Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Misconceptions About Cushing's

Cushing's.  So many people are confused by what it is and what it isn't.  They may have heard of it because a dog they know has it - or, these days, a horse, ferret, rat.  Seems it's way more common in lots of animals but not people.

If people have heard of the "animal version" they might say "Yeah, my dog had that and it was easy to diagnose. We just gave him medication..."

When we first started having bios on the website, sometimes people would say that they had Cushions Disease.  At first I wondered about that but then it started to make more sense.  If you've never heard of the disease,  the doctor mumbles something.  You know you're a little "fluffy" and cushions makes a lot of sense.

Twice in the last week I've seen Cushing's described as Crushings Disease.  That sort of makes sense, too.  Cushing's crushes your plans, relationships, credibility, pretty much everything.

Other misconceptions involve Cushing's symptoms.  Others, especially doctors, will see you gain weight and assume you're eating too much and a good diet will fix everything.  Or see that you're depressed (who wouldn't be!) and offer anti-depressants.

Doctors may say that Cushing's is too rare, that they'll never see a case of it in their practice.  But rare doesn't mean that no one gets it.  Rare doesn't mean that doctors shouldn't test for it.

Then, the anatomy just isn't right.  People say that they have a brain tumor instead of a pituitary tumor.  I just read this on another site: The pituitary gland is on the bottom of the brain...  Umm - not exactly ON the bottom of the brain but maybe close enough for people to get an idea. 

What sorts of things about Cushing's/Cushions/Crushings that just weren't quite right?