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Date of last update: 10/17/2017.

Forum Name: Endocrinology Topics

Question: Low Cortisol Level

 simplelady61 - Thu Jul 08, 2004 10:23 pm

I recently had my cortisol checked and I was below the "normal" range. My doctor says that this is due to stress. Yet, everything I read says that stress elevates cortisol levels and all medications that I find are to reduce cortisol levels. What can I do to get mine in the "normal" range? The lab that did the testing also recommended that I do a complete adrenal gland function test. Anyone been through this? Thanks for the help.
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Fri Jul 09, 2004 6:41 am

User avatar Low cortisol by itself does not mean a lot. You need to have a stimulation test (cosyntropin test) to know whether the low cortisol levels are of signficance or not.
Those with low cortisol may respond normally to the stimulation test. Then they are normal. However if they do not respond normally to the stimulation test, then they are considered to have SIGNFICANT low cortisol. At that time they should have more tests to find out the reason for the low cortisol. Those reasons may be in the brain (hypothalmus or pituitary) or may be in the adrenal gland itself or may be because people take cortisol pills (e.g. prednisone...)
 beghr - Mon Jul 19, 2004 2:19 pm

I have had low cortisol as well. Don't believe everything you hear from traditional doctors regarding cortisol levels. I had a lot of stress in my life, and my cortisol levels were almost nothing for most of the day. I felt exhausted and terrible. Dr. Ralph Golan explains adrenal fatigue and why the traditional stimulation test that the doctor on this site refers to is not a good indicator of poor adrenal function.

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