Ugh. My face is soo red and I'm have had serious hot flashes yesterday and today. As soon as I hear ringing (tinnitus) and feel a headache, hot flashes and flushes soon ensue. Does anyone else have this issue? I'm 33 and just had my hormones tested. All normal except low cortisol. I don't understand. I messed up and posted on my journal that I was fairly symptom free the last few weeks. Curses! I didn't knock on wood. It never fails that my symptoms return and/or new symptoms crop up.
Yes. I have a pic on my profile of the ref face. The head pressure was horrible. For me, my ears only ring when I am prone, so that's not so bad.
I still get the red face and mild ear ringing, but the head pressure has been gone for awhile. Sometimes, just a little patch of my face gets red. Other times, it's all over and down my neck. I was also worried about early menopause (I'm 30 now) when some of these symptoms started. Doesn't seem to be the case, just more nonsense from Lyme and Co.
yes I can relate to all those lovely symptoms - I get sudden pain then hot - I am almost certain I am going through menopause so don't know what is going on !! Then again lyme can mess-up monthly's etc; lol!!!!
Wow, I'm not alone at all! Ok, I was thinking early menopause too, at 33 yo (34 soon, argh). I got my hormones checked, only thing that was low was cortisol. Today, I have ringing and slight head pressure. I also get a feeling like cold water is sitting in my ear canals. I almost want to bend over and shake the "water" out, but I know it's just a sensation, not water.
Just wondering what your doc is planning on doing about your low cortisol?
I have Addison's Disease which causes low cortisol. Cortisol is essential for life. Addison's is a rare disease, but one of the more common symptoms of it is headache (pressure). The other symptoms are orthostatic hypotension (BP that falls when standing up, causing dizziness), nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, hyperpigmentation of the skin (looks tan/bronze), weight loss, depression, irregular periods, and the list goes on...there are usually some other changes in bloodwork too (high potassium and low sodium, high calcium, high eosinophil counts, etc).
I have Lyme too, and to me many of the symptoms of these diseases are the same. Do you have any autoimmune diseases?
If you have low cortisol and any of these symptoms, you should receive an ACTH stimulation test. If you'd like more information on that, let me know. It is a sensitive test that is the "gold standard" for diagnosing Addison's.
p.s. There are two kinds of adrenal insufficiency. Addison's Disease is otherwise known as "primary" adrenal insufficieny, since the problem is with the adrenal glands themselves (usually autoimmune destruction, but can be from other causes) and they stop producing cortisol. The other type is "secondary" adrenal insufficiency, which results from damage to the pituitary gland. In this case, the adrenals are fine but do not receive the "go ahead" (ACTH) from the pituitary and therefore never release their cortisol.
According to many Lyme experts, secondary adrenal insufficiency can be an effect of Lyme (among other causes). The belief is that Lyme disrupts the HPA axis, which includes the pituitary. In this case, a person can end up with a variety of symptoms, which include problems with adrenal/thyroid function, sex hormone production, etc etc. It's not clear to me if (in this case) the pituitary is thought to recover once the Lyme is treated.
During the ACTH stimulation test, your blood is drawn at 0, 30, and 60 minutes. Cosyntropin is injected at the beginning. In a normal person, the body will produce an appropriate amount of cortisol in response to the injection. Ideally, you should start with a morning cortisol in the 20's and "stim" to a number that is at least double that by 60 minutes (some say by 30 minutes). If your number does not double and/or you do not reach 18 by 60 minutes, you should be diagnosed with primary adrenal insufficiency (Addison's). If your number doubles/triples, etc but you started with a low morning cortisol (<10), you may have secondary adrenal insufficiency and should receive another "low-dose" stim test during which less cosyntropin is injected and over a longer period of time to be sure.
Endocrine testing is notorious for being tricky to perform and interpret properly! You can find more information at www.aace.com or on the Merck website. I think LabCorp even has info on the ACTH stim test now.
Hopefully this is all unnecessary blabber! It's unusual to have a low cortisol. If you have symptoms of adrenal insufficiency (primary or secondary), it's worth looking into.
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