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Amy Schumer shares Cushing syndrome diagnosis to ‘advocate for women’s health’

Amy Schumer attends the premiere of Hulu's "Life & Beth" at SVA Theater on March 16, 2022, in New York City.    (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images North America/TNS)
By Nardine Saad Los Angeles Times

Comedian Amy Schumer has Cushing syndrome, a hormonal disorder prompted by getting steroid injections in high doses.

The diagnosis revelation came less than a week after the “Trainwreck” and “Life & Beth” star addressed criticism of her “puffier than normal” face after a “Tonight Show” appearance earlier this month. Schumer initially attributed the change to endometriosis, which she has openly discussed for years, as well as “medical and hormonal things going on in (her) world right now.” Although she said she was OK at the time, on Friday she disclosed her official diagnoses in Jessica Yellin’s News Not Noise newsletter to “advocate for women’s health” and encourage women to be “relentless when fighting for their own health.”

“I feel reborn,” the 42-year-old said in the newsletter. “There are a few types of Cushing. Some that can be fatal, require brain surgery or removal of adrenal glands. 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. So finding out I have the kind of Cushing that will just work itself out and I’m healthy was the greatest news imaginable.”

Cushing syndrome happens when the body has too much cortisol, either from making too much of the stress hormone in the adrenal glands or from taking medicines that affect the body in the same way cortisol would for a long time, according to the Mayo Clinic. Too much cortisol can lead to a round, red, full face (also known as moon face), weight gain, thin skin with easy bruising, backaches during routine activities, bone pain or tenderness, collection of fat between the shoulders and above the collarbone, as well as anxiety, fatigue and headache.

Schumer, who has a 4-year old son with her husband, chef Chris Fischer, said it’s “been a crazy couple weeks” for her family while she juggled her fears about her health while being “on camera having the internet chime in” during the “Life & Beth” Season 2 press tour.

The Emmy-winning “Inside Amy Schumer” star said she was somewhat grateful for the online discourse — which she previously referred to as “feedback and deliberation about my appearance” — because it’s how she “realized something was wrong. Just like when I realized I had named my son something that didn’t sound so good. The internet is undefeated, as they say.”

“The shaming and criticism of our ever-changing bodies is something I have dealt with and witnessed for a long time,” said Schumer, who has addressed those topics in her comedy, on film and on TV. “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.”

She added that “this is a good example of the fact that we never know what is going on with someone. Everyone is struggling with something.”