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BTD Forums  /  Live Right 4 Your Type  /  High cortisol in type O's
Posted by: Eric, Thursday, December 13, 2012, 8:22pm
Just wondering if anyone knows, or has heard of, a type O with high cortisol.  And if so, how does one go about balancing this, since frequent/intense exercise exacerbates the symptoms.  It's a long story, and I haven't had my levels checked, but this is turning into quite an epiphany.
Posted by: Amazone I., Thursday, December 13, 2012, 8:57pm; Reply: 1
nope dearle- almost catecholamines will be the culprit ;) ;D (goofy) the same forrrr US da A2B nonnies ............(whistle)(dizzy) :P
Posted by: Jane, Thursday, December 13, 2012, 8:59pm; Reply: 2
I get that occasionally.  I believe in one of Dr. D's books he says that O's generally manage stress pretty well but when the cortisol does get high it's hard to clear it.  I take Catechol pretty regularly to help with stress.
Posted by: Christopher1, Thursday, December 13, 2012, 9:24pm; Reply: 3
Magnolia bark?
Posted by: Amazone I., Thursday, December 13, 2012, 9:25pm; Reply: 4
I merely think this was meant about A's and their higher cortisol levels.... :-/ :X ;D
Posted by: Easy E, Thursday, December 13, 2012, 9:40pm; Reply: 5
All people produce cortisol, and every single person responds to stress with their own threshold, handling cortisol and adrenaline and clearing it with varying times.  When i have pushed past my limit of stress before ()pysical and mental), i stay awake and alert and do not sleep for more than 3 hours or so.  I have never stayed like this to the point of exhaustion fortunatly...i have trouble clearing both cortisol and adrenaline (joy of being an explorer!)  


You may have already looked up info online but here is some basic info of both key stress hormones.


Posted by: Eric, Thursday, December 13, 2012, 11:02pm; Reply: 6
Thanks for the input.  I've been reading quite a lot the last few years about the stress hormones - mostly the catecholamines.  And yes, I am constantly struggling to keep my adrenaline/noradrenaline levels in check.  Catechol does help, as well as vigorous exercise.  But here's the issue...  I've never been able to maintain any kind of vigorous cardiovascular or weight training regiment because I end getting sick.  It's been like this my whole life.

Recently I noticed that after I did an intense 20 mile ride in the frigid cold, I hurt my lower back and couldn't sleep because of the pain (all things that can raise cortisol).  The next few days, although my back was fine again, my insulin levels were through the roof during the night, and I couldn't get back into a normal sleeping pattern.  Then all these symptoms that I used to have, though experience much less frequently now, returned:  Fatigue, muscle loss, apathy, brain fog, feeling like I'm getting sick, numbness/tingling in extremities, insomnia, loss of appetite, insulin resistance, frequent urination, social disinterest, lightheadedness, headaches, heartburn.  All your classic high cortisol problems, that I never have when I'm under catecholamine (adrenaline) stress; except maybe the heartburn.

My brothers and I, and especially our father, all have fat around our abdomen.  I'm a pretty lean guy, but have always had a belly.  Another cortisol trait.  Also, my childhood was filled with more stress and anger than not unfortunately, having been raised in a large family that ate poorly and put religion above relationships.

So I think the epiphany was realizing my entire life, I've not only dealt with adrenaline/noradrenaline stress, but when I've felt like the above, it was actually cortisol.  I think I'm constantly juggling the two stress hormones and teetering from one to the other.  Hence why I've never been able to work out longer than a few days without getting ill & needing two weeks to recover.

That's why I can't help but feel like there must be some exceptions to the A-Cortisol, O-Catecholamines rule.  I'm tremendously in tune with my body at this point, and know exactly when I'm dealing with too much adrenaline.  I can tell you with certainty that these periodic 5-day (give or take) "funks" are most definitely not the same.  And then reading all these symptoms of hypercorticism, nodding my head like "yep... yep... YEP"... I can't help but wonder.
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Thursday, December 13, 2012, 11:07pm; Reply: 7
I wonder if one of the "best for As" supplements would work for you in your specific situation, such as holy basil/tulsi.
Posted by: Eric, Thursday, December 13, 2012, 11:15pm; Reply: 8
Well, fortunately this only happens after a serious stress load.  Or when I'm extremely financially burdened.  Would be nice to have something to get me through it though!
Posted by: Lloyd, Thursday, December 13, 2012, 11:46pm; Reply: 9
Alternate nostril breathing, etc.
Posted by: Tom Martens, Friday, December 14, 2012, 12:58am; Reply: 10
Quoted from Eric
Just wondering if anyone knows...since frequent/intense exercise exacerbates the symptoms.

I'm just wondering if 4 days of "regular" exercise and one day of intense might be your ticket.

Are you letting yourself get hungry most of the time?

Do you let yourself veg on the couch after a particularly rough day?

Keeping control of your thoughts when stressed is huge.
Posted by: Melissa_J, Friday, December 14, 2012, 2:21am; Reply: 11
Would Cortiguard harm an O?
Posted by: DoS, Friday, December 14, 2012, 2:28am; Reply: 12
Quoted from Melissa_J
Would Cortiguard harm an O?

Harm? No. Help, maybe?

I'd like to point out there is a potential that when he exercises his body could be dealing with a slightly more latent problem that otherwise keeps his system mild depressed and susceptible to stress. Increases in health can be met with the "detox" affect. (like how some get diarrhea but it is a good thing)

Posted by: mikeo, Friday, December 14, 2012, 3:35am; Reply: 13
meditate 30 minutes a day first thing in the morning
Posted by: Lola, Friday, December 14, 2012, 7:22am; Reply: 14
try liver cleanses on a regular basis

have you tried B12, nights?
Posted by: Amazone I., Friday, December 14, 2012, 11:12am; Reply: 15
it all depends of the dosage to become a poison ;) ;D.....
Posted by: Easy E, Friday, December 14, 2012, 2:28pm; Reply: 16
I agree with lola about the liver, or maybe a herb for helping the kidneys.  Even drinking green tea can reverse stress, not sure if it is as beneficial for an O hunter as an A explorer, but Dr. D says it is good for everyone. Decaf would prob be better right now, or some herbal tea of some type.  Maybe even mate or something.

Posted by: Andrea AWsec, Friday, December 14, 2012, 2:54pm; Reply: 17
Eric you have the best at your disposal-- please reconsider taking a trip to  Conn with me. ;)
Posted by: Eric, Saturday, December 15, 2012, 9:52pm; Reply: 18
Thanks for the tips, everyone.  I think the problem is that the O in me wants to stay constantly fired up, motivated, working and achieving... but the (epigenetically tweaked) cortisol susceptibility keeps me constantly getting burned out.  I feel like I got the short end of the stick.  

Yes, meditation, peace, chilling out, etc is great, and works wonders when I'm on vacation, but entirely impractical for daily living.  I have to work to survive, which means I have to stay focused & driven.  Which means I can't have my head in the clouds.

Lola, the liver flush was tremendously helpful to me years ago when I was experiencing the worst of my symptoms.  But I believe it was the magnesium from the epsom salts helping, not the "flush" part.  Now that I take Mg every day, I find that the liver flush doesn't do anything special.

Anyway, I feel fine now that the stress has cleared, I just needed to say something since I had this epiphany.  I recognize that the latest episode was triggered by physical trauma/stress and lack of sleep, and not emotionally.  But I will definitely keep in mind the meditation, relaxing, and thought control.
Posted by: Eric, Saturday, December 15, 2012, 11:12pm; Reply: 19
Another note, I was reading that DHEA is used to lower cortisol.  There is scholarly research verifying this effect:

Anyone have experience with this testosterone precursor?
Posted by: prunella, Sunday, December 16, 2012, 3:21am; Reply: 20
It's all about balance. This can be confusing. And I am likely less informed than many on this forum.

However, perhaps my experience will be helpful, but may not address Eric's situation. I am an O nonnie, like Eric. And I tend to measure my energy level by how much I can exercise, often biking. Every time I think I have conditioned my body to ride beyond 20 miles, I hit a wall. I often feel driven to accomplish stuff, frustrated when I don't have the stamina I think I need. I vascillate between the twitchiness of a Hunter and my less energetic Explorer self. I experience the same fatigue, muscle loss, social disinterest, brain fog, etc. I had attributed these to an autoimmune disease.

I was diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency and my symptoms tend toward the Addison's end of the spectrum. Eric's may be different--perhaps toward the Cushing's end?

My AM cortisol is low and I am currently taking DHEA twice daily, in contrast to the study in the link, where subjects took one dose/day.
At age 60, I am still trying to make peace with the struggle Eric describes.
In recent years, I have learned not to push myself to the point of exhaustion, as I did for many years. But that is also a function of my developmental stage of life.  ;D
Posted by: Lola, Sunday, December 16, 2012, 6:18am; Reply: 21
Quoted Text

Quoted Text
Dr D
Uninformed use guarantees a perturbance of the molecular system.
Posted by: prunella, Monday, December 17, 2012, 3:01am; Reply: 22
What constitutes Informed use?--and I don't mean that in a flippant way. :)

The doctor who prescribed DHEA, from a compounding pharmacy, has been more wholistic than any other I have seen and I trust her judgement more than others'. The DHEA prescription came after a saliva test. I also take licorice.  The plan is to taper off after a couple of months.
I am leery of much in the world of allopathic medicine.
I am also following the Dr D's fatigue protocol.  
Posted by: Lola, Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 3:31am; Reply: 23
Quoted Text
What constitutes Informed use?

being guided by a specialist, no? :)
Posted by: Patty H, Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 4:39am; Reply: 24
Quoted from Eric
Another note, I was reading that DHEA is used to lower cortisol.  There is scholarly research verifying this effect:

Anyone have experience with this testosterone precursor?

I take a couple of products from Metagenics. I hope it is ok to mention other products not sold by Dr. D here  ??)  I take Adreset which helps with cortisol and Symphora which helps with DHEA.  Check them out to see if they might help you.  Maybe Dr. D offers a similar product but I do not know about them if he does.  The Symphora and Adreset seem to work really well for me and it shows up in my blood work as proof!  I have these issues as well, Eric, so it is not just the A's.  We are all individuals.  My Mom is an A so maybe I get these characteristics from her.
Posted by: prunella, Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 3:33pm; Reply: 25
Lola, agreed.  It is kind of weird when we live in a world where mainstream medicine "specialists" become so specialized that they do not treat the whole person, as has been my experience.

Patty, thanks. I will research and then discuss these with my doctor.
Posted by: Christopher1, Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 11:38pm; Reply: 26
Quoted from prunella
Lola, agreed.  It is kind of weird when we live in a world where mainstream medicine "specialists" become so specialized that they do not treat the whole person, as has been my experience.

Patty, thanks. I will research and then discuss these with my doctor.

My MD specialist (cardiologist) is very holistic.
Posted by: Patty H, Friday, December 21, 2012, 2:20pm; Reply: 27
Quoted from Christopher1

My MD specialist (cardiologist) is very holistic.

One of the things I try to do with my PCP and cardiologist is to educate them on my way of life regarding health and wellness.  My PCP told me that she always learns something when I come in for an appointment.  Both of these women keep an open mind as they seem to understand that when one is personally vested in one's health, good health and wellness is possible!
Posted by: Eric, Friday, December 21, 2012, 2:23pm; Reply: 28
A few days ago I was reading about how cortisol is on a 24 hour cycle, controlled by the circadian rhythm.  I knew my sleeping schedule was all over the place, and that I've felt better in the past by getting up earlier.  So the last few days I've been rising at the time cortisol is supposed to be highest (6-8am... something VERY new to me lol), and getting to sleep by 10 or 11.

I have to say, I've been feeling significantly better, and much more motivated/energized during the day.  Less adrenaline, and more "normal".  I think this may have been the problem all along... crossing my fingers.
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Friday, December 21, 2012, 4:02pm; Reply: 29
I'm glad something so "simple" is helping so much!
Posted by: Green Root, Friday, January 4, 2013, 10:39pm; Reply: 30
more turmeric?

glad that the problem area is better now :)
Posted by: stephanieelisej, Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 1:58am; Reply: 31
Eric !!!!!

From what I have researched, both low and high cortisol can = low DHEA

Also smoking can also cause low DHEA, but i'm not sure if they are specifically referring to cigarettes or the other type of smoking...


Maybe you need to eat more chocolate. IDK. Just putting it out there .....
Posted by: Victoria, Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 6:34pm; Reply: 32
Eric, that is good news, and good info on the Circadian rhythm sleep/wake times.  That seems a good approach for a lot of us to practice!  Hoping always for your well-being and happiness!   :K)
Posted by: Jane, Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 6:48pm; Reply: 33
I had an endocrinologist tell me to take small doses of DHEA when I complained of dry eyes and it seemed to help.  When I looked at the chart for Cushing's/Addison's the only thing that really struck a chord with me was never feeling rested from sleep but I think that's cause by my thyroid issues (I had my thyroid removed and I'm on a suppressive dose due to thryoid cancer).  
Posted by: ieatmeatnlikeit, Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 11:46pm; Reply: 34
I trust coffee is no where involved?
Posted by: AKArtlover, Thursday, January 31, 2013, 8:38pm; Reply: 35
earthing can reset your circadian's. they talk about it in a book of the same title as preventing jet lag. i haven't tried it yet on a time zone shift. lots of electrical/wifi/etc. signals in the city. even riding the subway could be having an effect. grounding is fantastic.
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