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This author thinks we caused our own Cushing's?

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"In fact, those little stresses of everyday life will ultimately have a big toll: Stress can damage hearts, cause blood-pressure problems, Cushing's syndrome and more."

 

From http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/l.../printstory.jsp

 

Posted on Tue, Apr. 12, 2005

Hurried, harried

Many women racing down the fast lane of life may be suffering from a newly named and dangerous syndrome.

BY MOLLY MILLETT

Pioneer Press

 

If you're too hurried to sit down and read this story, sit down anyway and take a deep breath.

 

Now, here's the news: You might have Hurried Woman syndrome.

 

Dr. Brent Bost, a prominent Texas obstetrician/gynecologist with a holistic approach to medicine, developed the phrase after taking the time to really talk to his patients about their lives when they were visiting him for their annual pap smears or other routine appointments.

 

Again and again, he sees exhausted women pushing aside their own well-being while juggling the responsibilities of home, family, work and other obligations.

 

"The root cause is chronic stress," says Bost.

 

To help American women get off their hamster wheels, the doctor has studied the problem of hurried lives, spoken and surveyed other OB/GYNs across the country and has written a book, "The Hurried Woman Syndrome: A Seven-Step Program to Conquer Fatigue, Control Weight and Restore Passion to Your Relationship" (McGraw-Hill, $22.95).

 

"I think most women can identify with the title," says Bost. "Our pace of life continues to accelerate. We've got 24/7 news; we can talk on our cell phones while we're using the toilet. I used to dictate letters, and it was a 10-day process after mailing the letter and then waiting for the mailed response. Now, e-mail makes it a much faster process. I do wonder if we are reaching the edge of our ability to handle it."

 

But how do you know if you have this syndrome, which Bost says affects one in four patients, or 30 million women? It often afflicts women between the ages of 25 and 55 with children between the ages of 4 and 16. But others develop it, too, such as people juggling stressful careers or caring for sick relatives, says Bost.

 

The doctor looks for four red flags:

 

• Fatigue

• Moodiness

• Weight gain

• Low sex drive

 

The syndrome, says Bost, is caused by the same chemical imbalance as major depression, but since the imbalance is not quite as severe, he describes the syndrome as "predepression."

 

Bost says the DSM-IV, a reference guide for mental-health professionals, classifies what he calls the syndrome/predepression as "minor depressive illness" with three to four symptoms of depression of at least two weeks' duration, but he doesn't like that classification. Why? Because the doctor says there is nothing "minor" about the way Hurried Women feel, and depression has negative connotations for many women who don't want to be labeled.

 

Whatever the malady is called, any woman who exhibits Hurried Woman symptoms should see her doctor for a thorough check-up, says Bost, but she also needs to examine her hurried-life choices.

 

"It's a lot of stuff that your granny would have told you," says Bost. "Learn to say no; tell your husband to help do the dishes; take your hand off the throttle; smell the coffee; get back on the exercise wagon; get off the Atkins Diet."

 

Bost's book is one of many that has hit the market recently that address the issue of today's stressed-out woman, including "Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety" by Judith Warner and "The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined Women" by Susan Douglas and Meredith Michaels.

 

The Pioneer Press asked a stress expert to read materials from Dr. Bost's book and give us a second opinion.

 

"I think so many men and women now lead incredibly busy lives … that's the nature of the society we live in," says Mary Jo Kreitzer, Ph.D., R.N. and director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Spirituality and Healing.

 

"People are juggling a lot of balls. In my mind, the bottom line is that it's so important that people take charge of their health and look at their lives from a perspective of health and wellness. That's what (Bost) is doing in his book," she says.

 

"Sometimes, I think there's nothing new, it's more how you package it. This is not a medical syndrome, but there's a lot of literature out there on the effect of stress and not eating well and not exercising."

 

To combat this kind of stress, Bost's prescription for a better life involves seven steps:

 

Create balance in your body: Start the healing by scheduling a thorough check-up. Take vitamins. Get in some aerobic exercise. Limit sugar, alcohol and caffeine.

 

Find the right caloric balance: Avoid trendy diets and aim for a 40-30-30 ratio: 40 percent of your diet should come from protein, 30 percent from fats and 30 percent from carbohydrates. It comes down to counting calories, says Bost, which isn't glamorous, but it works: "After years of counseling patients on the subject of weight loss and watching their progress on all kinds of diets, I assure you that calorie counting done properly works well compared to any other diet method I've seen," he writes.

 

Exercise, no matter what: This is a crucial step for re-energizing a Hurried Woman but often a difficult one for her to find time to do. Her schedule is so busy, and she feels too tired to squeeze in anything more. But Bost says you must expend energy to get more energy. Try something simple to start, like a brisk walk on your lunch break or doing exercise tapes/DVDs at home.

 

At first, do a minimum of three half-hour exercise sessions weekly and add a session after two or three weeks or push up the time in each session by 10 minutes each week until you see improvement, with a limit of a one-hour session. A side perk of finding time to exercise, says Bost, is that you give yourself the gift of finding time for yourself.

 

Rekindle the fire: In family life, Bost says, a man sometimes substitutes work for his relationship with his wife; a woman substitutes her relationship with her children for the one with her husband. Hurried women need to learn not to push their men away (and becoming less hurried should perk up your sex drive); men need to remember that doing the dishes or vacuuming will get you more affection than picking up a bouquet of flowers.

 

Identify your priorities and set reasonable limits: Immediately begin "the year of saying no," says Bost. Learn to limit your activities. After this year, you will gain a better perspective on what you can and want to juggle. Hurried women often lose track of who they are, what's important to them and where they wish to go, Bost says.

 

Get the best of stress: Why is it so crucial to become unhurried? We've learned to accept our busy, stressful lives, but just because we see that pace as normal doesn't mean it's healthful, says Bost. In fact, those little stresses of everyday life will ultimately have a big toll: Stress can damage hearts, cause blood-pressure problems, Cushing's syndrome and more.

 

"There are long-term ramifications if you stay hurried," says Bost. "You are going to shorten your life span."

 

Some good news: In his book, Bost actually prescribes retail therapy to feel better — that's right, ladies, shopping!

 

"It has to be monitored, but sometimes going out and doing a little shopping for yourself, maybe spending $30, can feel good," says the doctor.

 

Organize your world: Clutter is stressful, so getting a handle on this really will make you feel less stressed. Also, get a big family calendar and put it where everyone can look at it, says the doctor; set limits on children's activities; delegate chores.

 

Stephanie Astrup, a stay-at-home mom of three children ages 5, 3 and 6 months, says she is definitely a hurried woman, but she's not sure if she has the Hurried Woman Syndrome. She thinks hurrying is a habit for her, since she feels rushed even if the day isn't jammed full.

 

"I think I would read this book because even though I already know a lot about the things to do, like exercise and eat well, you need to hear it to remind you of what you should be doing," says Astrup.

 

"I also need to tell myself that these years, when my children are small, aren't going to last forever. I need to worry less about toys on the floor or milk that has spilled. I am also trying to cut back on activities, like MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers group) and my sewing group, because I'm going to be vice president of the PTA next year."

 

For tips on how to reduce stress, visit the University of Minnesota's Center for Spirituality and Healing at www.csh.umn.edu and click on the prompt for "Keeping U well through online learning" near the bottom of the center's home page.

 

For more information about the Hurried Woman syndrome, visit www. hurriedwoman.com. The site includes Dr. Brent Bost's attitude and mood assessment quiz and a Q&A with him. You also can submit your own question to Bost, who lives in Texas, and is married with four children.

 

Molly Millett can be reached at mollymillett@pioneerpress.com or 651-228-5505.

 

 

© 2005 St. Paul Pioneer Press and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

http://www.twincities.com

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Maybe Dr. Bost in Beaumont Texas has never REALLY had a cushings patient as a patient? :)

 

Dr. Brent. Bost

3030 NORTH ST STE 310

BEAUMONT, Texas 77702

 

k

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Guest lisaw

Dr Bost does not have a clue. While he has some points, he is putting women in a pretty tight box. Excuse me, women are not the only ones who are running around like their pants are on fire or sitting on toilet talking on the cell phone. Watch men one time, driving habits, loud music, impatience, and the list goes on. Why are women so focused on in our society today for anxiety, hurriedness and more or less psych type problems. This is so old and wasting precious time when lives are on the line. I am sick of it all.

 

As for the University of Minnesota study/analysis, it figures they would say that. No one knows anything there. I lived there long enough and have gone through horrendous experiences to know how true that is.

 

I cannot wait to hear about something that is true and makes good sense. This article is a thumbs down.

 

Lisa

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Women are buying this book? Argh. Its as bad as adrenal fatigue almost. You guys read that book??? I didnt bother because research shows normal adrenal glands dont get worn out from stress. I dunno whata you think?

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Guest CherriS

I couldn't help myself. I wrote her an email! :)

 

Here is what it said:

 

Dear Ms. Millett,

 

Your article about "Hurried Woman Syndrome" is very interesting. However, there is NO connection with the "newly named syndrome of the moment" and Cushing's. I know because I have Cushing's. You may be mistaking TRUE Cushing's Syndrome/Disease with what is called psuedo-Cushing's. Cushing's Syndrome is caused by adrenal hyperplasia or ectopic ACTH-producing tumors and Cushing's Disease is caused by ACTH-producing pituitary tumors. Neither the disease nor the syndrome can be brought on by "being in a hurry" or "under stress" (oh if it were so easy). However, psuedo-Cushing's CAN be brought on by stress or alcohol consumption but cortisol levels are only mildly elevated and can be controlled. With Cushing's disease/syndrome the cortisol levels can only be controlled via surgery (bi-lateral adrenalectomy or surgical tumor removal) and often the patient has residual health problems for the rest of their lives. It would be beneficial to his readers if Dr. Bost would do more research into Cushing's and it's causes before telling his readers it can be "cured with shopping."

 

Sincerely,

 

moi

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Well, while I've had the damn thing I've SHOPPED - size 8, size 10, size 12 ..... size 18, size 20. It definitely didn't work !! He probably owns a shop somewhere, the plonker.

 

Glad he's not my gyne. If he started "taking the time to quiz me about my lifestyle" while my legs were up in the air i'd have to kick him.

 

Liz x

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His e-mail on his website is returning to sender, so it is ole letter and stamp... I am sending mine!

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Thanks for Dr. Bost's addy, Kristy.

 

Cherri, great going!

 

We're working for Cushing's Awareness, and they're spreading inaccurate, harmful information.

 

ARGHHHHH! :rolleyes:

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Great letter !!

 

Ty so much for writing it.These quacks have to be stopped. I talk to managers of health food stores who sell "cortislim" and tell them to take it off the shelf.

 

Now there is a comercial out for some guy who had low adrenaln. then he buys a new car and is all better.

 

What a dis on addisons.

 

Doreen

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Guest lisaw

I hate that commercial that really degrades Addisons. What people will not do for advertisement and money.

 

Lisa

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I hate those kind of books, just get rid of your stress.

 

Sure right, send me shoeboxes full of 50s and 100 dollar bills.

 

I was overworked and I know that may have gotten me sick years ago, but I didnt see anyone helping me and the choice was to work to death, or end up on the street.

 

Im not sure if I like pseudo-Cushings being mentioned in your letter either Cherri. people with pseudo- who could be on way to being disagnosed more, suffer enough abuse too.

 

Remember in my case, I have been blamed..."You are fat, that is why you have Pseudo Cushings and PCOS" even though they ignore the evidence which is I was still normal sized when I lost my period for good, and had the first symptons. I guess it was my fault too my thyroid went and all my hair fell out too.

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Can someone describe this commercial about buying a car? Just curious. I don't even own a TV so I always feel "out of the loop" when people mention stuff like this (but then, that kind of thing reminds me of why I stopped watching TV in the first place!)

 

Great letter Cherri!

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Sorrel, there's a discussion on the boards about the Toyota ad here: http://boards.cushings-interactive.com/invboard/index.php?showtopic=10523&hl=toyota. I tid a search for "Toyota" with the option of any date on the boards, and came up with about 8 or so places that this ad was mentioned, as well.

 

I only saw this ad once. I was hoping that it was gone.

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I finally saw it for the first time the other night...it's really stupid and I knew immediately what it was after seeing the talk about it.

Unfortunately it's still being played.

Even if it wasn't insulting , it has to be one of the dumbest commercials I've seen anyway

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Guest lisaw

I thought about a Toyota for purchase one day, but due to the tasteless advertisement, I have decided that I will not buy one. I really need to contact Toyota as well as all of us as a protest measure. The first thing you know, some car company will advertise for something around high cortisols and having to have a car so bad that cortisol levels are out of control. Of course, if it is a way we can do it to raise money for more doctors, research, etc, it may serve us well. Nope, now that I think of it, bad idea and would make me as bad as the creators of the tacky Toyota commercial.

What next? Be on the look out, it may surprise you.

 

Lisa

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I decided to contact Ms. Millett (the author of the article) and the editors at the newspaper too. Here's their email addresses:mollymillett@pioneerpress.com, readers@pioneerpress.com

 

Dear Ms. Millett,

 

I was alarmed to read in your recent article discussing Dr. Brent Bost's new book, "The Hurried Woman Syndrome: A Seven-Step Program to Conquer Fatigue, Control Weight and Restore Passion to Your Relationship" that you included Cushing's Syndrome among those that can be caused by a high paced lifestyle: "In fact, those little stresses of everyday life will ultimately have a big toll: Stress can damage hearts, cause blood-pressure problems, Cushing's syndrome and more. "

 

As a person who suffers from the rare Cushing's Disease, I can assure you no hurrying around or slowing down will impact the disease. Cushing's Disease is caused by an ACTH-producing tumor on your pituitary gland. The related disease, Cushing's Syndrome, is caused by an ACTH-producing tumor on your adrenal gland or on an ectopic location. ACTH-producing tumors cause the body to produce excessive amounts of cortisol. Like any tumor, Cushing's tumors don't grow in response to the pace of our daily life. It is a grave disservice to all of those who suffer from Cushing's tumors, and a serious medical error, to suggest that hurrying about or stress are responsible for these tumors. The only cure for Cushing's is either brain surgery to remove a pituitary tumor (a process which I have undergone, and I would far have preferred a week in a spa instead if that were indeed an effective treatment), or general surgery to remove an adrenal or ectopic tumor. It is ludicrous and medically dangerous to suggest otherwise.

 

I'm sure you were just relying on Dr. Bost's expertise in printing that information, but unfortunately the good doctor clearly doesn't specialize in endocrine issues. I suggest that you do a little research, or contact a real endocrinologist, and get your facts straight. Here's a link that will go into more detail about Cushing's (that I've just given a summary on: http://pituitarysociety.med.nyu.edu/cush1.htm. ) As your article stands, it does a disservice to those who suffer from this disease by suggesting that they caused it by hurrying too much, and could cure it by slowing down. It is identical to suggesting that someone caused their own brain tumor by stressing out too much, and could cure it by slowing down. I request that your paper post a correction stating the accurate facts about Cushing's Disease and Cushing's Syndrome.

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All right, Lynn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

You and Cherri wrote excellent responses to a dangerous article.

 

And....I'm absolutely appalled at the TV commercial, without even seeing it. How incredibly ignorant and insensitive. Do they (Toyota and ad agency) have a collective IQ of 12?

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Cant we do a class action law suit?

 

The commercial is on daily in Pittsburgh. It has taken me years to try to have some understanding from my family and the first thing I have heard is "I thought of you when that adrenalitis commercial was on"......

 

I mean look at it this way: If you had a bunch of teenagers sitting around studying (doing what they should do for there situation) and somebody comes by in a car and has alcohol to cure the dulldrums of studying........wouldnt that constitute a roar from the public?? Okay forget the alcohol, just use the car to get away.

 

What this commercial is doing - is making fun of a disease. Should they even be allowed to do this? I mean legally? Any lawyers in this group?

 

When I first saw the commercial that was my thought - major setback for anyone understanding recovery, cushings, etc.

 

My brother owns a Ford dealership and does commercials for the dealership for tv, I should ask him.

 

xoxox judy xoxoxo

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I doubt there's a lawsuit - the basic tenant behind any lawsuit is 'have you been harmed? If so, what are your damages?' We have no damages, even though the commercial ticks us off, it hasn't really hurt us, other than wounding our pride.

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I wrote to the author of the article. She apologized and said the interpretation was hers and not the doctor's. She ran a correction.

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Update:

http://www.twincities.com/mld/pioneerpress...al/11428639.htm

Posted on Tue, Apr. 19, 2005

 

Daily Life: An article about "Hurried Woman Syndrome" that appeared on on April 12 mistakenly reported that stress can cause Cushing's syndrome.

 

Woo Hoo!

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