A Blog For Those Affected By Environmental And Invisible Illnesses Written By Fellow Survivors
Blog posts tagged in cortisol
Recently received back my ACTH stimulation test results and wanted to share (below). Ideally, I would have done a repeat of the Adrenal saliva panel I had done 8 months ago, but that is not an option right now due to my financial situation. Doctor says everything looks good (within the ranges), and suggested that maybe the symptoms of fatigue, low stress tolerance, etc. are not hormonal, but possibly some type of ongoing infection; he has referred me to an infectious disease doctor.
Not sure if others have seen similar results, or been able to correlate their ACTH stimulation results to their saliva results, or have ever seen the test show results for adrenal insufficiency vs. failure.
Hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) is something that those suffering from environmental illnesses often struggle with. Poor thyroid function has been linked to many of then illnesses covered on this site and is often the hidden cause of a host of chronic symptoms including fatigue, poor cognitive function, low mood, low sex drive, cold intolerance, weight gain or inability to lose weight...and many others.
Assuming you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism (not easy in itself), unless the cause is obvious such as a tumour or autoimmune disease and is detectable using routine tests, chances are you will simply be given a prescription for thyroxine (the main hormone produced by the thyroid gland and also referred to as 'T4') and have your blood levels monitored, along with levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) - a pituitary hormone that stimulates production of T4 by the thyroid gland.
Unfortunately many patients find that T4...
Last week I conducted an Adrenal Stress Index Test (ASI) which involved filling four little test tubes with saliva at specific times throughout the day (8am, noon, 4pm, and midnight). This is a surprisingly difficult thing to do as you need a good amount of bubble-free saliva in each sample. Your mouth also has to be clean so as not to contaminate the sample with food particles!
The ASI measures levels of the adrenal hormones cortisol and DHEA whose levels naturally vary slightly throughout the day. These hormones help us deal with stress and provide energy and a sense of well-being. When levels aren't optimal we feel drained and fatigued and other functions such as blood sugar control and immune system function suffer.
Some of the symptoms associated with abnormal levels of adrenal hormones include:
- Feeling Drained
- Hypoglycaemia/Blood Sugar Imbalance
- Dizziness Upon Standing
As a chronic fatigue syndrome sufferer I have come to realise just how pivotal healthy thyroid and adrenal gland function are to recovery. If your thyroid or adrenal function is below par effectively treating these issues can make a huge difference to how you feel and your ability to function.
Research has demonstrated that the function of the thyroid and its hormones in those of us with chronic fatigue syndrome and other chronic illnesses can be adversely affected by a variety of factors and through a variety of different mechanisms. Unfortunately, routine medical examinations and blood tests are woefully inadequate when it comes to detecting thyroid problems.
Standard thyroid blood tests typically only look at levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine (T4). T4 is actually the inactive form of thyroid hormone which has little affect on the cells. The active form known as T3 is rarely...