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31 yr old recently took Adrenal Stress Index due to chronic fatigue.
Cortisol levels severly depressed.
[U]7am[/U]- 5 nM (ref. value 13-24 nM)
[U]11 am[/U]-<1 (ref. value 5-10 nM)
[U]4 pm[/U]- <1 (ref. value 3-8 nM)
[U]11 pm[/U]- <1 (ref. value 1-4 nM)
DHEA- Pooled value- 2 (ref. value 3-10)-- showed zone 7- Adrenal Fatigue.
Insulin- fasting <3 Normal
post-prandial <3 Depressed.

I've been prescribed 5 mg Hydrocortisone to take once at 7 am, noon, and 4 pm as well as 5 mg DHEA once daily.
I was wanting to start out conservatively because I'm afraid of adverse side effects. Has anyone had any side effects from Hydrocortisone and DHEA? Weight gain, hair growth, etc?

Anyone been successful in treating Adrenal Fatigue??
Hi Nicole. I'm 30, and have also had CFS/FM for 8 years, and recently diagnosed with Adrenal Insufficiency, via an insulin tolerance test.

How severe is your CFS? How are you feeling before you've started the Cortef? Are you able to cook, clean, go to shops etc, or much worse?

They are extremely low results.. so it seems you may benefit alot from the Cortef i'd think.

Have you tried other adrenal supps first? Licorice root is what i started on when i had severe adrenal symptoms. It really picked me up in a big way, but its effect wore off and i needed more until i got bad enough to need hydrocortisone (cortef). I haven't been on it long and am on a bit of a rollercoaster, but so far it's provided some benefits such as really helping my constant hypoglycaemia, stopped the freezing cold inner shakes i was having, etc. I have periods of feeling alot better, but so far the're only small windows, I have a long way to go yet.

The DHEA can and does help alot of people with AF/AI/Addisons. I have severe liver detox impairment so dhea causes some side effects for me, but not for most. I may try it in cream form next instead of tablets/lozenges to bypass the digetsive tract.

Let us know how you are going. ~Chris.


[QUOTE=nicoleaua;3770799]31 yr old recently took Adrenal Stress Index due to chronic fatigue.
Cortisol levels severly depressed.
[U]7am[/U]- 5 nM (ref. value 13-24 nM)
[U]11 am[/U]-<1 (ref. value 5-10 nM)
[U]4 pm[/U]- <1 (ref. value 3-8 nM)
[U]11 pm[/U]- <1 (ref. value 1-4 nM)
DHEA- Pooled value- 2 (ref. value 3-10)-- showed zone 7- Adrenal Fatigue.
Insulin- fasting <3 Normal
post-prandial <3 Depressed.

I've been prescribed 5 mg Hydrocortisone to take once at 7 am, noon, and 4 pm as well as 5 mg DHEA once daily.
I was wanting to start out conservatively because I'm afraid of adverse side effects. Has anyone had any side effects from Hydrocortisone and DHEA? Weight gain, hair growth, etc?

Anyone been successful in treating Adrenal Fatigue??[/QUOTE]
Thank you for your reply. I have a low energy level every day- I don't have the energy for cooking or shopping but I manage to go to work. I'm hoping that the medication will level me out before I get to the point of shutting down completely. Today was the first day taking hydrocortisone and DHEA so I'm anxious to see how I feel and whether it makes a difference. My doctor told me that my levels were too low to try licorice. She said that it only works when your cortisol levels are slightly depressed. It gives me hope that you've had some windows of improvement :) Hang in there...
[QUOTE=nicoleaua;3771633]Thank you for your reply. I have a low energy level every day- I don't have the energy for cooking or shopping but I manage to go to work. I'm hoping that the medication will level me out before I get to the point of shutting down completely. Today was the first day taking hydrocortisone and DHEA so I'm anxious to see how I feel and whether it makes a difference. My doctor told me that my levels were too low to try licorice. She said that it only works when your cortisol levels are slightly depressed. It gives me hope that you've had some windows of improvement :) Hang in there...[/QUOTE]

hi nicoleaua. i live in atlanta also but cannot find a doctor who will perscribe me hydrocortisone. my saliva tests were almost identical to yours. has the protocol that you are on helped you? please let me know the name and number of the doctor that you see for your adrenal fatigue. i am so desperate to feel better. thanks
3x5mg + 5mg of DHEA is very conserative. It will take the DHEA several weeks to kick in, and the hydrocortisone will take some time as well. Many people don't see an improvement for many months.

That dose may be too low to recharge your system and you may need higher doses to get feeling normal and then cut back a bit.
Sypher7, have you considered Prednisone or tried it before? It's half-life is much longer than the HC and might cover you better. I'm just curious b/c you sound like you are doing so poorly on the HC. I started on Pred, changed to HC b/c of sleeping probems, but felt like I was on a rollercoaster with the HC and switched back to Pred (it's cheaper here too!). Now that I am on a good dose I fel better than I have in years. I still have a need to stress dose on occasion, but nothing like the HC. I sure hope you feel better soon! :wave:

MaryAnn K.
7mg Pred every day,
Norethindrone (Testosterone) days 16-25 of the female cycle,
12.5mg DHEA every day
PLUS a large load of Multivits and supplements
[QUOTE=Sypher7;4037540] 9 months later on HC and I'm still wrecked unfortunately :( For some reason even though HC has helped the awful state I was in (crashing and going to ER every week for 6 weeks during august/september last year), im still absolutely ruined with crushing fatigue and brain fog every day. In fact my cognitive dysfunction / brain fog is worse than it's ever been since being on HC.

[/QUOTE]

You may be suffering from yeast/fungus infection in your intestines. This often happens after repeated antibiotic use and hydrocortisone promotes the growth of fungus as well. The solution is to go on a zero sugar diet for at least 2 months, and get a prescription for an antifungal called Nystatin. You must take the pills, not the liquid (which contains a lot of sugar) and take the pills for at least a month probably two months.

If you have a pituitary problem associated with adrenal insufficiency then you may need to go on growth hormone (symptoms include, brain fog, muscle/joint pain, a form of depression called apathy, memory/concentration problem and a weird thing where you think something and then before you can say it out loud you forgot what you were thinking).

In addition, everyone taking hydrocortisone is also deficient in DHEA. I would begin taking 25mg per day. DHEA will improve your immunity and breathing and thus increase your exercise capacity; it also has several other beneficial effects on your body (DHEA is the most abundant hormone in a normal human body).

You should also begin taking 50mg of zinc, 2000 iU of vitamin D, 1mg of folic acid as well as a calcium/magnesium supplement. All of those will act to improve your immunity.

It took me a year to find out HC wasn't doing it for me and I only discovered by accident that Nystatin could help along with growth hormone and DHEA.

What was the cause of your need to take testogel? I would suggest that you should be taking the T shots instead. The gel is not always reliable and low testosterone could be contributing to your symptoms.
Hi Orion - been meaning to get back to you, but brain fog & other such issues have got me a bit behind! Thanks for the informative reply.

I have been dealing with candida type issues for years with the CFS. Nystatin never did anything for it, even at very high doses for months at a time. I also recently (just before AI diagnosis) had a microbial ecology profile from metametrix which showed I have no fungus or even bad bacteria in the intestines. And had just been on antibiotics a few weeks earlier too.

I do know i have systemic fungus to a low level though, as years ago when i tried difflucan, it improved all of my CFS symptoms within a few days to a significant degree. However because my liver detox is VERY poor (extremely low glutathionation), it made me tremendously sick - my liver had so much pain and i was very nauseous to the point of not being able to eat a thing any day I took it. Plus systemic flare up of every possible symptom you can think of! So i can't take it, too toxic. However it showed that fungus is a problem as i felt so good after a couple days on it only. I don't know it may be in the gut by now from taking cortisone, who knows. I don't eat much sugar because of this, but still eat carbs as i feel shaky and unstable if i try to eat low carb.

Yes well they said it's likely a pituitary problem with the AI, because i didn't get an increase in cortisol from the insulin tolerance test (which of course tests it from a pituitary level, not just the adrenals as the ACTH stim does).

That sounds incredible about growth hormone. I'm not sure they've tested that at all! And I think they don't often because it's expensive to treat etc.. not sure. I definitely have all of what you mention there apart from the last part, however i do have trouble with word finding etc often, simple things even. And i've always been considered quite sharp before lately.

There's yet another unfortunate problem for me. My last tests showed almost zero DHEA. It was low before too, but within the normal range. Since HC, it's knocked it out to almost zero. Thing is - i don't tolerate that either! I've tried many times in the past and again recently. I tried troches (lozenges) and then even cream to bypass the liver. Same result every time. Increases brain fog and cognitive dysfunction massively is the main problem. Gives slight liver ache. The brain fog is so bad on it even if i take such small amounts - 5-10mg. I think it's all to do with poor liver detox. I really am bad in this way in tolerating things.

Once again.. can no way tolerate that much zinc. I get unwell from anything more than about 15mg a day. I do take cal/mag already, and 5000iu of D3 most days. Also high dose vit C helps me noticably more than almost anything else does/has. about 4-6 grams a day at least. I notice a huge difference if i stop taking it, all around.

They found i had VERY low testosterone when i first got sick in 2000, below the lowest end of the normal range. Put me on andriol caps which i was on for about a few years before testogel came out. Testogel was SO much better for me. I got no side effects, and the andriol caps sometimes caused liver aches, testogel not at all. Also i recently had blood tests for testo - total and free - and both were above mid range which was good, so it does work for me.

I'm interested to know how you found out about growth hormone. What would I say/ask for to get them to test for it?

Thanks, ~Chris.
I just wanted to jump in to let you guys know what I have been doing for adrenal fatigue. I had a tremendous amount of stress and then was in a car accident 4 years ago, plus a lot of other things. I had back surgery,neck surgery, torn rotator cuff ( haven't had that surgery yet) started menopause and had joint pain, extreme fatigue, muscle pain...so irritable and depressed..etc..(((((plus two teen daughters...yikes!))))Any way I was a real mess. I was so grateful when I got laid off, I just could barely keep going. Affected my whole family..

Anyway, my Dr. suggested a book 'Adrenal Fatigue' by Dr. James Wilson,PhD. I bought the adrenal rebuilder and the vitamins. I am also taking DHEA...I am not well yet, but a feel 80% better. It takes a long time to recover from this but your adrenal glands need nutritional support to rebuild. The adrenal rebuilder is made from bovine adrenals. It is really working for me. I hope you check it out and look into nutrition for support. You also need to take sea salt everyday. The book explains why and it all makes sense. And vitamin B5 is very important to take. Plus sleeping and resting as much as possible.

I don't understand how steriods could help if you are already depleted.

I walked 4 miles today. I still have back pain and shoulder pain and still take 1 or two vicidon a day but my energy level is so much better and my brain seems to be more alert.

I hope everyone here gets better. I know how it has affected me, it is debilitating. I think my husband just thinks I'm lazy when in reality I had zero energy and could barely make dinner in the evening.

Good luck everyone. I understand how you feel. But you can feel better, I know I do. Buy the vitamins and rebuilder. The book is great if you can afford to get it as well. But at least the rebuilder and vitamins. I bought the super green vitamins.

Good luck, I hope this helps...





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