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THE Adrenal Fatigue Thread - Page 2

post #21 of 261
Please help...

I just got my saliva test results and it says I probably have adrenal fatique. (Not a surprise, as I am hypo and all that.)

Here are the results:

morning 0.78 (0.27-1.18)
midday 0.23 (0.10-0.41)
afternoon 0.15 (0.05-0.27)
night <0.03 (0.03-0.14)

DHEA 599 (71-640)
DHEA: cortisol ratio 768 (115-1,188)

I am pretty sure that my doctor will suggest h ydrocortisone. Someone here already told me it is only a bandaid... So what are my options and where can I find good information? I am in Europe and I am already going to the best possible doctor we have here...

As I have said here before, we have been suffering from secondary infertility for years. Mentally, I cannot deal with the idea of needing to wait two more years to TTC. However... from what I have read, it is rare to take hydrocortisone and not have to take it for at least a year...

I would appreciate any comments, as I am way too new to this and I will need to learn a lot to discuss with the doctor.
post #22 of 261
Thread Starter 
From the reference ranges listed above, your cortisol seems to be in range. Your nighttime one is a bit low, but that's not so bad.

How do you feel?
post #23 of 261
On the second page it says: "This pattern suggests adrenal hypofunction of the zona fasciculata." THAT is what I am going by thinking I have a problem. Well, and that fact that the evening sample was too low to be measured.


I just looked at my mom's test and her afternoon, though within range, looked high for the rest of her pattern. Turns our she had slept for two hours in the afternoon before testing. Problem is, so did I, and mine is not elevated at all, which makes me think that that one might have been low also (even if not as low as the night one). I wish the instructions has mentioned sleeping... We did not think of it and were so tired without coffee/tea that day.


TBH, I don't know how I am feeling, as I may have been hypo since birth. I certainly have a TON more energy than I did before Armour. I have had some symptoms return, lately, and now my free T3 is above range and free T4 is a little lower than I would prefer, so it looks like I will need to take less Armour...
post #24 of 261
Just 'found' this thread...yea. I started taking 'Adrenal Support' 4 weeks ago per my Dr and WOW do I feel a difference. My energy is returning and I am feeling more myself every day. I was having hormone imbalance issues which my Dr felt stemmed from Adrenal issues. I am on Breast Health (supplement), Adrenal Support, and progesterone (last 2 weeks of my cycle) and feeling so so much better!

I got my adenal support and other supplement here www.emersonecologics.com if anyone needs a good place for supplements (My Dr rec them).
post #25 of 261
I think I have this. I was recently diagnosed as hypothyroid. I never had weight problems but I do have a lot of symptoms of hypothyroid (brain fog, slow thinking, very very tired, menstrual problems/irregular, lots of spotting, constipation...) this has been going on for years -- at least 10-15 years now (since I was a teenager). I started taking synthroid (levo) about a month ago and the only thing that is better is my constipation has vanished ... I mean it used to be a once a week thing and now it is every day or max every other. I can't believe that. However, I've been slowly gaining weight in the past month I've put on 5 pounds, which is odd, since my diet hasn't changed. I'm also very very fatigued, like I would wake up in the morning tired by 12 noon I had to take a nap and then even after the nap still feel a little tired ... by 6 pm very very tired, could go to bed again.
post #26 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamsmama View Post
I think I have this. I was recently diagnosed as hypothyroid. I never had weight problems but I do have a lot of symptoms of hypothyroid (brain fog, slow thinking, very very tired, menstrual problems/irregular, lots of spotting, constipation...) this has been going on for years -- at least 10-15 years now (since I was a teenager). I started taking synthroid (levo) about a month ago and the only thing that is better is my constipation has vanished ... I mean it used to be a once a week thing and now it is every day or max every other. I can't believe that. However, I've been slowly gaining weight in the past month I've put on 5 pounds, which is odd, since my diet hasn't changed. I'm also very very fatigued, like I would wake up in the morning tired by 12 noon I had to take a nap and then even after the nap still feel a little tired ... by 6 pm very very tired, could go to bed again.
You described what I had been feeling to a 'T'.....the things I listed above your post have helped with ALL of my symptoms. Including the weight gain. I had too much estrogen and too little progesterone which explained the weight gain (all in my middle) and other symptoms as well. Hope you can get some help. I cannot tell you how much better I feel since starting my new 'regime'.
post #27 of 261
Can someone look at my two adrenal tests and tell me if you think I've improved. In the first test my curve was a normal curve, except that it was below the reference range so the practitioner said we just needed to raise the whole curve.

Well clearly we didn't do that. I'm just curious if its really an improvement? I realize you can't totally compare b/c I didn't do the neurotransmitters this time but still.

first test:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...drenaltest.jpg

2nd test:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...drenaltest.jpg

Or am I just screwed up in a different way now.
post #28 of 261
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chlobo View Post
Can someone look at my two adrenal tests and tell me if you think I've improved. In the first test my curve was a normal curve, except that it was below the reference range so the practitioner said we just needed to raise the whole curve.

Well clearly we didn't do that. I'm just curious if its really an improvement? I realize you can't totally compare b/c I didn't do the neurotransmitters this time but still.

first test:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...drenaltest.jpg

2nd test:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...drenaltest.jpg

Or am I just screwed up in a different way now.
I can't see your results - it just shows the Photobucket home page.

I think stabilizing the curve is key. Mine was only slightly off at first but we got it to a normal rhythm fairly quickly. Now my cortisol levels are just low.

There are things you can do to try to even it out though.
post #29 of 261
Ok. I fixed the link but here are the #s:

First Test:

Cortisol
7:42am 4.4 (7am rr 7-10)
11:44am 1.1 (noon rr 3-6)
5:40pm .8 (5pm rr 2-4)
10:46pm .8 (10pm rr <1.5)

Second Test:

Cortisol
8:00am 7.7 (morning rr 7-10)
12:00pm 2.2 (midday rr 3-6)
6:00pm 1.3 (evening rr 2-4)
11:00pm 2.3 (night rr <1.5)

So I'm guessing, from what you are saying, that I'm worse off than before because before I had low cortisol but the curve looked like a normal curve just low.

Now, however, although I've raised my morning cortisol the rest sucks. Am I understanding correctly?

I've tried a bunch of different adrenal things. What have you found that works for you?
post #30 of 261
Chlobo, I think you're getting better. DH was like your first curve, just low all the time, and I think raising evening cortisol above reference is working your way backwards towards good health, and the increase in morning cortisol is indicative of the same thing.

Take a look at this sequence of the 7 stages...
http://www.chronicfatigue.org/ASI%205.html

I think DH was sliding beyond 5, into 6 or 7 (hard to say, I think he was transitioning between stages when we tested, he didn't fit anything perfectly) but now you're looking more classic stage 5. Which isn't great, I think it's the worst I got and I felt pretty sucky, but I think you and DH were both worse.

My 2 cents anyway. (but the photobucket pics are showing up pretty small for me, too small to read given the paleness of the print).
post #31 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by TanyaLopez View Post
Chlobo, I think you're getting better. DH was like your first curve, just low all the time, and I think raising evening cortisol above reference is working your way backwards towards good health, and the increase in morning cortisol is indicative of the same thing.

Take a look at this sequence of the 7 stages...
http://www.chronicfatigue.org/ASI%205.html

I think DH was sliding beyond 5, into 6 or 7 (hard to say, I think he was transitioning between stages when we tested, he didn't fit anything perfectly) but now you're looking more classic stage 5. Which isn't great, I think it's the worst I got and I felt pretty sucky, but I think you and DH were both worse.

My 2 cents anyway. (but the photobucket pics are showing up pretty small for me, too small to read given the paleness of the print).
Geez. According to that I should be bed ridden.
post #32 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by chlobo View Post
Geez. According to that I should be bed ridden.
That's what I've been trying to say, you REALLY DO feel bad! Feeling bad is hard enough, but feeling bad ABOUT feeling bad is just adding insult to injury and you've got reasons, that much lead and copper and I'm surprised you're not *actually* bedridden.
post #33 of 261
Thread Starter 
Jeez, I've never read those ASI charts on the Clymer website, TL. It says they rarely see patients in a zone 6. I haven't been able to get out of this zone 7 for years now, but I don't feel as dead as it seems I should feel. Don't get me wrong, I feel like crap much of the time & my muscles hurt constantly, but I'm not bedridden.

I think it affects everyone differently. Like Tanya said, whatever else one has going on (like lead or copper), can make things that much worse. So while I'm fully in zone 7, perhaps you feel worse in a zone 5. Just thinking out loud here.

It's tough to say how the body will heal. The cortisol pattern will change throughout the healing process. The first good sign we saw for me was that my pattern improved. My cortisols were always low, but throughout the day they were lower than in the evening, so I felt ramped up in the evening, even though my cortisol was almost non-existent at that time.
Things definitely felt better once it evened out.

The next obvious improvement was that my morning cortisol jumped quite a bit. At the moment, it feels too high because as soon as I wake up in the morning, I have that buzzy, ramped up feeling. Or perhaps I just need it to rise more throughout the day?

We're having trouble getting my DHEA to rise, it's still a 1 or 2.

But I feel better than I did 3 years ago, regardless of the very small changes in my test results. This is reeeeaally slow going. But as someone knee deep in zone 7, I can say it is possible to improve. I know there are things I could do that would help me heal MUCH faster, like removing more stress, but not all of it is possible to avoid, unfortunately.

Hang in there Mama, given the right tools, you're body will figure this out. Trust that it knows what its doing.
post #34 of 261
Meta, speaking of you, you HAVE been working hard and doing LOTS of good stuff, more than most folks. Have you considered an ongoing physical stress that's still working on you? Chronic lyme or epstein-barre, heavy metals (ever considered a hair test?), um, I'm sure there's other stuff as well. This has been a really long slog for you, and even with life stresses (some of them pretty rough), it still seems slow going. Money's always an issue, I don't know much about testing for chronic infections, but the hair test is about $85 from Direct Lab Services, and your doc could probably get it for you cheaper, he can order directly from Doctor's Data, and he'll get the cheap HCP price (he needs to get an account set up, but I think that's just some paperwork).
post #35 of 261
Hi!
I've been through the original thread but I'm too tired to go through it right now. It's finally "clicked" to me that DH is likely suffering from long term adrenal fatigue. I'd like to get his saliva tested on our own and then decide what type of Dr we want to follow up with based on the results. I thought I could order through Genova but I'm not sure how to do that on my own. Can anyone recommend a good lab to go though w/o Dr ordering it?

I'm pretty familiar w/ AF because I had a saliva test ordered by an ND in another state a few years ago and I was able to overcome some mild adrenal fatigue with dietary changes and Isocort. I'm not planning to do this all on our own but I feel like it's faster to just order the test rather than trying to find an ND/get in/get the test ordered....

Thanks!
post #36 of 261
Is AF something that can kick in after pregnancy? I suspect that I might have it...but it really started after the birth of DD, now 4.5 years old.
Although I did have some problems since I was a teenager, like problem menstrual cycles.
post #37 of 261
mama2j&t--I ordered for DH through Canary Club. Whatever you do, make sure to get a 4x/day saliva test, sometimes it's worded oddly and it's difficult to tell.

Angelplum--pregnancy is a big stress, and for me, I think my adrenals were slowly wearing down for almost 20 yrs, but it was my 2nd pregnancy that made it blatantly obvious that something was wrong. But I felt normal for me before that, so I didn't recognize that things weren't all okay.
post #38 of 261
Yeah, I think it was the same for me...I was slowly feeling worse, but not enough to make me think it was something major. But since I had my daughter, I just feel exhausted, don't want to get up in the morning, start to feel better after 6 pm, gaining weight, etc. All symptoms of AF.

I'm also in a somewhat stressful marriage. Not much I can do about it...leaving would be even more stressful.
post #39 of 261
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TanyaLopez View Post
Meta, speaking of you, you HAVE been working hard and doing LOTS of good stuff, more than most folks. Have you considered an ongoing physical stress that's still working on you? Chronic lyme or epstein-barre, heavy metals (ever considered a hair test?), um, I'm sure there's other stuff as well. This has been a really long slog for you, and even with life stresses (some of them pretty rough), it still seems slow going. Money's always an issue, I don't know much about testing for chronic infections, but the hair test is about $85 from Direct Lab Services, and your doc could probably get it for you cheaper, he can order directly from Doctor's Data, and he'll get the cheap HCP price (he needs to get an account set up, but I think that's just some paperwork).
Ugh. Freaking out about Lyme is what got me here. Ds was 7 or 8 weeks old & Dd2 was 3 1/4 yrs, tandem nursing. I felt good for the first 8 weeks & then had some crazy symptoms pop up - like burning skin all over my scalp, neck & upper arms - felt like a really bad sunburn. Could barely walk because the bones in my feet hurt so much (felt like all of the padding was gone & I was walking on bones.) My knees hurt like crazy, I suddenly had more floaters in my vision. This was spring of 2006.

Then, I started Googling. Biggest mistake EVER. The only places my symptoms matched up were the Lyme boards (which are scary as hell) & the menopause board (Power Surge.) I found out Lyme could be passed through breastmilk.
Knowing what I know now, it probably makes sense that hormones (or a lack of) could explain my symptoms.
I weaned Dd2 in June at 3.5 yrs so I might not pass to her whatever was wrong with me (my Lyme obsession.) I wasn't ready, she wasn't ready & it was really painful, emotionally. I laid in bed & cried, nursing my newborn, hoping I wasn't passing Lyme on to him.
By fall 2006, I had *severe* muscle pain & weakness. It hurt to push a shopping cart & was nearly impossible to do so.

But I had so many good reasons for my symptoms - like, my knees & feet hurt because I wore my heavy Ds in a front carry all day every day & my body wasn't used to that.

My chiro did x-rays & my neck was a mess which could explain burning from a pinched nerve or something.

The only think I couldn't explain was the floaters. I've always had a couple, but it became like a spider web. My ND says it's from adrenal fatigue & I've found some info about it possibly being from low blood pressure, so maybe it is?

My holistic doc treated me for Lyme, 8 wks of Amoxicillin & during the last 2 weeks, we added Biaxin (which really messed with Ds' gut, but not mine.)
I didn't feel any different.

Then I paid $650 OOP for an IGeneX western blot & co-infection panel. It was overall negative with some suspicious bands. I saw a LLMD who said I didn't have Lyme. So I still don't really know the answer to this one, but I don't know if I can handle the stress of digging any more. I don't think I'd take abx for it since I would have had it for so long.

Sometimes I think, it MUST be Lyme. I used to be a garden designer & worked in tall grasses pulling weeds & planting. I was completely ignorant about the severity of Lyme & how debilitating it could be. I live in a HIGHLY endemic area, right up there with parts of NY state & CT.

But nothing is cyclical for me. Nothing. I still have the floaters & they seem to be worse when my adrenal symptoms are worse (like dizziness upon standing, feeling tired, stronger sensitivity to carbs). I still have the muscle pain & weakness, but it's hard to say, after 3 years, if it's gotten better or if I've just gotten used to it. This is also a symptom of adrenal fatigue.
So every time I remember that nothing is cyclical for me, nothing has gotten worse, I feel like it can't be Lyme. I have ZERO joint pain. My initial joint pain only lasted maybe 2 months or so & could easily be explained by wearing Ds in a front carry with crappy Birkenstocks (I'm really flat-footed & my ankles pronate inward without super arch support, which affects the knees & everything else.)

SOOOO...I feel like I can't beat that horse any more.

Heavy metals - I dye my hair, but that doesn't matter because I don't have to use head hair, right?
I am still nursing though. I think that will skew the results, no?

Is Epstein-barre a simple test? I think it often cross-reacts with the Lyme bacteria, making the diagnosis difficult. Do you know how that works?

I don't know. My ND isn't surprised that it's taking so long. I DO feel better than I did. I need to email him anyway, so I'll ask some questions. Part of me is feeling like I could use a new (professional) perspective. Not that I don't adore my ND & I think he's fabulous at healing adrenal fatigue, but sometimes a fresh perspective is useful. I've been thinking of TCM for a while.

Hey Tanya, have you read Primal Body, Primal Mind yet? I just finished the chapter on leptin & am very much intrigued. Turns out leptin is THE king of hormones, it controls *everything* - insulin, adrenals, ACTH, and everything on down. I have to read more, but this is interesting to me.

So, (big sigh), I don't know. You're absolutely right. I've been working hard at this, still have stressors (can I send exdp to the moon?) but I feel like I should be out of zone 7 by now.

Thanks for the perspective.
post #40 of 261
Thread Starter 
Wow, I'm surprised I fit that all in one post...I thought I'd have to cut it in half.
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