Cortisol

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dancingstar, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. dancingstar

    dancingstar New Member

    Yesterday when I was at my internist's office, I picked up his health letter, and in it he explained what happens when we are deficient in any of our hormones. I'd post the whole thing, but it is several pages long.

    Anyway, I was reading about the symptoms of low cortisol, which I so very clearly have (though have never been tested for ....hmmmm:) ) and decided I should post them for you all as well since if we fix this problem, we might feel better:

    flu-like fatigue
    muscle weakness,
    stress-induced depression and anxiety
    palpitations
    frequent dehydration
    intestinal symptoms (such as Irritable Bowl Syndrome and nausea, diarrhea, tender belly)
    extremes of appetite (either no appetite or intense cravings for salt, sugar, and spicy flavors
    exaggerated hypoglycemia
    low blood pressure
    dizziness

    "Physically, patients with low cortisol may have brown pigment spots on their nose and cheeks, dark circles under their eyes, dark pigment lines under the arms, on the elbows, on the knees, and in the creases of the palms, heightened joint pain, asthma, seasonal allergies (hayfever) and red itchy skin patches (eczema).

    "Cortisol deficiencies are detected by blood and urine tests. Since cortisol is one of the most important hormones that wake us up in the mrning, its levels are best checked before 8:30 AM."

    Hope this helps someone.
    [This Message was Edited on 11/03/2005]
  2. tansy

    tansy New Member

    a few years ago to test my DHEAs, cortisol and sex hormone levels, I found the results very useful. This test confirmed the skewed ciradian cycle many of us have - low DHEAs and cortisol at 8.00am, still lowish at noon, then normal levels 4pm and midnight. So whilst a low am cortisol level might indicate levels too low to get going in the morning, they might not be as low the rest of the day.

    I persuaded my GP to Rx low dose hydrocortisone for 3 months, but was disappointed that it helped so little, now with hindsight I realise this was due to thryoid issues.

    After 3 months I tried alternatives and supps, but some of them made matters worse and part from one ayurvedic adaptogen I took in 2004, it was not a successful venture.

    Though I have no doubt my adrenal function is still not as good as I'd like it to be, my HPA axis problems generally have improved; the symptoms related to my thryoid going from hyper to hypo (and feeling like both were present at the same time) have gone. It took a combo to help with this including concentrating on inflammation, infections, toxins, coagulation, and rebalancing the ion channelopathy found in these DDs.

    The changes I made that led to these improvements included taking vit D3, stopping the bromelain and taking natto and turmeric instead, and then adding in Recuperation electrolyte salts. My aim was to try and treat what was contributing to HPA axis problems rather than taking the hormones.

    There is no doubt that a subset with these DDs are suffering from adrenal exhaustion; in which case cortisol, or alternatives to support the adrenals, will help.

    Dancingstar

    I saw your post on how d-ribose is working for you; that's great news :). I believe as more try d-ribose, or the full protocol suggested by Dr Sarah Myhill, we will see others benefitting too.

    love, Tansy
    [This Message was Edited on 11/03/2005]
  3. dancingstar

    dancingstar New Member

    In answer to what they do about low cortisol, here's what my doctor said in his health report:

    "Once the degree of the deficiency is known, cortisol is given as a bio-identical tablet (Cortef) or as a prescription synthetic medication for more complicated and severe cases."


    Tansy,

    I'm interested to see how ribose is working for others as well.

    There is no question that for some of us there is an element of adrenal burn-out to FMS and/or CFS, probably combined with some other large stressor, be it chemical, biological, emotional or something that our bodies just couldn't handle, especially layered on top of our already burned-out adrenals.

    I'm kind of surprised that after three years of griping about these symptoms, since my doc is so educated on this stuff, that he didn't test me for this...when it seems so very obvious to me.

    Hopefully, we can all find the right combinations of things that will allow us to function properly...and I get the feeling that's what it is for many of us, a trial-and-error process of finding out what we're missing so that we can replace those things and get on with our lives. Oh, but what a pain it is to figure it all out....

    -bebe
  4. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    I had adrenal burnout with high cortisol levels. The high levels caused insomnia, edginess and an intolerance for stress.

    My high cortisol levels were detected through saliva testing, which tested my levels early morning, mid-day, late afternoon and late evening.

    I had fatigue, muscle weakness, and low blood pressure described above, but this was due to weak adrenals, not low cortisol.

    I take Seriphos (phosphorylated serine) to reduce the high cortisol, and started out with 8 capsules a day two years ago, am down to 2 a day now, and will soon go to one.

    It's really important to have tests done instead of assuming one's levels are low or high.

    I hvae CFIDS only, and not FM and am wondering if people with FM are prone to low cortisol levels, and people with CFIDS, high levels. It would be interseting to find out.

    Mary
  5. Meghanne

    Meghanne New Member

    I'm definitely going to get this checked out. It fits me to a "T".

    Trish
  6. ImDigNiT

    ImDigNiT New Member

    I was tested by IGnix and mine was pretty high. Not sure yet about what to do about it thought. I am on so many meds and supplements as it is I hate right now to start anything else.

    I have been terribly herxing for two weeks. I finally called my FFC Dr. in Denver and my local Dr here in Florida.

    When I explained the symptoms they both said go to the ER. The DEnver Dr. thought that was the only way to get the pain and stiffness under control. I mean I went almost a week before calling either, but by last Friday I knew I could not deal with the pain. They gave me 150mg of Demerol and 10 mgs of Valume. Most people would be knocked out, but no not me. I was chatty cathy. But, I am glad I went to the ER because I know the local Dr. could not do anything because it was so out of control (stiffness and pain).

    Yesterday was the first day I have been up in about two weeks.

    I guess I got off of the subject, but I am interested too about how this relates to Chronic Fatigue, Fibro and Lyme Disease.

    Peaceful mind and body to all!

    Marcia