Friday, November 2, 2012

Truncal Obesity

Yes, that’s a brand new picture of me taken just this week.  That makes it among the most recent in ten years.  But let’s take a look at the rest of me:

As you can see I’m playing a guitar.  Flamenco guitar is one of my hobbies and I do enjoy playing it.  But the important thing to focus on is the fat.  My fat is concentrated mainly in my trunk area.  Look at how thin my arms are, almost like skinny sticks.  That is the classic portrait of what is called Truncal Obesity, the rather distinctive trait of Cushing’s syndrome.  Normally the morbidly obese have plenty of fat on their arms and legs as well as the trunk of the body.  However, those with Cushing’s syndrome, or a few other disorders such as PCOs (Polycystic Ovarian Tumors) will display truncal obesity to varying degrees.  Anytime one sees the pattern one should consider endocrine problems.

In the following picture you’ll see that my mother displayed the pattern as well:

Once again, we see morbid obesity combined with a relative lack of fat in the extremities.  With both my mother and me you could see the individual muscles in the forearm clearly.  It was the same with both our lower legs and my thigh muscles stand out really well.  In my case both my arms and legs are free of fat until I reach the joint with my torso, then some shows up.  Next I repost the picture of my friend:

I her case the differences in the trunk and extremities aren’t so pronounced.  Yet she does suffer the disease.  Look more closely at her forearms, though, and you will see the difference.  Finally I will repost another picture I’ve used:

In this picture which was posted on Facebook the woman shows the clearly distinct truncal obesity which is often the first big sign of Cushing’s.

This is the first in a series of posts on the things those with Cushing’s can see for themselves or which may be noticed by friends and family.  For some of those the clothes will come off, or the pictures themselves may be shocking.  I’m choosing the photos and getting permission to use them.  There are folks out there who are willing to expose themselves that those who are seeking to know what is going on with their own bodies, or those of loved ones.  They have my hearty thanks!

1 comment:

  1. i truly thought i had a stomach tumor or had some severe GI problem when my stomach first started puffing up like that because the weight is distributed so unevenly. I didn't realize it was weight gain at first..but then it got bigger bigger bigger. Nope, just a brain tumor that's the size of a pencil point, that's all.