It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Hormone Problems Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-28-2006, 09:14 PM   #1
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 20
riley5 HB User
Question High cortisol w/low cortisol symptoms

Hi everyone. I'm new here. I stumbled upon this board tonight, and I'm hoping you all might have some ideas for me.

I've been having some symptoms for the last couple of months that seem to be getting worse with time. My blood pressure is dropping -- every day now -- to 80s/40s and sometimes as low as 70s/30s. When this happens, I get extremely dizzy and I can't stay awake. It usually occurs in the evenings, but it has also happened in the afternoon. My blood sugar is also dropping if I go more than 2.5-3 hours without eating. It gets down to the 50s and I start shaking. It goes back to normal shortly after eating. I've been dealing with insomnia for almost a year -- not falling asleep until around 5:00am. Sleeping pills help while I take them, but when I stop them, I'm back to not sleeping. I'm also having headaches, having a hard time concentrating and my memory is not as good as it used to be. I'm 33 years old -- too young to be as forgetful as I am. Also, I'm tired almost all of the time, during the day and even during the night when I can't sleep.

I went to see my doctor and she ran a bunch of blood tests. Everything came back normal except my cortisol, so she ran that one again. My results:

4pm: 24.1 (reference range of 3.1-16.7 ug/dL)
8am (fasting): 41.8 (reference range of 4.3-22.4)

My doctor sent me to an endocrinologist, who told me she thinks this is all due to stress. I have had a lot of stressful events in my life for the last three years, but I feel like I'm coping well with it and I wouldn't describe myself as "stressed." My internist says stress alone could not cause my cortisol levels to be this high. Does anyone have any experience with this? I know my numbers are out of range, but I don't know how high coritsol levels would be to indicate a tumor or something serious like that. I am at my ideal weight for my height, so just upon looking at me, the endocrinologist ruled out Cushing's.

My endocrinologist is testing my thyroid, blood sugar and cortisol again (with a dexamethasone test this time), but I don't have results yet. Any other suggestions for what I should look at?

Thank you for any ideas!

Last edited by moderator2; 07-08-2006 at 01:29 PM. Reason: please start a new thread when a topic is more than a month old

 
The Following User Says Thank You to riley5 For This Useful Post:
Truthseeker0219 (04-28-2012)
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 05-28-2006, 09:58 PM   #2
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 349
annemv HB User
Re: High cortisol w/low cortisol symptoms

I absolutely do not believe stress causes this. That is BS.

Please go see a real specialist.
There are not that many around...

Where do you live?

Most endos see a cushings patient once if that, please, please ,please find a specialist.

You do NOT have to have all of the symptoms to have cushings.

 
Old 05-28-2006, 10:14 PM   #3
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 20
riley5 HB User
Re: High cortisol w/low cortisol symptoms

I live in the Atlanta area.

Can you have Cushing's without weight gain? This endocrinologist talked as if being overweight was a given for someone with Cushing's.

 
Old 05-31-2006, 09:09 AM   #4
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Michigan
Posts: 46
foxfire4321 HB User
Re: High cortisol w/low cortisol symptoms

It is my understanding that the level you are showing could be stress-induced. Especially if they are only single measurements. The "cutoff" that is supposed to signal Cushing's syndromes is four times the test's highest normal range. This is usually used with 24 hr. urine free cortisol measurments, as plasma measurements can be high due simply to the "stress" of the needle stick (depending on the person). I don't agree that the endo is misguided or feeding you a line. I am sure he will probably want a 24 hour measurement and a suppression test.

No, not all Cushing's people are overweight, especially early in the disease. However it requires pretty vigorous and routine exercise to not be overweight after a while.

 
Old 05-31-2006, 11:06 AM   #5
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 20
riley5 HB User
Re: High cortisol w/low cortisol symptoms

Yes, they were only single cortisol tests. I took the dexamethasone supprression test this morning. The endo said she might want to do an ACTH test depending on what this one shows. She hasn't mentioned a 24-hour cortisol test. I don't know what she'd be looking for with the ACTH test. I really don't understand any of this, and she's hedging all my questions, which is making me nervous.

She just called me with a couple of test results. Thyorid tests are normal and negative for antibodies, so she said my thryoid is functioning well. I tested "impaired tolerance" or "pre-diabetic" on the glucose tolerance test. She said this can't cause the lightheadedness and passing out that I'm having just about every evening though.

Does anyone know if high cortisol and pre-diabetes are related? Or could they be symptoms that point to something else?

My doctor is not explaining much of anything to me, so I really appreciate any ideas that anyone can share with me!

 
Old 05-31-2006, 12:55 PM   #6
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 20
riley5 HB User
Re: High cortisol w/low cortisol symptoms

Thanks to all of you for your replies.

I am not scared of needles at all, so I can't see that raising my cortisol levels.

What are UFCs?

You are the second person to mention cyclical Cushing's to me. I need to remember to ask my endocrinoligst about this.

Interesting that you mention blood sugars raising cortisol. I was wondering if the high cortisol could cause problems with glucose...i.e., could the cortisol be causing me to be prediabetic.

Other than stress and Cushing's, what else can cause elevated cortisol? My father passed away from leukemia last year, and he was prediabetic before his diagnosis. It would get better right after chemo and then flare up into full diabetes as his leukemia progressed. Could a serious illness like that cause cortisol to increase too?

Thank you all! You are providing me with far more information than my endo is!

 
Old 06-01-2006, 10:58 AM   #7
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 20
riley5 HB User
Re: High cortisol w/low cortisol symptoms

Thanks very much for your reply. You've given me lots of good ideas that I need to talk with my doctors about. Thank you!

 
Old 06-01-2006, 12:32 PM   #8
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 125
chitowngl HB User
Re: High cortisol w/low cortisol symptoms

Did your doctor give you a copy of your test results, especially the thyroid? My cortisol is elevated with hypothyroidism. The two are not necessarily synonomous--but they can be. Many thryoid patients who test "normal" are actually not at their ideal levels. All the symptoms you mentioned could be related to your thyroid. I would definately get a copy from your doctor--they have to give you one. Then I would post your results on the thyroid board to get opinions. Good Luck.
Carrie

 
Old 06-01-2006, 01:17 PM   #9
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 20
riley5 HB User
Re: High cortisol w/low cortisol symptoms

My internist has faxed me the results from the tests she ran, but my endocrinologist has not. I meant to ask her about it yesterday, and I forgot all about it until I just read your message. My memory is terrible right now -- thank you for the reminder!

 
Old 06-05-2006, 12:11 PM   #10
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 20
riley5 HB User
Re: High cortisol w/low cortisol symptoms

Just to post an update...

My endocrinologist called this afternoon with results from my dexamethasone suppression test last week. She said my cortisol was suppressed to 2.6, so that means she has "no suspicion of cortisol abnormality." I asked what is causing my cortisol to be high and my passing out and she said "nothing endocrine." I guess that means she thinks it's stress. She's going to fax my results to my internist, and I'll talk with her tomorrow about where we go from here. I'm relieved to think I don't have a tumor, but I don't know what to do about the symptoms I'm having.

Thanks again for all your ideas and suggestions.

 
Old 06-08-2006, 06:26 PM   #11
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 20
riley5 HB User
Re: High cortisol w/low cortisol symptoms

I still haven't heard from my doctor, so I have another question for any of you who might be able to help me.

Since my cortisol suppressed with the dexamethasone suppression test, the endocrinologist said that rules out Cushing's. Does it also rule out cyclical Cushing's?

Thanks for your help with this!

 
The following user gives a hug of support to riley5:
enuffalready68 (09-03-2011)
Old 06-08-2006, 06:36 PM   #12
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 349
annemv HB User
Re: High cortisol w/low cortisol symptoms

No, it does not. If you are in a "low" you will suppress.


I heard that I had nothing endocrine related for 2 years by many drs even though I had growth hormone, thyroid and questionable cortisol issues along with a pituitary tumor.

I would move on to the next endo and not waste $$ on the copay for her..

Good luck!!

XO

 
Old 06-10-2006, 11:15 AM   #13
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 20
riley5 HB User
Re: High cortisol w/low cortisol symptoms

Thanks for your response, Anne. I think you're right about this endo. I wasn't impressed with her at all, and if I need continuing endo care, it will be by someone else.

I talked with my internist yesterday. She wants me to see my cardiologist this week. I have a heart condition (inverted p wave), and she said that could account for at least some of my symtpoms. She suggested that maybe there is more than one thing going on right now. She said if the cardiologist doesn't find anything, she wants me to go for a second opinion to another endo.

She said she's still confused by this because my symptoms are more typical of Addison's but my blood levels don't support that. She also said that she does not believe this is stress because stress isn't consistent with my low blood pressures and low blood sugars. She thinks there's something else going on and we have to keep digging.

My internist also is not convinced that I'm insulin resistant. She says that could be caused by the high cortisol. Once we figure out why the cortisol is high and we can hopefully bring it back down, she wants to recheck my glucose and insulin levels.

So, now my question is, how do you find an endo who knows what they're doing when it comes to increased cortisol levels? I can find a lot of specialists in the area (metro Atlanta) who deal with diabetes, but none who specialize in Cushing's, Addison's or cortisol issues. Is there someplace to look up doctors with these specialties?

Thank you!

 
Old 06-10-2006, 11:55 AM   #14
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 349
annemv HB User
Re: High cortisol w/low cortisol symptoms

Check out the cushings website- just put the word in your browser.

Even if you do not have cushings(hope not), someone there will be able to guide to a good doc.

Just post in the introduction area.

 
Old 06-10-2006, 02:59 PM   #15
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1,279
MAD MAZ HB User
Re: High cortisol w/low cortisol symptoms

just like to say a big thankyou to annemy for your help......Mandy

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Thyroid Antibodies/Normal TSH,T3,T4 herekittykitty Thyroid Disorders 30 03-18-2010 08:50 AM
Elevated ACTH, high-norm cortisol in the AM ACTH Thyroid Disorders 4 08-12-2009 11:55 PM
High/low normal labs...anyone care to take a peek? one2wonder Thyroid Disorders 7 01-08-2009 11:18 AM
High/normal cortisol and the FT4/FT3 imbalance....is there a connection? hopalong_too Thyroid Disorders 8 05-22-2008 05:27 PM
what to do if you have HIGH CORTISOL and what that exactly means? danilynn72 Thyroid Disorders 6 05-14-2008 05:37 PM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added








TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



kittywitty (3), ladybud (2), Titchou (1), riley5 (1), noevr (1), psn54 (1), STLouisgal (1), chicabella (1), flamesabers (1), SkyBlue99 (1)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1180), MSJayhawk (1005), Apollo123 (906), Titchou (850), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (759), ladybud (755), midwest1 (669), sammy64 (668), BlueSkies14 (607)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:18 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!