Myth: “Vitamins and Natural Remedies can cure/heal Cushing’s”



More from Dr. Karen Thames:

Myth: “Vitamins and Natural Remedies can cure/heal Cushing’s”

Fact: Do you know how many people have told me that if I just “juice”, I will be cured from Cushing’s or Adrenal Insufficiency?! I appreciate the sentiment, but the sad reality is that no amount of juicing and no vitamin will cure Cushing’s. Some Cushing’s patients do take vitamins, some do eat raw food or paleo diets, and some even juice. However, this is just a lifestyle choice and not an attempt to cure Cushing’s. I must admit that when you have such a dreadful disease, you do sometimes take desperate measures to heal yourself. Perhaps, doing acupuncture or some other form of natural healing technique seems attractive at times. Take it from a person who has had acupuncture, seen many natural doctors, juiced, took vitamins, ate a raw food diet, and yes, I EVEN did a series of colonics! If you have ever had colonics, you know that it brings new meaning to the phrase, “no pain, no gain!”

Seriously, this is all before I knew I had Cushing’s. I watched as every person who administered the different kinds of treatment scratched their heads as I continued to gain weight, eventually at a rate of 5 pounds per week! They couldn’t believe that I was actually still gaining weight. Their natural and not surprising response, of course, was to project blame onto me. “Karen, there is NO way you are following protocol! You MUST be lying on your food log!” What we all didn’t realize is that I was suffering from a life-threatening illness called Cushing’s Disease that caused morbid obesity in me and that none of those “remedies” would EVER work!

Now, I have already been in Twitter wars over this topic. Someone tried to tell me that a raw food diet will “cure Cushing’s” and then she told me that I am “ignorant and in denial”! She proceeded to tell me that her daughter, though she had surgery to treat Cushing’s, was REALLY cured because of changing her diet. She also told me that the daughter, who had her Adrenal Glands removed, didn’t need steroids. Listen folks, this is VERY dangerous! I have no adrenal glands and I NEED steroids! Cortisol is life sustaining and you will die without it! I fully expect that someone will argue this point until the cows come home. It doesn’t matter. It won’t change the facts. Cushing’s is caused by excess cortisol in the body. The ONLY treatment is to target the source of the excess cortisol (i.e.brain tumor, adrenal tumor, ectopic tumor, or prolonged steroid use for another disease). Targeting the source is the first line of treatment. Cushing’s Syndrome/Disease will lead to death if not treated properly! #BattlegroundDiagnosis

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor. Please seek the advice of a medical professional if you have questions or need further assistance.

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#1 ~ Cushing’s Myths and Facts

Myth: “Cushing’s is RARE”, “No one has Cushing’s!”, “It is literally impossible for you to have Cushing’s Disease!”


Fact: We have all been guilty of referring to Cushing’s as a “Rare” disease. I*, myself, say this all the time. In fact, the statistics state that only about 2 in every million people are afflicted with this disease. However, these are documented cases.

In reality, Cushing’s is not as rare as we once thought. The fact is that Cushing’s is just rarely diagnosed! Non experts tend to not test accurately and adequately for Cushing’s.

With an inappropriate protocol for testing, the prevalence of accurate diagnoses decreases. Cushing’s experts DO understand how extensive and difficult the diagnostic process is, so they tend to be more deliberate and thorough when exploring possible Cushing’s in their patients. Cushing’s patients who cycle also have to be more persistent in asking for adequate testing so that they are appropriately diagnosed.

The following video is an accurate portrayal of what many patients experience when trying to get help for their symptoms:

Please review the following links:

* Dr. Karen Ternier Thames

Notes on the Magic Foundation Cushing’s Conference, 2012

Here are links to all the posts in order, although some still need to be edited.  I posted these directly from the meeting hall with no rereads or rewrites.  If anyone has anything to add, edit or delete, please let me know!


  • Magic Conference: Understanding your Pituitary Gland in Health and Disease

Dr. Frohman will present an overview of the pituitary gland. He will cover general aspects of pituitary function and testing and also review the types of pituitary disease that occur, including pituitary tumors and Sheehan’s Syndrome. Many people ask and wonder if Growth Hormone Deficiency can be inherited. Dr. Frohman will also briefly address that concern.


  • Magic Conference: Testing and Diagnosis Process for Pituitary Disorders

Pituitary disorders can be difficult to diagnose in many cases. Dr. Salvatori will discuss the different testing and diagnostic procedures to determine the pituitary disorder. MAGIC receives many calls asking about diagnostic procedures. This segment will be helpful in understanding what procedures are used today to provide the best treatment available.


  • Magic Conference: Managing Medications and Aftercare of Treatments

It is crucial to monitor your treatments and aftercare of treatments when living with a pituitary disorder. Dr. Salvatori will discuss the importance of these issues so you will be aware of how to manage your pituitary disorder. A simple diagnosis does not mean that medications may be altered or changed in the future. This segment will assist you with information on how to manage your future.


  • Magic Conference: Cushing’s Disease, Are We Closer to Medical Therapies?

A significant proportion of patients with Cushing’s Disease are not cured by primary surgical treatment, the disease is prone to relapse and significantly damages quality of life. Adjuvant radiotherapy is an increasingly unattractive option for clinicians who wish to spare their patients hypopituitarism and other potential complications. Some pharmacological options are currently available but tend to have dose-limiting side effects. New agents recently approved or under investigation will be discussed and strategies to select the optimal drug or drug combination for individual patients reviewed.


  • The Trip So Far…

MaryO’s personal experiences and thoughts


  • Cushing’s Help Turned Twelve During the Conference!

Twelve  years ago I was talking with my dear friend Alice, who runs a wonderful menopause site, Power Surge, wondering why there weren’t many support groups online (OR off!) for Cushing’s and I wondered if I could start one myself.  We decided that I could.

This website ( first went “live” July 21, 2000 and the message boards September 30, 2000. Hopefully, with this site, I’ve made  some helpful differences in someone else’s life.


  • Magic Conference: Treating Cushing’s Disease with Surgery: Ways of Achieving a Cure

Dr. McCutcheon will discuss the ways of treating Cushing’s disease from the surgical perspective, including the different ways of getting to the pituitary, the chances of success, and the potential complications. In addition, special nuances and pitfalls ofsurgery in Cushing’s (as opposed to other types of pituitary tumor) will be addressed.


  • Phil and the Zebra Undies

Dr. McCutcheon is a surprise participant in a gift to Phil.


  • Real Talk: Psychological Process of Illness, part 1

This Segment will be broken into two sections. Part I will be provide an open opportunity for participants to ask relevant questions around the emotional/mental issues in living with a chronic illness. Participants will be able to openly talk about depression, anxiety, trauma, and other processes that occur when living illness.


Due to confidentiality issues, most of this segment is not shared.


  • Real Talk: Psychological Process of Illness, part 2

Part II will focus on seeing ourselves as survivors of illness and the process of staying empowered through illness that impacts us in such a powerful way. Principles of empowerment and how one can turn adversity into opportunity will be discussed. This segment should create an environment that is non judgmental and motivating.


Due to confidentiality issues, most of this segment is not shared.


  • The Rest Of The Trip

Wind-up and heading home

Eventually, all these posts will be edited, cleaned up and typos corrected.;

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