Amy Schumer has been diagnosed with Cushing syndrome. What to know about the rare disorder

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After opening up about recent medical issues, Amy Schumer has revealed that she's been diagnosed with exogenous Cushing syndrome, a hormonal disorder caused by high levels of cortisol in the body.

The 42-year-old comedian shared the news in Jessica Yellin’s "News Not Noise" newsletter released Feb. 23, saying that the syndrome was “brought on by getting steroid injections in high doses.”

"While I was doing press on camera for my Hulu show, I was also in MRI machines four hours at a time, having my veins shut down from the amount of blood drawn and thinking I may not be around to see my son grow up,” Schumer said, after noting that she felt “reborn” by knowing her diagnosis.

Schumer said learning that her type of Cushing syndrome will “just work itself out,” and being told she was healthy, was the “greatest news imaginable.”

After previously addressing the online criticism about her “puffier” face following her appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Schumer said she was grateful for the internet calling out her changed appearance “because that’s how I realized something was wrong.”

“The internet is undefeated, as they say,” she quipped.

Here's what to know about Cushing syndrome and Schumer's health.

What is Cushing syndrome?

Mayo Clinic describes Cushing syndrome as a condition that occurs when the body produces too much cortisol over a long period of time, or from taking glucocorticoid medicines.

There are two types of Cushing syndrome: exogenous and endogenous.

Exogenous Cushing syndrome is brought on by taking glucocorticoid medicines, which are typically used to treat inflammatory diseases and pain, according to the Mayo Clinic. This is the version Schumer was diagnosed with.

Those who have endogenous Cushing syndrome have increased cortisol, which could have been a result of problems with the pituitary or adrenal glands, per the Mayo Clinic.

If not treated, Cushing syndrome can lead to osteoporosis, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, infections and loss of muscle mass.

What are the symptoms of Cushing syndrome?

According to the Mayo Clinic, the following are common symptoms of Cushing syndrome for both men and women:

  • Weight gain in the trunk of the body, accompanied by thin arms and legs

  • Weight gain in the face, sometimes called "moon face"

  • A fatty lump between the shoulders, sometimes called a "buffalo hump"

  • Pink or purple stretch marks on the stomach, hips, thighs, breasts and underarms

  • Thin, frail skin that bruises easily

  • Slow wound healing

  • Acne

Women may experience a condition called hirsutism, which manifests as "thick, dark hair on the face and body," as well as irregular periods or periods that stop.

Men could experience lower sex drive, reduced fertility and problems getting an erection.

Is Cushing syndrome fatal and what are the treatments?

Cushing syndrome is treatable.

The goal of treatment is to lower cortisol in the body, according to Mayo Clinic, which can involve lowering the use of glucocorticoid medicine, surgery, radiation therapy and medicine.

Some medications used for treatment include ketoconazole, osilodrostat (Isturisa), mitotane (Lysodren), levoketoconazole (Recorlev), and metyrapone (Metopirone), mifepristone (Korlym, Mifeprex) and Pasireotide (Signifor).

However, side effects for these medications could include tiredness, upset stomach, vomiting, headaches, muscle aches, high blood pressure, low potassium and swelling, per Mayo Clinic.

More serious side effects include brain and nervous system side effects, as well as liver damage.

What else has Amy Schumer said about her health?

In the February 15 Instagram post, the “Life & Beth” star reminded followers that she's been diagnosed with endometriosis, which the Mayo Clinic describes as an often painful condition in which tissue that is similar to the inner lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus.

In September 2021, Schumer revealed that she had her uterus and appendix removed due to endometriosis.

The actor has also previously discussed her experience with hyperemesis gravidarum during her first pregnancy with her son, Gene, as well as her difficult delivery because of complications caused by endometriosis.

In the News Not Noise newsletter, Schumer said she hopes to be an advocate for women's health.

“The shaming and criticism of our ever-changing bodies is something I have dealt with and witnessed for a long time,” she said. “I want so much for women to love themselves and be relentless when fighting for their own health in a system that usually doesn’t believe them.”

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