THE Adrenal Fatigue Thread - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 261 Old 10-24-2009, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Our old thread was well over 2,000 posts!

Old thread full of good info.

Welcome fellow adrenal-healing old-timers & newbies as well!

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#2 of 261 Old 10-24-2009, 01:26 PM
 
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Subbing - thanks for strating the New Thread
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Subbing!

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#4 of 261 Old 10-24-2009, 07:24 PM
 
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still working through the other one---subbing here as well.thxs
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#5 of 261 Old 10-24-2009, 10:50 PM
 
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Hi everyone!

I asked this question on another thread, but no one answered. I am currently taking zoloft for anxiety and depression. I had made a really good recovery, but everytime I try to go off the meds, my symptoms come back.

recently my naturopath discovered my cholesterol is really really low, so he suspects my adrenals are completely exhausted as well. I anticipate a lot more testing in the near future to see whats what.

for now i'm going back up on zoloft so i can function and take care of myself and my family.

I am just looking for some support to hear that I am not the only one who is using these medications. I feel very alone, and tend to beat myself up for it. I know it is a long process to heal the imbalances, so i'm trying to be gentle with myself. some comradery (sp?) would be nice though.

anyone out there like me?
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#6 of 261 Old 10-24-2009, 11:24 PM
 
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My BF takes antianxiety med too.. helps some with his insomnia that is part of his adrenal fatigue (he uses melatonin too). There is no one path, we are all individuals. Take it one day at a time honey, nurture, nourish, and be gentle with yourself.
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#7 of 261 Old 10-24-2009, 11:28 PM
 
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I'm subbing. I'm pretty sure I have this, and was just googling for diet/supplement/life change recommendations.

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#8 of 261 Old 10-24-2009, 11:31 PM
 
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My dear BF has been dealing with adrenal fatigue woes for about 3 years now (though he has had it for much longer), in conjunction with hypothyroid. He is taking a good wholistic approach, but it has been trial and error, success and setbacks, and all daunting, scary, exhausting. A year ago he made a bold move to let himself remain laid off so he could focus completely on his health. (He had a lot of money saved up). Today he is still searching.

For me as his support person, I try to keep the faith that he will get better. He has recently, with my help, cleaned up his diet Awesome b/c I think some of his bad eating habits were stressing his system further.
I am an herbalist, but he takes many things already, both meds and supplements... it is a lot. I have had my share of health issues as well and been successful treating them with natural ways and optimal nourishment, and happiness, so I do carry that optimism. I am trying to help him see that he must replace the stress he removed with inspiration, some joy, some light... it is not enough to take stress out, that space must be filled with something that nourishes.. yes?

For those of you dealing, what is the best thing your support people who love you can do?
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#9 of 261 Old 10-25-2009, 09:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lisasaurus View Post
for now i'm going back up on zoloft so i can function and take care of myself and my family.
Zoloft is really not that bad, especially if it is helping you. I think finding out that your cholesterol is low is a good sign. You could start adding coconut oil to your food.

I was hear a year or two ago feeling so awful! I'm doing a lot better now thanks to the advice on this forum. You guys are wonderful.
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#10 of 261 Old 10-25-2009, 11:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lisasaurus View Post
Hi everyone!

I asked this question on another thread, but no one answered. I am currently taking zoloft for anxiety and depression. I had made a really good recovery, but everytime I try to go off the meds, my symptoms come back.

recently my naturopath discovered my cholesterol is really really low, so he suspects my adrenals are completely exhausted as well. I anticipate a lot more testing in the near future to see whats what.

for now i'm going back up on zoloft so i can function and take care of myself and my family.

I am just looking for some support to hear that I am not the only one who is using these medications. I feel very alone, and tend to beat myself up for it. I know it is a long process to heal the imbalances, so i'm trying to be gentle with myself. some comradery (sp?) would be nice though.

anyone out there like me?
I was on antidepressants a few years ago (ETA: plus a couple times previously, years ago), if it's making you functional, stick with it. There's no reason to beat yourself up about it, seriously. This whole thing, being sick and trying to figure out why _you_ are sick, vs anyone else here, is a lot of work, and the more other responsibilities you've got, the harder it is.

FWIW, for me, in retrospect, I can see that a lot of nutritional deficiencies were also involved in my depression. Not that I had any clue that I was depressed for any other reason than "it runs in my family," but it was later that things fit together. Have you done some/a lot/no nutritional supplementation? Things like zinc and mag, B vits of various sorts, some folks need omega-3s. I have no idea on dosages (though there's a thread in Postpartum that discusses this), I just stuck with meds. To fix my issues, I've been supplementing a lot of vits/mins at fairly high doses--I'm all for good food, and cutting out problematic foods (for me gluten and dairy) but pills helped me too.

You're fighting the good fight, just keep plugging away.
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#11 of 261 Old 10-25-2009, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am an herbalist
Oh good! Do you know if it's okay for a nursing mama to take saw palmetto? Ds is 3.5 yrs old. I have very high androstenedione & saw palmetto is the only natural treatment I've been able to find.

Thanks Mama!

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#12 of 261 Old 10-25-2009, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone!

I asked this question on another thread, but no one answered. I am currently taking zoloft for anxiety and depression. I had made a really good recovery, but everytime I try to go off the meds, my symptoms come back.

recently my naturopath discovered my cholesterol is really really low, so he suspects my adrenals are completely exhausted as well. I anticipate a lot more testing in the near future to see whats what.

for now i'm going back up on zoloft so i can function and take care of myself and my family.

I am just looking for some support to hear that I am not the only one who is using these medications. I feel very alone, and tend to beat myself up for it. I know it is a long process to heal the imbalances, so i'm trying to be gentle with myself. some comradery (sp?) would be nice though.

anyone out there like me?
I've never taken ssris or anxiety drugs (well, I did try one for 5 days for anxiety but found out I was pregnant with Dd2 & stopped.) I have also taken Xanax a handful of times before I started healing my adrenals to help with some really stressful & anxiety-causing moments. But I haven't taken it for a loooong time now.

BUT, there was a long period of time where I considered taking something for anxiety. I really suffered through some horrible, crippling anxiety for a very long time - since I was about 12 yrs old until a couple of years ago after I began treating my adrenals. I actually feel really bad sometimes about how I suffered, especially as a child - no child should cry themselves to sleep because of anxiety. And trying to raise babies while being anxious & depressed is just...ugh.
My ND really wanted to try to get to the root of it (adrenal insufficiency), so I didn't start the meds. I asked him about it a couple of times & we worked through it using supplements. He agreed that in some situations, they're very useful & he's not against using them.

I'm with Tanya, if it makes you functional, I think it's a good thing. Simultaneously working on healing your adrenals will help you fix the root of the anxiety/depression.

I also agree that nutritional deficiencies & allergies can also cause anxiety & depression - as well as TONS of other problems. I've come a long way just by tweaking my diet. Eliminating gluten was a big help in my healing. I still have a long way to go though.

Don't beat yourself up about it mama. If your adrenals aren't functioning well, you literally CANNOT handle stress & end up with anxiety. When I realized this, I felt like giving myself a big bear hug & saying "it's not your fault!" So cut yourself a break & know that your body needs your help. Recognize that you need to avoid stressful situations - it's okay to not go to things that will cause you stress or anxiety. It's okay to let go of relationships that cause stress/negativity/anxiety. And it's okay to let the house go, skip some cleaning, etc.
You really need to nurture yourself & focus on healing.

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#13 of 261 Old 10-25-2009, 03:09 PM
 
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Thanks ladies for all your supportive responses. It really means a lot to me.

I did an elimination diet last spring, and the only food sensitivity I could discern was Soy. So i've cut that out completely. Lately since my anxiety and insomnia have returned with such a vengence, I have been eating really well. All whole, fresh foods, as much healthy fat as I can, nuts, tons of protein. I am going to see a nutritionist at my naturopaths office for some good advice in that arena.

quick question: what are some ways to incorporate coconut oil into my diet? I snack on rice toast with coconut butter at least once a day, but thats obviously not enough.

As for supplements, I take a super powered multivitamin, iron, vit D, 5-htp at night, and just started DHEA. I'm hoping we do a saliva test soon so i can figure out specifically what needs attention first.

in the meantime, just trying to stay hopeful that I won't need antidepressants and sleep medication forever. I really want to help my body to heal.

<3
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#14 of 261 Old 10-25-2009, 03:28 PM
 
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quick question: what are some ways to incorporate coconut oil into my diet? I snack on rice toast with coconut butter at least once a day, but thats obviously not enough.
Good ideas here:

Coconut Oil Thread
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#15 of 261 Old 10-25-2009, 04:02 PM
 
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As for supplements, I take a super powered multivitamin, iron, vit D, 5-htp at night, and just started DHEA. I'm hoping we do a saliva test soon so i can figure out specifically what needs attention first.

in the meantime, just trying to stay hopeful that I won't need antidepressants and sleep medication forever. I really want to help my body to heal.

<3
If you feel up to adding something else, b complex would be helpful I think.
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#16 of 261 Old 10-25-2009, 04:40 PM
 
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Glad to see the new thread. The other one was intimidatingly long, but SUCH a good resource. I wonder if it could be kept as a sticky? Or maybe combed through for posts with links and that could be stickied? Metasequoia -- D'oh!!! Just saw that you linked to the old thread in the first post.

Anyway, the health newsletter I subscribe to from Women to Women this past week sent me a REALLY awesome article about AF -- Adrenal extremes — could you be on your way to Cushing’s or Addison’s disease? -- If you scroll down about half way, there's a good chart stacking up symptoms of AF with Cushing's and Addisons.
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#17 of 261 Old 10-26-2009, 04:46 PM
 
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I really need some guidance on what to eat. I'm just not very good at this nutrition thing. I cut out the Turkey Hill Iced Tea cold turkey, and I'm feeling tired and unenergetic. Today I ate an egg and piece of toast for breakfast, and I had some tortilla chips and salsa/sour cream for lunch. To drink, I've just had about half a glass of water. I really hate water. I love tea. That's why I drink so much of it.

I know I sound whiny. I think it's because I'm hungry and thirsty, LOL!

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#18 of 261 Old 10-26-2009, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really need some guidance on what to eat. I'm just not very good at this nutrition thing. I cut out the Turkey Hill Iced Tea cold turkey, and I'm feeling tired and unenergetic. Today I ate an egg and piece of toast for breakfast, and I had some tortilla chips and salsa/sour cream for lunch. To drink, I've just had about half a glass of water. I really hate water. I love tea. That's why I drink so much of it.

I know I sound whiny. I think it's because I'm hungry and thirsty, LOL!
A nutrient dense, low carb diet is really supportive of the adrenals. People with adrenal insufficiency tend to have blood sugar problems that carbs/sugar further exacerbate. Try focusing on foods that are super nutrient dense, everything should count. The TF forum has a lot of ideas & there are some low-carb, grain-free & Paleo threads floating around - all of which would be helpful.

That's good that you kicked the iced tea habit, I'm sure that was draining your adrenals.

We also tend to need a lot of salt - good salt like Celtic salt (the best) or Real Salt.

Try to focus on pastured meats & veggies as your basis of meals. Fermented veggies will help too. Adrenal insufficiency can also result in a lot of food allergies, so pay attention to how foods make you feel. I had to cut out gluten & my cycles finally normalized & I haven't had PMS since. Grains in general tend to bother me.

Things to avoid are: sugar (of any kind), caffeine, chocolate if it stimulates you, foods lacking nutritional value (IE chips!)

Maybe you could replace the Turkey Hill iced tea with iced herbal teas sweetened with a dab of raw honey? We like mint iced tea a lot.

I consider cod liver oil a food. The only one that doesn't have synthetic vitamins anymore or Blue Ice *fermented* cod liver oil. It really helps with mood too.

You'll feel better once you've been off the caffeine for a week.

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#19 of 261 Old 10-27-2009, 01:28 PM
 
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I really need some guidance on what to eat. I'm just not very good at this nutrition thing. I cut out the Turkey Hill Iced Tea cold turkey, and I'm feeling tired and unenergetic. Today I ate an egg and piece of toast for breakfast, and I had some tortilla chips and salsa/sour cream for lunch. To drink, I've just had about half a glass of water. I really hate water. I love tea. That's why I drink so much of it.

I know I sound whiny. I think it's because I'm hungry and thirsty, LOL!
Having snacks always available was a biggie for me early on. And I know it was part of my overall health, but a really high fat diet worked well for me. For snacks, having nuts around (in my purse, for exampl, so I wouldn't sink into a puddle at the park) was essential, and filling stuff like meatballs helped--enough to be substantial when I needed food and didn't feel good or creative or motivated.

I had some food sensitivities, cutting out gluten and dairy really helped. And having a good amount of protein and fat with each meal/snack helped me as well. I've eaten more meat in the past two years than the previous five, and I've always been omni.

You may want more water if you up your salt intake. Depending on where you are in the adrenal fatigue process, your ability to hold onto sodium may be weak (there's an earlier stage when people do better on more potassium and less sodium). You can either actively salt to taste, or mix some sea salt into a little water and drink it like a shot. But within a day or two of doing that, I usually feel a bit more energetic and I notice myself drinking more water.

Giving up caffeine has been very, very difficult. I keep backsliding, but I _still_ feel the effort is worth it.
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#20 of 261 Old 10-29-2009, 06:14 PM
 
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How many milligrams of adrenal supplements are you guys on? I found out this week my dosage is probably way too low for my level of AF...

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#21 of 261 Old 10-30-2009, 11:49 AM
 
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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.

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#22 of 261 Old 10-30-2009, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

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#23 of 261 Old 10-30-2009, 12:52 PM
 
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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...

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#24 of 261 Old 10-31-2009, 09:40 AM
 
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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).

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#25 of 261 Old 11-08-2009, 01:49 PM
 
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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.
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#26 of 261 Old 11-09-2009, 10:20 AM
 
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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'.

momma to 4!
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#27 of 261 Old 11-10-2009, 10:55 AM
 
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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.

Mom to DMI & Silly Apple
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#28 of 261 Old 11-10-2009, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

Homeschoolin' Mama chicken3.gifto Dd1 2/3/00, Dd2 1/13/03, Ds1 3/11/06 & Ds2 11/18/10!!
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#29 of 261 Old 11-10-2009, 11:20 AM
 
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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?

Mom to DMI & Silly Apple
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#30 of 261 Old 11-10-2009, 08:46 PM
 
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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).
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