What is Cushing’s syndrome, the condition Amy Schumer suffers from?

‘Life and Beth’ actress, trolled online for have a puffy face, explains disorder

Online trolls decided to criticize stand-up comedian turned actor Amy Schumer recently for how she looked during an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”

Although Schumer said she “owes no explanation,” the “Life and Beth” star spoke with journalist Jessica Yellin for Substack’s News Not Noise column afterward. She said her face was “puffier than normal” because of Cushing’s syndrome.

“The shaming and criticism of our ever-changing bodies is something I have dealt with and witnessed for a long time,” Schumer told Yellin. “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.”

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, Cushing’s syndrome is a hormonal disorder caused by heightened levels of cortisol. It’s also a fairly rare condition, most often affecting adults between 20 and 50 years old.

Cortisol, the National Institute of Health explains, is sometimes called the “stress hormone” because it helps your body respond to stress. It also helps maintain blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, reduce inflammation and turn food into energy.

Cushing’s can cause heart attack, stroke, blood clots, infections, bone loss, high blood pressure, depression, memory loss and other health problems, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Symptoms include weight gain, a round face, easy bruising, weak muscles, increased fat around the base of the neck and a fatty bump between the shoulders.

It’s also a disorder that can be hard for doctor’s to diagnose, often requiring an endocrinologist. The first step to determining if Cushing’s is at play is to take blood tests.

“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,” Schumer told Yellin. “So finding out I have the kind of Cushing that will just work itself out, and I’m healthy was the greatest news imaginable.”

On Feb. 15, Schumer took to social media to express her thoughts on the recent online criticism.

“At midnight tonight!” She posted to Instagram. “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.

“And you’re right it is puffier than normal right now. I have endometriosis an auto immune disease that every woman should read about. There are some medical and hormonal things going on in my world right now but I’m okay. Historically women’s bodies have barely been studied medically compared to men. The book ‘all in her head’ does a good job explaining this. I also believe a woman doesn’t need any excuse for her physical appearance and owes no explanation. But I wanted to take the opportunity to advocate for self love and acceptance of the skin you’re in.”