Saliva Lab Results for Cortisol and DHEA

After many tears and heartache saying good-bye to my 5 year old Grandson in Utah we have arrived at our second home in Durango, CO.   I’m settled in and enjoying the beauty of the Animas River, the sounds of the steam whistle as the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge train passes by and miles of bike trails.  I’ve been able to do some walking and biking but my energy is still low and I have to limit it.  Yesterday I went biking on a beautiful open meadow trail.  After about 10 minutes I got too tired to ride so I just stopped, found a spot to lay in the tall grass in the sun, watched the butterflies and the birds dancing in the sky, ate my lunch and read my book soaking up the sun and relaxing.  One positive thing this health experience has given me is to accept where I am in the moment and find ways to enjoy.  I went to the recreation center and tried a yoga class that was titled “Yoga Relaxation”….I’m still trying to figure out what part of this strenuous 1 1/2 hour class was relaxing…but I did it in my own way and feel okay, other than some sore muscles.  Next week I’m sticking to the swimming and tai chi which might be more enjoyable to me.

On to my test results.  I did the challenge test with Th1 and Th2 to see which I’m dominant in.  I didn’t notice anything glaring but Dr. Scott believes I had more of a reaction with Th2 (digestive issues), so I need to stay away from things like green tea, red grapes, dark chocolate….dang it, turmeric, apples, red onions, fava and soy beans.  This is all about balancing my immune system as I mentioned in my previous post.

Next step….Dr. Scott gave me a diet to follow for the next 4 weeks that will assist in healing my gut; it’s called RepairVite, supporting intestinal barrier integrity, which consists of an enzyme supplement formula (RepairVite) 1 scoop 2 x a day, and a probiotic (Strengtia) 2 capsules 2 x a day.  The diet portion consists basically of eating only organic meat, vegetables and fruit.  The things I can’t eat are no sugars, no high glycemic fruits like banana, no grains of any kind, no nuts and seeds, no dairy or eggs, no soy, no mushrooms, no alcohol, no beans and legumes, and no nightshade vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers….whewwwww!  That’s a lot of no’s.  I’ve been eating this way for over a week now and found it hard at first, especially not having grains, beans, nuts and seeds; but I’m starting to experiment with different recipes and finding it’s actually very satisfying.  I feel like I’m tasting REAL food for the first time.  Some of my new discoveries are lamb….why haven’t I tried this before…lamb burgers are delicious? and fish soup…out of this world!  I’ll try to post the recipe here.  This morning I had a turkey burger with green beans.  It makes going to the grocery store easy….just head to the organic veggies and the meat and you’re done.  I can have coconut yogurt and coconut milk and sweet potatoes too, so that helps out.  That’s been my favorite dessert item; baked sweet potato with cinnamon and a little coconut milk…yum!!

Last week I received the results back on my saliva testing and Dr. Scott reviewed my results which showed I have extreme adrenal fatigue.  When tested throughout the day I was basically flat lined, very low.  You’re supposed to have more cortisol in the morning and less in the evening but mine were below the normal range, which explains my lack of energy.

6:00 – 8:00 a.m.  6, Normal range (13 – 24)

11:00 – 1:00 p.m.  3, Normal range (5 – 10)

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.   2, Normal range (3 – 8)

10:00 – midnight  3  Normal range (1 – 4)

My cortisol load was 14 below the normal range of (22 – 46)

My DHEA was also low at 2 with the normal range being (3 – 10)

The lab work said I was in zone 7 meaning adrenal fatigue.  Zone 7 represents a fatigue or suppression of the adrenals with overt deficits in both cortisol and DHEA production.

So where do I go from here?  Dr. Scott said he will be prescribing pregnenalone to assist in my cortisol production, but not until I’ve finished my 4 week, healing my gut protocol.  I asked why he couldn’t let me take it now and he said it would be too much of a strain on my body and it’s very important to have a healthy gut first.  Okay, one thing at a time.  I’m trusting this process.  He said many people find they feel a lot better just following the diet and then even better when on the pregnenalone.  He also explained that when there is too much long term stress (physical stress having the most impact), the adrenal can’t make enough cortisol so it steals it from progesterone (which is why many women experience problems around menopause because our level of progesterone goes down).  But there are many other factors and so many hormones being affected.  The pregnenalone will assist in bringing back balance.  I will also need to keep a food journal and mail it to Dr. Scott every week before our appointment.

This is work, but the reward is good health and I’m up for the challenge.  If anyone else would like to share their experiences please feel free.  We all learn and help each other.  Joyful Blessings, Kathy





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