Should I treat my high cortisol?

Discussion in 'Messtafarian' started by messtafarian, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. messtafarian

    messtafarian Member

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    I've been going through all kinds of medical tests to try to get to the bottom of what is wrong with me.

    Actually I am now starting to think that I have fluoroquinolone poisoning ( nearly the only thing left). But labwise -- I do not have diabetes. My insulin level is normal. My tsh is low/normal. My heart rate is pretty high. Iron stores are low but rising, no anemia, potassium is normal, magnesium normal, CO2, albumin, etc -- all normal.

    H1AA test for carcinoid --normal.
    Brain MRI and spinal MRIs -- normal.

    The only two things that came back oddly out of range were an elevated plasma dopamine level and a *very* high cortisol level.

    So I've been trying to decide if I should be treating this cortisol level. There are herbs I can take --ashwaghanda or holy basil or this thing called Relora -- all of them purport to lower cortisol. On the other hand if I am poisoned -- even though it's uncomfortable and I can actually *feel* the high cortisol through numerous symptoms -- if I should be treating it. It seems to me that my body is responding to "something wrong" and maybe I should just leave it alone and *let* it be high.

    The next step with the endocrinologist is going to be a bunch of useless tests to see if I have either a pituitary or adrenal tumor but I know i don't. I don't just "think" I don't -- I have seen my brain and my kidneys on the MRI and unless they are truly miniscule there are no abnormalities on either. The only other place a hormone secreting cancer is likely to be is in my lungs and not only do I not have any lung symptoms I have seen my lungs recently as well and they are clear and without abnormality.

    So...maybe there is a reason for the high cortisol, something my body is trying to treat. If I try to lower it I wonder if I'll be messing with with a healing process that should continue.

    Should I try to bring it down or leave it alone?
     
  2. jaywills

    jaywills Member

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    Sounds incredibly simple, but how do you feel in yourself or what symptoms are you experiencing?
     
  3. haidut

    haidut Member

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    There are many places in the body where a cortisol producing mass can hide. Yes, lungs and kidneys are the most common but certainly not the only options. I think following up on the source of high cortisol is important. Have you had a dexamethasone suppression test?
     
  4. OP
    messtafarian

    messtafarian Member

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    I haven't but I just heard from my doctor that the 3 night midnight cortisol test is normal. Running out of avenues here.
     
  5. haidut

    haidut Member

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    What about "mental" conditions? People with PTSD, depression, inescapable stress all have very high cortisol levels. Also, insulin resistance? High insulin and cortisol go hand in hand. Maybe worth checking insulin and IGF-1?
     
  6. OP
    messtafarian

    messtafarian Member

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    Insulin is normal. I didn't get an IGF-1 but c-peptide is also normal. I've googled "high cortisol and high plasma dopamine" and get back a lot of things having to do with suicide, which is certainly not where I'm at. Mental conditions -- yes, sure -- I'm intensely freaked out -- all sort of tied in to this absolutely strange set of neurological problems and metabolic weirdness.

    I can feel a kind of shaking when my body is at rest, as if all the nerve connections to my muscles are irritated or something. If I hold still for a while it tends to diminish but any movement seems to awaken this sort of tremulousness. The neurologist characterized it as an "enhanced physiological tremor" but my experience is this sort of vibration that graduates sometimes into a fine tremor. This is bodywide -- knees, ankles, trunk, neck, arms. This is better than it was a few months ago -- or it seems to have calmed down a lot but then I now habitually limit movement because the experience just freaks me out so badly. Also shaking on mild contraction -- for example just flexing my arm will set off the kind of mild shaking that goes along usually with extreme muscle fatigue.

    Twitching, fasciculations, etc -- but the less I move around it seems the less this happens. I have nothing going on at the moment that would point to ALS; the weakness is perceived, not clinical; and I have no trouble swallowing or anything like that.

    I get runs of tachycardia but nothing clinically alarming per a holter monitor. And hot flashes and night sweats. Blood pressure is rising -- 140/90.

    It's neurological, something having to do with nerve to muscle communication, potentially also autonomic, but my digestion is passable. The neurologist did not recognize it as any easily identifiable thing like MS or Parkinsons. She's been sending me off to do all kinds of metabolic tests because that's what it looked like to her -- something purely systemic. I don't know what it is, or what to do about it. I have no idea either if it's going to get worse. Taking progesterone, pregenolone, bcomplex (p5p), mb12, ALCAR, homocysteine, d3, allithiamine; dropped all caffeine; cyproheptadine.

    There has to be *something* causing this.
     
  7. Giraffe

    Giraffe Member

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    Messtafarian, can you try find a place where you feel save and comfortable and nobody is watching you? Then let this tremours happen and see where this leads you to.
     
  8. OP
    messtafarian

    messtafarian Member

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    I do this a lot, actually -- it doesn't seem to have much of a "root" or connection to anything. No doctor can treat or explain it and no matter what I do it never seems to change or go away. I have good and bad days, but it's always there.
     
  9. lexis

    lexis Member

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    See a chiropractor :roll:
     
  10. OP
    messtafarian

    messtafarian Member

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    I did, for a while. I don't like adjustments very much but the ultrasound seemed helpful.
     
  11. Giraffe

    Giraffe Member

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    I was thinking in a similar direction. Messtafarin, please do a search for "rolfing tremor" and decide if you want to give it a try.
     
  12. OP
    messtafarian

    messtafarian Member

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    :). Very interesting, thank you.
     
  13. StrongMom

    StrongMom Member

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    Hi Haidut,

    Can you please explain what this cortisol producing mass is? It is the first time hear about that.

    Thanks
     
  14. haidut

    haidut Member

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    There are a number of tumors/masses that can produce cortisol on their own. They can be ACTH-dependent or ACTH-independent. Google "ectopic Cushing syndrome" for more info. There is way too much to this topic to explain in a single response post. It probably deserves a separate thread on its own, but most of the info will be shown if you run the Google search above.
     
  15. StrongMom

    StrongMom Member

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    Very interesting. Thank you!
     
  16. pboy

    pboy Member

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    theres no way to really fake lower cortisol, it happens in only a few situations...you have to manage your life to not trigger it. Getting depleted of glycogen, being hypotonic (too watery), the stress of a threat in your environment which is either something toxic, or an authoritatarian style person or presence that has potential to hurt your life in some way, or being backed up by tasks to do in life...any time your burden is more than you can handle in a single day, its a major cortisol trigger. This last one is a key thing, because its a major risk for serotonin also...either you wake up and just accept that you have a full day of annoying things and move towards getting on top of things asap, or you let it overwhelm you and then serotonin sets in rapidly and you basically become lazy, negative, eventually bitter and can mess with your perspectives...negative or angry thoughts set in. Its huge to do all you can to never burden yourself more than you can handle and stay on top of things for physical, mental, and spiritual health

    that's how you overcome high cortisol

    (oh and also just a really high proportionally diet of protein can trigger cortisol, but its usually not as bad compared to the above mentioned)
     
  17. sugarbabe

    sugarbabe Member

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    Whoa, that is like how many people in the world?!
     
  18. pboy

    pboy Member

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    probably a lot unfortunately...I think that's why a lot of people have high serotonin also, because they sort of give up in a sense, kinda why people have like dirty homes with stuff just strewn out and come home and just watch TV lol...you know the picture im saying. Its difficult to not deal with cortisol on a day to day basis for most people at least in America, but it is possible...you might have to carefully construct your life over time to arrive in such a rythmn. A little bit of cortisol in a day is overcomeable and wouldn't lead to chronic problems, but id say over an hour is already too much for good health. Another side effect of cortisol is aldosterone secretion in the intestines at the expense of potassium...im not sure why that happens, but it causes water retention in the torso which impairs elimination and appetite and stuff if its elevated all the time enough to notice and feel (which if you look around...its most nearly everyone).

    Basically all you have to do though is give yourself enough time to not be rushing, have a diet plan where you know when to eat and how much, and then don't take up too much responsibility that you think you cant fit in, and...really try to have a job that isn't stressful (this is by far the hardest part here in America...probably for men even moreso)
     
  19. sugarbabe

    sugarbabe Member

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    I know exactly what you are talking about because I went through it! After the 2nd kid I had PPD, sleep deprivation, messed up hormones from lack of support. I think a lot of Moms are going through it. I love my son, he's awesome, but I don't know what the hell I was thinking having another, it nearly devoured me and I never learned how to set boundaries. Its been an uphill battle working my way towards better health while trying to care for my family.
     
  20. pboy

    pboy Member

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    I feel you Janelle, don't blame yourself at this point, and a lot of things you might think are wrong with diet could just be overall stress. I hope for you, you seems like a nice lady with good intentions and an open mind that wants to figure out and do whats right, I hope you find some support. In such a state of mind and having children, life has a way to support you. Keep doing your best and trust and operate towards how you feel in your heart it can and will be. Im pulling for you...in fact, I know you'll reach your stability and happy flowing point, I can just sense your energy that you have it. It can take time to get back into the groove when out of it, but ...moving towards it whole heartedly, with conviction, it inevitably happens. Im with you in spirit! No need to talk about the details...trust your compass at any point in time...the one that resides in your heart and own visionary mind. Ive been down and out and recovered, high spirited vibes from many sources kept me with faith going...they're there for anyone. Anyways yes...just move steadily and decisively, this is the best way to go about it...just consistently make the right choices...that you think will lead you to...that you know will lead you to where you need to be, the kind that must happen if it is to happen. Rest when you need, act when you need, just watch for negative thoughts or feelings...they will pass as you move along...even if you seem overwhelmed, its just one day on a long journey, and it takes but one fortunate or successful feeling or event to bump you right back into fired up full faith mode. Wish you well on your journey...life itself is a journey, the joyous moments and moments of elation are what make it worth it...seek them, trust that its possible and happens in a beautiful way...the ways you hope they would
     
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