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Getting tested for Cushings

Guest Lou




I'm wondering if anyone can give me some advice. I saw my doc as I had developed a buffalo hump, doc asked me about oral steroid use, which is none, and general health. He then ran some bloods, kidney function, glucose test and full blood count, all of these came back normal. I have now been referred to physio for my hump, she seems to think it could be caused by chin forward posture, but I'm not convinced. After reading about cushings I have realised I do have some of the symptoms, a round red face, fatter on my trunk, excess body hair for a woman, anxiety, which has only started in the last few years and in the last few months my hair on my head is thinning. Do you think I should be asking for proper testing for cushings, or would the original blood test have indicated if there was anything wrong? I'm female, 38 years old.


Thank you.

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Hi Lou and welcome! You are in a good place for support, information and understanding. No, the labs your doctor ran will not alert you to cushings. You do seem to have several of the symptoms. Please know that one does not have to have every symptom to have this disease. I've even known thin cushies.


Your best bet would be to find an endocronologist who understands how to properly test and treat cushings. However, this is easier said than done. There is a helpful doctors list up top or you could ask for recommendations. Or you could read a bit here to find the docs most of us see.


I wish you the very best of luck! Please stick around and read all you can and ask any questions you might have.




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welcome! as Melly said, a Cushing's diagnosis takes many many labs, unfortuntately there is not a single test that can diagnose or rule it out. It is common for Cushies to have low ferritin and Vitamin D, were either of those checked. My endo considers low ferritin to be under 60, which is more conservative than most lab normal ranges. Alot of Cushies do have high glucose as well.


buffalo humps is common with Cushings and PCOS, have you had your testesterone checked?

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Cortisol numbers should be at their highest at 8 am and lowest around midnight. One problem with the am serum cortisol is that it may be normal for that time of the day, but not dropping as it should. For example, I had an adrenal tumor that was pumping cortisol all the time, whether my body needed it or not. But my am cortisol and 24 hour UFC were normal. To test for an adrenal source, your endocrinologist will probably do a dexamethasone suppression test. If you suppress, it is probably not an adrenal tumor, but it may still be Cushing's. In that case, there are different tests you will be given--for some people the dx is very straightforward and for others, it can be a long process. Do take it seriously, however, until you are satisfied that you have answered the question. I would see an endocrinologist.

Edited by 3v3
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