Awareness is vital, because so many people have Cushing's and do not know it. There is a much higher incidence of Cushing's than once thought. According to the authors of the study, "Cushing Syndrome: Maybe Not So Uncommon of an Endocrine Disease",
..[R]ecent studies have suggested a much higher prevalence among high-risk patient populations, such as patients with diabetes mellitus (particularly if poorly controlled), hypertension, and early-onset osteoporosis (particularly if with fractures).8–11 A study that screened 294 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and 189 age-, sex-, and BMI-matched controls by their ability to suppress cortisol determined that the prevalence of subclinical hypercortisolism was higher in diabetic individuals than in controls (9.4% vs 2.1%, respectively).10 Interestingly, the patients' hypercortisolism was primarily from an adrenal origin. Two hundred patients with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus (HbA1C >8%) were screened for hypercortisolism and 5.5% were diagnosed with CS, mostly of adrenal origin.9 In a study of patients with osteoporosis without clinically overt hypercortisolism, 4.8% of patients (11 of 219) had subclinical hypercortisolism and the prevalence was 10.8% if they also had a vertebral fracture.11 Finally, among 1020 hypertensive patients, 21 (2.1%) had increased levels of cortisol.1Along with this, the study"Screening for Cushing’s Syndrome in Obese Patients", concludes "A significant proportion (9.33%) of patients with simple obesity were found to have Cushing’s syndrome. These findings argue that obese patients should be routinely screened for Cushing’s syndrome."
In the complete article "Cyclical Cushing's Syndrome: An Update", the authors state:
"Cyclical Cushing's syndrome is a pattern of hypercortisolism in which the biochemistry of cortisol production fluctuates rhythmically. This syndrome is often associated with fluctuating symptoms and signs. This type of case was initially thought to be rare. It has, however, recently been recognized as occurring much more frequently. The phenomenon is important because it can, if not recognized, lead to errors in diagnosis and differential diagnosis of the syndrome and in assessment of therapeutic outcomes. All of these can have very serious clinical consequences."
In a study done by Catargi, et al, an extraordinarily large percentage of diabetic patients actually had Cushing's.
As the month progresses, I will be sharing more research showing the higher prevalence of Cushing's, as well as other research and how it affects those who have it.