I'm a 26 year old female. After going through two years of extreme emotional stress and consequently not taking good care of my body, I developed extreme fatigue, depression, loss of interest in life, pain all over, among other symptoms. I recently got a saliva cortisol test, which took the reading at 4 different times throughout the day. The results were:
morning: 4.5 ng/ml (range 8-10)
midday: 2.0 ng/ml (range 3.1-7.3
afternoon: 1.5 ng/ml (range 2.1-3.9
evening: 1.1 ng/ml (range 1.5-2.5)
My DHEA was 377 (range 23.8-291)
Since my levels are low all day, what treatment is best? I also had a low free T3 and free T4 reading and have been on 1 grain of Naturethroid for 1 month (which made me feel worse). I also started on 2.5 mg Hydrocortisone (which I requested from my doctor) and bumped it up to 5 mg a week later, which is the amount I'm currently on. I felt better than I had felt the first 3 days that I went on the Hydrocortisone, but now all of the symptoms have returned. I am so fatigued I lay in bed or watch tv all day, cry, have pains all over my body, and am severely depressed.
How does the Hydrocortisone work? Is the idea to give the adrenals a break, with the hope that they'll be able to produce on their own once I wean off, if good food, rest, and supplements have been used during this time to support the healing process?
How much Hydrocortisone would be recommended for my condition? How fast do you think I could increase to that dose?
In my case, do you think that taking Hydrocortisone is the right approach, verses a more conservative approach with just supplements, herbs, rest, diet, etc?