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Mending adrenal glands - rising cortisol and feeling DRASTICALLY improved

Discussion in 'Adrenal Dysfunction' started by Athene, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. ukme

    ukme Senior Member

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    Hi Athene oh I didnt know that about cortisol - it's hopeless isnt it for every thing you try there always seems to be a drawback!! My daughter who is the one with ME (i am just the full-time unqualified chemist, doctor and researcher in the relationship) is taking 2 isocorts a day, we have abandoned the glandulars for now, so we'll see how it goes. Will let you know how it goes, early days yet but not intending to up the dose any higher anyway.
     
  2. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    I've decided to post an update because I think I have finally got all the way there on my adrenal therapy. I am still taking all the supplements and intend to continue indefinitely. I have relaxed a bit on the avoidance of tea and coffee and the careful diet rules. I am trying not to go overboard but so far I have not noticed any detrimental effects from a bit of indulgence.

    I'm doing a blood test in the next 2 weeks to measure the cortisol level objectively, but I can now say that every morning I wake up actually feeling awake, ready for the day and that I get out of bed without swearing at the alarm clock, or even muttering cantankerously under my breath. I have actually gone out for a few evenings, enjoyed myself and been able to stay awake the whole time! When I need a lie down, it is because of Symptoms rather than Exhaustion. I do still have plenty of symptoms (pains and headaches and tachycardia mainly), but overwhelming exhaustion is not one of them any more. I've got my fight back.
     
  3. ramakentesh

    ramakentesh Senior Member

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    .

    Sure does, but not in all patients. And in many adrenal function is fine but renin and ald are low with paradoxical increases in ang II.

    And also adaptogens like Rhodiola, Ashwagandha and ginseng dont just work on the 'adrenals' and 'adrenal fatigue' - most adaptogens work on a myriad of different bodily systems because most contain a myriad of different active constituents.

    Rhodiola rosea as an example has MAOI effects on serotonin, and is a fairly potent acetylcholinesterase inhibitor that acts on the CNS.

    If an adaptogen helps you to feel better it is pretty hard to actually say why definitively.
     
  4. Nielk

    Nielk

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    I'm being refered to an Endocrinologist to check my Adrenal glands. Did any of you see a specialist about this or are you following a protocol from a book?
     
  5. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    Hi,
    I am following a protocol from a book (see first post starting the thread).
    Athene
     
  6. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    VERY IMPORTANT to check cortisol levels before supplementing...

    Hi Athene and all,

    Thanks for pointing me to this thread Athene.

    As someone who's experiencing adrenal 'burnout', which is not the same as adrenal exhaustion or 'insufficiency', I just wanted to stress how extremely important it is to get a 24 hour salivary hormone test done before trying any supplementation. You need to know what your cortisol levels are throughout the day, not just in the mornings, as they change dramatically (as they should) during a 24 hour period. The problem is, when one has been under various stressors for years (including bacterial, etc), then cortisol often ends up very low in the AM (when it should be high), and high in the evening, when it should be low.

    Adrenal burnout and adrenal exhaustion (or insufficiency) are two very different things.

    "Burnout" is the stage just prior to exhaustion, where one's adrenals -- due most often to long term stressors -- are often putting out elevated levels of cortisol, usually towards the latter parts of the day, but sometimes all day and night (as mine were back in 2003) -- before they finally can't keep this up any longer and you end up with low cortisol throughout the entire 24 hour period. The latter is adrenal insufficiency.

    Symptoms of elevated cortisol can include: Anxiety, restlessness, irritability, and most often, feeling 'better' in the late afternoon/evenings, and also feeling like you're getting a 'second wind' about 11pm, and then not being able to go to sleep until about 2-3 am.

    This may explain why some folks have had negative reactions to commonly prescribed 'classic' supplements for the adrenals like pantothenic acid (B5) and/or even a B-complex. Pantothenic acid stimulates the adrenals to secrete more cortisol. If one's cortisol levels are already high, then this may make them go even higher -- not a good thing.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18520055

    The same thing can happen with other vitamins and also herbal remedies, like for example licorice root extract:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21184804

    I just can't believe I'm still in burnout, nine years after that first test. I completely forgot about the importance of the adrenals -- as did the new DOCTOR I was seeing the past 3 years(!) -- so I'm pissed at her, but have to let go of that, and accept some responsibility myself and move forward, now trying to LOWER my still-high cortisol (at noon!) and later in the afternoon/evening. But it's bad -- I lost 10 lbs of muscle in 6 months due to cortisol catabolizing my muscles for fuel -- and 14 lbs in one year.

    Things that help lower cortisol are zinc, Seriphos, and amino acids like lysine, arginine, and ornithine. Also increasing one's complex carbs, rest, laughter, meditation, forgiveness, etc..

    The 24 hour salivary cortisol test is available through many labs, including Diagnos-Techs. A google search will turn up more info on all of this.

    Okay, I'll shut up. :)
     
    Snow Leopard likes this.
  7. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    dhea is suppose to help counteract any negative effects of cortisol. One of the first signs of adrenal problems is dhea drops low while cortisol is still high, when they are both low this is when its extremely hard to get going. I would and do consider using dhea but in my experience i had to do this slowly or it has hyped me up. I started at 10mg and increased it to 20mg over a month or so. I will be testing dhea/cortisol soon to see where they are at.

    cheers!!!
     
  8. Crappy

    Crappy Senior Member

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    HEY! I resemble that remark! :Retro smile:
     
  9. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    Hi Danny,

    Thanks for the very interesting info.
    I've definitely had years of absolute adrenal insufficiency, with permanently low cortisol levels day and night.

    Do you know any websites that explain this difference of definitions in more detail?
    I wonder if the situation you have is the one many people on PR have complained about, the feeling of being "tired but wired"?
     
  10. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    http://www.drlam.com/articles/adrenal_fatigue.asp

    http://vimeo.com/3818805
     
  11. RosieBee

    RosieBee

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    Thanks for the update Athene. It is good to see how people are progressing and especially good to know when things work well!
     
  12. rydra_wong

    rydra_wong Guest

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    I have severe adrenal problems during allergy season. My bp (even with only 1200mg salt/day and lots of bp lowering supplements, such as 1g olive leaf extract which lowers bp 11 points) is 184/117 (was so until I started DHEA). During allergy season I HAVE to eat salt or THEN I have brain fog and my brain wont function. Despite eating LOTS of salt, my bp is still low then. At this time I am too exhausted to lift even one single finger to do the slightest thing someone wont die if I dont do. This is when I can let the weeds grow waist high for instance and feel depressed everytime I see them so you'd think I'd rip them out just so I dont have to feel depressed, but no can do. It does not make me feel wired.

    However when I am exposed to androgen receptor blockers (flea medicine) which blocks my DHEA (which allows me to tolerate or actually lowers cortisol) THEN I feel BOTH exhausted and wired (AND irritable - that is when I cant stand for anything to touch my skin).

    I am afraid I dont care about shades of meaning from adrenal exhaustion to adrenal burnout....I go reliably adrenal-not-working during allergy season and I recover afterward. Time to recovery depends. For instance last fall when I had to administer flea medicine at the same time frame I did not recover for months, but last spring it only took a week.

    When my adrenal is not functioning I get FREQUENT low blood sugar (like 3 or more times a day). Each low blood sugar attack makes me lose ~1.8g potassium (6 bananas worth). I found that Rhodiola helps prevent low blood sugar. I read in my Life Extension book that rhodiola increases glycogen storage so I am pretty sure that's how it helps.

    I now take a supplement of dried adrenal from Nutricology during allergy season. It helps for awhile. My DHEA helps also. I space that stuff out so I've got something to help me going every 4 hours at least and it does help. I cannot say if any adrenal product (with NUTRIENTS for the adrenal gland) would help as when I took one it always caused me to throw up. So I never explored that. I did try Ashwaghanda and Schizandra separately and they did nothing for me.

    Rydra
     
  13. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    Yay hay!!!!! Success!!!

    Hi Rydra and others,
    Thanks for the extra info you shared.
    Rydra, what is your diet like? are you avoiding carbs or some types of carbs? Or eating them freely?
    I have read that the best way to avoid these low blood suger dips is to eat a low carb, high protein diet, I was wondering if you've had experience of trying this?


    I've just got the results of my latest cortisol blood test. It was a fasting early morning blood test, it came in at 28.56 (normal range 8 to 25). This means I am just OVER the normal level, which, considering I have active infections, IS normal. So there's definite proof that this method (i.e. nutrients only) of raising cortisol production to normal levels really has worked.

    Apparently once the cortisol channel is working OK, the adrenals then resume putting resources into the channels producing sex hormones and increasing sex drive. I haven't had blood tests for these, but you can take my word for it that this is working just fine!

    Now I want to look into getting my thyroid working better. It is in the supposedly normal range but with values that suggest not all is well (TSH and both TH3 and TH4 at bottom of the range). If TSH is low-range then the others should be at the top of the range, not in the bottom third of range. I need to find out more about that...
     
  14. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    Congratulations! Good news!

    Is the blood cortisol test more useful than saliva, for certain information?
     
  15. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    Hi Madie,
    Apparently the saliva test is better actually, because you take 4 swabs and get a profile throughout the day, whereaas with blood you only get the early morning measurement. I just did the blood test because none of the labs where I live offer the saliva test. It's perfectly reliable though.
    To be honest I can feel how it goes through the day, I don't have the exact measurement but I know that on most days the early-afternoon cortisol dip is still just a bit too low if I don't pace myself very carefully in the morning, and I still have a tendency to go a bit too high at bedtime unless I am very careful to wind down and relax in the evening. So the basic conclusion is, my adrenals are working but I still need to be careful with them.
     
  16. Nielk

    Nielk

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    I have all the symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue and in addition When I was younger, I was on steroids continually for 15 years so I was sure that I must have a low cortisol level.
    I just had the early morning blood test for cortisol and the result came in in the normal range!
     
  17. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    That's very good news Nielk, I'm glad to hear it! Have you been following adrenal therapy?
     
  18. Nielk

    Nielk

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    No. I haven't done anything about it but, I had asked my doctor if I can go on a low dose steroid because a couple of times that I have taken it lately for sinus inflammation, I noticed that my CFS symptoms were better when I was on it. He didn't like the idea because of the side effects and sent me for a cortisol test and that's how I found out that it was fine.
     
  19. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    If your cortisol is normal but you feel better on steroids, it may be that your overall level of inflammation is very high. Lots of CFS symptoms come from this chronic low-grade inflammation; headaches, muscle aches, energy problems, and longer term you can end up with abnormal blood sugar curve, thyroid resistance and heart problems.
    I think there is a test that measures general inflammation in the body. Your doctor must have alternative meds to offer if that is the case. Just a thought.
     
  20. Nielk

    Nielk

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    My CRP - C reactive protein is 7 - very high. I have constant headaches and have high cholesterol which I take medication for.
     

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