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TOPIC: Advice welcome please

Advice welcome please 9 years 1 month ago #1

  • tsp
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Hello everyone thanks for reading this. I'm being treated by Dr Peatfield in the UK but also trying deperately to educate myself and take control. I will describe my main test results, symptoms and questions in the hope that some kind folks might be able to share their greater experiences with me. After being unwell for a year I'm now close to losing my job and home so feeling a bit uptight about it all. Does anyone ever get better ?

I have advanced stage Adrenal Fatigue. My cortisol and DHEA readings when tested in November were as follows:

Cortisol
Early am 4.9
Midday 3.5
late pm 1.9
night 1.1
Total 11.4

DHEA
am 0.61
pm 0.35

For this I have been taking Adrenal Extra tablets (glandular extract), Vit C, CoQ10. About 4 weeks ago I started taking Cortef and now take 2 x 10mg a day.

In November I was tested for Candida and have a strongly positive result from saliva testing.
Antibodies IgG : Negative 4.3 U/mL (range < 10)
Antibodies IgA : Positive 31.2 U/mL (range < 10)

I am trying to kick the Candida again after a failed attempt in December. This entails taking a weekly dose of Fluconazole, daily oregano tablets and Probioplex. I'm also following an anti Candida diet plan. Oh what fun that is.

My thyroid problems are I think rather mild by comparison. I have Hashimoto's Disease and my last TSH was 5.2 (February) when my Lexothyroxine was increased from 25mg a day to 50mg a day. I will be retested soon by my GP. I've had all sorts of tests done on the NHS but they just think I'm in need of a shrink or anti-depressants, which is complete nonsense.

My symptoms are fairly standard and unsurprising given the diagnosis. The ones that bother me most are the following:

acute anxiety (socially)
fears/panics
low mood
brain fog

These things bother me because they have robbed me of my usual bright and breezy confident personality and make it impossible for me to work. I'm a consultant working in complex tax problems so need to think clearly and be able to articulate to clients, do presentations etc. My abilities to do this have fallen off the scale and are getting worse each month.

I had really hoped that the Cortef would work as it seems to have for others. Initially a felt a lift for 1-2 weeks but feel flat/worse now.

I'm not sure whether to keep plugging away with my current protocol or is there something missing ?

Only recently have I tried making major lifestyle changes with sleep, diet, relaxation etc.

Is there any chance I'll beat this cocktail of problems ?

All thoughts and wisdom would be hugely welcome.

Tim
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Re:Advice welcome please 9 years 1 month ago #2

  • Maff
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Hi Tim,

Sorry to hear about your deteriorating health. There is certainly good news there however.

Dr. Peatfield is one of the best around for thyroid and adrenal issues, as I'm sure you know. He actually lectured on my nutritional health degree course this year and was great. I'm actually finishing off my dissertation and other essays at the moment so don't have too much time to spare I'm afraid...hopefully others will chip in!

Your cortisol is certainly on the low side but at least the daily pattern is normal (cortisol should be highest in the morning and decline to be lowest at night). This means your bodily rhythms should be normal and sleep should be restorative if you are getting enough and at the right times - this bit is up to you! With low cortisol at night your body can release growth hormone and repair and regenerate as it should.

The reason cortef may have worked at first but no longer is because cortisol in the body is controlled by a negative feedback mechanism - if you take it externally your body senses this and may produce even less of its own in response. An alternative or addition worth considering would be licorice supplements. Licorice contains a compound that increases the amount of circulating cortisol by blocking the enzyme that inactivates it.

Your problem symptoms suggest you may also benefit from DHEA supplements which you can buy online. DHEA can have a calming effect and enhance well-being could be just what you need. I'd discuss this with Dr. Peatfield next time you see him.

Candida treatment is a complex issue and to be honest what works for one person will not work for others. You are doing all the right things but the underlying reason for any fungal infection is immune susceptibility so perhaps adding some immunity enhancing nutrients and herbs would be beneficial. It is likely that Candida problems are the underlying issue behind everything else and treatment can be prolonged.

People do get better from adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues and Candida-related illness though so have hope.

Good luck and keep us updated!
If you are going through hell, keep going - Winston Churchill
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Re:Advice welcome please 9 years 1 month ago #3

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Hi Maff

Many thanks for your message.

Can I please just ask you a quick question ? I can't get a phone appointment with Dr Peatfield for a while and feel the need to take some degree of control myself.

I'm going to add some licorice supplement to my diet and see how that goes - thanks for the tip. I'm also keen to give DHEA a try but not sure whether to withdraw from Cortef or maintain/up my doses in the hope of a breakthrough ?

It's difficult to know how long to plug away with medicines/supplements or how frequently to vary the mix and dosage. Do you know where I could educate myself a bit more on that aspect ?

Good luck with your studies, Tim
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Re:Advice welcome please 9 years 1 month ago #4

  • Airy
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Something to keep in mind is that licorice can raise your blood pressure, so you need to monitor that if you're going to take licorice.

Also, test the blood pressure using a stethoscope to listen and with one of those hand pump devices. I don't know how it's done in the UK, but there are machines that have become standard in the US for taking blood pressure that you put your arm inside and they always read me wrong (there's a 50-80 point difference when the doctor steps in to check it themselves because the readings are so strange for me with the machines).
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Re:Advice welcome please 9 years 1 month ago #5

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Hi guys,

Thanks for adding that important point Airy - I should certainly have mentioned the chance of licorice supplements raising blood pressure.

The reason it does so is because the enzyme it blocks to slow the breakdown of cortisol is also the enzyme that breaks down aldosterone...which raises blood pressure by acting on the kidneys which regulate sodium/potassium balance and thus blood volume and pressure.

Tim - Thanks, I have my dissertation finished but still a fair amount of other work to go yet!

If you are not experiencing any adverse effects from the Cortef I would probably maintain it for a little longer. If it isn't helping in a couple of months then it almost certainly won't so then would be the time to come off it - and then I'd try licorice. Whatever you do don't use these two together re: the blood pressure issue.

You should have no problems using a modest dose of DHEA along with Cortef and the effects may be additive or synergistic so it is worth a try. I would try a dose of 10mg per day (taken as one dose in the morning) to begin with and up it 5mg every couple of weeks until you're at 25mg/day.

Please remember I'm not a medical doctor and these medicines are actually steroids so use with great care and watch out for any side-effects or negative changes in your overall health.

To learn more about adrenal issues without doubt the best website to visit would be that of Dr. Lam - http://www.drlam.com/articles/adrenal_fatigue.asp
If you are going through hell, keep going - Winston Churchill
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