Sorry about that. I mean, and cortisol, also, when we get in arguments, like with our spouse or our boss, our cortisol generally goes through the roof.
Dr. Theodore Friedman:
It does go up with stress, and most of the time it usually goes down fairly quickly, and it’s appropriate to go up with stress. So one of the important issues is that the body is really good at regulating the amount of cortisol it makes at the right time and under the right stress. So you don’t want to sort of give the body exogenous or cortisol in a pill unless it really needs it because the body is so good at determining when it needs more and when it doesn’t.
So cortisol again, is this important hormone, and when people that have low cortisol suffer from a very concrete set of symptoms: they are very tired, they have a lot of joint pain, they have weight loss, they have nausea and vomiting, they have abdominal pain and diarrhea, and this is fairly consistent with most patients with very low adrenal levels, very low cortisol levels such as somebody that has Addison’s disease.
The next hormone the adrenal makes is also crucial. People really don’t understand this that well; it’s called aldosterone. Aldosterone is a hormone that regulates salt. Somebody with low aldosterone will lose salt in the urine, and therefore, the water sort of goes out with the salt and they will be dehydrated. By being dehydrated, they might be thirsty; they may try to compensate by liking salty food and trying to eat more salt. They may have fatigue because they don’t get enough blood going to their brain. They may feel worse after exercising because more blood goes to the muscles when they exercise and even less will go to their brain. They usually have low blood pressure; can have a high pulse; can be dizzy; can be light-headed when they stand up, and this, as you can see, is a completely different set of symptoms and signs than the person with the cortisol deficiency.