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Your doc will probably do a workup for possible Cushing's Disease.  If memory serves me, a dexamethasone suppression test may be in your near future.  The adrenal tumor is the likely culprit for the elevated Cortisol level.

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I started poking around on the Internet for information on high cortisol levels. One of the things I noticed is that cortisol levels are increased in people with PTSD, which I noticed in your sig. It makes sense, I'd just never made the connection before between increased cortisol and PTSD. This is probably something you already know a lot about.

 

I'm certainly not a doctor and would never even attempt to Dx someone. Not here or irl. That being said, I wonder if that since your level is only slightly over the norm, it might be connected to PTSD rather than a worsening of the issue with your adrenal gland. Just a thought. Something you would be better off discussing with your doctor, than with me.  

 

If you don't already have a Medscape account, you might want to get one. They have TONS of really good information and signing up is free.

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I started poking around on the Internet for information on high cortisol levels. One of the things I noticed is that cortisol levels are increased in people with PTSD, which I noticed in your sig. It makes sense, I'd just never made the connection before between increased cortisol and PTSD. This is probably something you already know a lot about.

 

I'm certainly not a doctor and would never even attempt to Dx someone. Not here or irl. That being said, I wonder if that since your level is only slightly over the norm, it might be connected to PTSD rather than a worsening of the issue with your adrenal gland. Just a thought. Something you would be better off discussing with your doctor, than with me.  

 

If you don't already have a Medscape account, you might want to get one. They have TONS of really good information and signing up is free.

This is very useful information also! Ill be sure to mention it and see what my Dr thinks!

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The hallmark symptoms of Cushing's include abdominal obesity (ie, disproportionate gain in the mid-section, not the torso or extrimities), so-called'moon face', depression, low sex drive (wow, starting to sound like my life) and a few others.  Those tend to be the predominant early symptoms.  With your Cortisol level so slightly elevated, I doubt that your doc is going to want to jump all over this as a possibility.  He/she might initially re-run the blood work to confirm the low reading before further exploration.  Endocrine disorders can be pretty tricky to diagnose and you can expect a lot of "ruling out this and that."  I hope you get some clear answers.

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  • 1 year later...

My endocrinologist said that all my levels of everything are normal when I saw her about Cushings -- I had a LOT of the symptoms. VERY rapid weight gain despite no change in diet or exercise, i had the spidery dark pink/purple veins on my upper arms, and I NEVER gain torso/trunk weight and now I've got a big belly/trunk. I was under VERY high stress at the time.

Are there any OTC remedies for elevated cortisol that actually work? I'm convinced my levels are elevated. My body stays in stressed mode all the time - I don't even notice but my muscles and jaw are clenched a lot.

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Insomnia causes high cortisol and high cortisol causes insomnia. There's alot of different reasons for high cortisol, but I guess if your doctor found a growth on your adrenal gland, thats not so good. 

 

I vote for a re-test as well.

 

Regarding surgery I would definitely do your homework before jumping into anything.

 

It's not a simple "remove tumor and all is well".. Its a pretty big decision IMHO. If they are choosing surgery I would definitely ask your doctor about success rate, recovery times, possible complications. Best of luck to you!

Edited by Equivilency
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  • 2 weeks later...

During my first hospitalization my cortisol level was through the roof. My pdoc said it was probably related to my treatment resistant depression. They did the Dexamet..... Suppression test and it was clear.

Years later they did the cortisol test again and it was fine. Of course I felt good at the time.

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  • 1 month later...

Are there any OTC remedies for elevated cortisol that actually work? I'm convinced my levels are elevated. My body stays in stressed mode all the time - I don't even notice but my muscles and jaw are clenched a lot.

Look into phosphorylated serine.

 

I never had my cortisol tested and I don't think I ever figured out how (when) to use it most effectively because of not really knowing exactly what was going on, but I felt like it was the thing that helped me to finally start getting a little sleep again after I was awake for eleven days straight (and had also been constantly feeling extremely stressed out and shitty, with rapid heartbeat throughout the night).

 

ETA: I will note that I think I was also taking sublingual GABA (which could have an effect on cortisol) at the same time I was taking phosphorylated serine, but I started taking the GABA earlier and it was not until the phosphorylated serine arrived that I managed to sleep.

Edited by cara23
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