== A close female friend with decades-long history of PTSD thought her problems were due to a rough childhood and being a victim of a crime during her teens.
== When I got into a heavy metal detox group for my lead problem I kept seeing people with her symptom cluster. It is similar to yours, including the stiff muscles. She used to pull muscles just vaccuming the carpet or just getting out of bed! She had to go to the chiropractor every month for one problem or another.
== She had been going to an endocrinologist for thyroid meds for over a decade with modest gains but he never did anything for her list of hypoadrenal symptoms as long as her arm!
== I got her to a functional medicine doctor who ran the tests that detox consultant, Andy Cutler, recommends for hypoadrenal individuals with a mercury problem.
== She had low cortisol most of the day in the saliva test, borderline low pregnenolone while taking 20mg per day and other related hormones were low or lo-norm. She responded remarkably well to low dose HC, pregnenolone, etc. Glutamine was another magic pill in between meals for her mild hypoglycemia.
== Today after 5 yrs of Cutler detox plus 5mg HC, 50mg or so preg, and many other supplements. I doubt anyone would give her a PTSD diagnosis. It is SO nice to see her freer and less emotionally tense. I could go on for a while about how much improved she is.
== more comments inline below.
"Hi there, Thank you for your reply.
I have not done a follow up test.
== Did the doctor initially prescribe HC based on some test result?
"I do have a history of hypoglycemia but it could never be found in a blood test.
== My GTT test was also negative but glucose was *down* almost 10pts after an hour and then the levels flattened out. At one point I dropped a bottle of water and was quite wobbly, unfortunately that was between blood draws. I have a history of more of a reactive hypoglycemia. That is much better today but I don't know which of the many health interventions is responsible.
== My friend's GTT either was positive or very close. She passed out during the test.
"Interesting that I just started glutamine between meals, I'll add the b6 into it.
== B6 is for those with glutamate/MSG sensitivity. If that is not you, you probably won't need the B6.
"I'm also on half a grain of armour. Thyroid is normal. But doesn't 'feel' normal.
== Let me guess. You are like my friend who needed Armour because synthroid did not work. That's not uncommon in the detox groups. One theory is that the body needs selenium to convert T4 (synthroid) to the more active hormone T3. However heavy metals (HMs) bind with selenium quite well. While this provides some protection from the damage of the HMs, it likely means you don't have optimal levels of available Se for its thyroid-related and other roles. Even though you are on hormone, you still might like some Se and related supplements--iodine, maybe ashwagandha.
== My thyroid tests have always been negative. However a chiropractor told me that some people still benefit from extra thyroid support. So I tried the supplement Thyroid Helper. It contains several of those supps I mentioned above. In 30 minutes it made me feel warmer and more motivated. It has been helpful for many years. I take extra of some of the individual supps in it as well.
"I have pregnenalone, and have used it but only when I was on hc and I didn't notice anything.
== Okay, maybe that won't be necessary for you. Or maybe you are not converting it well downstream. I think zinc, B5 and vit C are important to the adrenal cortex.
" The adrenal cortex supplements were never enough, only hc significantly helped. Anytime I take adrenal cortex I break out on my chin.
== Are you sure you took just cortex glandular, not whole adrenal? Thorne's glandular has a good reputation among the detox group's chemically sensitive folks.
== My friend and I don't have significant chemical sensitivities so we've not had this limitation.
"I have testosterone. Haven't started it yet.
== If you are in a romantic relationship, it can be very, very helpful to restore intimacy ; )
"I went off hc for several reasons. One being tension, the hc seemed to keep held in my body. My muscles were too tight. I had to start counter acting with diazepam, low dose 5 mg about 2-3 times a week , sometimes not even that frequent.
== Magnesium can be wonderful for both the tight muscles and anxiety--and constipation. These symptoms are often reported in detox groups.
== Mg has been helpful to my friend, although she's needed to try a combo of different forms of it to find a combo that is more tolerable for her gut.
== The cheap Mg in the local pharmacy is good for constipation but is not well absorbed. Mg Citrate is worth considering, but when anxiety is also involved, I strongly suggest Mg glycinate. The glycine also has a reputation for having a calming effect and is well absorbed. Why not let your body use the Mg before it helps with the constipation on the way out ; )
== Epsom Salt
is Mg sulfate. Both Mg and sulfate have a reputation for a calming effect. The liver uses sulfate to break down adrenaline-like substances. Some people prefer the more subtle effect of a warm foot bath but my friend likes the full bath for her stiff muscles.
== Remember another adrenal cortex hormone, aldosterone, is involved in managing levels of sodium, potassium and to some extent magnesium.
== When I am doing a round of detox I know to be aware of the stiff muscles, especially in my calfs and lower back. I take that as a reminder to add more fluids, magnesium and electrolytes.
== I can't afford the $300 saliva test every 3-4 months.
== I thought the saliva cortisol test is around $130, maybe also with DHEA. I think they have other ones that include testosterone, estrogen, but I think blood is the preferred way to test those.
== If you ever do the saliva test, I suggest that you do it on a day when you expect to be fatigued--after the stressful period has ended. You won't want to be amped up on the day of the test.
"I aslo don't have health insurance but qualify for a city program.
== This is currently a big issue in the US. We used to be more free to get a high deductible plan for major emergencies and use natural methods for routine stuff. Unfortunately the more the greedy politicians mess with health care the less freedom we seem to have and the more expensive everything becomes!
The program changes my doctor 3-4 times a year. Each time I have a new doctor it is an arduous process to convince the doctor that the low dose of hc is not dangerous and that I need it. I got tired of ignorant doctors that wanted me to go off it. I had to to fight to stay on it.
== We hear that so often in the detox groups.
== Even just 5-10mg HC can take the edge off for some people. My friend's doctor says he only needs it on stressful days. You might learn about "stress dosing" That is what the body naturally does in its production based on need.
== I'm not on HC since I don't need it. Just 10-20mg preg daily based on stress levels plus tiny dose of DHEA a few times per week feels nice and is right according to followup blood tests.
"I've been to good doctors , they are the ones that prescribed the hc. They had no problem with it naturally, as they were well educated in adrenal fatique and very pricey.
== You are so lucky to have such a doctor.
"These new out of school doctors working at the low cost services are .. not privy to adrenal fatique and believe anyone taking hc long term is dangerous.
== Don't forget the influence of insurance coverage. If your insurance does not cover it, the doctor will likely say you don't need it.
"Furthermore, my blood Sugar
started to increasingly get worse, a side affect of hc. I went into prediabetes even though I had good muscle mass, no diabetic history and eat healthy - no sugar, low wheat, etc.
== Maybe your body does not need the HC daily, just some for occasional "stress dosing."
== Ever try some chromium with meals to help smooth out the blood Sugar
and maybe help get more glucose into cells.
"I was resting a lot and went off the hc to see what it would do. Now my body has changed, I do have more fatique, but my blood Sugar
is much more manageable. On hc, I had to eat all the time.
== When my friend had gotten to around 15mg HC that her doc had recommended after the saliva and blood tests she very quickly started gaining weight around the middle. This can happen with HC.
== She's been fine with her current combo of adrenal support supps plus 5-7mg HC.
When my rest time ran out, the fatique came back. It's amazing what a low pressure, all you can sleep lifestyle can do. Unfortunately it couldn't last.
== It is not realistic. It suggests that your adrenals need at least some help during stressful times.
== Iron okay? It is involved in utilization of thyroid hormone so low levels can mimic low thyroid symptoms.
== Also I think Iron is needed for enzymes that convert progesterone towards cortisol, and testosterone to estrogen
== If your iron is low, you might not tolerate much testosterone even though you need a little. When you try T be aware of changes in libido.
"You make me wonder if I have to get back on the hc. I battle with being codependent on drugs because of my belief that every imbalance is from an unhealed/denied emotion we don't want to feel/face.
== I'm not discouraging anyone from addressing old hurts and issues. My friend still goes to support groups and occasionally gets counseling or spiritual direction. She takes time to meditate, pray, etc.
== However please don't overlook the likely biochemical factors as well! If your body is not retaining magnesium and lithium normally due to HMs and your adrenals are not working optimally, it WILL affect your mood. treating this with some combo of meds, supplements and diet can be quite nice. In some cases HM detox might be worth considering.
== My friend's life has been transformed,but it took quite a while to find the right comb of things. She does not quite yet have average health for her age, but she is getting close. She had a list of health limitations for decades.
== Good luck & God bless to you as you look for the right combo of interventions for your needs.