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Addison's Disease Message Board

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I've been working with a new doc (family practice) to help treat my adrenal fatigue/thyroid (main complaints depression/hypoglycemia). To my doc's credit, I feel that she is really trying to help me although she has admitted that adrenal fatigue is a little beyond her scope of knowledge.

We just got done trying Armour for my thyroid--I did not tolerate this well. So yesterday at my appointment I asked what she thought about trying Cortef to treat the adrenal fatigue first before adjusting the thyroid. She said that she would call a doctor friend of hers who has been treating patients for adrenal fatigue and see what he thought because she had never prescribed Cortef before (my doc is very young).

So today she calls me back and says that her doc friend doesn't like the side effects he sees with the Cortef, that he is using a supplement called Vitalert. He says it should "restart" the adrenals within 3-4 months, but that his patients have been feeling better after about 1 month.

I looked up the ingredients of Vitalert, and here's what I found:

Supplement Facts
Serving Size: 4 Tablets

Amount Per Serving % Daily Value

Vitamin A (as beta carotene) 5,000 IU 100%
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 600 mg 1000%
Vitamin D (as cholecalciferol) 400 IU 100%
Vitamin E as (dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate) 60 IU 200%
Vitamin K-1 (as phytonadione) 25 mcg 31%
Thiamin (as thiamine hydrochoride) 12 mg 800%
Riboflavin 16 mg 941%
Niacin (Vitamin B-3 as niacinamide, niacin) 140 mg 700%
Vitamin B-6 (as pyridoxine hydrochloride) 12 mg 600%
Folic Acid 400 mcg 100%
Vitamin B-12 (as cyanocobalamin) 30 mcg 500%
Biotin 45 mcg 15%
Pantothenic Acid (as calcium pantothenate) 20 mg 200%
Calcium (as calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate) 250 mg 25%
Iron (as carbonyl iron) 9 mg 50%
Phosphorus (as calcium phosphate) 160 mg 16%
Iodine (as potassium iodide) 150 mcg 100%
Magnesium (as magnesium oxide) 100 mg 25%
Zinc (as zinc oxide) 15 mg 100%
Selenium (as selenium proteinate) 25 mcg 36%
Copper (as copper sulfate) 2 mg 100%
Manganese (as manganese carbonate) 5 mg 250%
Chromium (as chromium chloride) 25 mcg 21%
Molybdenum (as sodium molybdate) 25 mcg 33%
Chloride (as potassium chloride) 40 mg 1%
Potassium (as potassium chloride) 40 mg 1%

Silicon (as silicon dioxide) 4 mg *
Boron (as sodium borate) 150 mcg *
Tin (as stannous chloride) 10 mcg *
Vanadium (as sodium metavanadate) 10 mcg *
Nickel (as nickelous sulfate) 5 mcg *
Proprietary herbal blend consisting of: 126 mg *
Guarana (seed) extract *
Ginkgo Biloba (leaf) powder *
Panax Ginseng (root) powder *
Bee Pollen *
Gotu Kola (herb) powder *
Soy Protein powder *
Ginger (root) powder *
Lecithin (vegetable source) *
Rose Hips (fruit) powder *

* Daily Value not established

Other Ingredients: Modified Cellulose, Stearic Acid (vegetable source, Magnesium
Stearate (vegetable source), Vanillin, PEG.
Directions for use: Individuals (12+ years) take four (4) tablets once a day with food.

She said to take 2 pills every morning but if I "start feeling jittery or break out in a rash" that I should give her a call. :eek:

I see the ingredient Guarana listed, and from everything I've read, persons with adrenal problems should not take guarana as it's a stimulant.

What do you guys think about all of this? I'm so discouraged (and brain-fogged), that all I can think is "[I]another supplement[/I]?".


P.S. Numbers from about 6 weeks ago:

Estradiol 2.2 (1.0-5.0)
Progesterone 25 (100-600)
Ratio: Pg/E2 11 (50-200)
Testosterone 28 (20-50)
DHEAS 11.7 (3-10)

Cortisol Morning 2.5 (3-8)
Cortisol Noon 1.8 (2-4)
Cortisol Evening 1.4 (1-2)
Cortisol Night 0.7 (0.5-1.5)
Hi, My saliva tests are alot like yours and I also have wasted a million dollars on supplements to get no help. I have tried some supplement which has about the same things in it as yours. No help. I have tried licorice. No help. I have also tried isocort.There was a little change in the beginning and then I was right back where I started. I also tried a t3/t4 (like armour) and it helped some but dr said I was going hyper(he told me to take my meds the morning of testing, duh ) and cut me back. This seemed to make me worse.
I have since been to a new dr. She put me on levothyroxine and cytomel and it really seems to be helping. I also have a low growth hormone which no one seems to care about. I wish someone could explain how a 31 year old person has low growth hormone and it doesnt matter.
Your progesterone looks very low. From what I have read that can cause a lot of symptoms.
I dont have any answers, I just wanted to let you know you are not alone.
The drs seem very scared to try cortef.
Good luck and let me know if you figure something out.
Hi, Anne. Thanks for responding. Our situations do sound very similar.

I've decided not to take the Vitalert. It just doesn't sound right to me--taking a stimulant, that is. I had started taking adrenal glandulars about a week ago, and I am actually seeing some improvement in my hypoglycemic symptoms. This is a BIG deal to me since they hypoglycemia has become nearly as debiliitating as the depression.

I've ordered some Isocort. I think it's pretty much the same thing as the glandulars (sheep instead of bovine), but I'm not really sure. I feel like I should give it a try, though, since some here have good results with it.

I'm going to try the Isocort and then maybe the Levoxyl/Cytomel combo after that (I'm back Levoxyl only right now after a disastrous try at the Armour). If I don't seem to be getting anywhere, I'm going to push for the Cortef.

Post if you find anything new for yourself--maybe we can help each other out! :-)


P.S. What symptoms does the low growth hormone cause? I'm not familiar with them.

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