I have developed a hump on the back of my neck and a pot belly. Having acne, some facial hair, very tired just after climbing a few stairs and your regular moodiness. Up to now I have just ignored most of these signs but am becoming concerned with the hump and pot belly. I looked up signs leading to these and they all come back as Cushing's Syndrome. But most sites suggest this is caused by overuse of certain steriods. I am not on or have been on any other medications other than my HRT. Could my HRT be causing these sypmtoms? Should I discontinue my HRT and see if they go away? Or should I get tested for Cushing's Syndrome? Have any other females on HRT had any of these problems?? Any info I welcome. Thanks....Kim

    Last edited by Kim57; 03-06-2005 at 06:56 PM.

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    Old 11-11-2006, 05:35 PM   #2
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    Re: HRT and Cushing Syndrome?

    Kim, I'm going thru almost the same thing as you. I am on endocrinologist #4 now and I really like him. My probems started in 2004 age 47 after a ruptured ovarian cyst. One diagnosis led to another, I ended up seeing an oncologist who told me I had endometrial cancer and I had to have a total hysterectomy and a bowel resection. My diagnosis then became Stage IV endometriosis, no cancer. Whew. Or so I thought. Since my intitial diagnosis was cancer (high CA125, tumors, etc.) the plan was to start chemo two weeks after surgery. Well, since the diagnosis was wrong, and then the surgeon admitted she "let me fall thru the cracks" to my primary care doctor, to make a long story short, I never got any estrogen and nosedived into a depression. I had not started menopause, the prior blood tests showed. When another gyn finally caught the error (no estrogen) it was six months later. I was also incredibly naive sad to say. The endo #4 I just saw on November 9 (already had the dexamethasone test done on November 10 and 24 hour urine to do Sunday) was almost excited. He said he was positive I have Cushing's Syndrome. I have the hump, upper body weight gain, huge abdomen, and so on. Is it possible the first three endos missed this??? THe problems are now so physical (bloated face, thin legs, purple stretch marks) I am angry. Doctor after doctor told me to "lose weight, get a grip, etc." I am now 49 and every day now is headaches, leg pain, even toe cramping, choking, no sleep... to make it worse the surgeon was not even board certified and now I have to have another surgery and the doctors I saw in the meantime can sense a medical negligence lawsuit (the surgeon was asked to take a leave - it seems the day before my initial surgery date this surgeon (according to the nurses) got hit with divorce papers and thus, my first surgery was postponed at the 11th hour. Not fun. So no doctors want to touch me since they sense a legal issue. I haven't decided on whether to sue. My former primary care doctor of 15 years had his office call me and tell me there was nothing more they could do for me. at work. All I know is whether I do have Cushing's Syndrome, and I hope I do because it is treatable, all my health problems (diabetes, high blood pressure) began with that hysterectomy I didn't even need. If you'd like to share your story, please do. Hang in there. Mary from Boston.

    Old 11-11-2006, 11:45 PM   #3
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    Unhappy Re: HRT and Cushing Syndrome?

    I am in a somewhat similar mess. Herrington rods on 13 vertebrae fused and gall bladder surgery, non-infectious hepatitis while in a 32 day hospital stay in 1990; I got diagnosed Jan 05 with MS; Torn Rotator Cuff surgery May 06; laser back surgery Aug 06; stint in right artery of heart Oct 06. I have had low grade temp (99.X) for weeks or months at a time since 1990. This time the fever started in May but at least now it is only 2-4 times a week. My WBC is high, red blood cells are large and other blood work is either high or low. The fatigue is getting worse to the point I cannot work much. I hurt all over, seat profusely and have headaches. This has been going on at least for 3 years and the doctors have blamed it on steroids or antibiotics or smoking or.....but they would not accept me for back surgery until it was normal so we began the search for a diagnosis and cure in June 06.

    So I went to an Infectious Disease Dr. We have done white blood cell and bone full body scans, CTs of everything, and finally last month a bone marrow biopsy which showed "iron stores absent". The hematologist then ordered an EGD and colonoscopy. However, before I could get the tests, I had chest pains and ended up with a stint. Now the cardiologist says that I have to take the Plavix no matter what for 6 months to a year and the gastro cannot do a biopsy or remove a polyp no matter what he finds this upcoming Friday. The hematologist and the gastro both say they could do a biopsy or remove a polyp even on Plavix by using another drug to keep the stint open (lovonex) or the gastro can make a decision if there will be bleeding or not. But the cardiologist called the gastro and told him no biopsy or removal of polyp, only diagnostic. Shouldn't that have been the gastro Dr decision?

    I wanted to change to the cardiologists I originally asked for in the ER but now I find out you cannot change Drs within a call group. I have talked to my cardiologist to see if he would overrule their rule and he doesn't want me for a patient and I don't want him and I cannot change within their group, so I went looking for another cardiologist in town. Guess what? There is only one other call group in town and they are not in network and want me to pay 50% and the insurance 60% because they won't write off the other 10%. There are 12 cardiologists but I cannot meet with one to decide if I want him to be my Dr because then I can't transfer to another Dr in their call group! I am in real trouble now! Had I known this, I might have just kept my mouth shut about the discrepancies and personality conflict. PATIENTS BEWARE, this could happen to you!

    Meanwhile, when I first went to the hematologist, he examined me and saw the red "stretch" mark on my abdomen and my heavy middle with thin arms and legs and said I had Cushings. I was on FemHRT but recently changed to PremPro. I have had lots of sinus infections for which I took the low dose pack of Prednizone for 6 days or so. I took 5 days of Solu-medrol for MS exacerbations every 3 months in 2005 and to June, 06. Is that considered long term, high dose steroids? The doctors I have asked say no. However, he has never Cushings mentioned since. I don't know what is wrong with me except for MS and arthritis but something is and I hope they find it soon.

    I wish you luck with getting a diagnosis and treatment.

    Old 11-13-2006, 03:50 PM   #4
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    Lightbulb Re: HRT and Cushing Syndrome?

    Wow! It is incredible how many people are having suggested to them that they do or may have Cushing’s syndrome. I went through five years of doctors focusing on this syndrome only for them to say they didn’t think I had it but if I came back to them in ten years time I might after all. 11 years later I don’t have Cushing’s, the doctors during this eleven years were totally disinterested in taking things further and now after a fifteen year saga, I have had to do my own searching which I wished I had done at the start, but I was innocent and thought the doctors had the answers and if they didn’t they would try and find them [I was in the too hard basket] and I didn’t have access to the internet . One of the standard, non invasive, cheap, effective and painless diagnostic tools for Cushing’s is the two hour ITT (insulin tolerance test). This measures cortisol, growth hormone and glucose reading. This test should also eliminate any possibility of someone having adult growth hormone deficiency (GHD), syndrome X (formally metabolic syndrome), insulin resistance or adrenal fatigue which can also produce similar symptoms to Cushing’s. Thyroid function, triglycerides and DHEA are also good things to have checked out. With any results get on the web and do research, doctors can and do often over look things or leads that are pretty obvious to everyone but the doctor. When a common factor is found this usually results in a diagnosis, particularly if someone has more than one condition that is clouding the situation leaving other things overlooked.

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