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Unorthodox way to test your AF

Discussion in 'Adrenal Dysfunction' started by drob31, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. drob31

    drob31 Senior Member

    I'm not advocating that anyone do this, although I may try it.

    However, let's say you think you have adrenal fatigue, and one way to find out is if you take a dose of something that contains cortisol, or a few low doses over the course of the day to see if it affects your symptoms in a positive way. Since we are treating the symptoms, not the numbers, if you feel better, this is essentially confirming that you have adrenal related conditions, or other symptoms like hypothyroid that is caused by adrenal dysfunction.

    In either case, most people have injuries. I recently had knee surgery, and my knee still tends to swell up from time to time after strenuous activity. It would be very easy for me to go to the Ortho and ask him for a Medrol dose pack for my knee. Technically I would be legitimately treating a condition, but at the same I would start at a high dose of cortisol and it would allow me to gage my bodies reaction while also doing a safe taper off of it. Does this sound logical?
  2. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

    @drob31: have you ever considered doing the 24-hour saliva test? It will tell you pretty accurately if you have adrenal dysfunction. It's a little pricey but worth it if you can swing it.
    justy likes this.
  3. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

    I'm not a big fan of the term "adrenal fatigue" maybe because it has the F word in it.

    However, my morning cortisol is low (I've had blood and saliva tests). The problem with taking cortisol is that mine rises naturally during the day so I can't take hydrocortisone with my breakfast and consider that the good result is due to the drug. I would feel better anyway.

    When the CFS / low cortiol connection was first spoken about in I think that late 80's or early 90's we started supplementing with hydrocortisone and there were very mixed results. It didn't turn out to be as straightforward as we thought it would be.

    For those of us with low AM cortisol we set an alarm for 5am and then took the drug. We also tried staggering different doses during the day. It wasn't predicable or always what we thought would happen. Sometimes it would work for a while and then we would crash badly.

    Some people had great results and still take the drug. I do from time to time but I have never cracked that early morning low cortisol problem without causing a ME crash.
  4. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    This is not necessarily the case. Cortisol can boost energy, but its also about suppressing a primary inflammatory pathway via cyclooxygenase. Most ME patients improve somewhat for a while when cyclooxygenase is suppressed but not destroyed, and cortisol does this best.

    So I am not saying the cortisol will not work, there have been clinical trials that show that low dose cortisol is beneficial in ME/CFS. What I am saying is it does not mean there is necessarily a deficiency state.

    On twenty four hour testing we tend to have reversed timing of cortisol production - our total cortisol is only slightly low, but we make too much at night and not enough in the morning. This is about brain regulation of cortisol release, not actually a failure to make cortisol.

    Having said all that it depends on diagnosis. There are lots of people who have mild Addisons Disease, and there are probably other relevant conditions.
  5. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

    I started taking spironolactone a few months ago and within days my cravings for sweets and salty things went away. Also some chronic muscle spasms in my calf quieted down.

    This is the article I took to my primary doctor and he thought it would be worth trying since I have FM:


    Spironolactone raises cortisol levels
    . It also lowers testosterone levels so it's usually not given to men except in emergencies.

    Now I have an appointment to see an endocrinologist because I believe I really need to be treated with cortisone and/or pregnenolone and/or DHEA. Being treated with spironolactone has been an interesting way to see just how it might feel to have normal cortisol levels.

    I did the cortisol saliva test about seven years ago and I was low across the board. At that time I was seeing a holistic MD and he started me on cortisone, pregnenolone and DHEA. My morning serum cortisol is in the very low normal range.

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