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Messed up HPA axis.


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#1 Vimy

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 03:25 PM

Age 31. Male.

2012: Only two months hydrocortisone (HC). 25 mg. But took one year to taper off. Misdiagnose by quack doctor that prescribes everyone HC. Didn't know.
2013 - 2017: Feel sick, dizzy, weak after 'stress event': Excercise, long walks, arguments with people, driving, ... Limited in what I can do. If I overdo it, I get a backlash, feel very weak and ill, can hardly walk or open doors without great effort, I'm like a 90 year old. This happens the second day after a 'stress event.'
Day 0 / Stress day: Weak, dizzy after event, back to normal after an hour or two
Day 1: 'Normal'
Day 2: 90 year old
Day 3: 'Normal' again



2017: Can finally convince doctor to do ACTH stimulation test. Feel superb that day. Finally feel normal! Test show adrenals work ok.
I'm now convinced I have a mild form of Secondary adrenal insufficiency. Doctor say it's impossible, no such thing can happen after steroid use. Thinks my complaints are psychosomatic.
After ACTH stimulation test, something permanently changed. I can do more than before. Longer walks without feeling ill. I feel better in general. Still not normal reaction, I want to be normal again. I keep looking for solution.
2018: Read study claming Rehmannia Six (herb) resets HPA axis. I try it.
Rehmannia treatment also prevented or reversed morphological changes in the pituitary and adrenal cortex, appearing to antagonise the suppressive effect of >glucocorticoids on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.8 Such inhibition of the negative feedback of glucocorticoids on the HPA axis by Rehmannia >could explain a trophic effect on the adrenal cortex.9 https://www.scienced...annia-glutinosa



First week I feel normal again, like before HC! Yes! It's working! Starting daily pushup routine. Second week I'm feeling weak and nauseated after my pushups. I stop the Rehmannia. Opposite effect of the ACTH test. I'm worse than before now. Severly limited in how much I can walk or other stress events. Feel nauseated afterwards. Starting to notice greyish spots on my torso and my cheek. Very subtle, not really noticable but they are there.
2019: Still worse than before the Rehmannia but slightly improved. No more nausea. Decide to replicate the ACTH stimulation test. Synacthen injection. Again, feel better. Can exercise without feeling sick. Seems to have permanently changed again. One week later try Synacthen again, thinking it will improve me even more. Feel sick after exercise but it's milder than usual. Thinking it was a fluke, try synacthen again three days later. Feel very sick that day (without exercising). Feels like the second day after a stress event, feels low cortisol. I feel very stupid because I should have stopped with the first injection.
The synacthen was without doctor because they refuse to help me. Went to doctor, told what I did, doctor again tells me Secondary adrenal insufficiency is impossible. Refuses to test my blood because she learned in school morning cortisol can only be tested at 8 AM. Doesn't understand I always wake up at noon so it was morning for me and refuses to help me. Doesn't understand the gravity of the situation. Useless.
Tried mifepristone on my own in May - August. 
3 doses of 200 mg. Spread over several weeks. It worked! I can exercise, I can handle (emotional) stress. Feels the same like 2017, after the very first synacthen injection.
Then one month ago, I got a toe infection. Started spreading to my leg. Had to take antibiotics but I waited to long (wanted to protect my gut). A couple days before I started the antibiotics I started to feel my cortisol go lower. Until it was really low and I panicked and asked for another synacthen shot. Big mistake. Seemed to have undone the mifepristone effects. Back to how I was before the mifepristone. Maybe slightly better than how bad it was. Still very bad.
Then last week my genius doctor thought Wellbutrin XL 150 mg would solve it. One pill made it even worse. So I'm back to how I was right after the rehmannia. 
To make matters worse, I think the mifepristone did something with my cortisol receptors. I feel low cortisol but when I take just 1 mg hydrocortison or supplements to raise my cortisol I feel it going even lower. Before the mifepristone, those supplements helped.
These make me feel worse now.:
Licorice root 
5-htp (raises acth)
Caffeine pill (raises acth)
pantothenic acid (building block for cortisol)
D-ribose (building block for cortisol)
American Gingseng



Current symptoms:
Light nausea when I wake up
Weak, low energy
Can't handle (emotional) stress. Very sensitive to stress.
Very subtle grayish spots.
Limited in movement. Only a couple hundred meters.
When cortisol is really low:
Muscle pain in arms and legs. Feel like throwing up. Very weak.



- Hpa feedback loop seems very sensitive now.
- My cortisol levels are in range at the low-end but I believe they are too low for me personally. On the second day after stress event, when I feel really bad and weak, they are lower than on 'normal' days. 30 % lower. They are on average 50 % lower than before I took hydrocortisone in 2012.
- I feel a weird pain in the back of my head when I exercise too much/experience too much stress. It's like a spidey sense warning me I will be sick the next two days. 
- Afraid to take mifepristone a fourth time. The last time I felt flu-ish for a week and my skin felt on fire for random periods of time.
I attached a timeline. Thoughts? Ideas? 


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Edited by Vimy, 18 October 2019 - 03:27 PM.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: hpa

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