High Cortisol State since young?

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Since I was very young, probably since birth, I have had all the symptoms of someone with excessive cortisol.  Hypercortisolinemia I think it is called.  I'm in the process of getting tests but I always think that it's best to understand it beforehand.  

I initially misinterpreted my condition (which I thought was a sign of adrenal weakness), but in fact is due to excessive cortisol.  My life is a series of rushes and crashes and they are now becoming prolonged. Maybe it will end with fatigue but I seem to pull out for months at a time then I head for another period of exhaustion.  

My question is this:   Is there a condition that can affect you from birth which will give you chronically high cortisol.  That is, a higher cortisol response to stress and just naturally high levels of cortisol.   This is a very specific question but it is one of the last pieces in the puzzle. 

My father had this and died very young from heart problems.  He, like me, had all the same symptoms of excessive cortisol despite a healthy lifestyle. 

Would anyone be able to answer my question?  

Thanks so much. 

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Do you have hypertension?  Does lowering your sodium intake affect it?  High cortisol, especially when it is inherited, can be a symptom of Conn's syndrome/hyperaldosteronism.
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    • Posted

      Hi ginger.  Than ks for answering me.

      Well as a  matter of fact I do have high blood pressure, probably due to high Cholesterol.  I dare say it's the 'blurred vision' that leads you to this? (conn's Syndrome).  

      I can't really think whether or not I've given up sodium.  I'm assuming you are linking aldosteronism with my kidneys soaking up sodium? You could well be right on this but I'm not sure.  What kind of test would I need to test for this?  I'll insist when I go for testing.  

      On thing I will say is this.  I discovered a few years ago that when I'm really stressed, salty nuts help reduce stress.  Maybe it was the sodium, I'm not sure.  I do like salt I have to admit, but giving it up, as I have, doesn't make much difference.  Maybe I pee a little less. 

      I'll say this ginger.  You have brought up a point I have never heard before so a big thanks for your input.  Please put forward what you like as I'm intrerested in learning as much as I can. 

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    • Posted

      I will answer in more detail later.  Meanwhile, look up Conn's syndrome and hyperaldosteronism.  When I was diagnosed (4 years ago), my cortisol was 10X normal. Since treatment, which I will explain later, my BP dropped 75 points and my cortisol (tested last month) is normal. Of course, there are other reasons for high BP, but the cortisol regulation is in the adrenal glands...as is the sodium regulation (usually).  It is a complex diagnostic process and needs a specialist who is familiar and up-to-date with kidney and adrenal diseases.
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    • Posted

      That's interesting.  This is definitely something I'll be looking into. 

      Can you tell me if you had the following symptoms.

      -Eyes blurring when reading.  Just a slight blur.  Site is normal when not reading.

      -Tightness in the chest when stressed.  Breathing issues?

      -All the other symptoms resulting from elevated cortisol. 

      I realize you said you would reply in more detail later so was wondering if you could comment on the above. Thanks again.

       

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  • Posted

    cushings is high cortisol look it up xx
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    • Posted

      Hi.  I've looked this up before.  

      I'm just not sure about this as I can feel relatively normal if I do nothing. 

      It's the inability to control the stress response which comes over me too quickly when there is any stress in my life.  It's really hard to say.  I realize there's cushing syndrome and cushings disease. Cushings Syndrome the most likely of the two but it's been with me since very young (pre-teens) more than likely born with it. I'm definitely like my father and see the same symptoms in myself. His hands used to shake and he had all the weight gain, hormonal imbalances, and stressed out features as I do.  This is despite a healthy diet. 

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  • Posted

    Try this website:

    http://endocrinediseases.org/adrenal/hyperaldosteronism_hyperactivity.shtml

    As you probably know, there can be many possible causes for your symptoms. I encourage you to be persistent in trying to find out the right diagnosis.  As patients, we are our own best advocates.

    Sometimes it takes a long time and some good luck to find the answers. I wish I had found mine before. I have spent a lifetime finding my own solutions to symptoms which made my life miserable much of the time. My primary "solution" was  to severely restrict sodium (for Conn's) because doctors said "it is all in your head" or "who knows?"  Sodium restriction (or special drugs) may or may not be an easy answer.   

    In many ways you are fortunate right now. Research into the problem/symptoms you describe (and the many possible causes) is currently being done worldwide .  There are a lot of online sources which could be very helpful.

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Ginger, thanks for the reply.  But as per my previous question can you answer the below.

      Can you tell me if you had the following symptoms.

      Do you have......

      -Eyes blurring when reading.  Just a slight blur.  Site is normal when not reading?

      -Tightness in the chest when stressed.  Breathing issues?

      -All the other symptoms resulting from elevated cortisol. 

      Thanks

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