High Cortisol, high DHEA levels anyone?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by nell-UK, Aug 20, 2002.

  1. nell-UK

    nell-UK New Member

    Hi there...

    I've just received some results back from a 24 hour urine test to measure my hormones.

    My cortisol level is 122...normal being 0-50 and my DHEA level is 0.69... normal being 0.06-0.46.

    I am not able to speak to my Doc about these for over another week and was wondering if anyone else had results like this? I have heard of people having high cortiosl but high DHEA too?

    How do you go about correcting this?

    Any advice greatly appreciated!

    Nell

    P.S. Also have high other things too, but no idea what they are and also very low Aldosteron?
  2. nell-UK

    nell-UK New Member

    Hi there...

    I've just received some results back from a 24 hour urine test to measure my hormones.

    My cortisol level is 122...normal being 0-50 and my DHEA level is 0.69... normal being 0.06-0.46.

    I am not able to speak to my Doc about these for over another week and was wondering if anyone else had results like this? I have heard of people having high cortiosl but high DHEA too?

    How do you go about correcting this?

    Any advice greatly appreciated!

    Nell

    P.S. Also have high other things too, but no idea what they are and also very low Aldosteron?
  3. sedgewarbler

    sedgewarbler New Member

    Hello Nell,

    I also had a test but this was a saliva test taken at four key points of the day. The only part of the day that was "normal" at that time (Apr 2001) was the 8a.m. reading. Otherwise my cortisol and DHEA readings were very high. At bedtime the DHEA went sky high.

    I cannot compare my figures with yours (apart from the fact that I've mislaid the thing!) because a different scale obviously operates for different tests.

    Dr. Hyams told me that the DHEA would have gone very high to compensate for the high cortisol, presumably trying to have some sort of calming influence.

    High cortisol levels are associated with depression and I wasn't suffering from depression at the time. I was however suffering from anxiety.

    I'm interested that you should have these readings because when I spoke to NPTech I was told they usually found
    abnormally low readings from M.E. patients for cortisol. Even zero on some occasions. He thought I was unusual. In all the literature about M.E. they always describe low adrenal function and recommend sub clinical doses of steroids.

    I was recommended a homoeopath who had helped some M.E. patients to feel much better by giving them Adrenal extract. However they had low cortisol levels and giving it to me was the start of my big problems last year. I consider the homoeopath to have been irresponsible in this respect.

    It would seem that it's easier to treat low cortisol than high. Dr. Hyams prescribed certain supplements for me which were supposed to calm things down, for instance the amino acid L Taurine (sometimes used in epilepsy). This made matters worse as I woke up in the night in a "hyper" state,seeing stars etc.I can't remember what else he prescribed because it all upset me colitis wise.

    So I have no real suggestions for what to do about high cortisol levels. I would be interested to see if anyone else posts who has the same problem. We might find out how unusual it is.

    Note how there's a nearby post by Satin1 on low DHEA levels!

    Love Vicki[This Message was Edited on 08/21/2002]
  4. nell-UK

    nell-UK New Member

    I was surprised as I expected them to be low if anything.

    Did Dr H try you on something called phosphatidal serine (sp)? Have just been having a scan around and that seems to be used to get rid of excessive amounts of cortisol.

    I would imagine that having high amounts would make you feel anxious though. I'm sorry you weren't able to tolerate taking anything though, I have to wait until a week on Friday to speak to him about this.

    The dentist went well yesterday apart from the fact I have a cheek so swollen I look like I've grown another chin, never again will I have an impacted wisdom tooth out like that!!!! At least all the mercury fillings are gone now though.

    Thanks for replying Vicki, at least we are two oddbods together!!

    Nell
  5. sedgewarbler

    sedgewarbler New Member

    Nell,

    No I didn't try the above. It might be contraindicated with my antiD, I don't know. I shall look into it.

    Will be interested to hear what Dr.Hyams has to say.

    Glad the dentistry went reasonably well - How many amalgam fillings did you have removed? If your wisdom tooth was impacted I can't see what else you could do but have it out.

    Love Vicki
  6. lavenderblue

    lavenderblue New Member

    Hello Nell & Sedgewarbler,

    When I was tested a few years ago, I too had high cortisol levels. I did the saliva test.

    Like you, all the stuff I read on M.E indicated that high levels were unusual in the illness and that depressed people have high levels. Like SW, I definately wasn't depressed but I had quite high anxiety levels which I knew were not of a psychological origin but very definately had a physiological origin.(I suffer from severe sensory overload but didn't know what it was at the time, so I used to get anxious when I had a bad time with it).

    I read a book by Dr Poesnecker (USA) which had a bit on high cortisol levels. He recommended phosphatidyl serine to deal with the problem. As it wasn't available in the U.K at the time he sent it to me from the States, but I must admit it didn't really help. I haven't had my levels tested lately but as I still feel the same, I think that they still would be raised.

    Just as a matter of interest - have either or you ever shown a high Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)when you've had a blood test? Mine has been high everytime I've been tested and an elevated ESR indicates infection or inflammation somewhere in the body. When the body is infected or inflammed it does produce Cortisol to try and deal with the problem. Infection/inflammation is also a stressor to the body and as cortisol is a stress hormone it might give a clue as to why mine were high when tested.

    I have got something on raised Cortisol levels in M.E but can't put my hand on it at the mo. I'll try and find it for you. Please let me know if you find anything else out about this problem as I'd be interested to know why it happens and what to do to deal with it.

    Best Wishes to all,

    Lavenderblue (U.K)
  7. rick31797

    rick31797 New Member

    I dont understand the scale being used...I have my lab tests in front of me and for Cortisol ( AM) it says the normal range is 148-456 mine was 50 and DHEA the normal range is 3.5 to 6.8 and mine is 2.3..I live in Canada maybe has something to do with metric.
    Rick
  8. sedgewarbler

    sedgewarbler New Member

    Good to hear from you. Yes, I remember replying to one of your posts about anxiety symptoms - Cannot exactly remember what it was.

    I think the ESR test you mention is one I have regularly because of my colitis, which is an inflammatory condition, as you may know. This could partly explain my high cortisol levels but I realise now that I had many of my problems for years and this was before I developed colitis.


    You mention the severe sensory overload and this is certainly true of me - Horrible isn't it?

    Thanks for letting us know how you got on with PS.

    I have showed my test results to various medics and the general concensus seems to be that the high cortisol levels are symptomatic of something else being wrong. Presumably we're talking about the disruption in the functioning of the HPA axis. So just treating the symptom alone is only going to be palliative at best.

    I have had three courses of steroids since '95 to treat colitis and I now know that because of my high cortisol levels I should never have had this treatment. However even M.E. specialists generally refer to adrenal insufficiency as being part of M.E. so presumably they would have thought it safe to treat me with steroids.
    We're in a difficult position here and potentially quite dangerous as I know to my cost.

    Yes, Lavenderblue, I will keep you informed of anything I find out about this M.E. minority!

    Rick31797

    Nell's scale and mine don't correlate either. I don't think it's to do with metric necessarily, just a different type of test.

    Love Vicki

    Lavenderblue,
    Forgot to mention that unless my colitis is seriously flaring the ESR test comes back pretty well normal.
    Also I notice there's nothing on your profile. Is it possible for us to know a little about you?

    Love V
    [This Message was Edited on 08/22/2002]
    [This Message was Edited on 08/22/2002]
  9. nell-UK

    nell-UK New Member

    Thanks for the replies...

    I think my last ESR was 13 which was the highest it could be but still in the normal range but I don't have colitis or anything like that so don't know the reason for that.

    I have problems with mercury poisoning and was wondering if that could be a reason for the high cortisol, it seems to put the body under enormous pressure and I know that the hypothalmus is affected by mercury.

    Anyway I will let you know what Dr Hyams says to me after I have spoken to him about this, I do know he has taken my results to show an endocrinologist so it will be interesting to hear what he says.

    It's a shame the PS didn't do anything to help you lavenderblue, I'm hoping to find something to sort this out at least until I can start chelating the mercury anyway.

    I'm not surprised the actual figures of the results all vary, this was a test done in the Netherlands and things are bound to be different from country to country.

    Take care,

    Nell

  10. lavenderblue

    lavenderblue New Member

    Hello again SW,

    If you're interested I've just updated my profile, though it'll be a long time before I'm brave enough to put a photo on it!

    Best Wishes

    Lavenderblue