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Old 05-12-2007, 06:56 PM   #1
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Deb123 and other Adrenal folks

Adrenal Fatigue

This is meant to be as much a request for comment from those individuals who have been through and recovered from adrenal fatigue, as is it a compilation for others to read.

I am not yet convinced of the credibility of the adrenal fatigue concept, nor do I have specific knowledge discrediting it. I have talked with several Doctors who subscribe to the theory, several who do not, and several who are just not sure one way or the other.

To over-simplify the theory, whenever you have a situation that requires above normal output of adrenal hormones (esp. cortisol and adrenalin), ACTH rises and commands the adrenal glands to produce more of these hormones (ACTH is to adrenals as TSH is to thyroid).This is ok on occasion. However when it's a long-term and constant situation, the adrenal glands can become exhausted and stop functioning fully as before. Such a situation is untreated hypothyroidism.

Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include, blood pressure that drops when you stand up, and exercise intolerance (where you exercise, but don't seem to recover quickly – maybe over a couple of days even), slow recovery from colds and any inflammatory condition. Additionally, with hypothyroidism a common symptom is the inability to tolerate a level of thyroid medication high enough to alleviate hypothyroid symptoms (usually, heart palpitations, insomnia, nervousness, anxiety).

Cortisol (actually the lack of) is the main adrenal hormone seen as responsible for the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Cortisol is normally secreted in what is known as the circadian rhythm, where most of your daily allotment is secreted in the early morning, less during the day, and still less at night, unless stress, illness, surgery, or something like hypothyroidism commands more. This rhythm is important to understand. The amount of cortisol typically present in your blood at any point in time during the early morning hours (6-8 am) is three times that at mid-day, and eight to twelve times that at night.

Common misconceptions in testing are the single blood draw for cortisol, or the 24 hour urine collection method. Both are useful for other means, but flawed for diagnosing adrenal fatigue because they either test one point in the day (the single blood draw), or average the cortisol over one entire day (the 24 hour urine collection).

It is common with adrenal fatigue to have near-normal cortisol levels at certain points in the day, yet be lacking at other points. In fact, depending on what stage in the disorder you are, some points in the day can have above-normal levels, yet still other points below-normal.

The testing method universally accepted by those Doctors who do subscribe to the adrenal fatigue theory, is the fours points per day saliva test. You simply spit into a tube at four timed points in one day, and mail those off to the lab. The result is that you will see how your cortisol levels are through the day. Note that some Doctors question the correlation of saliva to blood levels.

For example, my results six months ago:
Morning ( 6:00 - 8:00 am) 17.5 nM ( 12.0 – 24.0 )
Noon ( 12:00 – 1:00 pm ) 6.1 nM ( 5.0 – 8.0 )
Afternoon ( 4:00 – 5:00 pm ) 3.8 nM ( 4.0 – 7.0 )
Nighttime ( 10:00 pm – 12:00 am ) 2.4 nM ( 1.0 – 3.0 )
Cortisol sum 29.8 nM (23.0 – 42.0 )
DHEA-S average 2.14 ng/ml ( 2.00 – 10.00 )

Not really that bad – and improved a bit from one year earlier.

To further test, I had what is called the ACTH stimulation test, where you are injected with extra ACTH, and if everything goes well, your adrenal glands should wake up and secrete a lot more cortisol. Cortisol is tested before the injection, and then 30 and 60 minutes afterward.

My results from one year ago, 8:00 am, for example:
Baseline serum free cortisol 1.48 ug/dl ( 0.40 – 1.93 )
Baseline plasma ACTH 29 pg/ml (7 – 50 )
30 minutes post injection 4.10
60 minutes post injection 4.07 ( 1.88 – 4.73 )

In my case, I would call this either inconclusive for adrenal fatigue, or conclusive against.

If you do have adrenal fatigue, the treatment it so take some cortisol medication daily, to make up the difference, and to give your tired adrenal glands time to recover. This generally takes from several months to one or two years. Then you slowly taper off, with your adrenal glands filling in as they should normally do. Doseage starts low, and usually does not exceeded a physiologic does, that is, the amount your body would normally produce on it's own. The medication of choice is usually Cortef, a brand of hydrocortisone. In some cases Florinef is added.

The complications are several-fold:
1. Taking hydrocortisone will lessen your hypothalamus' production of ACTH, and in turn, lessen the activity of your adrenal glands. That's what you are going for, but that can, over time atrophy the adrenal glands. It is possible that the adrenal glands will not startup properly, once you discontinue the meds.
2. Taking hydrocortisone, depending on the amount, will effectively shut down your adrenal glands. You will not have the usual up and down reaction to illness, stress, lack of sleep, etc. that the Adrenal axis usually compensates for without your knowledge. Any increase in your body's use of cortisol, will result in depleting your body of cortisol, which can be life threatening, unless you sense that as it is happening, and quickly take more meds to compensate, just as your adrenal glands would normally do, before you shut them down with the meds.
3. Exogenous cotrisol can lead to diabetes (heard that somewhere – true/false?)
4. Hydrocortisone is a steroid. Weight gain, and the whole host of usual possibilities can result.

Now, in my case, I have been unable to exercise at all for the past four years. I was an athlete before-hand, and unbeknown to me, was undiagnosed hypothyroid. One day, after bicycling 20 miles, I became more tired than usual, and could barely stand a few days later. That brought a hypothyroid diagnosis, and I started thyroid meds. My inability to exercise made me suspect adrenals.

Also, last fall, I got a bad case of poison ivy. The Doc gave me a hydrocortisone shot and followed that with dexamethasone meds. Within a day I suddenly was out biking again. However that was short lived, as I got very tired a day later, and stayed there. It seemed I had a hard time restarting after the taper-off of meds too.

So that's a compilation of what I've picked up along the way. No endorsements of any of the above one way or the other. I don't know what's true and what isn't. Even the Doctors differ wildly. If this helps anyone with what to go look up, great. What would be interesting though, is if Deb123 or anyone with such experience could comment on my particular case.
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Old 05-13-2007, 04:28 AM   #2
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Re: Deb123 and other Adrenal folks

I really like your write up. Very well put, clear and concise. I'm commenting mainly from experience of having taken prednisone for 2 years, not for adrenal fatigue or anything like that but for another problem.

You ask: "3. Exogenous cotrisol can lead to diabetes (heard that somewhere – true/false?)" True. Not only that but it can lead to cataracts, hardening of the arteries, increased bp along with it's associated risks and osteoporosis. That's only part of the list.

The decision to take corticosteroids is something that needs to be weighed very carefully. It needs to be done cautiously and it should never be taken lightly or looked upon as a magic cure all.

Helen

 
Old 05-13-2007, 07:26 AM   #3
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Re: Deb123 and other Adrenal folks

Hi Divermon,

I didn't have the benefit of saliva testing as my doc used the 24 hr urine which is not as useful although it showed nearly non-existant adrenal function. I've seen labs like yours posted elsewhere and they are told it is indicative of adrenal fatigue. Bottom of the range in almost anything is not where we want to be. That is where I was with thyroid for three years and repeatedly told I was fine all the while I was on a spiral downward that eventually lead to the complete adrenal exhaustion.

The dosage of HC I take is a physicological dose which is the same as my body would produce if it could but cannot. Right now I am at 30mg a day split four times. From what I read and have been told the problems come from taking pharmacological doses that are much higher than what our bodies naturally produce.

For me, HC is the difference between being able to function and not. I could take a truckload of armour but without the HC to get it into my cells and tissues it would do me absolutely no good and cause me to go hyper while still having hypo at the same time. I had been on armour only for 6 months and not doing well and finally found a doc to put me on HC and it was like waking up from the dead. I could actually get off the bed and do a few things around the house. The down point was I could only do a few things. If I tried to do very much or get emotionally upset I would be back down on the bed for a couple of days. It didn't take an einstein to figure out I wasn't on enough HC. Doc would only let me take 10mg per day and no more. After 18 months of still not being able to exercise at all and saw no way of improving anymore at this level I decided after much studying and contemplating to become my own doc at that point. I order my HC online and have been self medicating for the past four months and doing so much better. I can now exercise again without being put back in bed and my stamina is much much better. I am still very careful and gauge my activity level as I know my adrenals are still healing and one of the biggest mistakes people make in this journey is overdoing and undoing some of the progress. I was at the increased dosage for over two months before I attempted any type of exercise.

I would say the cortisone shot you got gave your adrenals a little boost but the bike ride quickly used what little cortisol you had up. I think this would be a pretty good indicator of how your body would respond with the addition of some HC.

I really don't know why more docs don't know that much about adrenal fatigue. The original doc that put me on armour at my begging believed in it but used the wrong testing for it. He tested me with a blood DHEA which was not at all accurate. I have since found out my DHEA levels are tanked but for some reason I can't seem to tolerate any dose or type of DHEA at this time, maybe I will be able to after my adrenals heal more.

Have you tried to find a doc who would be willing to work with you on your adrenals? I really suggest working with a doc if at all possible but for me I had already lost three years of my life and my job because I could not get the help I needed from docs so had no choice but to do things on my own. I still use the original doc that put me on armour for my script and for labs but supplement additional armour on the side as well.

While I was on the lower dose of HC, 10mg I was also on 3.5 armour and my labs would show high Free T3 but I still had tons of hypo going on which at the time couldn't figure out and of course docs were useless. I now know that without enough cortisol to push the thyroid hormone out of the blood and into the cells and tissues it pools in the blood giving false high tests. After increasing the HC that has corrected and Free T3 is midrange so I still have some room to increase my armour slowly now.

I hoped I've answered any questions you had, if not ask away. I truly believe that if you have adrenal fatigue and don't treat it you will never get the thyroid situation right and feel good and normal again. You will just go round and round in circles.

Deb

 
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Old 05-14-2007, 12:22 PM   #4
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Re: Deb123 and other Adrenal folks

Thanks Helen. I wanted to put it in that form so that other's here could get a bit of a primer on the theory. Might help them to do some research on their own, and draw their own conclusions. And I agree with your assessment that adding any steroid is a decision not to be taking lightly. It does seem though, that, as Deb points out, the side effect danger is more-so when you go above physiologic doses.

Side note for any readers not familiar with these terms: physiologic dosing refers to taking doses of meds that approximate what is normally found in your body, secreted by your glands. In the case of thyroid, physiologic dosing also ties back to why most thyroid experts agree adding T3 is better for you. A healthy thyroid gland produces a good amount of T3 normally (about 20% of your total needs). Pharmacologic dosing refers to doses that are almost always above that, at a level designed to achieve a marked effect on the body, and generally used short-term.

Deb, yes I have several questions, if you don't mind. First I want to ratify some of your observations:

My job, up until two years ago, was high stress. I was a Director of IT for a well known global defense contractor. Just before the big health crash four years ago, we went through a merger, what was not handled well, and resulted in double the stress. I had been hypo all along, but didn't know it. I'm the type that will push through, no matter what. That probably meant that I was running on adrenalin and cortisol all that time. Add to that, when diagnosed Hypo, my Doctor at the time started me off at 100 mcg T4 (BAM!). I, of course, couldn't wait to get back on my bike, and would try to do so as soon as I could. Sound like a classic adrenal exhaustion situation? um, yeah.

Now, not being able to bike for the past four years, in fact, really the smallest amount of exertion floors me. Just cutting the grass (on a riding lawn mower), will usually suck my energy for a day or two. Waxing ¼ of my small car, will do that too. Just to put a number on it. Other days are better or worse, but my best is no where near anything desirable.

The difference with the hydrocortisone shot was astounding. Immediately (the next morning) I felt like biking. Not believing this, I resisted for two more days. Finally on the third day, I got up early, biked an easy few miles, with no fatigue. Wasn't tired yet, so I worked in the yard for a while. Still wasn't tired, so I got out the tools and worked on something for hours in 90 degree heat – again without problem. I can't under sell how remarkable this difference was. This is highly suggestive of a link between my condition and exogenous cortisol.

And I agree with your assessment of the activity draining the cortisol, and thus the crash. However, two days after the shot, I started the dexamethasone (for a few weeks). It seems that would have replenished the cortisol, especially with how strong dex is. Of course, as you point out, the key is I really pushed it way too much. On dex, I felt awfull for weeks. Do you know of any reason dex would have a different effect on this condition than that of hydrocortisone? I think the shot was 100 mg.

One of the dangers I hear accounts of, is when the body needs more and you either stress dose, or wind up in the hospital (or dead). What has been your experience with that?

And then the so-called "thyroid dump", where once you read a certain level of hydrocortisone, all that extra T3 pooling suddenly dumps into your cells, and you go hyper. Sounds like you probably got there at 30 mg. Did you go hyper? Was it a dangerous level?

There is another forum, I'm sure you know of which I speak, that puts themselves out there as the expert. Some of it sounds like madness though. I have asked some questions there, but they seem so black and white. Their main adrenal "expert" is very quick to recommend taking isocort or cortef, but always defers to others to read labs. That's not a good sign to me.

Mostly, I've been thinking about trying this, but I'm approaching with much caution.

And then, I'd have to get the stuff (cortef, right?). Not sure where. And not sure I want to put my Doctors in the position of not knowing what I'm doing. My main Doc, I think, might let me try it. My Endo is "positive" my adrenals are working perfectly, but cannot speak to why I have no energy, nor why I felt perfectly normal on the hydro.
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Old 05-14-2007, 08:28 PM   #5
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Re: Deb123 and other Adrenal folks

My advice to you is to find another doctor who will listen. Deb is right, and has been there for me many times. You can take all the thyroid meds out there, and it will do you no good if the adrenals aren't functioning. Like Deb I felt like a part of myself had died until they got my levels of cortef and florinef right. I could not move, get up, participate in life, much less pay attention, or feel like being an active participant in my life. I had thyroid cancer that was undetected for a year and a half, and it is believed that all of this is correlated with the adrenals. When I first started cortef and florinef, I too had a burst of energy. I could have mowed lawns for the neighborhood, and I did a lot in the two days it lasted, and I crashed. I had a huge setback for several days. It was then determined my dosage was not near enough. I just know that I now have my life back, and a few weeks ago they tried lowering it.
It was not enough, and I was almost back to square one. It was increased again, and now I am fine.
Research doctors in your area, ask around on who is the best one to help you with your problems. A good endocrinologist is a MUST. If at first you don't find one who will listen, find another.

I will keep you in my prayers. I TOTALLY KNOW HOW YOU FEEL.

 
Old 05-15-2007, 04:07 AM   #6
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Re: Deb123 and other Adrenal folks

mmm i have alwys had weird cortisone out of range cortisone readings ?? i was also thinking shall i get a saliva test as the drs like you say always do the 24 hour urine thingy ??,mm i find your posts exreeely informative and you are highly intelligant and i really have learned alot from your posts so dive rmom please share your story with us and love from pursie way to go!!pursiexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xx

 
Old 05-15-2007, 09:39 AM   #7
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Re: Deb123 and other Adrenal folks

Thanks kmatthew, So it seems a similar situation.

The evidence I have thus far is:
1. My symptoms are consistent with the AF theory.
2. One day of feeling suddenly perfectly normal due to either:
a. Poison Ivy (doubt it)
b. Hydrocortisone injection.

The evidence disputing that is the ACTH stimulation test that shows very good ability of my adrenal glands to respond to ACTH.

I state it that way, because what we don't know is whether or not my HPA axis is sending the right signals CRF/ACTH.

The HC route seems like something to try, but it's so risky, right? That whole stress dosing situation really concerns me. So does the atrophy possibility

What has been your experience? Do you know of people who have gone this course, gotten off the HC and recovered?

Any, I forget, what is the Florinef for?
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Old 05-15-2007, 12:16 PM   #8
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Re: Deb123 and other Adrenal folks

Florinef is to help you maintain your blood pressure when sitting and standing etc. It has been a must for me.
The riskiness of hydrocortisone is worth it to me because I know how I feel without it. I cannot make it without it. I turn into a 90 year old instead of a 37 year old, and I can't even function at all without help. Adrenal Insufficency is not something to mess around with, it can be life threatening if you are not producing the cortisol that you should.
For me the medication was not an option. I went to work perfectly normal one day, and came down a flight a stairs and don't remember a thing. I ended up in a hospital room with franctic family members and an Endocrinologist who was determined to find out what happened to me. You are fortunate that you have a choice on if you would like to be medicated or not. I can say that I am not sorryI am on these drugs. I do worry about the long term effects, but what was explained to me is that I am not making cortisol, so these drugs are putting there what I need. You will feel so much better.
I hope that you find the answers that you need.
KM

Last edited by kmatthew; 05-15-2007 at 12:17 PM.

 
Old 05-15-2007, 12:33 PM   #9
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Re: Deb123 and other Adrenal folks

Hi Divermon,

We sound as if we had similar situations. I was working a very physical job which I loved which involved quit a bit of stress but loved that part as well. I started having hypo symptoms in 2002 but couldn't get any help so kept pushing and pushing my body to do what it clearly could not do for two more years and then physically crashed in 2004. I've spent the last three years trying to correct all the damage done.

I really don't know anything about dexamethasone. I can tell you that from my experience and probably what shape your adrenals are in, low dose cortisone is good, high dose cortisone is bad for them. About the same time I finally found out my adrenals were shot I herniated a disc in my back. I endured the pain for about three months and finally had to give in and get a epidural injection of 80mg cortisone in my spine and it put me in bed for a couple of days but I felt great after that so I know it hit my adrenals too hard. About three weeks later had another one and it did the same thing. I was at that time on 10mg HC for my adrenals and had been for about three months. The shot may have temporarily helped you as our adrenals may be in different stages of exhaustion. How much dexamethasone were you taking a day?

As far as stress dosing goes, you learn to tell when your body needs to. A couple of weeks ago I had a dentist appt. that wasn't really all that stressful, at least I didn't think, ended up with a little drilling I hadn't planned on. I had not stress dosed before and got very weak and exhausted afterwards so had to stress dose for a couple days and then I was fine. Emotional stress is every bit as hard on adrenals as physical. An argument with my husband will cause me to have to stress dose sometimes. Not stress dosing when needed will not cause death, you will just be really exhausted and shaky until you can build the cortisol back up. The danger with HC is if you stop it suddenly without tapering down, that can put you in adrenal crisis, not sure even what that is, just know I don't want to experience it.

I never really had a "thyroid dump". I had already been on 10mg HC for about 18 months before I started tapering up so I never really had any problems. How to avoid that is you are supposed to reduce your thyroid med I think when you get to about 15mg and hold for a couple days and then slowly taper the thyroid back up. The only issue I had when I hit 15mg HC was I went very very hypo as the HC used up my thyroid that was pooling in my blood and I had to increase my thyroid a couple times and then as things settled down I felt a little hyper and lowered my thyroid a little and things calmed down. It's a process just like anything else, takes time to figure it out.

It was a hard and scary decision when I decided to go this route and I'm using the guidelines from the "expert". I would like to have kept docs involved in my adrenal journey but they all seemed quite content for me spending the rest of my life with "chronic fatigue" stamped on my forehead and that I should just accept that. The one that diagnosed the AF would only let me take 10mg HC and no higher even though after 18 months I still could not do the slightest amount of exercise. His reason being I might put on some weight, that's a real good reason for spending the rest of my life on the couch or bed watching life go by. I have put on about five pounds since upping the HC but I'm not overweight to begin with so it's not that noticeable to others. I would much rather get my life back and be able to do the things I used to be able to and I will worry about getting the five pounds off later.

I have been self treating for four months now and have had some ups and downs in getting dosages figured out and sometimes getting in too big of a hurry, one of my downfalls, impatience. My stamina is sooooo much better now. Before I could not even go mall shopping as it left me too exhausted. I've went twice with my daughter in the past month or so and did fine, kept up with her just fine. I still pace myself and still make some mistakes. Spent a good part of this past Sunday on my hands and knees cleaning and resealing the grout in my tile in two bathrooms, kitchen and dining room floors plus did all my usual housework, what was I thinking. Didn't really hit me until today but I overdid some and feeling it a little today, not put down in bed but probably will take a little extra HC for a couple days. I will take it easy for the next few days though as I don't want to lose any progess I've made.

If you think your main doc would let you give it a try I would definitely think about it. If he is not real experienced in it I would use the "guidelines" you were talking about or maybe even print off some of the info and take with you to the appt. I feel like I'm on the road to getting my life back, I know it's going to take some time still as there has been a heck of a lot of damage done that I have about six doctors that I can give the credit for that to.

Whatever decision you make I hope it works well for you and let me know if I can answer any other questions for you.

Deb

 
Old 05-15-2007, 01:02 PM   #10
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Re: Deb123 and other Adrenal folks

Here is my experience: After one of my "stupid" doctors switched me from 2 gr. thyrolar which I had taken for over 20 yrs to 1 grain of synthroid just because my test came back Total T4...........10.7.................Range 4.5 - 12.5 with a TSH of 0.04. It shocked my body and I have since had trouble getting my levels back up.

I thought the shock might have done something to my adrenals but dr. says adrenals are fine based on the tests he has done.

(1) Random Cortisol fasting..........14..................... ....Range 2 - 25
(2) 24 hr urine...................he said was normal
(3) cortisol test where I took the dex pill night before and fasted. Results...1.....Range 2-25
(he called this normal)

I have not been able to raise my meds even the slightest bit withour hyper symptoms.

I went to my dermatologist because of dry itching ear (diagnosed dermititis) and he gave me 1.5cc Kenalog 40 (steriod shot). It was like a miracle!!!!!!
Besides curing my itching ear overnight, It was like most of my thyroid symptoms went away too. This lasted for a couple of wks but everything started coming back, and within 3 mo. I was back to sq. one. I took this to prove that I did have an adrenal problem. What would you think?

 
Old 05-16-2007, 07:06 AM   #11
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Re: Deb123 and other Adrenal folks

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHMILY View Post
Here is my experience: After one of my "stupid" doctors switched me from 2 gr. thyrolar which I had taken for over 20 yrs to 1 grain of synthroid just because my test came back Total T4...........10.7.................Range 4.5 - 12.5 with a TSH of 0.04. It shocked my body and I have since had trouble getting my levels back up.

I thought the shock might have done something to my adrenals but dr. says adrenals are fine based on the tests he has done.

(1) Random Cortisol fasting..........14..................... ....Range 2 - 25
(2) 24 hr urine...................he said was normal
(3) cortisol test where I took the dex pill night before and fasted. Results...1.....Range 2-25
(he called this normal)

I have not been able to raise my meds even the slightest bit withour hyper symptoms.

I went to my dermatologist because of dry itching ear (diagnosed dermititis) and he gave me 1.5cc Kenalog 40 (steriod shot). It was like a miracle!!!!!!
Besides curing my itching ear overnight, It was like most of my thyroid symptoms went away too. This lasted for a couple of wks but everything started coming back, and within 3 mo. I was back to sq. one. I took this to prove that I did have an adrenal problem. What would you think?
Wow, makes you wonder doesn't it? I don't know anything about the testing you had except the 24 hr urine. I was diagnosed that way but have since found out it is not the most accurate. Is there anyway you could get a 24 hr saliva test done to get a true picture of how your adrenals are functioning?

I would like to get one done to see how mine are doing now but I would have to taper down off the HC and stay off for two weeks to have it done and too chicken to rock the boat at this point.

I've certainly had my share of "stupid docs" through this horrible journey and I can thank just about every one of them for all the misery I've dealt with over the past five years.

Deb

 
Old 05-16-2007, 10:12 AM   #12
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Re: Deb123 and other Adrenal folks

Shmily, I would say first that you've never had your adrenals tested. Not for AF, that is.

That is a "normal" response to the dex test. But that test has nothing to do with AF. It is used in cases of high cortisol (which you don't have), to see if that is caused by a tumor. They give you a strong dex pill, which your pituitary/hypothalamus sees as too much, so shuts off ACTH, which in turn shuts down your adrenals temporarily, which in turn means you'll have no cortisol the next morning. If your cortisol had not been very low after the dex, then a tumor is suspected because some of them secrete ACTH. BUT – I don't understand why your Doctor ordered that test because you don't have high cortisol.

The 24 hour urine test just tells you the total for a day, not at all conclusive for AF.

The random test just depends on when you drew blood, versus what point in the day you might be low on cortisol. Again, not at all conclusive for AF.

See my test examples for results of saliva testing, which is considered more conclusive for AF.

The alleviation of hypo symptoms sure sounds like something there. But I would have expected you to go back to square one right away, like within a couple of days, not 3 months. Just my take on it.
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Old 05-16-2007, 10:14 AM   #13
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Re: Deb123 and other Adrenal folks

Deb, yes, I also give credit to several Doctors who missed a TSH of 5.5, then 7, along with several of the classic hypo symptoms.

I would think that even if you stayed off HC for two weeks, that wouldn't be long enough. Once you shut down your adrenals, you'd have to taper off the HC first of all, which would take more time than that. Also, from what I am reading, you can be generally ok for a while after the taper (from the rested adrenals), but then slowly go back, at least in part, to sluggish adrenals. So I'm not sure, once you start HC, if any test will tell you what you want to know, which is am I healed?

Yesterday I was looking on that other site for a thread where someone asked if they knew of any success cases, where someone had taken their advice, been on HC for the necessary duration, weaned off, and recovered fully from AF. I couldn't find it now. But there was one where the "expert" was weaning off, and though that was going to be a success (back in late 2006). I think she's back on HC now.

I'm concerned about the advice there, because they are very quick to suggest HC, and do seem to know the mechanics of dosing very well, but has this worked for anyone. Sure there is consensus that most of them feel much better on HC. But has anyone gotten off of it and recovered? That concerns me.

One person expressed that concern, and the answer was that we live in a toxic world, it's unreasonable to expect not to be on HRT for the rest of your life.

There is the fantastic results of the hydrocortisone shot, but my saliva tests results are not that bad, and don't line up with any of the so-called 7 stages. Mostly my DHEA is low, and maybe I should just concentrate on that.

I also had, and probably still have some Candida overgrowth. From what I understand, HC will likely cause this to get much worse.

So what's better – the way I feel now (and probable resultant decline in other health areas), or throw the dice with HC, maybe my adrenals start back up in a couple of years, or maybe not and I'm on HC for the rest of my life (with all the complication therewith, and possible long term complications)? Tough question, but can only be answered prior to HC. Once you start, you're pretty much committed to riding it out, however it finishes.
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Old 05-16-2007, 06:53 PM   #14
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Re: Deb123 and other Adrenal folks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Divermon View Post
So what's better – the way I feel now (and probable resultant decline in other health areas), or throw the dice with HC, maybe my adrenals start back up in a couple of years, or maybe not and I'm on HC for the rest of my life (with all the complication therewith, and possible long term complications)? Tough question, but can only be answered prior to HC. Once you start, you're pretty much committed to riding it out, however it finishes.
I agree, it is a difficult decision to make and a very individual one. I guess it depends on how content you are with living the rest of your life with the limitations that are upon you at this time. I remember telling my DH when I decided to embark on this adrenal journey that I was either going to kill myself or regain my health by doing so and if the first senerio played out than that was OK because there was noway I wanted to spend the rest of my life watching my life go by and not being able to participate in it anymore.

The process of healing the adrenals is supposed to take, depending on the severity of exhaustion, anywhere from two months to two years. I think that site has only been up and running about a year. The downfall there too, as with many other health forums, people are bad to only post when things are not going well and don't seem to post as much with success. I think when that happens they just want to get on with life and don't come back to the boards much. I agree, some will be on it for life and I may very well be one of them as I know mine are pretty well gone. I rationalize that in the fact that I will have to take my thyroid pill for the rest of my life to have a normal existance and if I end up having to take HC for the rest of my life to be able to enjoy the rest of my life so be it.

I too had very very severe candida when I first crashed in 2004 and I know without a doubt that was due to being left hypo for so long, candida loves a cool body temperture and I was a perfect host as I was freezing all the time. That is one of the first questions I asked when I was originally put on HC, would it flare the candida and they told me no. That was at 10mg and I've been up as high as 30mg now and can't tell it's affecting my candida any.

What finally made me decide to go ahead was I surprised my DD and DIL and myself with tickets to a George Strait concert this past Jan. Half way through the concert because of all the up and down, excitement and dancing in the stands we did I was completely shot. I was bound and determined to continue having a great time and pushed on never letting the girls know my body was mush. To make matters worse after it was over and we walked down three long sets of stairs out to the parking lot and then remembered we had left our keys under the seat they went back up the stairs and back in to get them and I knew there was no way I could make it. I told them my feet hurt and for them to go ahead as I stood there as they walked away with tears in my eyes over the fact that physically I could not walk back up the stairs. I then spent the next three days in bed to recover.

When I was able to get out of bed I got online ordered the HC, followed the "guidelines" asked questions when I needed advice and have never looked back.

If it is something you are not comfortable with then I would not even consider doing so. For me, I saw no other option, besides wanting my life back, I want my family to have their wife, mom and grandma back.

Deb

 
Old 05-16-2007, 09:27 PM   #15
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Re: Deb123 and other Adrenal folks

Does anyone know anything about Adreset? I was told I have Adrenal Fatigue issues but that I am not that bad so they started me on Adreset, a natural supplement consisting of Cordyceps Mycelium Extract, Asian Ginseng Root Extract and Rhodiola Root Extract. (I looked each of these up on the internet and they appear to help with stamina and seem to be something alot of international athletes use.) Here are my results from the 24 hr saliva test:

7-9 am: .37 (.27-2.06)
11 am-1 pm: .22 (.03-.77)
3 - 5 pm: .13 (.03-.56)
10 pm - 12 am: .11 (.03-.50)

DHEA: 198 (14-277)

My numbers are all in range but my doc said they like the am number to be at least a one and I am pretty far off. I have no rhythem and my adrenals are 'flat-lined'. This explains why I have not get up and go in the mornings. When I first started taking the Adreset I was taking one in the morning and one at noon, and I got my hypo symptoms back so I quit taking it. Tested it a couple weeks later and the same thing happened. Talked to my doc about it and they said maybe the supplement was too much and to try taking it once per day, which I've been doing for about a month now. I can't tell if it is helping or not. I do think it is helping as after a very busy weekend the beginning of May I did not feel that crash on Monday as I often had before. Sometimes I feel like I am on the verge of hypo symtoms again (does that make sense). I can't tell if I have vague hypo symptoms or if I am imagining it because I am expecting it. I do wonder if the supplement is causing my body to use more of the thyroid med. As someone stated earlier, maybe I am producing enough cortisol now to force the T4 out of my blood and into my cells. I've only been on the Synthroid for 6 months now so this is all still pretty new to me.

I will say I have also been to that other site and I agree about the 'madness'. Sometimes I think they are a little over the top and I'm not so sure about the advice being thrown around. I will admit that I have learned some things there as well.

Divermon - maybe you should try the Adreset for yourself to see if it helps you. I have also wonedered if I would benefit from the HC as well as wondered if I would be better off with Armour. But I was so sick before starting Synthorid and don't want to rock the boat now that I am feeling better. Good Luck!

 
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