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Old 04-27-2010, 12:16 PM   #1
Ian McLeish
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Default Low Cortisol

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...
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:39 PM   #2
Júlíus G. Magnússon
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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.
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Old 04-27-2010, 01:52 PM   #3
Steve Shafley
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Low cortisol is potentially fatal
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:01 PM   #4
Matt DeVoe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian McLeish View Post
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?
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:14 PM   #5
Geoffrey Thompson
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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.
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:45 PM   #6
Garrett Smith
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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.
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:25 PM   #7
Ian McLeish
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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....
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:36 PM   #8
Garrett Smith
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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.
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:37 PM   #9
Steven Low
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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.
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:56 PM   #10
Ian McLeish
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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.

Last edited by Ian McLeish : 04-27-2010 at 05:02 PM. Reason: update
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