I’ve received a number of questions about the types of things my doctor recently tested me for and want to offer more insight to those who are still feeling unbalanced after Cushing’s. I’m 18 months into my recovery and although I’m pathologically cured from Cushing’s, I still haven’t feel well. Something was off and my recovery had totally stalled out. My cortisol, growth hormone & thyroid tests all came back normal. I started to have flash backs to before I was diagnosed with Cushing’s and my doctor would say ‘ you’re tests came back normal, we can’t find anythig wrong with you.’ No one knows my body than I do and decided that I wouldn’t stop pursuing my recovery until I got the answers I needed.
Based on a recommendation from a friend, a sought out a naturopathic & holistic doctor. I did this for two reasons. 1) naturopathic & holistic medicine takes the approach of treating the patient as a whole; physically and mentally. And is willing to exhaust every option available to get to the root of the problem. 2) at this point in my recovery, I don’t know that prescription medicine is the best medicine for my body. There are many alternatives available that help bring the body back into balance naturally.
My doctor had me complete a mail-in testing kit that consisted of a urine test and a salivatory test to measure my neurotransmitter levels. It was super easy and it came with everything I needed to mail the package back to the lab when I finished the tests.
The test results showed a clear picture of what’s been going on with my neurotransmitters, specifically:
Dopamine- responsible for feelings of pleasure & satisfaction, as well as muscle control & function.
DHEA- serves as a precursor to the sex hormones testosterone & estrogen as well as supporting adrenal function.
PEA- important for focus & concentration.
Norepinephrine- important for mental focus & emotional stability.
Epinephrine -also known as adrenaline, important for motivation, energy & mental focus.
Serotonin- helps to stabilize moods, sleep & appetite.
Glutamate- necessary for learning & memory.
Histamine -helps control the sleep-wake cycle as well as energy & motivation.
GABA -necessary to feel calm & relaxed.
My DHEA, Norepinephrine, Dopamine and Serotonin were considerably low. And that would explain why I still have so much fatigue, trouble with concentrating & staying focused, problems with consistent sleep, hot flashes and inability to loose the rest of my Cushing’s weight.
My doctor prescribed me 3 different supplements to help my neurotransmitters start functioning at normal levels. I’m taking the supplements in conjunction with my current prescription medications and once we find an optimal balance, she’ll start weening me off the prescriptions. ( I prefer not to mention the name of the supplements I’m taking because I’m not a medical professional. If you’d like more information on the supplements I’ve been prescribed, please send me an email using the contact form and I will discuss it on a as needed basis.)
I’ve been on this new regimen for almost a week now and I already feel a dramatic improvement. My energy has improved and I’ve lost almost 10 lbs. Working out has become less painful, I’m able to push my body a little harder and the recovery time has decreased significantly.
It’s amazing how such little tweaks can have such an impact on my quality of life. Once again, I’m hopeful that my recovery will lead me back to my old self - sooner rather than later.