Posted by Elroy on May 5, 2005, at 6:09:09
In reply to Re: Alcoholism - side effect??, posted by notfeelingthebest on May 4, 2005, at 22:16:41
Yes, it is true about the cortisol. That part has been backed up by numerous studies. After all it is easy to measure cortisol excretions, either hourly by serum tests or daily output through 24-hour UFC.
A lot of people don't realize it but excessive cortisol initially gives one a "euphoric effect" (very frequently experienced by Cushing's patients when their cortisol first climbs into the high ranges). Unfortunately though it doesn't last that long and then elevated cortisol begins doing its insidious "dirty work".
Is that how many of the SSRIs actually "work", possibly creating a "feel good" atmosphere through the boosting of the cortisol (boosting it into abnormally elevated levels), but then as the "euphoric effect" wears off, it appears that the medication "isn't working anymore"???
QUOTE: Excess Cortisol can:
- Increase blood sugar which in turn stimulates the production of excess insulin (excess insulin leads to body cell destruction and excess fat storage)
- Depress immune function, leading to frequent or prolonged sickness
- Cause loss of muscle mass
- Decrease bone density
- Impair wound healing
- Slow thyroid function
- Increase and prolong appetite
- Encourage fat storage in the abdomen that may be associated with serious chronic health concerns
- Interfere with reproductive function
- Create feelings of anxiety
- Encourage depression
- Promote tumour growth
- Foster feelings of anger and frustration
Cortisol is known as the "death hormone". It prepares our body to die. While cortisol increases with age, growth hormones decrease, which causes us to age.
QUOTE: Cortisol activates fat-storage enzymes in cells. Researchers at the Sahlgren's Hospital in Sweden identified a direct link between cortisol levels and midsection obesity. The higher the cortisol level, the greater the fat accumulation and waist-to-hip ratio. According to National Institutes of Health scientists, "Fat storage is enhanced by an increase in activity of LPL, the activity of which is stimulated by prolonged exposure to high tissue levels of cortisol in combination with insulin."
Marin P, Cortisol secretion in relation to body fat distribution in obese premenopausal women. Metabolism. 1992 Aug;41(8):882-6 - Peeke PM, Chrousos GP. Hypercortisolism and obesity. Ann NY Acad Sci. 1995 Dec 29;771:665-76.
QUOTE: Cortisol & Impaired Memory
Researchers at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University in North Carolina validated the ability of cortisol on impairing memory and damaging brain cells.
University of Wisconsin researchers also linked stress-induced excess cortisol to brain damage.
They reviewed literature in which subjects with extremely high cortisol levels later developed psychiatric disorders and cerebral cortical atrophy observed in CT scans. - Kerr DS chronic stress-induced acceleration of electrophysiologic and morphometric biomarkers of hippocampal aging. J Neurosci. 1991 May;11(5):1316-24.
Jensen, Genefke, Hyldebrandt, Pedersen, Petersen and Weile, 1982. Uno H et al. Neurotoxicity of glucocorticoids in the primate brain. Horm Behav. 1994 Dec; 28(4):336-48.
QUOTE: Cortisol & SSRIs
Studies at the University of Colorado and Greenslopes Private Hospital in Brisbane, Australia, showed that Prozac (fluoxetine) increases both cortisol and ACTH levels. Research at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, also documented the cortisol-boosting effects of Prozac. - Laudenslager ML, Clarke AS. Antidepressant treatment during social challenge prior to 1 year of age affects immune and endocrine responses in adult macaques. Psychiatry Res. 2000 Jul 24;95(1):25-34.
Torpy DJ et al. Diurnal effects of fluoxetine and naloxone on the human hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 1997 June; 24 (6):421-3
Meltzer H et al. Fluoxetine, but not tricyclic antidepressants, potentiates the 5-hydroxytryptophan-mediated increase in plasma cortisol and prolactin secretion in subjects with major depression or with obsessive compulsive disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology. 1997 Jul; 17(1):1-11. - PROZAC INCREASES CORTISOL OUTPUT 2-3 TIMES… DID YOU KNOW:
If you take 1-1/2 pills of Prozac just ONE (1) time (never before and never again), it's possible you'll double your cortisol levels. END QUOTE
So it could very well be that the documented problems with Prozac, Paxil, etc., etc. have had to do not only with increasing serotonin levels in people who really don't need it (after all there's something like four major brain neurotransmitters, and what if your problem isn't low serotonin, in fact what if you have normal or even high serotonin and are deficient in something else?), but also in conjunction with the SSRI greatly elevating the cortisol levels? In one patient the elevation might be just enough to account for some serious weight gain and high blood pressure, but in another individdual the cortisol increase might be off the chart and account for serious psychological disordes, etc....
Then again, those are just my thoughts based on the quoted RESEARCH STUDIES....