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Does anyone here do low dose HC?

hamsterman

Senior Member
Messages
183
Location
Los Angeles
I see a lot of people doing 20-30mgs of HC per day. I was wondering if anyone has tried doing low doses (<5mgs)

I've just been testing it out, 5mgs, 2 hours before waking (4:30am) and that's it, for the last few days... and it seems like the results are pretty good.
 

Learner1

Senior Member
Messages
6,305
Location
Pacific Northwest
How'd you decide on that dose and timing?

I'd suppose we're all individuals with different needs, depending on how sick we are and how much cortisol we're making when.

Its best to take as little as you can get away with. Too much can make one gain weight and lose bone density, while too little can leave one in an exhausted heap.
 

hamsterman

Senior Member
Messages
183
Location
Los Angeles
How'd you decide on that dose and timing?

I'd suppose we're all individuals with different needs, depending on how sick we are and how much cortisol we're making when.

Its best to take as little as you can get away with. Too much can make one gain weight and lose bone density, while too little can leave one in an exhausted heap.

Just kind of random experimenting... starting at a low level.

I feel horrible every morning, and often have energy later when I don't want it. And I read from a couple people who do the 2 hours before waking method.
 

The Chronicals

The '59 Sound
Messages
65
Location
London
I do use HC, but could not tolerate high dose due to receptor damage, but using a 24 hour cortisol siliva test will show you what you are working with. I wouldnt be taking HC without getting at least two of those done, of seperate days of the week, and being off all supplements and meds prior for about two weeks.

The STTM Group has great information for helping people use HC effectively for Adrenal Fatigue/Dysfunction
 

Thinktank

Senior Member
Messages
1,640
Location
Europe
HC and any other corticosteroids makes me rage like the world is going to end. bloody steroid-rage is no fun.

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ukxmrv

Senior Member
Messages
4,413
Location
London
I see a lot of people doing 20-30mgs of HC per day. I was wondering if anyone has tried doing low doses (<5mgs)

I've just been testing it out, 5mgs, 2 hours before waking (4:30am) and that's it, for the last few days... and it seems like the results are pretty good.

Someone I know with Addison's disease does the 4.30am wakeup for their HC and then goes back to sleep
 

perchance dreamer

Senior Member
Messages
1,685
I take 4 MG of hydrocortisone as soon as I wake up. I recently had to go 5 days without it because of an error at my prescribing doctor's office when I called in a refill and the time for the compounding pharmacy to fill it.

Going without it really had a bad effect on my sleep and a minor negative effect on energy.
 

hamsterman

Senior Member
Messages
183
Location
Los Angeles
Someone I know with Addison's disease does the 4.30am wakeup for their HC and then goes back to sleep

Yes, I remember reading from that poster as well... and thought... that's crazy... waking up so early just to take HC, then trying to sleep again. I never thought I'd be doing it myself, but I am doing it, and I love it.

I definitely don't have addisons, but the low morning cortisol is so unbearable for me... so this 'hack' is helping me stay sane.
 

hamsterman

Senior Member
Messages
183
Location
Los Angeles
I do use HC, but could not tolerate high dose due to receptor damage, but using a 24 hour cortisol siliva test will show you what you are working with. I wouldnt be taking HC without getting at least two of those done, of seperate days of the week, and being off all supplements and meds prior for about two weeks.

The STTM Group has great information for helping people use HC effectively for Adrenal Fatigue/Dysfunction

Thanks, I will definitely do that. I'd like to fine-tune this.
 

hamsterman

Senior Member
Messages
183
Location
Los Angeles
I take 4 MG of hydrocortisone as soon as I wake up. I recently had to go 5 days without it because of an error at my prescribing doctor's office when I called in a refill and the time for the compounding pharmacy to fill it.

Going without it really had a bad effect on my sleep and a minor negative effect on energy.

Just out of curiosity, how long have you been taking HC? and do you take it at other times of the day as well?
 

The Chronicals

The '59 Sound
Messages
65
Location
London
Thanks. That's exactly what I wanted to hear. I'll still do the 24 hour cortisol siliva test down the road, but I am very encouraged by the early low dose... I am going to stick with it for a while.

If you take it and you dont need it, you're going to damage yourself, so I thoroughly recommend getting an ASI test first. Low and High Cortisol states have very similar symptoms..
 

hamsterman

Senior Member
Messages
183
Location
Los Angeles
If you take it and you dont need it, you're going to damage yourself, so I thoroughly recommend getting an ASI test first. Low and High Cortisol states have very similar symptoms..

The difference between when I do take it and when I don't is pretty dramatically positive. I normally feel like a train hits me when I wake up... now I feel quite refreshed. Also, I normally am wired at night, now I feel tired right when I should, and am able to sleep on queue.

I would assume that if I had high cortisol in the am, and I further increased it with additional cortisol in the am, the best case scenario would be that I would feel the same.
 

Hope78

Senior Member
Messages
112
Location
Germany
I am on hydrocortisone, too. But mainly to keep my mastcells in check, they behave especially bad when my cortisol levels are on the lower end. I am taking between 5 and 10 mg, but 10 mg is already interfering with the feedback mechanism in the brain, so I am not taking this on a daily base.

Also my blood cortisol is normal, only free salivary cortisol is a bit low (but still in the normal range).

I think 5 mg wont interfere with the natural feedback mechanism, but everything above 10 mg probably will, especially as cfs folks have hypersensitive feedback mechanisms (that means when the hypothalamus senses theres more cortisol around than "normal" it regulates down the hpa axis even more, shutting down hypothalamus & pituitary signaling, so the adrenals wont receive any signal to produce cortisol). That's the reason why long term use of cortisol can knock out the adrenals. The stress axis shuts down, no signal for the adrenals and then the cortex of the adrenals will shrink. This threshold when the hpa axis shuts down is pretty individual, but for cfs people it's usually lower!

That's also called the "setpoint". Lets say (fictive number) normal cortisol levels are 2-10. WHen a healthy person takes cortisone and then has a number of 11 the hypothalamus will still tolerate this. But let's say at a number of 15 it decices that's enough and to protect the body from too much cortisol he reduces signaling.

In cfs folks this setpoint can be very low. Lets say one has a number of 3 (lower end) and will push this with some hydrocortisone to a 7 thats still inside the reference range and a physiological number. But as the setpoint will maybe only tolerate a 6 that means the hypothalamus will shut down the signaling.

Viruses and cytokines and stress....all that floods the body with tons of cortisol. In the long term the brain reacts to this with downregulation of the stress axis. This is also kind of a genetic and individual make up. So the cfs sufferer is left with lower hypothalamus & pituitary signaling and, as a result, low cortisol (some cfs peops also have high cortisol, but most often its low).

Thats why substituting with hydrocortisone is a tricky thing!
 
Last edited:

hamsterman

Senior Member
Messages
183
Location
Los Angeles
I am on hydrocortisone, too. But mainly to keep my mastcells in check, they behave especially bad when my cortisol levels are on the lower end. I am taking between 5 and 10 mg, but 10 mg is already interfering with the feedback mechanism in the brain, so I am not taking this on a daily base.

Also my blood cortisol is normal, only free salivary cortisol is a bit low (but still in the normal range).

I think 5 mg wont interfere with the natural feedback mechanism, but everything above 10 mg probably will, especially as cfs folks have hypersensitive feedback mechanisms (that means when the hypothalamus senses theres more cortisol around than "normal" it regulates down the hpa axis even more, shutting down hypothalamus & pituitary signaling, so the adrenals wont receive any signal to produce cortisol). That's the reason why long term use of cortisol can knock out the adrenals. The stress axis shuts down, no signal for the adrenals and then the cortex of the adrenals will shrink. This threshold when the hpa axis shuts down is pretty individual, but for cfs people it's usually lower!

That's also called the "setpoint". Lets say (fictive number) normal cortisol levels are 2-10. WHen a healthy person takes cortisone and then has a number of 11 the hypothalamus will still tolerate this. But let's say at a number of 15 it decices that's enough and to protect the body from too much cortisol he reduces signaling.

In cfs folks this setpoint can be very low. Lets say one has a number of 3 (lower end) and will push this with some hydrocortisone to a 7 thats still inside the reference range and a physiological number. But as the setpoint will maybe only tolerate a 6 that means the hypothalamus will shut down the signaling.

Viruses and cytokines and stress....all that floods the body with tons of cortisol. In the long term the brain reacts to this with downregulation of the stress axis. This is also kind of a genetic and individual make up. So the cfs sufferer is left with lower hypothalamus & pituitary signaling and, as a result, low cortisol (some cfs peops also have high cortisol, but most often its low).

Thats why substituting with hydrocortisone is a tricky thing!

I read that somewhere as well... I don't remember where. That 5mg has minimal effect on the hpa axis.