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Low dose cortisol treatment

Discussion in 'Medications & Substances' started by Victory, May 16, 2018 at 10:03 AM.

  1. Victory

    Victory Active Member

    Is anyone familiar with the late Dr. Guy DaSilva's work with PTSD?
    I understand that he was very in tune with the physiological symptoms of PTSD and thought that PTSD stemmed from low cortisol levels.
    Has anyone tried the low dose cortisol treatment with 10 mg hydrocortisol?
    How did you go about getting a prescription for it?
    How did it work?
    I'd sure like to try it so thanks for any information you can share with me.
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  3. KwanYingirl

    KwanYingirl I'm a VIP

    Cortisol is a stress hormone secreted by the outer vortex of the adrenal gland. It is triggered by the adrenocortical stimulating hormone from the pituitary gland. Cortisol is instrumental in the chemical conversion of carbohydrates into glucose which is in greater demand in times of stress. In my opinion, PTSD is too much cortisol from the negative feedback between the adrenals and pituitary. You can literally feel cortisol coursing through your arteries and it amps you up. So I don’t agree with that doc who claims we need more. Mindfulness meditation reduces the production of cortisol resulting in a return to normal levels of cortisol. How old is his research? For me, the meditation brings me to baseline without substances. All these hormones we produce pulse slowly through the blood when working optimally. There’s no peaks and valleys. Get stressed out? They spike with very uncomfortable side effects.
  4. EveHarrington

    EveHarrington _______ in progress. Premium Member

    I'm confused too as I thought those of us with PTSD had too much cortisol? I didn't know that's what gave us the "pulsing through your veins" feeling, but I definitely get that!
  5. Friday

    Friday Raise Hell Moderator

    Corticosteroid use is complicated.


    There are both annual and lifetime limits on cortisone injections & treatments, as the effect ends up being both cumulative and very physically damaging (tendon weakening & rupture, osteoporosis, bone death, bone infection, immune system suppression, thinning of membranes, & nerve damage). So even very low dose and localized injections are considered very carefully & cautiously between short term relief and long term health problems.

    Cortisone is both a metabolite & precursor to cortisol.

    Which means that, as an athlete / former athlete with an active lifestyle, my doctors don’t want me within 10 miles of cortisol, or its precursors.

    My orthopedic surgeon says to consider cortisone & cortisol treatment as palliative care to moving... meaning that I’ve given up being active, or living an active lifestyle, and my body being shredded for short term pain relief is an acceptable loss... as I’m not using it, anyway, and have no intention of using it in the future.

    Hydrocortisone / hydrocortisol, meanwhile, is the topical version of cortisone (because cortisone doesn’t absorb through the skin but hydrocortisone does). The long term health effects are the same as oral/injected steroids, but it takes a LOT longer to happen, because it really doesn’t absorb through the skin very well, even though it can absorb some unlike cortisone itself. Hence it’s common use as a rash ointment... it treats the surface problem, by absorbing into the skin enough to treat the rash, without being much absorbed into the body to wreak havoc.

    All corticosteroids have similar side effects, but the health risk varies a great deal between them, and even between types (like oral pills, localized injections, or topical ointment of cortisone all have very different expected outcomes). Fluticasone is a commonly used bronchial dilator, whose risks are so comparatively minimal it can be taken daily with very little negative effect, meanwhile dexamethasone & prednisone carry a lot of bone risk, but unlike cortisone not a lot of connective tissue risk. Bone heals itself very, very, very well (unlike connective tissue), so while an asthma or influenza or pneumonia patient can be taking daily dex or pred for months, and have accompanying bone damage it’s fairly easy to moderate (if patients listen, and treat their osteoporosis, rather than doing nothing or making it worse... but even then, expect a lot of thin bone fractures, like the ones in your hands and feet from doing nothing more strenuous than rolling over in bed at night or shifting your weight causually, whilst standing) . Thyroid patients, meanwhile, have to follow very strict medication regimens for life... as well as recovery regimens. Because while they are clearly deficient (no thyroid = no thyroid hormones = supplementing necessary), we cannot reproduce the distribution throughout the body via pills or injections that the gland does, which means serious side effects, if not as serious as not having the hormones supplemented at all.

    Like I said, corticosteroid use gets complicated. In its simplest form, they all have similar side effects, but the timeline and degree that they affect different systems vary.

    Cortisol & cortisone carry some of the highest risk, and fastest timelines. The cost benefit relationship is very steep... and if there are ANY reasonable alternatives, it’s not usually considered worth the risk except as a one off dose to treat an acute injury.

    Standard caveat : I’m just a chick on the Internet, I am not a doctor, and this is not medical advice. Just sharing acquired information / my knowledge of corticosteroid use through personal experience & education... all of which can be easily verified -if your interested, and should be verified- through reliable medical & scientific sources.
    Last edited: May 16, 2018 at 2:14 PM
    Sietz likes this.
  6. Justmehere

    Justmehere Defying the odds Moderator Premium Member

    This very limited study showed it did reduce PTSD symptoms based on a hypothesis that it suppressed memory retrieval.

    This study showed no effect on cPTSD.

    There is no study that shows that it lasts. Long term hydrocortisone use usually leads to many problems like insomnia, weight gain, and etc.

    I’ve been on low dose naltrexone and that was a pretty safe and helpful drug.
    Last edited: May 16, 2018 at 2:26 PM
    EveHarrington and Sietz like this.
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