Question about timing of cortisol doses

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia and ME & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome' started by kchase77, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. kchase77

    kchase77 Member

    Now this is really interesting! I love anything I drink to be ice cold and even keep my fridge turned down so that diet coke, milk, whatever will be icy cold. Can't keep fruits and veggies in there cause they'll freeze. And then I will fill the glass to the top with ice or crushed ice and drink a little at a time so I can have maximum cold. I will always eat the ice when the drink is finished too. And I will rarely, rarely, rarely ever drink a hot beverage even if I've just been out in a blizzard. Want cold, cold, cold in my beverages.

    Excerpt from the wiki: Pagophagia is a form of the disorder pica involving the compulsive consumption of ice or iced drinks. It has been associated with iron deficiency anemia, and shown to respond to iron supplementation, leading some investigators to postulate that some forms of pica may be the result of nutritional deficiency.

    Am I detecting that this might be my problem instead of the adrenals?

    I have a 15-year old niece exhibiting all the same signs and symptoms I did at her age and my life has been miserable. I sure don't want her to suffer as I have so won't stop till I figure it out. She too likes her drinks cold and eats all the ice afterwards. She doesn't have high energy either.

    Thanks for listening!
  2. kchase77

    kchase77 Member

    This is the site I found saying that chronic fatigue is being treated with cortisol microdose therapy.

    The doctor is Professor Virgil Stenberg, retired (I think) from the Univ of North Dakota. I believe he made a breakthrough in rheumatoid arthritis which his wife suffered from. Anyway, I have not read a lot on either site....I just remembered this from looking thru the Mood Cure on Google Books.

    Let me know what you think.

    [This Message was Edited on 03/09/2013]
  3. mbofov

    mbofov Member

    kchase - I believe that most Medicare Advantage plans have no deductible and have very low copays (if any) to see a doctor. I just looked up one plan availalbe here in L.A. County - Humana, and there is zero deductible and regular doctor visits have a zero copay. Also, I don't think there's a copay or deductible for lab work either.

    It would be really good for you to get some basic lab work done - your iron levels at least - so you can know what you're dealing with. I know the enrollment period is closed now though, but you might look into this and see if there's any way you can get enrolled in a Medicare HMO.

    I don't usually recommend these plans because they never have integrative medicine doctors on the list, but at least you could get basic lab work done for free with one of these plans. And many also include prescription drug coverage so you might save money there as well.

    With your iron, I just looked up non-constipating iron and saw one by Solgar, which is a good brand, called "Gentle Iron", 90 caps for $8.70, and it says right on the bottle, "non-constipating". I think cheap is just fine for a basic iron supplement.

    Good luck with everything -

  4. mbofov

    mbofov Member

    If your income is low enough (and it sounds like yours is), you may qualify for help with Medicare premiums and copays. You can call Medicare for more info. Their booklet says that coverage varies from state to state and to get hte number for your state, call 1-800-633-4227 and say "Medicaid" and they should give you the phone number for your state.
  5. kchase77

    kchase77 Member

    Thanks for doing the research on these, Mary. Very kind of you.

    I have already ordered the iron supplements and will post back how I do.

    I know that the Medicare plan I have now has a deductible of about $150 and then a 20% copay. I've not paid much attention to what it could be changed to as it is somewhat confusing for me. But it's time I sat with someone and go over what my options are. If I can find a plan without those monetary outputs, I could see a doctor.

  6. mbofov

    mbofov Member

    There are plans with 0 deductibles and even 0 copays. I'm pretty sure thesee are available throught hte country, although different areas will have different plans. I know it's confusing.

    There's a feature on the Medicare website where you can do a search for plans specifying what you want. They also mail out a booklet with all the info about plans, usually in October I think because open enrollment where you can change plans starts in November or December, I forget which. You can call Medicare and find out.

    Yes, it would definitely be good to sit down with someone and go over this. And you can go to the website yourself and check it too.

    Good luck!

  7. herennow

    herennow Member


    I thought you might like to know that I take a cortisol alternative Isocort at 8am (ish) and 12pm (ish) to supplement low cortisol levels.

    My symptoms before I started taking it were:
    - a frazzled nervous feeling all day long, while having low energy.
    - insomnia characterized by very light sleep with multiple waking points. I was getting very poor rest.

    A saliva test showed low cortisol during the day rising to become high during the night. The opposite of what it should be. So I was pushing myself on low cortisol during the day hence the nervy feeling, then at night the cortisol (which should be low) would rise, disturbing my sleep, keeping me half awake.

    With the morning dose of Isocort, I take 4 tabs of Now Foods licorice root (when things were worse I was taking 8 tabs). As you might know licorice retains existing blood cortisol, making it dissipate more slowly hence raising the levels.

    Licorice has a very real and significant effect and it means you can take less of whatever cortisol hormone/hormone substitute you use. If the hormone tablet is like a tap, licorice is like a dam.

    An Italian professor, Dr Baschetti, proclaims licorice alone to be the cure for CFS. Licorice of course simply means low cortisol. What licorice will do hydrocortisone will also but it has a different method of achieving it.

    I chose to avoid hydrocortisone because of the 'feedback loop' I've read about. The loop leads to reduction in the adrenal gland's cortisol production.

    Of course it comes down to whatever you can afford and works for you. Improvement is the #1 rule.

    All the best,

    [This Message was Edited on 03/13/2013]
    [This Message was Edited on 03/13/2013]
  8. ellikers

    ellikers New Member

    Cortisol levels have a normal daily pattern that rises in the morning and drops off til they are lowest at night. If you aren't able to take a dose of something early in the day, I would think that taking half the dose at midday would be much safer.

    It sounds like you have a reversed pattern of cortisol which can be common in folks with CFS and other related issues. It might be more helpful to take herbs that can support your adrenals and melatonin at night (to aid with sleep) to help re-stabilize your biological rhythms.

    Administering hormones, including steroids like cortisone, by yourself can be hazardous.
  9. kchase77

    kchase77 Member

    Have read the newest replies and thank you so much. I will add my replies soon but after that reaction with the HC I am back to flat out exhausted. Slept all day today and am more tired than before I slept. Hard to believe there is an exhaustion that cannot be refreshed by sleep but boy there is.

    Not even caffeine or anything else I take can relieve this. And I am so down and disappointed that HC did that....I had such high hopes and hoped and prayed it was the answer.

    Anyway, when I am feeling better, I will get back to everyone. I found something online that has me thinking ellikers is spot on about the reversed cortisol. Will post a link with my next reply.

    God bless you have really been a help to me.
  10. kchase77

    kchase77 Member

    Hi all,

    Thought I would stop by to say I am still flat out with exhaustion and had a horrible time last night with dizziness, pounding heart, hot flashes, nausea, and vomiting. Looks like the perimenopause symptoms were in overdrive last night. Still recovering from that too.

    Haven't forgotten about replying to your posts but please bear with me while I try to stay upright. Am formulating a new plan of action after the disaster with HC and will be back to post it.

    Thanks for your patience,
  11. freida

    freida Active Member

    Jody, please take extra good care of yourself.
    You must stay hydrated and be careful of electrolyte imbalance, after nausea, vomitting, etc.

    I wish you would be checked by a good dr.

    I understand how you had high hopes and are disappointed.!!
    Been through that so many times, myself, with trying things to get better!

    Take good care of yourself.

    We all understand.
    Get help, if you need it!

  12. kchase77

    kchase77 Member

    Btw, did you see the post I left for you in this thread?
  13. freida

    freida Active Member

    Thank you for that.

    Are you doing any bit better?

    Thinking of you!

  14. kchase77

    kchase77 Member

    Hi Luke and ellikers!

    After reading both of your posts and happening upon the above women's story, I've come to agree with you both that my cortisol is reversed. Low/am and high/pm.

    Her story is pretty much mine....physically and verbally abusive childhood and physically abusive marriage....divorce, stressful job, termination, legal case and reinstatement, and then nervous breakdown. PTSD and hypervigilence, rage, anxiety. Zoloft for depression and Effexor for anxiety.

    Instead of taking something in the morning to boost my cortisol, I have ordered Seriphos to take at night to lower my pm levels. Will try that first and see if something still needs to be added for am. If so, then I will look into getting the licorice and Isocort. Right now I am still sleeping during the day and up at night and my sleep is not good. So getting the good night's rest is important. I am not working and do not have anywhere I need to be in am.

    I also ordered the iron tablets Mary recommended and will start taking those too. The last thing I have decided on is to go with an amino acid therapy in the hopes that I can get off the prescription meds. Have not ordered these yet and hopefully will next month. Have chosen Genesa's Total Amino Solution. A friend knowledgeable in supplements and nutrition has been helping me choose. And will get The Mood Cure and read it before starting on the aminos.

    One thing I have noticed is that the cortisol I did take for that short time has only increased my pm levels and further decreased the am levels. I also notice that if I drink more than 1 or 2 caffeinated diet cokes my heart will start pounding hard like it did the other night. I had 4 that day and that may even be what set off that terrible set of menopausal symptoms. So no more than 2 now and if I want anything more I drink something decaf or water. Will address my caffeine issue further down the line. For now, I still need some.

    Seriphos will be here on Thursday and I am very anxious to see how that works.

    Also, I want to say a big thanks for all those that post and wish me well! In time, I hope to be able to do the same for you guys. Everything is very much appreciated.

  15. kchase77

    kchase77 Member

    Yes, somewhat better. At least feel up to writing and posting now and generally sitting around. :)

    Feel tired and wired though and believe that is the result of the cortisol I did take. It only made a bad situation worse. Hopefully, the Seriphos will reverse it and I can sleep thru the night and wake refreshed in the morning. I am very anxious to see if it will work like all the reviewers say it does. Wish me luck!

  16. freida

    freida Active Member

    It's very good to read both of your posts, Jody.

    Those sound like good sensible decisions to me, for your next steps.

    I also have to do a bunch of things to try to give my brain the messages,
    of when it is nightime and when it is morning,
    I do a lot of bedtime type rituals before bed,
    the same every night,
    that gradually lower lights and activity levels and mind activity,
    and in the a.m, or whenever I manage to drag myself upward,
    I do some morning rituals, and open up the shades for light, etc.
    I try to give my very not-working circadium rythm, some big strong hints! LOL

    These non-supplement, non-med actions do help too.

    Yes, good luck!!
    Let us know.

    It sounds like you are doing good careful thinking and researching,
    and thanks for your sharing!!


    P.S. I suggest starting very slowly and gradually on the iron, when you do that,
    since it makes some of us TOO constipated, if we take more than our individual body can handle.
    You'll be looking for the amount that helps you, but isn't too much.
    More is not better. ;)
    Resist that tempting way of thinking, that if something helps, or might help, that more of it will help more.
    It might, but go gradual, because at some point, more is too much and turns out to be harmful.[This Message was Edited on 03/20/2013]
  17. kchase77

    kchase77 Member

    Boy, you have me pegged...want it better ASAP! lol

    Received the iron and Seriphos yesterday. Have an iron supplement that doesn't cause far so good on that. :) Have only taken 1 per day for two days...will see what happens by the time I finish 90 Vcaps.

    Have taken Seriphos twice as well, but am still up at night. So this one will be tricky and your tip about opening the blinds to the sun should help. I keep all my blinds closed all the time and I know that contributes to my issues. Just love sitting around in the dark.....and that ain't good.

    After taking both last night I initially felt drowsy so laid down for a little while. Never fell asleep so got up and came back to the computer. As the night wore on, I noticed that the heavy fatigue/head lolling/almost falling out of chair tiredness was gone. Don't know if it was the iron or the Seriphos but it was nice. Even felt good enough to do some work on a website I've needed to get done for a long time.

    Something else I noticed was that some of those nasty side effects of the cortisol have returned. Woke last night with sore chest and a little hard to breathe. Has lasted into this evening/night. Have noticed when I eat something cold I get a slight asthma-like feeling and a small cough. Wonder if that HC did me permanent damage?

    After researching natural menopause supplements, I decided on one called HRT Plus...kinda pricey so I hope it works. After all the money I have spent on supplements I could have had a doctor's visit. :(

    Anyway, this one contains a plant from Thailand that mimics estrogen without the side effects. Was written about in the Health Sciences Institute in 2008 and contains this

    Nutritional H.R.T.** 100mg
    ---(Pureraria mirifica root)
    ---(Activated Purestrol PhytoEstrogen isoflavonoid complex)

    as well as other B vitamins. So that's next on this list to take. Aminos next month, I think.

    Will update as I go on.

  18. freida

    freida Active Member

    Hi, Jody! :)

    I'd watch that response you have, closely.
    I'm not sure its any pernmanent damage, I would be careful to see if it could be you are sensitive to supplements, some of them,
    and maybe one of those might cause that asthma type response you get. I don't know.

    B-vitamins are good. Morning though, IMO.

    I can't remembe your entire situation,
    but did you try vitamin d3?
    If you have had your blinds closed and stayed indoors in the dark a lot,
    you probably need it, and would benefit from it, IMO.

    Of course, I'm not a dr and I don't know what you need!

    Just offering ideas.

    I hope you get to feeling more how you would like to!! :)

  19. kchase77

    kchase77 Member

    My asthma-like symptoms are still with me although a little lessened. Chest is still a little sore and breathing in deeply is a bit difficult. I can definitely tell something has changed in this regard since that overdose of HC. Whether it will ever go back to normal again, I just don't know.

    I think you are right on about the Vitamin D and I take an over-50s women's multivitamin that has 800 IU of Vitamin D in it. Don't know if that is enough.

    I slept thru the entire weekend and feel no better and no stronger than I did before the sleep. Only the bit of caffeine has had any effect and why I am able to type this.

    Bit at my rope's end at the moment. Just posted about the need for some live-in care with no idea how to go about arranging it under my unattractive financial status. All I have to offer is free rent in my home.

    Anyway, going to lie down. Will update later.

  20. mbofov

    mbofov Member

    Jody - I found that for me Seriphos works best when taken in the morning. It's seemingly paradoxical, but I read that due to the our circadian rhythms, even though the cortisol is high at night, you take Seriphos in the morning.

    When I first started it, I took it at night as I was told and it didn't help and I felt worse, and somehow I thought to take it in the morning and it was like a miracle, I started sleeping better almost immediately. I also felt less edgy but it not make me sleepy or tired during the day.

    My cortisol was high at night, causing severe insomnia. So you might try this. Also, I had to start with a rather high dose - 8 capsules a day (two doses in the morning of 4 capsules each, one before breakfast and one mid-morning - I take it on an empty stomach).

    Good luck!