Cushing's Disease and Getting Social Security Disability
What is Cushing's Disease?
Your adrenal glands are situated right above your kidneys. When anything causes your adrenal glands to produce too much cortisol, it leads to a condition that is known as Cushings syndrome. Cushings syndrome is an endocrine disorder that involves your adrenal glands.
There are several things that can result in Cushings syndrome. Some of these are:
- Ectopic ACTH syndrome - Caused by benign or malignant tumors that form outside of your pituitary gland that produce ACTH.
- Adrenal tumors Most of the time, these are benign tumors of adrenal tissue that are referred to as adrenal adenomas. These usually develop when you are around the age of 40. They develop from the cortex of your adrenal glands.
- Familial Cushings syndrome Although it is rare, Cushings syndrome may be inherited from getting a tendency to form tumors in one or more of your endocrine glands.
ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone), or corticotropin, is a hormone that is made in and released by your pituitary gland. The main thing that ACTH does is to stimulate the synthesis and release of steroid hormones from your adrenal glands. ACTH is the main modulator of cortisol.
When Cushings syndrome develops as the result of a tumor that forms in your pituitary gland and secretes excessive amounts of ACTH, this specific type of Cushings syndrome is known as Cushings disease. Cushings disease is five times more common in women than it is in men.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Cushing's Disease
There are several signs and symptoms that may be an indication of Cushings disease. These include:
Moon face (red, round, full face)
Above the waist, upper body obesity that is accompanied by thin legs and arms
Buffalo hump (a collection of fat that is between your shoulders)
Bone tenderness or pain
Thinning of your bones that results in spine and rib fractures
Backache that develops with routine activities
Thin skin that bruises easily
Skin or acne infections
The formation of purple marks on the skin of your breasts, abdomen and thighs
An increase in urination and thirst
Changes in behavior, anxiety or depression
Impotence in men
No desire or decreased desire for sex in men
An irregular menstrual cycle or one that stops in women
Excess hair growth in women on the abdomen, thighs, chest, neck and face.
Unfortunately, as of June 7, 2011, the Social Security Administration is no longer considering endocrine disorders as a qualifying impairment when evaluating your application for Social Security disability benefits. However, this does not mean that you cannot get Social Security disability benefits because of Cushings disease.
If Cushings disease and complications that have resulted from it have brought about your disability and inability to work, you may still qualify to get these benefits. You will need to present all of the medical evidence that you can to show that you are disabled and unable to work.
Hiring A Disability Lawyer
One of the best ways to do this is to have a disability attorney working for you. A disability attorney will know what the Social Security Administration is looking for and will be able to help you get the Social Security disability benefits that you are entitled to.