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Ian McLeish
04-27-2010, 12:16 PM
hi,
I had my cortisol levels tested and just got my results back.

here's what they were:
Cortisol Morning (7 am)=0.2L ng/ml normal: 3.7-9.5
Cortisol Noon (noon) = <0.1L ng/ml normal: 1.2-3.0
Cortisol Evening (5 pm) = <0.1L ng/ml normal: 0.6-1.9
Cortisol Night (9:30) = <0.1L ng/ml normal: 0.4-1.0

I got these thru ZRT labs, so they are not allowed to treat me, but said they were pretty concerned w/ these numbers. They said that drinking water could have had an effect, but I didn't have any water to drink w/in 3.5 hours of any of these tests.

I'm pretty sure that my low cortisol is due to keeping my foot on the gas training wise for too long. The last 3 weeks I've been sticking to straight weights, low volume. I'm 32 y/o, 5'11, 185 lbs and 9%bf or so. I eat 95% paleo, get 8-9 hrs of sleep/night. I'd like to get back to normal. Any suggestions?

thanks for any help...

Júlíus G. Magnússon
04-27-2010, 12:39 PM
I thought excessive (over)training resulted in high cortisol and you'd want your cortisol levels low... Am I misunderstanding things?

Steven Low has been dealing with some overtraining issues so he can probably give you a few tips.

Steve Shafley
04-27-2010, 01:52 PM
Low cortisol is potentially fatal

Matt DeVoe
04-27-2010, 02:01 PM
hi,
I had my cortisol levels tested and just got my results back.

here's what they were:
Cortisol Morning (7 am)=0.2L ng/ml normal: 3.7-9.5
Cortisol Noon (noon) = <0.1L ng/ml normal: 1.2-3.0
Cortisol Evening (5 pm) = <0.1L ng/ml normal: 0.6-1.9
Cortisol Night (9:30) = <0.1L ng/ml normal: 0.4-1.0

I got these thru ZRT labs, so they are not allowed to treat me, but said they were pretty concerned w/ these numbers. They said that drinking water could have had an effect, but I didn't have any water to drink w/in 3.5 hours of any of these tests.

I'm pretty sure that my low cortisol is due to keeping my foot on the gas training wise for too long. The last 3 weeks I've been sticking to straight weights, low volume. I'm 32 y/o, 5'11, 185 lbs and 9%bf or so. I eat 95% paleo, get 8-9 hrs of sleep/night. I'd like to get back to normal. Any suggestions?

thanks for any help...


Possible thyroid and/or adrenal issues?

Geoffrey Thompson
04-27-2010, 02:14 PM
Why did you get your cortisol tested? Did you have reasons to suspect it was low? There are a number of bad things that can cause low cortisol and most of them can't be dealt with outside of a doctor's care.

Garrett Smith
04-27-2010, 02:45 PM
Ian,
This is the kind of stuff I deal with on a daily basis. My contact info is in my sig. I'd highly suggest talking to ZRT about re-doing this test, as your numbers seem excessively low...then again, I don't know your symptom picture to put them into context, nor is this something I get into dealing with over a message board.

Considering your numbers, you should be feeling like absolute crap all day long...finding it extremely difficult to "get up" in the morning, and falling asleep like a rock at night...your picture would look a lot like chronic fatigue, with your "best" hours being in the morning.

Still, your numbers are excessively low (never forget that labs can mess up, and patients can also mess up the tests in multiple ways) and warrant follow-up testing, either through re-testing your saliva or even doing some blood cortisol tests.

Ian McLeish
04-27-2010, 04:25 PM
I don't feel that bad during the day. I fall asleep easily but wake up alot during the night. I've actually gained some weight without changing my diet so I was expecting my cortisol levels to be elevated as I thought something was off, but wasn't expecting it to be that low. I just had my blood and urine tested at my doctor's office yesterday. Would that be able to detect my cortisol numbers? On another note my testosterone was also low at 41.

ZRT suggested I have another test as well, at least a morning and night one. The only thing with that is that it's like a 3 week turnaround from the time I order it until the time I get the results back. There is a ZRT lab about 30 min from my house. I'll call there tomorrow to see if I can just go take the test there.

They mentioned that water can mess the test up. I didnt drink any before my morning test and all the other times I hadn't had any for at lest 3 hours. You guys got me a little worried....

Garrett Smith
04-27-2010, 04:36 PM
Your symptoms don't match the test.

Hopefully there was an AM cortisol ordered on the bloodwork.

Your symptoms (at least the ones you've said here) don't match your labs, it really sounds like the lab screwed up.

FYI, I like Diagnos-Techs for my cortisol labs, the Adrenal Stress Index. It's been around quite awhile.

I'd say don't worry about the test numbers until they are confirmed. Get another cortisol test of some type done soon, to help ease your mind.

Steven Low
04-27-2010, 04:37 PM
High cort in the morning, low in the evening... tends to be indicative of very bad overreaching/overtraining or whatever you want to call it.

Especially if you have visceral fat gain or upper back fat gain, and disruption of sleep patterns. Testosterone will also drop if you're significantly messed up like this too.

I would drop all workouts, start eating a lot, and get some phosphatidyl serine... pretty much what I'm TRYING to do.


I do agree with Garrett though.. get another test something seems a bit fishy.

Ian McLeish
04-27-2010, 04:56 PM
Yeah, I feel beat up, but not like absolute death, which is how I should be feeling right?

I actually just got some PS and some glycine too to help w/what I thought was elevated cortisol post workout and before bed. My symptoms seem to match what you are describing Steven. I eat well and get to bed by 10:30 everynight.

So you recommend dropping all workouts? and upping my eating? For how long? I'm on about 2300 cals/day.

I am going to look into getting to that lab for another test. Hopefully I can get in tomorrow. If not, I may order the adrenal stress index (I believe that's what Dr. G said).

I just found that there's a Diagnos Tech provider right down the street from my house! I just left them a message. Hoping I can get in there tomorrow.....
Thanks guys and I'll let you know what comes of it.

Garrett Smith
04-27-2010, 05:23 PM
Your test doesn't show high cortisol at any time of day (at least the one you've done to this point).

Ian, I can help you with all of this (even getting the ASI done) if you'd like. If you have any issues, feel free to contact my office.

Feeling "beat up" doesn't match those numbers.

Ian McLeish
04-27-2010, 05:28 PM
ok thanks Dr. G. I actually emailed you today. Not sure if you got it. I'm going to see if I can get this test at this place close to my house, if not I may have you do it. I will probably set up a phone consult w/you once I get these results back in the hopes of setting up a plan to get back to normal.....

Garrett Smith
04-27-2010, 05:48 PM
Just PM'd you with the correct email.

Steven Low
04-27-2010, 07:46 PM
It does sound like he's just beat up (although maybe they did the tests wrong). It's worth doing again though likely.

Regardless,

Drop all workouts for at least 2 weeks. Then maybe something like by the next 2 weeks after that.

The PS obviously. 300g at about 4-5 PM, 300 before sleep should work well.

As long as you are eating healthy and a bit about maintenance you shouldn't have any problem with recovery...

Donald Lee
04-27-2010, 07:48 PM
High cort in the morning, low in the evening... tends to be indicative of very bad overreaching/overtraining or whatever you want to call it.

High cortisol in the morning and low in the evening is normal. The opposite is bad.

Steven Low
04-28-2010, 04:15 AM
High cortisol in the morning and low in the evening is normal. The opposite is bad.
Whoops, you're right. Just looked it up again. damnit my memory is going.

Garrett Smith
04-28-2010, 06:03 AM
Normal cortisol in the AM and normal cortisol in the PM is normal. High or low at any time point during the day (assuming a non-exercise day) means that the adrenal axis is off.

Cortisol levels are higher in the AM and lower in the PM, this is true...but people can be high all day, low all day, or low AM & high PM...they're all not "normal".

Ian McLeish
04-28-2010, 06:46 AM
So I'm wondering if my problem is not the low testosterone, but I'll have to wait for my blood tests from my dr on Tuesday. Anyway, i just ordered another adrenal stress index test from a diagno-techs provider. She said it would be here tomorrow.

I've been deloading this week and I guess I'll stick w/that until I know what my problem is for sure, but would i want to take this test on a day that i do not work out, or would it not matter? I'm only doing 20 min or so of real light lifting this week, like 50% of max for 5 reps...

Garrett Smith
04-28-2010, 09:27 AM
Test on a day you DO NOT work out. Follow all instructions in the kit (like no coffee or caffeine of any kind).

Ian McLeish
04-28-2010, 09:57 AM
Ok thanks. I don't consume caffeine so I'll be good there. you are allowed to drink water that day right?

Steve Shafley
04-28-2010, 10:44 AM
I'm glad Donald caught that.

Yeah, with levels of cortisol that low, like GS said, you should be feeling like shit. It sounds like something went awry somewhere.

Garrett Smith
04-28-2010, 12:51 PM
http://www.colorado.edu/intphys/Class/IPHY3430-200/image/figure18i.jpg
"Normal" cortisol rhythm. M is midnight, N is noon. There should be a graph on your test results with something very similar to this, with values added.

Garrett Smith
04-28-2010, 12:53 PM
Ok thanks. I don't consume caffeine so I'll be good there. you are allowed to drink water that day right?
Yes. And...read the instructions for the specifics. :)

Tyler Micheli
04-28-2010, 04:31 PM
http://www.colorado.edu/intphys/Class/IPHY3430-200/image/figure18i.jpg
"Normal" cortisol rhythm. M is morning, N is night.

Shouldn't that read "M is midnight, N is noon," with cortisol peaking in early morning?

Garrett Smith
04-28-2010, 04:38 PM
My bad, you are right, posted it up too quickly. Apologies. Guess Steve and I both got it messed up...must be contagious. Edited to be correct now.

Mike ODonnell
04-28-2010, 07:00 PM
High cortisol in the morning and low in the evening is normal. The opposite is bad.

Yes. Cortisol in AM = rise in blood sugar so you can wake your ass up.

Hence people who have no energy in the AM, and more energy late PM are usually all messed up cortisol-cycle wise.

Steve Shafley
04-28-2010, 07:16 PM
My 14 yo son is cortisol dependent. I have to keep him on track with his cortef.

Ian McLeish
04-29-2010, 05:04 AM
Hey Dr, G, would taking a medication like "melioxicam" messs up my test results? It is a nonsteroidal anti-imflammatory that I was taking and had been on for about a month when I took that last cortisol test. I was on it to help w/my elbow tendonitis....

Garrett Smith
04-29-2010, 06:27 AM
I don't see anything about meloxicam that would affect your cortisol numbers, as it isn't a corticosteroid. Meloxicam for tendonitis seems like a bit of overkill, but that's JMO. You could have possibly developed the tendonitis from a general low level of cortisol (aka cortisone, the body's most powerful anti-inflammatory drug)...and fixing that issue would probably fix your tendonitis.

Ian McLeish
04-29-2010, 09:40 AM
so I just got my diagnos-tech adrenal stress index test in the mail. It says not to eat chocolate, onions, carlic or cruciferous vegetables. I ate all of those things last time. All except the chocolate in large quantities (for the record, the last test I took did not say to avoid those things, I am not an idiot). Would that result in a really low cortisol reading and if so why?

Garrett Smith
04-29-2010, 09:55 AM
I don't know how exactly they affect the test, however, the specifics given with the Diagnos-Techs test and their experience with running these tests longer than anyone else is why I use them.

You are right, the ZRT instructions do not say this. I don't know why.

Ian McLeish
05-03-2010, 12:34 PM
Just thought i'd give an update. I have decided to cease my workouts until i figure out what's going on. Figure if it is adrenal fatigue, then i'll be a couple weeks ahead in my recovery time.

i should be getting my results back from Diagnos-techs lab this week. They were supposed to receive my sample today by 3:00. i get my bloodwork back from my dr. tomorrow morning.

In the meantime i've been taking vitamin C and licorice root and trying to rest as much as possible....

Dr. G, I'll fax my stuff over to you once i get everything and then hopefully we can get this phone consult going!

Ian McLeish
05-08-2010, 06:19 PM
Well, looks like it is indeed Adrenal fatigue. Got my results back from Diagnos-Techs today.

6-8 am: 6, normal 13-24
11-noon: 4, normal 5-10
4-5 pm: 1, normal 3-8
10-midnight: 2, normal 1-4 (this was the only one in the normal range)

DHEA was 2, ref value was 3-10

fasting insulin was 3, normal was 3-12
non fasting insulin was 3, optimal was 5-20

I'm not too worried about these as I follow a low carb diet. I'm sure that's why these are low

Progesterone was 20, optimal was 22-102.
Total salivary SIgA was 5. normal was 25-60

I guess this all explains why I haven't been able to get as lean as I have been in the past and why my lifts have all stalled....

Garrett Smith
05-08-2010, 08:51 PM
Yep. Disregard the insulin, it's a worthless part of the test, totally useless. (Note--I'm talking about salivary insulin as part of this test, not a blood-drawn fasting insulin level)

Ian McLeish
05-09-2010, 03:53 AM
Hey Dr. G, can you PM me the email address that I can email my patient info to? I want to send my stuff over and set up a phone consultation.

Thanks....

Garrett Smith
05-09-2010, 02:42 PM
Sent.