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The trickiness of cortisol

Posted Feb 22 2013 4:20pm
I've been avoiding the computer a bit, my carpal tunnel has been acting up again. But I had this revelation recently and I thought I'd share. I've been feeling recently that my improvement from the antibiotics I've been taking for my Lyme has plateaued a bit and I'm very frustrated. I was expecting to take time off from work and thus feel better faster, and it's just not happening (I'm going to lay partial blame on my messed up back for this too). So I've been racking my brain trying to think of other things I can try and I had this memory pop up from my bio classes in college. High levels of cortisol (adrenaline) impair immune function. My doc tests my cortisol levels every 2 months and I, more often than not, come up higher than the range. He gives me supplements to take (magnolia bark extract, ashwagandha extract, phosphatidylserine, l-theanine) before going to bed so that my high cortisol levels don't mess with my sleep as much. They help a little I think, but my body's just too stressed out! So, I need to start finding ways to lower it on my own. I keep telling myself I should try meditation ( meditation lowers cortisol levels ), and maybe I've found a concrete reason to get myself to do it this time! I have another appointment coming up in mid March. Hopefully I can keep myself on track!

Also, it's important to note that while high cortisol levels have been noted in people with Lyme and even chronic fatigue syndrome, that's not always the case. Sometimes infection or whatever overload your body is experiencing, can cause your adrenal glands to shutdown. Case in point, when I first started seeing him, I had horribly depressed cortisol levels and he started treating my high reverse T3 with bioidentical thyroid while monitoring my cortisol levels, they slowly became more normal (and now are too high!). [Also important to note, the interplay of thyroid and cortisol hormones, but that's another post for another time.] And having depressed cortisol levels is bad too because your body does still need a balanced level of cortisol to keep your immune system, and just body in general, running optimally. So, this cortisol stuff is tricky! If you haven't had your levels tested, I might recommend it. And even if you're within range, but still in the high range, consider trying things out to get them to lower!

Anyway, sorry I've been MIA lately and haven't been keeping up to date with people's blogs (stupid wrist), but I hope everyone's doing as well as could be!
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