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Does anyone have experience with hydrocortisone for adrenal fatigue??

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Everything that I have been reading has told me that 20mg or so is safe to take with no side effects.

Has anyone ever taken this before? What was your experience with it?
post #2 of 12
I don't have any experience with this, but I noticed that there is an adrenal fatiugue link bank in the "Useful links for H&H" sticky up top on this page. Generally, I haven't heard anything good about it but I haven't been paying close attention. Good luck.
post #3 of 12
I have dealt with adrenal fatigue myself but would be very hesitant to medicate myself with cortisone without knowing baseline lab levels and frequently monitoring to make sure you aren't getting too much. Remember that too much cortisol is every bit as dangerous as too little. The downside of supplementing cortisol is that in 90% of cases, your body will use the supplement first and your adrenals will produce even less. (In 10% of cases, it can be titrated down and the adrenals will kick back in.) After adrenals shut down to the point of Addison's disease, going off cortisol can be life-threatening.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your responses.

I know I definately need some help.

These are my labs: (I did saliva testing through Canary Club)

fTSH 70 normal (26-85nlU/ml)
fT4 .26 normal (0.17-0.42 ng/dl)
fT3 .15 low (0.28-1.10 pg/ml)
TPO negative (negative)

7:00-8:00am <1 depressed (13-24nM)
11:00-noon 6 normal (5-10nM)
4:00-5:00 8 normal (3-8nM)
11:00-midnight 3 normal (1-4nM)

cortisol burden 18 (23-42)
DHEA 2 depressed (3-10ng/ml)

E2 (estradiol) 14 (Luteal Phase: 7-20 pg/ml)
P1 (progesterone) 836 (Luteal phase: 65-500pg/ml)
TTF (free testosterone) 16 (8-20pg/ml)

A lot of people on a thyroid site I've been going to highly recommend Hydrocortisone. I'm looking for opinions from people here who come from a less mainstream point of view.

I think I probably do need to take it judging by my ridiculously low am cortisol level. I'm just very hesitant to start.
post #5 of 12
I've only heard bad things about taking hydrocortisone. I'm currently reading Adrenal Fatigue The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James L. Wilson, N.D., D.C., Ph.D.
I'm taking adrenal cortex extract that also has some B vitamins & licorice root extract. From what I've read, if you take natural adrenal cortex extract, your body can manufacture DHEA, cortisol, pregnenelone, progesterone, etc from it.

I highly recommend this book, there's a website, I think it's www.adrenalfatigue.org - where you can find doctors who specialize in AF. I'm in the midst of trying to get an appt. with the 1 doctor in PA listed! Fortunately, I live about 40 minutes from his office.

Here are my results:

My progesterone is non-existant, <.5, less than a post menopausal woman.

My estradiol (estrogen) is 22, which is in range. (So I have the effect of estrogen, w/o the progesterone to balance it.)

My testosterone is in range, but towards the lower end. (Total - 12, free - 1.2)

My DHEA is very low, 35, the reference range is 40-325.

My cortisol is 13.5, which is in range. (Could still be in the "overdrive" stage.)

Vitamin D was 37, in range (I've heard that 40 is ideal & you don't want to go over 50.)

Thyroid: (doctor said this was good.)
T-4, free - 1.1
TSH - 1.86
T-3, free - 296
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
post #7 of 12
I don't have any experience personally with Hydrocortisone either, but do have Adrenal Fatigue. I just started taking an Adrenal Suplement with the bioidentical hormone and am hoping to see a difference soon. The Thyroid site I have visited speaks highly of using cortisone but it makes me a bit nervous as you have to pay very close attention and most of them are not under Dr. supervision. I am all for natural treatments that work and keep you off of mainstream medication that doesn't. But this makes me slightly nervous. truthfully, though, if I wasn't b'feeding, I would probly be trying it myself.
The book the PP recomended is a great resource, check it out if you can. Godd luck in finding answers for ebtter health! Feel free to ask any questions!
post #8 of 12
You can try treating it with adrenal extracts...this site has some http://www.drrons.com/organs-glands.htm

Also, I've read that 90% of the vitamin C in your body is used by the adrenal gland, so you may want to figure out what your bowel tolerance dose of vitamin C (sodium ascorbate) is and take slightly less than that each day to see if that helps. I'm sure I had adrenal fatigue based on symptoms and when I started dosing with vitamin C my bowel tolerance dose was over 40 grams! I took 20 grams a day for a while, then that was too much and went down to 10 grams a day, and just a few days ago that got to be too much again so I'm down to 5 grams a day...hopefully that means my adrenals are in better shape now!
post #9 of 12
I have been wondering about the same thing too. According to "feeling fat, fuzzy, or frazzled?" by Richard Shames, if you have tried proper diet, vitamins, herbs, and precurors and do not see improvement, starting with really small amount of hydrocortisone, half of the samllest pill which is 5 mg, and make sure it's not synthetic prednisonecine. Take a day in the am, adjust dosage very carefully according to how your feel. Up to 20mg a day for about 5 or 6 weeks, then slowly tapering down to none.

Kim, can you share with me which lab did you use for saliva test? I know about canaryclub.com, but withn AF, last thing I need is try to figure out which to chose :.

My estradiol from blood test is really low, 14lf, normal rg 23-170. I am so worried about not be able to have kids. Maybe it is related to AF too:
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
I went with Diagnos-techs. They were cheapest $144 and had everything I wanted to test all together. The test is free to get in the mail. You pay when you send it back. I paid extra at the post office to get it sent overnight. It includes: Thyroid Tests (TSH, Free T4, Free T3, microsomal antibody)

Adrenal Stress Tests (four samples for cortisol and DHEA) .. This involves one saliva sample collected in the morning before breakfast, another sample collected around noon (before lunch), another around 4 p.m.
(before dinner), and another around 10 p.m. (before bed).

Sex Hormone Tests (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone)

I had 2 miscarriages last year that's what really sent me on a mission to figure out what is wrong. I don't know if it's the adrenals that are causing me problems or if it is my thyroid.

I just started the Hydrocortisone today as a matter of fact. I guess I'll see what happens. It can't be any worse that feeling exhausted constantly.
post #11 of 12
Thanks, Kim.

Let us know how the hydrocortisone works out for you.
post #12 of 12
Here' a site where you can plot your TSH, free T3 and T4 numbers. I did mine and it shows adrena; fatigue and estrogen dominance.

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