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Dr. N. Karen Thames PsyD of The EPIC Foundation to be Featured on CUTV News Radio

DES PLAINES, ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES, December 9, 2019 / -- Cushing’s Disease is known as “the fat disease” for its rapid, unexplainable and excessive weight gain. It is diagnosed for one to three in every one million people. The condition is considered so rare, doctors are told in medical school they will likely never see a case of Cushing's in their career as physicians.

In 2006, Dr. Karen Thames gained 30 pounds in 30 days, eventually gaining 150 lbs. over the next 18 months.

“I remember thinking something is most definitely wrong with my body,” recalls Dr. Karen.

Cushing’s is caused by a tumor on the pituitary located on the base of the brain, which triggers the adrenal glands to pump cortisol, the stress hormone that governs our fight-or-flight response. Excess cortisol in the body translates into steroids, which results in physical symptoms.

Still, Dr, Karen struggled to find a diagnosis. It wasn’t until years later, after visiting with a handful of experts in Seattle familiar with these presentations that she was finally able to move forward.

“Any doctor dealing with Cushing's knows on an intellectual level that Cushing's does not default to the patient,” says Dr. Karen. “but on a subconscious level, there is still a bias against overweight people, especially women. I believe it's more prevalent than we think. I believe these conditions are being severely underdiagnosed, especially in underprivileged populations. There are people suffering and they don't have any recourse. The least we can do is support each other.”

Today, Dr. Karen is the founder and executive director of The EPIC Foundation, (Empowering People with Invisible Chronic Illness), a 501(c)3, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support, advocacy, and tools to empower those affected by chronic illnesses.

“Our community is so strong. That's why our tagline is ‘Together we are EPIC!’ because we want to convey that you are not alone,” says Dr. Karen. “We're a community that pulls together. We believe in affiliation. We believe in utilizing whatever resources we have so that our community's voices can be heard to spread awareness.”

Dr. Karen says living with chronic illness is not about finding a diagnosis and moving on. Even with a diagnosis, it’s going to be a constant battle.

“Unfortunately, chronic means suffering,” says Dr. Karen. “A chronic illness fluctuates in nature, so my husband and my children go through it every time I go to the hospital. Living with an invisible chronic illness is a constant fight every single day to live, so you have to fight for your most optimal quality of life. Never give up. Claim your right to thrive. Together, we are EPIC!”

CUTV News Radio will feature Dr. Karen Thames in an interview with Doug Llewelyn on December 11th at 12pm EST.

Listen to the show on BlogTalkRadio. If you have any questions for our guest, please call (347) 996-3389.

For more information, visit

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