(Updated 2/5/16 at the bottom)
I know many of you have been following my health and healing exploits through the years and have taken small bits and pieces of information I share into your own lives to help better the quality of your sacred paths. I realize that many people are not so open about their health and healing path as I am. However, I realize full well that my health and healing path are not so private as many people’s are. If and in the very high probability my entire life is a “test case” than nothing is private, so what concern do I have about sharing with people of whom the information could in some way help in bettering their lives?
Recently I gained some very helpful information from test results that came back. They were probably the most telling and helpful results I have received in a long time as a matter of fact. The information in those results did a great deal in explaining many things that I have been struggling with for some time now and until now have had no solid explanations, only loose speculation.
In brief the test results showed that my cortisol levels are through the roof upon waking in the morning, remain high until late afternoon and return to normal levels by midnight. However, between midnight and the time I awake in the morning they skyrocket.
Cortisol levels are supposed to drop to very low levels as night comes on and melatonin is produced to prepare the body for sleep. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands as a source of physical energy. Therefore cortisol levels should be highest first thing in the morning to help the body wake up and get going. After that it slowly and evenly tapers off throughout the day to its minimal levels at night, where it again remains low until the body prepares to wake up around dawn.
There is an 11 point range of high level for a normal first morning cortisol register. A person with a within range normal cortisol output first thing in the morning could span from 13 points to 24 points and remain acceptably normal on a clinical scale. Anything under 13 points would be considered clinically low and anything over 23 points would be considered clinically high. It is labeled as “nM”, Free Cortisol. My count came in over double the highest acceptably normal level. I was told the medical field considers that extreme in elevation.
My count remains high until around 10pm where it returns to normal ranges for a 10pm till midnight cortisol production. A normal total cortisol production count for an entire 19 hour period should be between 22-46 nM. Mine is over 65 nM.
Now for the causes of the high first morning cortisol.
Causes of elevated cortisol in me:
Chronic severe pain, CPTSD/PTSD/Trauma, old training & lifestyle programmed body & brain habits
The pain can trigger cortisol production at night when cortisol should be lowest. Pain at night can trigger PTSD symptoms which can increase cotisol production as well.
Tissue Damage/inflammation, illness, infection — Mental/Emotional Stresses, anxiety, depression, PTSD
Cholesterol breaks down into Pregnenolone, which breaks down to progesterone and DHEA. Progesterone breaks down into cortisol. DHEA breaks down into estrogen and testosterone.
You can look at it in two columns stemming from one.
Progesterone ——————————– DHEA
Cortisol —————————————— Estrogen & Testosterone
Most of my cholesterol is being forced mostly into the production of cortisol rather than DHEA. The stress of the constant pain and occasional PTSD symptoms shunts the pregnenolone into cortisol at the expense of DHEA. This is the chemical reasoning and basic layout of why my cortisol levels are extremely high. Above I mentioned reasons why the body is forcing high levels of cortisol rather than evenly balancing the Pregnenolone breakdown into both progesterone and DHEA. Chronic pain which at night can trigger symptoms of CPTSD/PTSD in the dream state, which automatically sends intense stress levels to the brain, and so the brain triggers the adrenals to produce very high levels of cortisol to help deal with it. This in-turn seriously disturbs sleep by making me toss and turn all night and wake up to stare at the ceiling, but being too exhausted to get up and do anything. By morning the body is absolutely exhausted from the severe lack of deep sleep and so every morning I wake up totally fatigued and truly exhausted before the day even begins.
So what symptoms do continually high levels of cortisol output produce? Below is a partial list of the ones that directly pertain to me.
- Waking up feeling exhausted
- Extreme fatigue
- Exhaustion ongoing
- Increased daytime pain
- Increased nighttime pain
- Low DHEA levels
- Suppressed immune system (cortisol is an immune system suppressant)
- Increased vulnerability to infection and illness
- Decreased ability to normally fight off bacteria and viruses (takes longer to recover from cold/flu, etc)
- Insomnia – early adrenal fatigue creates issues with falling asleep at night and then when sleep does come the elevated cortisol seriously interferes with REM sleep patterns creating a non-restful or restorative nights sleep – this creates high levels of fatigue and exhaustion the following day which can lead to anger and depression
- High heart rate
- Racing mind
- Inflammatory issues
- Anxiety (though the anxiety is when cortisol changes to adrenaline, which tends to happen in full on adrenal fatigue rather than pre-adrenal fatigue with excessive cortisol production)
- Failing memory
- Difficulty remaining focused on details
- Decreased tolerance (quick to anger)
- Ongoing or constant headaches
- Connective tissue weakness and deterioration
- Unusual blood pressure drops
- Dizziness when standing up from sitting or laying down
- Imbalances and extreme fatigue of lung function (first part of the immune system & elevated cortisol is an immune suppressant & therefore weakens lung energy and function – heavy chest, wheezing, shortness of breath, etc – lungs weakening under the slightest stress – the longer the excess cortisol production goes on, the weaker the lungs become
- Exhaustion from talking (the power/strength of the voice is controlled by the strength & health of the lungs
All of those listed are issues I have been dealing with regularly with steady increases for a number of years, and only recently has a doctor been wise enough to order the proper tests that clearly showed the behind the scenes issue. Even cardiologists and pulmonologists could not figure it out, but a simple saliva test found the cortisol issue.
Ongoing elevated cortisol levels can also rob calcium from the skeletal system which can weaken bones and prevent proper calcium absorption through the intestinal walls. Calcium is leached out of bones and dumped into the blood stream during stress, and elevated cortisol is a response to stress of some kind. Any increased exercise, a form of stress, for someone with elevated cortisol can open the person to certain diseases and are considered “at risk”. Some people gain weight with elevated cortisol as well as have increased blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease, low sex drive, infertility, lower learning rates, indigestion, salt cravings, hypoglycemia, allergies and a great many other issues. It is interesting to note that many symptoms of adrenal fatigue are the same as with an excess production of cortisol.
It is quite eye-opening to now see patterns connected to something solid that have been misunderstood for years. Steadily increasing symptoms over the last 8 years connected to this. Even the recent diagnosis of severe chronic sinusitis id probably due to this extremely elevated cortisol production. The sinuses are sensitive mucus membranes and prone to irritation. They are also the first defense of the immune system, them and the lungs. Excess cortisol production increases inflammation and suppresses the immune system. This explains why the day after very high cortisol output all night and even most of the day my sinuses swell up so much more, my lung functions decrease dramatically and I end up getting blood pressure drops that lead to immediate lightheadedness, dizziness, shortness of breath and pre-blackout symptoms. Even the intense fluctuation of nerve and muscle pains seem to ride the ebb and flow of the excessive cortisol output and thus increased stress on the body. It also explains why any amount of stress of any kind these days fries my system through and through. It is all clearly connected now!
It is amazing the clear connection to the government training facility methods of changing my blood from A to O and then training the brain and body to place a huge amount of energy into cortisol production, keep the cortisol running on high and preventing it from automatically turning to adrenaline which would have caused adrenal malfunctions long ago.
Even my naturopath said that changing my blood from A to O through stem cell processes recreated my body’s ability to produce cortisol over adrenaline making it last longer under extreme pain and stress related “job” activities.
They wanted to train us to be able to access and function in the Black Zone as if we were in the Red Zone.
- Green Zone – normal activity and rest level
- Red Zone – high intensity exercise function and response levels (increased speed, reflex, thinking, pain tolerance, etc)
- Black Zone – combat fight or flight zone (lack all fine motor movements and controlled thought processes – gross muscle movement control only and primal fight or flight mental capacity only)
They trained us through torture, chemical drugs and specialized training to function in the Black Zone as if we were in the Red Zone, hence heightened cortisol production, not adrenaline production, which is what you get in the Black Zone.
Now the trick is to try untraining that forced process by way of proper chemicals and specialized focus physical therapy that heavily involves visceral manipulation and cranial sacral therapy. The chemicals may work fairly quick. The cranial I would guess will take some time, especially since it will have to slowly work down though layers and years of locked in trauma. But the proper chemicals could give me more of a mental, emotional and energetic stability so I can get more out of the cranial, hopefully. Phospatidyisene is supposed to break down excess cortisol. It does not cure the root issue of why the body is producing the excess, but it breaks down the excess removing the dangers while I work on healing the root causes. Part of that process is avoiding all activities and situations that promote or increase stress levels of the mind and body. Unfortunately that includes long teaching bouts, heavy exercise and sports like trekking, kayaking through storms… hum, etc; basically any activity that either overtaxes my system or creates any amount of stress in it. Also with elevated cortisol production it is vital to avoid all adaptogen supplements as they prompt the body to produce cortisol (ginseng, ashwagandha, rhodiola, yerba mate, caffeine, etc)
The doc said they could not believe I did not have adrenal fatigue. They said, “It’s quite astounding to me that you don’t have adrenal fatigue at the very least. It’s even more astounding that after all you’ve been through that your adrenals are strong enough to be as overactive as they are. If they remain this way though, eventually they will crash, and in the meantime the elevated cortisol is destroying your body and mind.”
It is very nice to have a connect the dots picture, at least a big part of it. It gives my brain something to clearly focus on rather than wandering in the fog of unknowing. I will have to think and feel on the whole activities thing. Now that I can see a clearer image I can start working more towards a solid goal that now becomes more potentially achievable.
Well that is not all the tests showed. They also showed I have chronic Lead Poisoning. That means I am not currently exposed to lead, but rather I was at some point exposed in my past and the lead seeped into my bones and cartilage where the body stored it. Through forced chelating tests the chelating agent drew out very high levels of lead from bone and cartilage. There are certainly high enough levels slowly affecting the health of my body.
Lead Poisoning symptoms in adults can include:
- High blood pressure
- Abdominal pain
- Joint pains
- Muscle pain
- Declines in mental functioning
- Pain, numbness or tingling of the extremities
- Memory loss
- Mood disorders
Many of those overlap with symptoms of the excess cortisol production. Especially the ones in purple.
That means I am looking at a minimum of 10 weeks of chelation treatment, perhaps up to 20 weeks. It is rather tricky and intense because it not only removes lead, but also anything close to the same chemical make-up, like calcium, magnesium, zinc, etc. It could turn out to be a very challenging process of cycles consisting of 4 day treatments followed by 10 days off for the rebuilding of every beneficial mineral and vitamin the chelating agent drew out. During those 10 days I will also need to be taking special supplements and doing specific protocols to assist the liver and kidneys to stay strong and properly clean out. The agent will draw lead from bone and dump it into the liver to be sent on its way to the kidneys. This will be very hard on both organs. The whole process supposedly could increase all my current symptoms as well, especially during the 3rd-5th cycles. That does not sound like fun to me! I am still deciding on treatment.
Well that about sums it up for now. It is not everything, that much is for sure, but it is a small bit that I thought might be of some interest to some of you, even if not for more than basic clinical awareness.
With some more tests and consultations it is the overall view that my system is too fragile right now to embark upon the possible harshness of chelation therapy for the lead poisoning. Right now the therapy would in all probability do far more damage than help. Therefore it has been agreed that I would wait until my system starts to recover some energy before beginning chelation.
We also found out that the pain that is possibly causing elevated cortisol today is a different cause than what was causing it before. Before the pain was either directly from injury or specific to a very uniform target region. Today the pain is much more widespread covering most of the body and has been for at least 5 years.
The difference is that before the pain was from both injuries, old injury sites and maybe the start of elevated corisol, as well as. Today the cortisol has been elevated for so long that it has been eating connective tissues which has been slowly increasing pain all over the body. This seems to go along with what one of my alternative healthcare practitioners felt back in 2010.
They said – “The connective tissues of your body feel thin. Healthy connective tissues have the energy of elasticity and regeneration to them. Yours feel worn and lack the elasticity feeling. As opposed to vibrant rejuvenation energy they appear to put out an overall energy of break-down. The image I get is a swollen river slowly eroding the clay banks containing it. It doesn’t surprise me that you’ve been having more pain than usual and in the areas you’ve mentioned. If there’s a weakness of connective tissue you’ll get inflammation, pain, acute swelling and soft tissue bundles/knots near the regions where the connective tissues are being affected.”
Now since there is no clarification as to the specifics of which of the 4 main biological connective tissues are being affected we are just focusing on the basics to start. In short it has been happening for a number of years.
Before, the elevated cortisol was probably from training, lifestyle, constant high stress and the pain that went with it. Today the educated guess is that the excess production is more from chronic pain FROM having elevated cortisol for so long rather than stress. But since it has been going on for so long, any amount of stress fries me because the nervous system has become so fragile. This increases PTSD symptoms which increase pain even further and wears down the nervous system even more. It is a hard circle. The clinical diagnosis of the nervous system is that it is exhausted.
The thought is that I need to be looking for therapies that target deep nervous system relaxation and not physical therapy avenues, which just further stimulate the system and not relax it. Pretty much anything that stimulates the system is non-beneficial at this point. Unless the nervous system is healed no other physical exerting healing modality will be effective.
No longer is the issue not knowing what the issues are. This is a plus! Now it comes down to exactly what to do, in what order and for how long to resolve the issues and it is a work in progress.
The reality is that even with finding the proper supplements and amounts, resting a great deal, removal of stresses from daily life, finding suitable healing modalities and embracing beneficial mind sets, it will take a great deal of patience and perhaps time to work through this. I am told a possible complete lifestyle shift may be in order for the body to be able to properly heal.
The docs think I should enroll at one of those real fancy meditation retreat places. They must think I have a secret money tree hidden in my yard!
Inside the human body is certainly quite an experience!