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Adrenals


lavender
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Do you know, is there a way to test your adrenal levels at home? Anyone heard of such a thing? I am currious to know what my levels are on a good day verses a bad day and also what they are when I first wake up and when I go to bed. I wonder if it's possible that my adrenal levels have something to do with my rough sleep or other symptoms.

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You can get a saliva test kit you do at home. They are meant to be more accurate than blood tests.

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Guest tearose

It would be interesting to see. When you find a test please post. I am increasingly curious about adrenals and our symptoms. I also am wondering about kidney insufficiency....but that is another topic!

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Salivary tests are very helpful. Be sure to get a 4-sample test which also measures DHEA, which helps to explain high or low cortisol levels. It is much less expensive than a blood test and measures free cortisol rather than bound cortisol.

I do not believe that epi or norepi tests are available via saliva.

OLL

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If you do a search for cortisol levels you will find that they have a circadian rhythm. Your levels are highest in the morning when you get up (this is why all adrenal blood tests and synacthen tests should be done at 9am, and also why steroid tablets should be taken in the mornings). Your cortisol levels naturally drop during the day. Any stress trigger can cause the adrenal glands to secrete additional cotisol - even being nervous about a tet can influence the results. You will probably see quite different results taken at different times but actually interpreting those results into medically useful information may be impossible. I have not heard of saliva tests for cortisol levels being used by doctors in the UK for diagnostic purposes - I don't know how well they compare to the standardised lab blood tests?

Let us know if you find any thing out,

Flop

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The comparison between saliva and blood for most, maybe all, hormonal tests is this: in the saliva, the hormone measured is free (available to its target gland) and in the blood, the measured level combines free and bound. The importance of this is that you may have all sorts of a hormone, but still have symptoms of being low, because all of it is bound up.

I believe Diagnos-Techs, Genova and MetaMetrix (and perhaps Doctors' Data) do these tests. I do not know which ones are in the UK.

OLL

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I guess saliva testing is the best way to test my adrenals at home. Has anyone here done any saliva testing? Was it helpful?

I actually ordered a saliva test a couple months ago. It looked at different hormones, including adrenals 3 or 4 times a day. I havn't used the test yet. i was hoping I could get my doctor to request the test, because then it would be covered by my insurance. When I talked to him about it though he said he didn't think it was necessary and didn't put much stock in saliva testing. He said he just isn't familiar with it and the numbers wouldn't mean anything to him.

I'd still like to do it, but I kinda dropped after talking to him. He tested my adrenal levels a few months ago. it showed they were high. I then did a CT scan of my adrenals and they were normal. My doctor said he didn't think it was anything significant because my CT looks good. He might be right. Maybe I was just uptight causing my adrenal level to be high. I ran the test after an appointment with him, which always makes me stressed out. :) But I'd like to look a little further since I have years of unexplained severe fatigue. I'm not sure how best to do that though, or if there is even any point, since he thinks my adrenals are probably fine. any thoughts?

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I have done it twice, ten years apart, way before and way after menopause. The second test was just after the beginning of my orthostatic symptoms. The interesting thing is that both charts were identical in shape (lower in the morning, higher at night, opposite of normal), but the actual number levels decreased in general after menopause.

Clearly for me, the test was significant and helps me to understand why mornings are harder for me.

I think they run about $100 without insurance, maybe a little more. Most labs measure 4 cortisols, 2 DHEAs, salivary IgA and gluten antibodies. The reason they check for gluten is that if your adrenals are way off, gluten sensitivity is such a huge and common reason that they want to always rule that in or out.

OLL

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OLL,

Do you know why your numbers are off? It's interesting that both tests showed a similar pattern. Learning what you did about your hormone levels, was there anything you did to treat it? Is there anything you can do to bring your adrenal levels closer to normal?

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Well, one thing I did with my first tachy episode was stop coffee. Actually, I couldn't stand it and went back to one cup only in the morning (which was still a big reduction for me.)

I also get more sleep now (not working and on less beta blocker than before) which probably enables some type of hormonal recovery.

The high evening cortisol is said to respond to serine, but I take so many pills that I never did add that, and besides, it wouldn't fix the morning level being low.

In general, I am taking the nutrients I need now (based on lab testing), getting more sleep, standing a whole lot less, and so stressing my system much less.

I guess I should retake the test sometime to see if the numbers have changed.

OLL

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Hi again,

Phosphatidylserine is one of the important phospholipids in our systems. It participates in activating the cell membranes and as such helps all sorts of other functions to happen -- such as helping the cell respond to a neurotransmitter like epinephrine, or a hormone, etc. Our bodies are supposed to make it, but some people may not make enough, or some people may be helped by using extra if they make enough.

I know that adrenal problems are associated with orthostatic issues, but the type I developed came from other causes, I think. Yes, my blood pressure drops when I rise, but I never feel lightheaded right away. It takes a while and is more associated with the gradual pooling I think is related to age, female hormones and protein deficiency (another story which is probably off this topic). When I first had the saliva test, I felt great, and only did it because it was a new test and I wanted to check it out.

My sleep issues came from the beta blocker. I always was a good sleeper before and since I reduced the dose, I don't have too many bad nights. However, my evening cortisol doesn't get as high as some people's I have seen and so it can still be a big cause of insomnia.

If serine is taken for high evening cortisol, it has to be taken in the morning, just to make a note of it.

OLL

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