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Re: Why lowering cortisol is not always good

Posted by cybercafe on October 19, 2003, at 18:20:02

In reply to Why lowering cortisol is not always good, posted by BarbaraCat on October 19, 2003, at 14:51:19

> My husband and I recently had our cortisol levels tested - a 4 times a day saliva test that measured morning, through evening levels where ideally cortisol should start high and then subside to low in prep for sleep. Cortisol should then ideally

i keep mentioning saliva tests to my docs but they only seem to know of blood tests. or prefer them? i think there is also urine cortisol tests... but for some reason my docs dismiss these as well

>signs, I am bipolar mixed states and don't wear stress well at all. My husband, on the other hand,

yeah i remember writing to you before and you mentioned that your problems were narcolepsy and ?? ug 2 other things i don't remember... which really helped me (thanks a lot for your input) as i've found out a bit of important stuff relating to these alternate causes..... for instance, a family member was diagnosed with ADD and then a few years later they found out he had sleep apnea ?

>the blah gray-zone type rather than the upheaving wild despair of my mixed states depressions. You'd think with this profile that my cortisol levels would be high and his normal.

i dunno! i think the wild despair of mixed states depression comes from high norepenephrine combined with low serotonin ...... i dunno how this would effect cortisol (or even if it's correct)

> My husband has been maintaining pretty well until just recently when he underwent double-hernia operation. It was a relatively minor hernia surgery in that there was no invasive surgical cutting but rather arthascopic through the navel and the lower abdominal muscle fascia was balooned with air and separated to allow insertion of a mesh material to hold the inguinals together and stable. Sounds uncomfortable, of course, but the standard recovery time is 2 weeks. However, with his weakened adrenal low cortisol output it proved to be the proverbial straw. He went into a downward spiral and could not spring back. What should have taken 2 weeks, at 6 weeks he's just now beginning to recover.

that's too bad.... i think you're right about the importance of cortisol... i have big problems getting rid of infections... but my doctors don't seem to be too concerned ?

> He basically didn't have enough cortisol to devote to healing and everything started suffering. Which is why I insisted that he see my naturopath, dammit. He's now taking small amounts of a

i'm curious what the doctor thought ??

>naturally derived cortisol along with a supplement containing moderately large doses of Vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, magnesium and Vitamin C which support hypo or hyper adrenal health. He's slowly regaining a sense of energy and strength and purpose that he's missed for years and I was beginning to despair he'd ever have again.

oh so there are some supplements that don't raise or lower cortisol but help maintain a healthy level (i.e. it's safe for someone like me who really doesn't know what they're doing and doesn't want interactions)

>Cortisol gets us going in the morning and during emergencies, it provides a buffer for our stress response, it helps us heal, it mediates inflammation. It's an anabolic steroid in that it builds and heals, rather than the catabolic tearing down, both of which are necessary processes. Like anything, too much or little can be a bad thing.

i had a year where i couldn't sleep at all and was really anxious..... then after that i started sleeping big time ... and depression set in.... i wonder if that was cortisol being depleted..... but really it's all speculation i guess

>It's more naturally brought into balance by all those things we know are good for us but hate to do - moderate exercise, stress control, healthy diets, 8 hours of sleep. Yawn, I knew that. But things

hmmmm.... i thought antidepressants were supposed to balance cortisol?
though i think mine has been normal low with and without them

>that no pills can substitute for. In my case it seems that my levels were dangerous long ago which took out my hypothalamus and hippocampus. The problem probably now resides in a damaged HPA-axis which is finally being addressed. Part of the program is adherance to the aforementioned boring lifestyle things.

i dunno...... maybe. i'm thinking i need to get my body used to a routine amount of stress but keeping a steady job .. hmmm

>naturopath feels this is also a contributor to the fact that his estradiol levels are very high, although his testosterone levels are borderline low - not as low as one might imagine given estrogen levels higher than most women's (and I wondered why we weren't getting frisky!). The adrenals/cortisol

question ... i was told by a doctor that it wasn't worth measuring estrogen because if it were out of whack there would be very noticeable signs...... did you find this to be the case? or is my doc just too financially responsible to order tests?

> So, just thought I'd add my anecdotal evidence to the mix. The moral of the story being - it's good to know where you're at hormonally before self diagnosing and experimenting with powerful substances that could make things alot worse - even with a physician's tacit approval. My experience

ah... but how far do you go? endocronologist, sleep study, psychiatrist, dietician... ??

>is that most docs, endos, ob/gyn's only measure obvious or extreme cases of hormonal disorders and in the case of adrenal disorders, recognizing only the extremes of Addison's Disease and Cushing's.
The standard methods of treatment are usually to prescribe a single fractionalized medication addressing the obvious issue. This can cause further imbalances by not addressing the synergy of our very complex hormonal interplay. I happen to be a great proponent of skilled naturopathic care (and I've kissed quite a few naturopathic frogs) in chronic conditions like this that should be brought back to balance in a gradual way that does not cause any jolts. All the best to us all. - BarbaraCat

yes i find that to be true.... again, doctors are just too damn busy




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