Super high cortisol but adrenals weak - help please!!!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by LavPots, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. LavPots

    LavPots New Member

    Hi - I have been dealing with low adrenal function for many years, but a month ago I accidentally took too many adrenal glandulars and this spiked my cortisol levels, which has been confirmed by a comprehensive hormone test. I am low in almost every other adrenal hormone, but quite high on cortisol. Since I am concerned about supporting my adrenals in general I have been trying to find something I can take that would support them without causing the cortisol to go up. I am having heart pounding whenever I take ANYTHING that could help support my adrenals, even vitamin B5. Even herbs, like Astragalus, Ashwagandha, Ginseng, etc. all cause my heart to pound. Other herbs and vitamins, which do not support adrenals do not cause my heart to pound, just the ones that usually help with adrenal support.

    I have been trying the SeriPhos supplement, but I don't tolerate it well, and it seems that some people have had to take large amounts of it to get any help with high cortisol levels.

    Does anyone know of other things that could help to lower my cortisol levels? I am very concerned that I have knocked my HPA axis out of balance, and the SeriPhos is supposed to help with that, but so far it hasn't done anything to help stop the heart pounding when I take any adrenal support.

    I would really appreciate hearing from anyone who knows anything that could help with this....

    Thanks, in advance, for your time and help,

    Wendy (LavPots)
  2. heapsreal

    heapsreal New Member

    dhea can help lower or rebalance cortisol levels. My understanding is when cortisol is up dhea is down and when dhea is up cortisol is down. 800mg of phosphatidyle serine a day is also suppose to be good at lowering cortisol levels. Antidepressant avanza is also said to lower cortisol levels and is also good for sleep.
    good luck
  3. LavPots

    LavPots New Member

    Thank you, heapsreal for your reply - I greatly appreciate the input!

    I have been trying the Seri Phos, but am wondering if there is another brand that you have tried or had success with? Are some brands better, or stronger, that you know of?

    I assume the avanza is by prescription; I'll do a search for it on the web.

    My dhea is on the low side, so that is something I could try again. I tried taking some last weekend, but when I did my digestion started getting weak, which is a symptom I've struggled with for years and has to do with weak adrenals, as far as I know. It seemes that when my adrenals get weak, so does my digestion. Trying to figure all of this out is a real challenge, to say the least.

    Thank you again for your time and your help -

  4. heapsreal

    heapsreal New Member

    phosphatidyle serine they say has to be 800mg a day to have a good effect on cortisol. Personally i havent used that much, its expensive too, but I get most of my supps from they are cheap and have alot of brands and not just weightlifting supps. Now brand are good quality and cheaper then most.

    Avanza is a prescription med, also called mirtazipine(spelling??). From what i have read some people with insomnia have high night time cortisol levels and avanza lowers this and is one of the reasons it helps with sleep as well as other things, can make you groggy the next day, also can make you gain weight, but dont let it put you of, give it a trial first.

    With the DHEA you can get it in a transdermal cream, this might be easier on your digestion.

    I take it with high cortisol you have sleep problems too? Its a common symptom, i hate it, lol
  5. LavPots

    LavPots New Member

    Thank you again for all the info - I will check out the website you mentioned. Do I understand correctly that the PS you have taken is the Now brand?

    Actually I only have mild sleep problems; the main symptom I have from the cortisol is the heart pounding whenever I take anything that helps to support my adrenals, even though I know the adrenals are weak. I spoke briefly with one doctor who says the cortisol levels should come down on their own eventually, but I don't know if my otherwise weak adrenals will "hold up" long enough to go without support long enough for the cortisol to come down. I've already been off all adrenal support for a whole month, and the levels are still too high, so I'm looking for ways to get the cortisol down quickly so I can get back on a reasonable amount of adrenal support. Even progesterone spikes my cortisol, even vitamin B5 spikes it....

    I'm trying a higher level of Seriphos today; I'll see if I can get any help from it at a higher dosage. Otherwise I'll try another brand of PS.

    Thanks again for your input - I really appreciate it.

  6. dannybex

    dannybex Member

    I would guess that eventually they'll come back down as long as you've stopped taking the adrenal glandulars for a bit.

    And this is just another guess, but perhaps it might be a good idea to stop or REDUCE the things you are taking to "support" them. Some of them may be stimulating them, when they need to "relax".

    That's where the Seriphos comes in. It supposedly helps lower cortisol levels gradually, and then rebalance the normal cortisol pattern (high in the morning, and lower at night) but only if you take it at night...about an hour before you go to bed. It's my understanding that it takes a few weeks to really notice an effect...

    So in the meantime, you might consider stopping or reducing some of the other supps, and see what happens. Also -- taking rest breaks and doing all you can to avoid stressful situations is very very important. The adrenals will never heal if they're continually restressed. And I speak from too many years experience. I'm finally trying to listen more to my body and stop this pushing and crashing cycle...

    Hope this might help!


    p.s. Did you do a salivary cortisol test (24 hours) or a cortisol stimulation test (blood test)?
    If you did the former, was your cortisol high all the time, or more in the evenings or in the mornings? That answer would help guide your treatment choices...
  7. formales

    formales New Member

    Hi I have exactly the same problem, and I am unsure how to proceed. Ever since getting off glandulars I have really high cortisol spikes, adrenaline rushes, difficulty sleeping, super bad anxiety, and heart palpitations when taking "beneficial" things for adrenals. I had adrenal fatigue for over four years and now seem to be having these opposite symptoms. Please let me know what you figure out. I was working, but I think I need to take a medical leave or quit to figure this out. As it stands I feel like I am just getting worse. Even P.serine and things of the sort don't seem to help lower my cortisol levels. Thanks for the help and good luck to you.
  8. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    What negative effects are you having from the Seriphos?

    I admit, at one time, I was in the same place. I didn't, however, have problems with Seriphos, so that helped greatly.

    I agree that the naturopath I was working with had me really up my dose until I was able to get the relief I needed. I've just looked back at the Seriphos bottle (although I am no longer on it regularly, I had some left over from my last order), and the bottle says that there are 1000 mg of phosphorylated, serine/ethanolamine per capsule. I was taking 12 of those a day (either in 3 doses of 4 each, or 4 doses of 3 each -- can't remember).

    And it took a couple of weeks to feel the full effect because I had to ramp up the dose.

    P.S. Your doctor is right -- your cortisol will eventually come down on its own. But, uh, that's not necessarily good...especially if your body keeps churning it out and then burns out of being able to make any more.
    [This Message was Edited on 02/14/2009]
  9. formales

    formales New Member

    At the end of your message you wrote that it's not a good thing when the cortisol levels come down...Is that essentially saying that I will crash when I stabilize...? I am trying to up my dose of PS but it still seems that at some points of the day I am pumping out cortisol for no reason, am anxious, can't sleep, and adrenal supplements are "overstimulating" at this point.
  10. formales

    formales New Member

    LavPotts, Seriphos is a more inexpensive form of Phospatidylserine. I have felt better using Jarrow's Phosphatidylserine. It is definitely not cheap, but it helps out a bit. Unfortunately, as I am sure you have witnessed, sometimes these things help and sometimes they don't. Depends on the time of day, mood, other things I guess. I also have weak adrenals and worry mine won't hold on long enough to stabilize. I hope you make it through it OK.
  11. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    The naturopath I worked with tried to basically 'shut off' cortisol at the phase that you're describing. (He worked from the starting point of an adrenal stress index (ASI) saliva test.) His working model of adrenal stress was that eventually, if the body kept running on 'high' and pumping out cortisol, it would run out of the building blocks (specifically, one particular hormone -- and I'd have to look that up for you). The idea for him was to turn off the cortisol AND THEN treat the adrenals.

    If there was one thing I learned from this guy, it was to only start one new treatment at a time. So I wouldn't have started the adrenal supplements and the Seriphos. Under him, I started (first) the Seriphos -- gradually working up until I was calm. Basically, yes, the idea is to TURN OFF that speeding feeling -- that can't-shut-it-off switch. At that point, I didn't have a lot of bouncing-around type of energy, but the relief from not being 'wired' all the time was such a nice change. Finally, I could sleep. That's a big step, right there.

    Once your body settles into that, THEN you treat the adrenals...different doctors do it different ways. That's only one guy's opinion. But it did work for me.
  12. formales

    formales New Member

    Thanks very much. I had no idea what was going on with me, and couldn't figure out what to do. One last thing, how did you know when it was time to start re-treating the adrenals. It seems like sometimes my body accepts adrenal nutrients without a problem, and other times I have the very anxious, "my body doesn't want this" reaction. I don't want to keep going through these reactions, so I guess I'm trying to figure out how I will know when I have stabilized for good. Again, thank you so much for your help.
  13. winsomme

    winsomme New Member

    some others to look at:

    Relora (aka magnolia bark)
    Siberian Ginseng
    Ashawgandha (sensoril)

    These i believe are all supposed to have similar action of normalizing cortisol levels...although i can't say i know for sure....maybe worth reading up on.

    There has been a bunch of products that are supposed to suppress cortisol and help with weight that i found that was interesting was something called Cortisol Control by Vitamin Research Products which contains Relora and Ashwagandha, but again i haven't tried it...

    just some ideas...

    have you ever looked at the book, The Potbelly Syndrome. Have only read excerpts, but it discusses the roles of infection and cortisol....sounds interesting to me as i have put on weigth with my CFS. others have lost, who's to know...

    also, I have personally been looking at things to support mitochondria which include Phosphatidylserine and R Lipoic Acid (slightly different from the Alpha form) and Acetyl L Carnitine....the last two, I have been reading helps sugar levels but not sure about Cortisol.
    [This Message was Edited on 02/15/2009]
  14. WendyC

    WendyC New Member

    see my recent post and past posts on adrenals, methylation etc. I too have endochrine problems. It turns out I have hemochromatosis. Same darn symptoms as CFS! good luck

  15. equanimous

    equanimous New Member

    Hi Wendy,

    The first two things that came to mind for lowering cortisol were dhea and phosphatidyl serine, as others have mentioned. I know that both of these supplements make me extremely tired, so my guess is that they can be pretty effective in lowering cortisol. The other two supplements that I take to balance my HPA axis are the aforementioned Cortisol Control and a supplement called CalmPRT produced by the company NeuroScience. Haha, wow, I was just looking up in the ingredients in CalmPRT and I didn't realize that it actually has phostatidyl serine in it. What do you know? Anyway, I have the opposite problem as you in that my cortisol levels tend to run really low, but I have periodically gotten spikes where my heart is racing and I think that both of the supplements have helped to control that. The CalmPRT has the added benefit of reducing excitatory neurotransmitter transmission. Unfortunately, both of these supplements contain various herbs/adaptogens which you say you're sensitive too, but if you've tried everything else and nothing works, you might want to look into one or the other of these products.

    Best of luck,

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