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Amy Schumer says criticism of her rounder face led to diagnosis of Cushing syndrome

Comedian and actress Amy Schumer received comments after several recent TV appearances from viewers who noticed her rounder-looking face. While some of the comments about her physical appearance seemed mean-spirited or unwarranted, Schumer said “thank God for that,” because she realized something was wrong and got a diagnosis: Cushing syndrome. 

After appearing on shows like “Watch What Happens Live” and “The Tonight Show” to promote her show “Life and Beth,” Schumer took to Instagram to address the comments. “Binge both full seasons of @lifeandbethhulu and thank you so much for everyone’s input about my face! I’ve enjoyed feedback and deliberation about my appearance as all women do for almost 20 years,” she wrote, a hint of sarcasm in her post.

She said her face is puffier than normal, saying she has endometriosis and is going through “medical and hormonal things.” 

But in a recent interview with “News Not Noise” blogger Jessica Yellin, Schumer said after reading the comments she was diagnosed with Cushing syndrome, which according to the Mayo Clinic occurs when the body has too much of the hormone cortisol over a long period of time.

What is Cushing syndrome?

Symptoms of the condition, which can be caused from taking medications called glucocorticoids or corticosteroids, can include a rounded face, pink or purple stretch marks on the skin and a fatty hump between the shoulders, according to Mayo Clinic, and could also lead to high blood pressure, bone loss and even type 2 diabetes. 

Schumer said her condition was caused by getting steroid injections in high doses. She says she now feels “reborn” after her diagnosis, and while some forms of Cushing can be fatal, she has a type that “will just work itself out.”

She said that while she was making public appearances and giving interviews to promote the show, she was getting tests like MRIs and blood draws, which made her worry she may not be around to see her son grow up. 

“So finding out I have the kind of Cushing that will just work itself out and I’m healthy was the greatest news imaginable,” she said. “It has been a crazy couple weeks for me and my family.”

“Aside from fears about my health, I also had to be on camera having the internet chime in. But thank God for that,” she said. “Because that’s how I realized something was wrong.”

Lowering the body’s cortisol levels can help improve Cushing symptoms, and the sooner treatment starts, the better, Mayo Clinic says. Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that helps regulate your body’s response to stress, according to Cleveland Clinic

Corticosteroids can be used to treat several issues including rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and allergies, according to the Mayo Clinic. They can be taken by mouth, inhaled or injected, and all of these forms can come with side effects.

Amy Schumer’s endometriosis diagnosis

Schumer said she has endometriosis, an often painful condition in which tissue that is similar to the inside the uterus grows outside of it.

When asked by Yellin why she is sharing her health information, Schumer said: “The shaming and criticism of our ever-changing bodies is something I have dealt with and witnessed for a long time. 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.”

“I want women to know it’s abnormal to have extremely painful periods and to find someone with experience in diagnosing and operating for endometriosis,” she said, adding that she received surgery for the condition that changed her life. “I want women to value feeling strong, healthy and comfortable in their own skin. I am extremely privileged to have the resources I have for my health and I know it’s not that way for most people. I am grateful and want to use my voice to continue to fight for women.”

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