I would like to ask you for help with supplementing for severe adrenal issues,
I was on a low dose of hydrocortisone for about 2 years for low adrenal. It helped tremendously for a good while. However recently, I started experiencing major depression, blood sugar problems, and inability to wake up , feeling extreme heaviness in the morning.
I stopped cold turkey along with an anti-depressant. Since then, I have had pain in the abdomen and inflammation around the adrenals in the front of the belly an inch above the button on both sides. My body started having inflammation again in the gut and cystic acne started. It is clear that cortisol levels are still low since this inflammation has returned. Please note I may never produce normal cortisol levels on my own. ( I was on asthma steroids in my formative years)
Licorice root is the most effective herb to use in place of the HC. Licorice root contains a steroidal compound very similar in structure and it prolongs the effects of cortisol. Licorice root is also an excellent anti-inflammatory. I prefer Chinese licorice root (G. uralensis) to American licorice root (G. glabra) since it is calming compared to the slight stimulatory effect of American licorice root.
consistent low cortisol over the years. with typical symptoms of low blood pressure, low thyroid, intolerance to potassium, etc
I am confused about hormone supplementation.
I don't recommend supplementing at all. Supplementing can easily lead to imbalances and shut down the body's own ability to produce those hormones.
I also think women get themselves in to trouble too often by relying on hormone testing. Hormones are in a constant state of fluctuation. So there is no real way to accurately test for hormone levels. Even a 24 hour test only shows the hormones for that 24 hours. They can be completely different the next day or week.
Another major problem with hormone testing is that these tests only test for hormones in the blood or saliva. They do not test for hormones stored in the fat tissues. So basically they are highly inaccurate.
Along the same lines women also tend to supplement with progesterone creams for what they think is estrogen dominance. Problem is that they share some of the same symptoms and sales sites keep attributing progesterone dominance symptoms, such as lack of libido, to estrogen. So the women take more and more of the cream making things worse.
And the progesterone is not out of the system in a short time as the sales sites claim. The reason the cream is applied over the fatty areas of the body is because the progesterone goes through the skin and traps in the fat acting like a progesterone bank slowly releasing the progesterone in to the blood. When a woman takes the progesterone frequently the progesterone levels build up to very high levels in the fat tissue. For example, a woman who regularly takes progesterone for a few years can have an average 6 year supply of progesterone built up in her fat tissue.
I have PMS 10 starting 10 days before period, painful cramps, cystic acne during period or ovulation.
The acne is from high progesterone, which is an androgen hormone.
Do I supplement with progesterone even though the symptoms suggest high?
No, definitely not!
The cramping can be reduced or eliminated with supplements of magnesium malate or citrate or a smooth muscle relaxant like cramp bark or kudzu root.
And the history of test has been high? However, progesterone does play a role in making estrogen.
Yes, it does as well as testosterone another androgen. You are much better off supporting the endocrine system to allow it to do its job properly rather than trying to force the hormones in a certain direction based on inaccurate hormone tests. Here is a link to my Hormone Balance write up: