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Old 01-01-2010, 10:58 PM   #1
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Cortef help anyone?

My doc thinks I have secondary Pituitary deficiency. He is putting me on Cortef. Im nervous to take it. Has it helped anyone here.
thanks

 
Old 01-02-2010, 11:47 AM   #2
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Re: Cortef help anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DIAL View Post
My doc thinks I have secondary Pituitary deficiency. He is putting me on Cortef. Im nervous to take it. Has it helped anyone here.
thanks
Did he explain why he wants you to go onto a cortisol replacement? Like did he show you your lab test results and the chain of events that are leading to the low cortisol? You did not mention what kinds of symptoms you are suffering from, what led to you seek out the physician. If you have pituitary deficiency, which chemical is lacking?

I take Cortef but it's because I have Addison's disease - my pituitary gland is functioning properly. My problem lies within the adrenal glands (two small glands that sit atop the kidneys). My adrenals barely produce any cortisol. My highest level has been 3.7. But since the adrenal glands release dozens and dozens of hormones, I have had to go on multiple hormone replacements, not just cortisol. If your body has problems with the pituitary gland, have you had a complete hormone panel blood test performed? If not, I hope you will ask your physician for one. There is a chain reaction of events when the pituitary glands cannot communicate with the rest of the body, and you can become very ill very fast. Have you done much research on the pituitary gland itself? If not, I highly recommend that you become as educated as you can on the topic, adding more topics as the doctor reveals anything else that may be abnormal with your body.

As for taking Cortef (the generic is hydrocortisone) I do not like the side effects (extreme weight gain, edema, changes to sleep/wake rhythms and more) but in my case, I have no choice. For me, I have two options: take it and suffer with the side effects, or die. No one can live without cortisol because besides fatigue so bad that one cannot lift a finger or talk, and near death low blood pressures and more, eventually someone who suffers as I do but does not take cortisol replacement therapy - can deteriorate into an Addisonian crisis, resulting in cardiovascular collapse. Since I do not know what all is going on with your body, and I am not a doctor (only an RN) I am not in any position to tell you what you can or should do. But I can recommend certain tests that have benefited myself and others.

You did not paint us a picture of what all is going on with your body, but if your physician recommends cortisol replacement, there must be a reason - and you must be comfortable understanding your situation and being able to ask him questions and understand his reasoning. If you do have pituitary problems, I am sure he ran an ACTH test as well as others. Do you have those results and do you understand what they mean? If not, please do follow up with your doctor until you truly understand what all is happening inside of you. Then you will be able to make the decisions that you feel are best for your own body. Best wishes and get well soon.

 
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Old 01-02-2010, 03:46 PM   #3
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Re: Cortef help anyone?

Sorry, here is my original story.

Hi\I am a 24 year old male and I have been sick for 8 months. I am a Police Officer and now my Career is about to be put on hold. In October 2006 my life started to go upside down. I was standing on a domestic call at work when I suddenly became very dizzy. I began to feel like I couldnt breath very well and had to go home. when I got home I began to get tremors and shake. I went to the emergancy room where I was tested and sent home with no relief. I have been to the Emergancy room a total of 9 times since that night, and has had every test known to man conducted. CT of brain, heart, lungs, ETC. all came back normal. I had the following symptoms: Light headed, dizzyness, shortness of breath, tremors, extreme exhaustion, always tired, heart palpatations, anxiety, and more. I had to take a medical leave from work due to the fact it was unsafe for me and I couldnt function. In a 3 month period I lost 30 pounds! One day I was drinking some tea with honey, I suddenly began to feel light headed and dizzy. My brother, who has a diabetic son mention I looked as if I was going "high." I bought a glucose monitor and found my sugars hitting 195 and 200 off a cup of Mountain Dew! this was rare b/c I would drink soda like water when on Grave yard shift. I went to a Endo who tested me and agreed that my sugar was abnormally high, but my A1C was normal so he said "I believe your becoming a diabetic, come back when your full blown and hitting 200 all the time" I was shocked and very frustrated.

I went to a second Endo who said that was nonsense and started me from scratch. They found some interesting things. Yes my sugars were high, but why? they stated they thought it was due to something else. Well it turns out My Cortisol is low, on two different 8:00 AM test it read at 2.3, they stated it should be 5 or higher. Also they found my testosterone was low as well at 199, they stated it should be 400 or higher. They stated due to low Cortisol, and testosterone, this would explain why my insuline is not breaking the sugars in my body down thus causing it to go high. So great now what??? I have taken a Cortisol stim test to see if I have Addisons but I suspect it will come back stating "normal" so I must figure out the best form of treatment. I tried Andro Gel and Andro derm for the testosterone problem, but those medications made me sick. I went to a Certain "famous" clinic in Scottsdale and saw a Doctor who said "your levels are fine, you have Anxiety" I asked him well if i have Anxiety, couldnt it be a biproduct of another condition? he stated "no" I found this hard to believe and reasearched on my own. I found exstensive creditable sites with very acredited doctors on the subject of Adrenal exhaustion, and its symptoms, which I had almost all of them. one symptom most sites listed was Anxiety! I am very Frustrated and dont know where to turn for help. has any one else had these problems? or heard of such a thing?
thanks

This was in 2007. Since then I have been through about 15 doctors. I now am seeing a specialists at body logic who says they believe its due to secondary Pituitary deficiency.

My last test showed my Testosterone At 150. Im 27 now, it should very high, about 1000. My Cortisol has come up some, but not much. It used to be at 2.3, but recently it has showed in the 10range. The only problem is that my ATCH at the time of the blood draw was 75, twice the normal amount for a healthy person, so its no surprise my Cortisol was in the "normal range" with such a high secretion of stress hormone.


Now I am having bad episodes of hypoglycemia. My doc wants to put me on Cortef to help rest the adrenals and help with the low blood sugar all the time. I want to try it, but I am very sensitive to new treatments. I wanted to know others experience. I am nervous to take it. I am under weight by 20 lbs as well.

 
Old 01-03-2010, 11:34 PM   #4
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Re: Cortef help anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DIAL View Post
Sorry, here is my original story.

My doc wants to put me on Cortef to help rest the adrenals and help with the low blood sugar all the time. I want to try it, but I am very sensitive to new treatments. I wanted to know others experience. I am nervous to take it. I am under weight by 20 lbs as well.
Sky high ACTH with low normal cortisol, means you have a pitutiary problem. Combine that with low testosterone and symptoms of low thyroid and I would say 90% chance you have a pituitary insufficiency. It might be a tumor ( have you had an MRI?) it might be damage from a head blow (hit in the head recently?) it might be damage from a virus. It's not reversible, but it is treatable.

You need to have an insulin induced hypoglycemia test to verify which hormones are deficient; then you will know what to do about them. You can't start cortef until you have the test, otherwise it can't be interpreted properly.

Be aware, that low cortisol can be life threatening and you should have a supply of cortef in case you suddenly fall into a crisis. People die each year from undiagnosed adrenal crisis.

Last edited by orion; 01-03-2010 at 11:37 PM.

 
Old 01-03-2010, 11:36 PM   #5
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Re: Cortef help anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DIAL View Post
My doc thinks I have secondary Pituitary deficiency. He is putting me on Cortef. Im nervous to take it. Has it helped anyone here.
thanks
And how did he diagnose that? What test did he do? You should be having an insulin induced hypoglycemia test to verify secondary pituitary disease. After that you will need to be on cortef. It is totally harmless at physiological doses of 20-30 mg/day and without it, assuming you are deficient, you can't be normal again. Cortef is defintely a friend and not to be feared.

 
Old 01-04-2010, 10:11 AM   #6
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Re: Cortef help anyone?

Nice to see you again old friend. I missed your knowledge. He is a doc for Body Logic MD. They specialize in anti-aging and hormone problems i.e. menopause and andropause. I was hit in the head pretty good in 2004 by a ceiling fan. I was in a rock band and the fan hung low on stage. I went to jump in the crowd, and it caught me across the forehead splitting me open. I had aa concussion, but did know it until 2 days later when I got sick. They didnt say I had one at the hospital. I healed up and was fine for the next 3 years. In 2006 I became a police officer. I went to a new department, and they Tasered me in training. After I was Tasered, it hurt my back. 3 weeks after the TASER I noticed headaches and dizzy spells. Then I began ti get shaky and weak. One night I about fell over. Then the next week I had severe brain fog, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, weight loss, etc. I lost 30 lbs in 3 months. I found my sugars going haywire after eating.

The doctors (more then one) think when I was Tasered, it short circuited or fried something in my body. I was hit across the spine on the back. They think is effected my pituitary some how. electricity is a tricky thing and can cause alot of problems in the body.

My current doctor looked at my labs from before, then looked at my symptoms. Then he ordered he ordered a testosterone test, and a 24 hour Cortisol saliva test. My T was low at 150. My cortisol was normal low. He looked at the test I had from an endo right before him and saw that my ACTH was very high, but cortisol still just within normal range (cortisol should have been higher). Based on all this, he diagnosed me with secondary pituitary gland deficiency. He tried to put me on Clomid to naturally raise my testosterone, but I started to have bad hypoglycemic crashes. He thinks the t=clomid raising my T caused my adrenals to not be able to keep up causing me to crash. He believes I need to take cortef to support my adrenals while I take the clomid for my testosterone.

ever since this all happened, my body has not managed my sugars properly due to the testosterone and cortisol levels being low. He also found that my body was low on T and high on estrogen. He said my body is converting to much mother hormone into estrogen instead of T. He is having me take an estrogen blocker as well. Based on all this he says my pituitary is off and sending the wrong signals. He says there enough hormone there, but my body is mixing the wrong quantities and needs to be corrected.

p.s.

I did have an MRI and CT of the brain done. Each time showed nothing for tumors. It could be hiding, but they havn't found anything.

Last edited by DIAL; 01-04-2010 at 10:14 AM.

 
Old 01-20-2010, 01:55 PM   #7
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Re: Cortef help anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DIAL View Post
My doc thinks I have secondary Pituitary deficiency. He is putting me on Cortef. Im nervous to take it. Has it helped anyone here.
thanks
Cortef is easy to handle. I've been taking it for years without any problems. Good luck

 
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