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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Hormone and/or Steroid Questions

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Author Topic: Hormone and/or Steroid Questions
notime2work
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My doctor believes that hormones (or lack thereof) play an important role in Lyme symptoms, and that getting them back in balance is key to treatment.

He ran a 24-hour urine collection comprehensive hormone panel, and it was determined that I am low in almost every hormone tested (I think there were 24 of them total).

After I received the test results, I was sent prescriptions for some of the hormones I was low in, and some instructions for ones that I could purchase OTC as supplements.

One of the prescriptions is for cortisol, which I had filled today, but have not taken. I got the info from the pharmacy that comes with the prescription, and realized it is a steroid (hydrocortisone) like prednisone. Now I'm totally confused, as I know we are not supposed to take steroids!

And the caution on the package says "this medicine makes you more susceptible to illnesses." Does this sound like something I need to take?! I'm now afraid to take it. I really don't want to take anything that is going to compromise my immune system, as I'm trying so hard to keep it built up.

Isn't there some natural way to deal with this? If my adrenals are weak, surely there is something that can be done without taking all these pills! I am getting SO sick of taking pills and getting prescriptions for this and that, and I'm only in my 2nd month of treatment.

Please, if someone has some information they would like to share, I certainly would appreciate it!

Thanks,
Gail

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Posts: 142 | From Flyover Country | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
blueocean
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do not take the steroids. i had cortisone shot in my wrist after a sport injury. it compromised my immune system and the lyme disease took over.

i am sorry i dont have much else to offer. but please ask a LLMD about the steroid.

take care.


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notime2work
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My doctor is an LLMD. This is why I'm so confused.

Posts: 142 | From Flyover Country | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Foggy
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Some LLMDs allow short term steroids but I wouldn't touch em with a 100 foot pole.

Ducks claim they're not Systemic but reactions are idiosyncratic thus I beg to differ.

A disaster waiting to happen.


Posts: 2451 | From Lyme Central | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pab
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notime2work,

My 2 sons take Cortef (cortisol) and are patients of Dr. C in MO.

Cortisol is different type of steroid. Rosesisland has posted a good explanation of why cortisol is OK.

I'll see if I can find it for you.

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Posts: 2775 | From MN | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Health
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I read about cortisol, I think?? it is for the adrenals.

If I am correct here, it can REALLY help one BEAT an illness, such as an infection, if used in the correct LOW dosage and the persons body needs it. Not something to fool around with.

Our adrenals must be working to beat lyme, but I feel for me anyways, that the antibiotics alone did wonders for my adrenals. I was on the biaxin/flagyl.

I used licorice root tea while on the biaxin/flagyl, and wow! did it help me, so I actually did have adrenal support.

Adrenals also send out anti inflammotory chemicals, something like this, so proper functioning adnrenals will help you not have pain. I know when I supported my adrenals, the pain from herxing was helped somewhat.


I have a book that tells of using hydrocortisone... a lady used this in a low dosage from the MD in the book and within several months was very well.
She did not have lyme though.

Low adrenals can cause persistent infection... but sometimes... lyme is causing the low adrenals and some only need antibiotics and LOTS of rest.

Let us know how it goes, would be very interesting for me to know how you do.


Trish


Posts: 1250 | From Canada | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
notime2work
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Thanks Peggy. I would appreciate it if you can find the article.

He is also the LLMD I am seeing, and my prescription is for the same drug. The following was copied from www.drugs.com about Cortef. It sounds like a typical steroid to me, but what do I know? I have never been a very "compliant" patient, and hate the idea of taking any medication long-term.

Cortef Consumer Information

CORTEF

Generic Name: hydrocortisone (hye droe KOR ti sone)
Brand Names: Cortef, Hydrocortone

What is the most important information I should know about hydrocortisone?

Do not stop taking hydrocortisone suddenly if you have been taking it for a few weeks. You may need a gradual reduction in dosage before you stop taking this medication.

Take oral hydrocortisone with food or milk to lessen stomach upset.

Carry some type of medical identification that will let others know you are taking hydrocortisone in the case of an emergency.

What is hydrocortisone?

Hydrocortisone is in a class of drugs called steroids. Hydrocortisone reduces swelling and decreases the body's immune response.

Hydrocortisone is used to treat many different conditions. It is used to treat endocrine (hormonal) disorders when the body does not produce enough of its own steroids. It is also used to treat many immune and allergic disorders, such as arthritis, lupus, severe psoriasis, severe asthma, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease.

Hydrocortisone may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking hydrocortisone?

Do not take hydrocortisone if you have a serious bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. Hydrocortisone weakens the body's immune response and thus its ability to fight infection.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have
kidney disease;
liver disease;
high blood pressure or heart disease;
ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, or stomach ulcers;
hypothyroidism;
a psychiatric condition;
osteoporosis;
myasthenia gravis;
diabetes mellitus; or
any other medical conditions.

You may not be able to take hydrocortisone, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Hydrocortisone is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether hydrocortisone will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

Hydrocortisone passes into breast milk. Do not take hydrocortisone without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.



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pab
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Gail,

I did a search and found several posts. If you put cortisol and cortef in the search box you will find a lot of posts with good information.

Good luck!

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notime2work
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Hi Trish,

I really don't know if I've been on abx long enough to determine if my adrenals will improve when the Lyme is beat, or if I need my adrenals to beat the Lyme. I guess it may be a chicken or egg sort of thing . . .

I wonder what is considered a LOW dosage? I agree it's not something to fool around with, and that's what worries me. I always like to look for natural solutions first, and let the body try to heal itself when it can.

As far as inflammation/pain goes, I have what I consider very mild herxing when I do, and I can still function pretty well. I sometimes take AHCC, a mushroom complex, and my dentist/ND here has me on Solidago and Hepatica for any herxing discomfort. I probably will call him on Monday and ask him about this also. Although I think sometimes it complicates things when differing opinions are involved. Guess I'll just pray about it this weekend and see where that takes me!

What brand of licorice root tea did you use? This sounds like something I'd like to try.

Thanks for your help.
Gail


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Lymetoo
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Hi Gail! I've been taking the cortef for 1 1/2 yrs and haven't died yet! It's a natural cortisol, not synthetic like prednisone. Our bodies don't really know what to do with synthetic stuff.

Our bodies make a certain amount of cortisol daily. The amount you're taking is probably less than your body makes. Our bodies cannot function properly without the correct amount of cortisol.

A really good book which explains all of this is The Hormone Solution by Dr Thierry Hertoghe. It's wonderful.

Nearly all my hormone levels were low too. I'm now feeling pretty darn good......but I won't say it's all because of the hormone balancing.

Hang in there.....Dr C knows what he's doing.

------------------
oops!
Lymetutu


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tjtighe
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My llmd send hormone test results to an endocrinologist in Kansas. My results were low and I am now on 15mg Armour Thyroid. Then I take the next step and so on. She highly recommended the book "Hormone Solution" by Thierry Hertoghe, M.D. She said you could probably treat yourself after reading it. Haven't started it yet. Have wanted to do this a long time.

The last 2 days I have been feeling some better, my temp is up (morning temp is an indicator) and I don't know whether I am FINALLY responding to the lyme meds or thyroid, but don't care. It is nice to feel a little better after eights months of treatment for babs and erlichea.

tj


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Health
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Hi Gail,

I used a bulk kind of licorice root tea.

I bought it at the local health store here in our town... very cheap and very! effective.

I had a breakdown few years back, and believe that lyme was part of the reason... my adrenals were just not working... was in a state of a mental breakdown back then 24/7. Had stress very much, and possibly it was just the stress, not sure.

All I can say is... the licorice root tea SAVED my mind and life. I just was stunned that my body went from... not being able to drive... in bed so exhausted, mind ready to die... to driving normally in about 2 weeks. I did 3 cups a day, 1/2 tsp each time.
MD wanted me in hospital, I was allergic to drugs, had the MCS, and just did not want to go to the psych ward, so I tried this first, it worked. Lucky me.

I did this along with Vitamin B5 for a few months, and back to normal.
I read in a book by Dr Cass Ingram MD, that licorice root is invaluable for adrenal collapse... the man is really good, he is the MD that puts out the North American Herb and Spice ORegano Oil. Really knows his stuff.

Later on though, I just could not tolerate the licorice root tea... it made me so aggravated. Even the vitamin B5 made me sick later on. I guess I just did not need it later on.

One must be careful with licorice root...
i had it tested at the ND's on his vega machine so it was ok. Some it raised their blood pressure, others it does not agree with them. I think it is estrogenic.

I researched it much before I took it.

I dont know if you can take both the cortef and the licorice root. Drinking it as a tea, allows fast delivery to body and mind.

I tell you, it was a life saver for me at that time.
I think it has natural cortisol on it.


Trish


Posts: 1250 | From Canada | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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