Question about timing of cortisol doses

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kchase77, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. mbofov

    mbofov Active 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 -

  2. mbofov

    mbofov Active 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.
  3. 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.

  4. mbofov

    mbofov Active 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!

  5. 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]
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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,
  9. kchase77

    kchase77 Member

    Btw, did you see the post I left for you in this thread?
  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. mbofov

    mbofov Active 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!

  15. kchase77

    kchase77 Member

    I've had a doozy of a time the last three days with this Seriphos, I can tell ya!

    Monday (after being up all night before) I took 2 caps of Seriphos about 12:30pm I was drowsy enough to fall asleep and slept till approx. 8:30pm.

    Awake again all night and Tuesday morning about 10:30am I took 2 Seriphos caps. This time I was still wide awake until 8pm. Remembered what I'd read from one reviewer taking Seriphos that if insomnia kicked in you might be too low in cortisol and to take a small amount of HC. So cut a 5mg pill in half and took 2.5mg. It worked and I slept from 8pm-ish to 1am Wed. morning.

    Stayed up, drank a caffeine free diet coke, and surfed the web for awhile. By 2 am I went back to bed and fell right to sleep. Woke at 6am feeling great! Tons of energy! By 10:30am I was crashing and burning big-time. So tired had to go lie down. Took 1 cap of Seriphos and the other 2.5mg of HC.

    Then the electricity was cut off and without my fan noise going I was not going to sleep no matter how exhausted I felt. So sat around doing absolutely nothing for 4 hours until the power came back on and now I am here posting this.

    At the smaller doses the HC is not bothering me the way it did at the larger ones and I def attribute my burst of energy at 6am this morning to the 2.5mg I took last night. But why did I crash and burn so badly after only 4 hours?

    Another thing I am forgetting to factor in is the Zoloft and Effexor. Effexor is for the anxiety that too much cortisol gives me (I think that's correct). So my cortisol may not be as high as we all thought. I have not done research on the effects of those two meds on cortisol (note to self to do that) but I have to figure since one calms anxiety and the other rage and raises serotonin that my natural cortisol levels are not as high while using them. What do you think?

    So I could be taking too much Seriphos as evidenced by my bad experience Tuesday and needing that 2.5mg of HC to finally fall alseep. I'd really be interested to hear what all of you guys think about this.

    And I really wish I could afford to have a saliva test. That would sort me out I think.

    Anyway, thanks for listening as always and for the good advice!
  16. tjblueeyes

    tjblueeyes New Member

    I don't think hydrocortisone is the same as cortisol.