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ask: Can someone tell me how to bring my Cortisol level down?

By Michelle King Robson Expert HERWriter
 
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My Cortisol levels have been higher the past 9 months. Can anyone tell me what I can do to bring my level down?

I used to run about 21 but now I'm up to 30.

Thanks so much,

Michelle

Add a Comment8 Comments

Diane Porter

Denise,

Hang in there with me for a few days. I will send your question to one of our medical advisory board experts and ask their opinion of your cortisol levels. I'll ask your questions about whether you should be concerned about adrenals and Addison's, and whether there's anything more you can do to raise them.

Diane

February 22, 2010 - 11:29am
DeniseCBar

I do have some of the symptoms. I feel like I struggle in the afternoon from being tired. Right around 2 pm I feel like I crash. There are very rare occasions that I will get dizzy when I stand up. I do not have the nausea or diarrhea.

The reason I started to do testing is because after I had my 3rd son, it became very difficult for me to loose the rest of my baby weight. I have always maintained a healthy 130-135 lbs prior to having kids. I have a very high activity level. I work out all the time, I eat very healthy and for some reason the rest of the weight wasn't coming off.

I had asked my doctor to give me a physical, everything came back normal... and a few weeks later I called to inquire about my thyroid and other hormone levels. He said everything appeared to be fine, but that there are a few other tests that I can take. He suggested that I take a full panel thyroid test and a cortisol level test.

When my results came back, my thyroid was fine but the doctor giving me the negative results about the cortisol levels.

I am 34 years old. I have 3 boys, ages 6, 3 and 1.

I do have to admit that after I stopped nursing my son my weight did finally come off... but I am still battling with extreme fatigue in the afternoon.

The only thing she suggested for me to take was Adapten All, Licorice Root and Glycemic Foundation Powder.

I'm not super worried about it... but when I couldn't find information about "low" cortisol levels except in Addision disease and the secondary adrenal diff. I started to get concerned.

Thank you for your help.
Denise

February 20, 2010 - 9:19pm
Diane Porter (reply to DeniseCBar)

Denise,

Here is our response, from Dr. Theodore Friedman, a chief endocrinologist and a professor at UCLA:

1. I doubt you have Addison's. Were those blood or saliva cortisol levels? If blood, they look fine. If saliva, they are not reliable and should be replaced with an 8 am serum cortisol level.
2. What is your blood pressure? If low, you might want to take more salt.
3. Please feel free to go to my website goodhormonehealth.com and download my article on “Your Adrenal Glands.”

Does this information help you any?

February 24, 2010 - 10:35am
Diane Porter

Denise,

Do you have the symptoms associated with low cortisol levels? Normally a person who is suffering from hypocortisolism feel weak, tired, even disoriented from low blood sugar. They can suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Your blood pressure could fluctuate or drop when you are standing up. Do any of those sound like they apply to you?

I'm interested in what led you to get your cortisol levels tested? Was there something that made you suspect your levels might be low?

May I ask how old you are?

Do you have other medical issues? Thyroid, diabetes, anything hormonal? Weight gain or loss?

Did your doctor discuss whether to treat you with synthetic cortisol drugs?

If you could get back to me with some answers, I would be glad to submit this to one of our medical experts for you.

February 17, 2010 - 10:14am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I have the opposite effect with my cortisol levels.
My results were
Morning - 11.5
Noon - 4.1
Afternoon - 3.1
Midnight - 2.7

After the doctor told me that she has no idea how I function and do all that I do all day, considering my levels were below low, she didn't seem all that concerned.
She suggested that I take Adapten-All, Glycemic Foundation Powder & Licorice Root Drops... all very expensive and do not seem to be effective after doing a series of "treatments".
I also did several other blood panel tests that showed that I was completely healthy.
Should I be concerned about secondary adrenal insufficiency or Addison's disease? And does anyone have any other suggestions about raising my levels?
Also what are the "dangers" of my levels being where they are?

Thank you so much,
Denise Bar

February 16, 2010 - 1:36am
Dr. Susan

The above is all wonderful information in regards to controlling cortisol levels. My concern, however, is that cortisol levels fluctuate throughout the day....it is very important to know what time of day the cortisol measured at 30ng/dL....before you start to treat. Just keep this in mind before you start to self-medicate.

Dr. Susan
http://www.lakeshorewellnesscenter.com

February 11, 2009 - 9:29am
Coach Virginia

Michelle, I am so sorry to hear that your body is producing this "fight-or fly" stress hormone. You probably know that chronic elevation in cortisol is extremely detrimental to your health. It has been linked to, but not limited to, adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalances, heart disease, excessive blood sugar levels, elevated cholesterol, and pretty much anything else you can think of that stress can create in the human body.

Cortisol is naturally secreted in the body on a pretty set schedule throughout the day. It peaks at about 8am to get you out of bed and ready to start your day. Throughout the day, cortisol levels begin to drop off and reach their lowest at about 8-10 pm so that you can fall asleep. A cortisol rhythm that is disrupted by chronic stress, both mentally and physically, can impair your ability to fall asleep or even stay asleep.

I think most of us have experienced high cortisol levels when experiencing stress in life. From someone cutting in front of us in rush hour to getting a divorce. There are many ways cortisol productions can be stimulated if stress is not controlled. The quick way of doing this in modern times is to get a prescription for what I call a "happy pill". But this is a short cut and a band-aid solution that will not address the root causes of the problem or teach us how to cope better with real time events. Over the years I have personally experienced a lot of stress and I know this because my cortisol levels were high and it showed in weight gain around my waistline. As a caregiver of my paralized husband and mother of two, I cannot afford stress taking over my health. I am fortunate to have handy tools and knowledge available to practice a few things with my body.

Here are a few ways that have helped me reduce my Cortisol levels:

1. Cortisol reduction supplements: Some of my favorites include: ashwaghanda, phosphatidylserine, and rhodiola rosea. The latter being my favorite!

2. Eat six small meals and do not skip them! Skipping meals create a cortisol release. (this is one of my challenge areas)

3. Eat right. Excessive carbohydrate intake creates cortisol release in response to constantly elevated insulin levels. Eliminating gluten containing products helps a lot!

4. Meditation, breathing exercises by simply lying on the floor doing belly breathing for 10-15 minutes. It works wonders for me. I am taking a meditation class at the University and have learned several other meditation techniques by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I have been a meditator for over 10 years now so I know how good it is for my body to do it routinely.

5. Get to bed on time: Get to bed by 10:30 pm at the latest. An area that I must say I have neglected due to my husband's illness who requires 24/7 care.

6. Avoid stimulants: energy drinks and caffeine drinks. Stimulants shift the body into sympathetic dominance, ie. "fight or flight". Stimulants disrupt sleeping patterns. Green tea is better. If my body asks for coffee, I drink it before 12 noon.

7. Keeping an exercise routine for under an hour to maintain normal hormonal levels which begin to shift after working out longer, and cortisol levels will go up.

8. Practive "mindfulness" every chance you have. In other words, slow down time and observe yourself by focusing on your breathing first and enjoying the experience....

I hope you use this info, I will you well.

February 9, 2009 - 9:38pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Coach Virginia)

Do you recommend taking all three of those supplements at once or try one at a time to see what works?

February 2, 2013 - 10:55pm
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