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So, these are only seven of the many, many symptoms of Cushing’s. I had those above – and I often felt like I looked like one of those little bearded dwarves. Cushing’s affects every part of the body. It’s not like when I had kidney cancer and only the kidney was affected. Here are some of the many areas affected. Progressive obesity and skin changes Weight gain and fatty tissue deposits, particularly around the midsection and upper back, in the face (moon face) and between the shoulders (buffalo hump). Some symptoms such as sudden weight gain, are caused by excess cortisol. The excess cortisol in the body does not increase protein and carbohydrate metabolism. It slows or nearly disables metabolism function, which can cause weight gain (fat accumulation) in the buttocks, abdomen, cheeks, neck, or upper back. Loss of muscle mass. Some areas of the body, such as the arms and legs, will remain thin. Pink or purple stretch marks (striae) on the skin of the abdomen, thighs, breasts and arms Thinning, fragile skin that bruises easily Slow healing of cuts, insect bites and infections Acne Women with Cushing’s syndrome may experience: Thicker or more visible body and facial hair (hirsutism) Irregular or absent menstrual periods Men with Cushing’s syndrome may experience: Decreased libido Decreased fertility Erectile dysfunction Other signs and symptoms include: Fatigue Muscle weakness Depression, anxiety and irritability Loss of emotional control Cognitive difficulties New or worsened high blood pressure Glucose intolerance that may lead to diabetes Headache Bone loss, leading to fractures over time Hyperlipidemia (elevated lipids – cholesterol – in the blood stream) Recurrent opportunistic or bacterial infections Think you have Cushing’s? Get to a doctor and don’t give up!