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  • Cortisol...I am new and need some info

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    Old 03-30-2004, 08:16 AM   #1
    PrimalSympathy
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    Question Cortisol...I am new and need some info

    Can someone tell me what cortisol does? I have been having symptoms of depression, bi polar, anxiety nearly all my life, plus stomache disorders. I finally got my cortisol tested because my boyfriend insisted even though the million doctors I have been too said I didnt need the test, and the results came back that my cortisol levels are high, and my white blood count is slightly low. My T3 is also low, but still within the normal range, although barely. Can anyone help?

     
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    Old 03-30-2004, 08:41 AM   #2
    avuntika
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    Re: Cortisol...I am new and need some info

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PrimalSympathy
    Can someone tell me what cortisol does? I have been having symptoms of depression, bi polar, anxiety nearly all my life, plus stomache disorders. I finally got my cortisol tested because my boyfriend insisted even though the million doctors I have been too said I didnt need the test, and the results came back that my cortisol levels are high, and my white blood count is slightly low. My T3 is also low, but still within the normal range, although barely. Can anyone help?
    cortisol is a stress hormone. mine is very high too, and i was given a suppression test to rule out some disorder/disease (sorry i do not remember what that is, maybe someone else will have a better idea). u take a tablet or two at bedtime and get the cortisol test repeated the next morning.

    i also suffer from depression/anxiety a lot. but otherwise the cortisol doesnt create any problems that i am aware of.

    all the best!

     
    Old 03-30-2004, 09:44 AM   #3
    Divermon
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    Re: Cortisol...I am new and need some info

    Cortisol is a hormone, secreted by the adreanal glands, and helps regulate blood pressure, the immune system, blood sugar, metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. You can do a web search on "Cushings Disease" to see a list of symptoms, and other info.

    If you are familiar with the way the thyroid hormones work... there is a similar feedback loop for the adreanals, where the pituitary gland secretes ACTH to stimulate the adrenals to produce cortisol. If you have high cortisol, there can be several reasons for that.

    Your emotional reaction to a nurse comming at you with a needle to draw blood, can temporarily raise cortisol. Longer term stress can raise cortisol on a less temporary basis. Certain tumors can raise cortisol, by secreting ACTH on their own, such as lung or adreanal tumors. And tumors of the pituitary gland can produce too much ACTH, causing the adrenals to produce too much cortisol.

    The first thing an Endocrinologists will want to do, is to rule out the ACTH producing tumors, and check to see that the pituitary/adrenal feedback is working. To do this, just as the previous poster mentioned, you take an evening dose or two of steroids, such as Dexamethasone (I felt no side effects taking this), which is close to cortisol, to fool your pituitary into assuming you have too much cortisol already. A healthy pituitary gland will respond by shutting off ACTH, and thus, shutting down the adrenal's production of cortisol. Then following morning, you get a blood test for cortisol. If your cortisol is appropriately suppressed, then I believe that means there is no other source of ACTH, such as a tumor.

    If the cortisol is not suppressed, then the next step is to determine if the cortisol is because of your adrenals not responding to ACTH (or the lack of) appropriately, or if there is a tumor pumping out ACTH. If a tumor, then, where is the tumor, and what can be done about it.

    In my case, the high cortisol, showing on a 24 hour unine collection, was at 99, where nomal is about 4 - 50. Then the blood cortisol test, after the Dexamethasone, showed suppressed, at 0.5, where normal is 4 to 22.

    My Endo also told me that she can about tell just by looking at me that I don't have Cushings.

    So, I'm not really sure why my cortisol was high, or if it's still high. Could be from stress. Meep reminds me that cortisol is typically high in the very early stages of comming adrenal fatigue.

    Ok, maybe that gives you something to chew on.
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    Old 03-30-2004, 02:38 PM   #4
    PrimalSympathy
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    Re: Cortisol...I am new and need some info

    Thank you for all the info! I really appreciate it! On a scale of 2-9, my cortisol level was 19. Can elevated cortisol levels cause symptoms of depression, bi polar, large amounts of stomache fat?

     
    Old 03-31-2004, 03:22 PM   #5
    Divermon
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    Re: Cortisol...I am new and need some info

    If you do a web search, you'll get much more info, as there are some good sites out there, but here are some of the symptoms of Cushings (taken from another site):

    - extreme weight gain
    - growth retardation
    - missed periods in teenage girls
    - excess hair growth
    - acne
    - reddish-blue streaks on the skin
    - high blood pressure
    - tiredness and weakness
    - either very early or late puberty

    Adults with the disease may also have symptoms of extreme weight gain, excess hair growth, high blood pressure, and skin problems. In addition, they may show:

    - muscle and bone weakness
    - moodiness, irritability, or depression
    - sleep disturbances
    - high blood sugar
    - menstrual disorders in women and decreased fertility in men
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