Social Links

Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on G+Follow EiR on PinterestFollow EiR on Instagram

Xpert Access

×

Login To Get Involved!


Forgot your username?


Forgot your password?

DNRS Roof Banner

 

DNRS Interactive DVD Series & Seminars

 

 

Hydrocortisone Maff Hot

http://www.ei-resource.org/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/250x250s/2d/fc/12/2991_hydrocortisone_124906704762.jpg
Written by Maff     July 31, 2009    
 
6.0
3684   0   0   0   0

Hydrocortisone is a medication known as a corticosteroid and is a synthetic derivative of the natural corticosteroid hormone cortisol which is produced by the cortex of the adrenal glands.

The adrenal glands and cortisol are involved in the body's long-term adaptation to stress, whether that be psychological stress or physiological stress such as a serious injury or chronic illness. Cortisol and other corticosteroids help to regulate the body's energy metabolism, the function of the immune system, and numerous other physiological processes so that homeostasis ("balance") is maintained during times of stress.

One of the main uses of hydrocortisone as a drug is in cases of adrenal insufficiency such as the autoimmune disease Addison's disease in which the adrenal glands are incapable of producing enough corticosteroids.

Low dose hydrocortisone has been proposed as, and sometimes used as, a treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome (and related conditions) as studies have consistently shown that at least a significant subset of patients have lower than normal levels of cortisol. It has been suggested that this contributes to the fatigue and other symptoms of the disease. The dosages used are said to be physiological dosages as they simply aim to raise levels in the body to what is considered normal.

This is as opposed to pharmacological use of hydrocortisone in dosages way above what the body itself would normally produce. In this context hydrocortisone suppresses the immune system and is used to reduce inflammation in inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and gout by injection, and allergic skin conditions such as eczema using hydrocortisone cream.

Studies show that low dose hydrocortisone therapy produces improvements in chronic fatigue syndrome patients but that it may also suppress the body's natural production of the cortisol further still. Careful monitoring of cortisol production during therapy is therefore essential and it has fallen out of favour as a chronic fatigue syndrome treatment somewhat because of this significant drawback.

 

 

 

Editor reviews

As a chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) sufferer in which low cortisol, and dysfunctional adrenal glands in general, have been documented I undertook an adrenal stress index (ASI) test which confirmed I had low levels of cortisol, particularly in the morning when they should be their highest. This fit with my symptoms of not being able to get going in the morning. I frequently sleep until past 10am and don't really get going with my day until approaching midday.

A few years back I tried low dose hydrocortisone therapy taking 10-15mg in the mornings. At first I did notice a definiate improvement in my energy levels, particularly in the morning. I actually felt like getting up in the morning and tackling the business of the day and was much more able to do so.

I only maintained the therapy for a period of a month however as I started to notice signs of liver toxicity, something I have struggled with anyway (pale stools, abdominal pain, jaundice etc). This is not likely to affect a lot of other CFS sufferers as it was an existing problem for me...but worth mentioning as all steroids are liver toxic at higher dosages.

I do feel as well though that although initial benefits were impressive, they did start to wear of a bit, even after only a month. This would seem to confirm the results of the studies showing suppression of natural cortisol production. I'd therefore have to caution against the use of this treatment.

Overall rating 
 
6.0
Perceived Effectiveness  
 
8.0
Lack of side effects (tolerability)  
 
2.0
Ease of use  
 
10.0
Value for money  
 
8.0
Would you recommend? 
 
2.0
Maff Reviewed by Maff July 31, 2009
Last updated: July 31, 2009
#1 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (107)

Short-term benefits but caused liver toxicity

As a chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) sufferer in which low cortisol, and dysfunctional adrenal glands in general, have been documented I undertook an adrenal stress index (ASI) test which confirmed I had low levels of cortisol, particularly in the morning when they should be their highest. This fit with my symptoms of not being able to get going in the morning. I frequently sleep until past 10am and don't really get going with my day until approaching midday.

A few years back I tried low dose hydrocortisone therapy taking 10-15mg in the mornings. At first I did notice a definiate improvement in my energy levels, particularly in the morning. I actually felt like getting up in the morning and tackling the business of the day and was much more able to do so.

I only maintained the therapy for a period of a month however as I started to notice signs of liver toxicity, something I have struggled with anyway (pale stools, abdominal pain, jaundice etc). This is not likely to affect a lot of other CFS sufferers as it was an existing problem for me...but worth mentioning as all steroids are liver toxic at higher dosages.

I do feel as well though that although initial benefits were impressive, they did start to wear of a bit, even after only a month. This would seem to confirm the results of the studies showing suppression of natural cortisol production. I'd therefore have to caution against the use of this treatment.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 

 

 

Related Articles: