I have Hashimoto's and have been working over the past year to restabilize my thyroid after a hyperthyroid bout last year. I just received my salivary cortisol test results which were elevated. Morning: 30 (Normal range is: 13-24), Midday (18 - range is 5-10), afternoon, 8 (range is:3-8), evening 6 ( range is 1-4) Cortisol Burden: 62 (normal range: 23-42) (I had my morning blood cortisol level done a few weeks ago and it was normal). Do you know how to interpret these results? Has anyone dealt with elevated cortisol levels? If so, how have you dealt with this issue?
Elevated cortisol levels, aka hypercortisolism or Cushing's syndrome is something that I used to have. I had the form caused by a pituitary tumor, or Cushing's disease which after the form caused by taking steroids, is the most common.
It is dealt with by finding the source of the high cortisol and removing it. You have had high salivas, but a normal serum - what time was the serum done? There can be reasons for the discrepancy, the most common being that you are episodic/cyclical (however, some/most doctors do not believe in that form of Cushing's, as they seem to think hormones do not cycle (period, anyone?)). Lab error, time of test can be other reasons.
Usually saliva and urines can be lower due to elevated cortisol binding globulin, but you seem to be ok with that. Some produce that naturally and some medications bind to free cortisol. That can interfere with testing.
To get diagnosed, there is no one test. Doctors that are not experienced may try to rule you in or out on one test, but they are not good doctors. You need several types to even figure out the source of the cortisol as it is not always clear cut (pituitary tumors can cause adrenal tumors but not vice versa). You may have to travel.
I had pituitary surgery and my adrenals removed, but I am a rather extreme case. I also had more than one pituitary tumor, and have multiple endocrine issues. So I am not an example of what usually happens.
Thanks so much for your input. I really appreciate your help. My blood cortisol level was done at about 8:00 am. Yesterday I saw my doctor who put me on Ashwaganda and Seriphos to help decrease cortisol. I'm hoping that will help.
Hmmm... again (as per other posts), no over the counter item will reduce cortisol, but you can go ahead and potentially get sicker... I did try that myself too...
And if anything does reduce cortisol, then you have to replace it, or you will get sick. You need it to live - any cortisol suppressive that is given by a MD is almost always given with a corticosteroid replacement - the only time it is not is when the person is producing super high steroids on their own. Testing has to be done often to monitor how it is working.
If you have elevated cortisol, you have to address the source.
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