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Thyroid Diseases

Can I Have Both Hypothyroid and Cushing's?

07/10/2006

Question:

I am severely hypothyroid and just had a TSH result of 157. I now have that under control by taking 175mcg of thyroxine, but I still have a lot of symptoms that could go either way as possibly Cushing's Disease or still hypothyroidism. Could I possibly have both?

I have the round face, the odd neck fat behind my neck, the rapidly growing abdomen, stretch marks on my abdomen from probably growing so quickly, strech marks on my arms oddly enough, skin problems when I never used to, thinning hair, but no extra hair else where, oddly sore muscoskeletal type, fatigue, stiffness, and soreness.

Answer:

It is possible to have both at the time time, but they are unrelated.  If this thyroxine dose has resulted in a normal thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level then the thyroid should not be contributing to your symptoms.  The symptoms you describe are consistent with Cushing's syndrome, but are not specific for Cushing's syndrome.  Cushing's syndrome could be ruled in or out with two or three 24-hour urine collections for free cortisol.

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Response by:

Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University