Hi all, Newbie Here. I'm stuck in a rut about my health.
It started around eight years ago. I started putting on A LOT of weight in a very SHORT amount of time (roughly sixty pounds in 18 months), and it is isolated to ONLY my middle (central obesity). My belly sticks out, almost like I'm pregnant. My arms and legs are thin. Plus, from behind, I look completely normal. I hardly eat anything and was an avid swimmer. At the same time, ugly purple stretch marks started appearing on my arms, back of my knees, thighs, stomach, breasts, armpits, buttocks and hips. I have darkening of the skin in my armpits and back of my neck. (It is quite noticeable because I'm a natural redhead and have very pale skin.) My face has rounded out, mostly under my chin and I have a hump on the back of my neck. I also have acne that is isolated to the jawline and stomach troubles.
I have a group of other strange symptoms as well. I cannot sleep AT ALL. I'm up almost ALL night. I get roughly two hours of sleep. I've tried multiple sleep aids, including Ambien, Nortriptyline, and Gabapentin. Nothing has worked. I have High Blood Pressure, severe tachycardia (187 beats resting and cannot be controlled with medication. I currently take Atenolol 100mg with no improvement.), anxiety, muscle weakness, fatigue, Type 2 Diabetes due to insulin resistance, and VERY HIGH ACTH levels, (568 points), and in the last six months, I have been diagnosed with severe Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.
I have been tested for Insulin secreting tumors and PCOS (with blood work and radiological studies; both negative). Years ago, my Cardiologist noticed the stretch marks and mentioned Cushing's Syndrome. But when I bring up the subject with my primary doctor, I'm told my symptoms are due to overeating. My Endocrinologist has told me to my face that "he has no idea what the ***l is wrong with me". I have many other specialists concur with my Cardiologist, that I most likely have Cushing's. My MRI's are normal and I do not have elevated cortisol levels. I have wanted to take a Suppression Test, but my Endo thinks there is no need to.
I don't know what to do. I am so embarrassed of my appearance that I won't even leave my house except to go to the supermarket or doctor. Looking back on photos of myself from High School to now, you see a significant, progressional change in what I look like. Most of my friends can only recognize me because of my red hair, but are shocked to see what I've turned into. I can't even stand to look at myself in mirror anymore. But because I'm in managed health care, I can't even get a second opinion due to the fact that my health care network has only one Endo.
And according to them; I have a right to a second opinion; but only if they have the facilities to do so. If you look at the attachments I uploaded, you will see a vast difference in my appearance. One is of when I graduated from High School in 2000; the other is what I look like presently.
I very much think I have Cushing's due to the overwhelming physical and internal characteristics/signs my body is presenting.
Or am I just losing my mind?