Doctor insights on:
What Does It Mean When Your Cortisol Levels Are Low
Collection time ?: Well it depends on the time of when your cortisol level was checked. Maximal level of cortisol is usually between 5:00a-8:00am with the lowest (nadir) levels being after 5pm (almost zero level by bedtime). If you're having symptoms such as malaise, increased napping, headaches, stomach ache or low bs, you may have adrenal insufficiency and will need referral to an endocrinologist for further testing. ...Read more
Cortisol tests: In normal people cortisol goes up and down throughout the day, although it is higher in am than in pm. Therefore, it is hard to define what is "low". An afternoon cortisol of 5 may be perfectly normal. Adrenal failure is called addison's disease and is dangerous, but a random cortisol usually cannot be used to diagnose addision's. An acth stim test may be needed if this diagnosis is considered. ...Read more
Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands. It is called the stress hormone, and is produced in response to either a physical stress or a mental stress, or both.
Cortisol has a diurnal pattern, which means it starts highest in the morning and drops gently, and then is very low at night.
Low cortisol is using referring to the flattening of the usual curve so that it is lower than it should be. ...Read more
Complex: Hi. "Low cortisol" could be normal or sign of disease. I must assume your doctor checked cortisol because of some symptoms you've been having & maybe some findings on physical exam. Cortisol fluctuates throughout the day, so WHEN it's drawn does matter. Is your ACTH high? If your doc thinks you're underproducing cortisol, provocative testing may be needed if primary problem pituitary not adrenal ...Read more
How high?: It depends on how high it is above normal? If mildly elevated and if you don't have symptoms of cushing's syndrome: fat at mid section, stretch marks in the abdomen, moon-face, buffalo humps... Then this might be just the way you are. If it's very high and you have symptoms of the above, see your doctor to make sure you don't have a pituitary or adrenal tumor overproducing cortisol. ...Read more
How low are cortisol levels at the very end of the day (bedtime)? I had mine checked and it was at 1.0 after being awake for 16 hours.
Is <0.8mcg/dl cortisol really low after taking dexamethasine the night before? What does that mean if it's low, is it extremely low or just low
It means exactly what it says -your health is impaired.
Has any doctor told you that you have low cortisol? If yes but she/he has doe nothing about it find another doctor who will treat you better. ...Read more
Stress: There are many causes of high cortisol. I will mention one- stress. Usually cortisol is high in am and low in pm. Recent studies are showing woman in the workforce having higher pm cortisol levels associated with job stress. Other causes of high pm cortisol should be addressed by your doctor. ...Read more
Adrenal insufficienc: People with adrenal insufficiency will have low cortisol levels. However, this is a very rare disorder. Just getting a random blood cortisol level is usually not of any value (saliva cortisol levels are worthless for this diagnosis). If you have symptoms of weight loss, loss of appetite, low blood pressure when standing, darkening of the skin, it is worth seeing an endocrinologist about it. ...Read more
By itself nothing: Cortisol levels are drawn to rule Cushing's / Addison's in or out. Random salivary / urinary / 24 hour urinary / blood levels must be interpreted in light of your clinical picture. Addison's is typically diagnosed when cortisol won't rise appropriately in response to ACTH stimulation; Cushing's etc. when it won't suppress with dexamethasone. I hope this helps. ...Read more
When it was done.
Cortisol levels are higher in the am (15.3 would be normal) then in the pm (this level would be too high for the pm) ask your doctor why he/she drew it in the first place. ...Read more
I found out that I have low fasting cortisol 111 nmol/l, does that mean all my adrenal hormones are low?
WHile your: Result is low, one abnormal test doesn't make a diagnosis. It needs to be repeated with a 8am blood cortisol at a quality lab and correlated with historical and physical exam data (plus potentially other lab tests) by your physician. Besides, the other adrenal hormones are controlled by different mechanisms than cortisol. ...Read more
Recent tests showed my 9am plasma cortisol level was high (644 nmo/L ref range 170 — 550nml/L) and 11pm salivary cortisol normal. What can this mean?
Stress: Chronic stress can cause elevated cortisol--although it could also be due to your diabetes. I suggest DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), 25 mg in the morning. DHEA should help to normalize your cortisol, and help you handle stress. I also suggest 1,000 mg mastic gum (available on line or from a health food store) for your abdominal distress--may be able to discontinue Rabeprazole. ...Read more
Stress: Cortisol is produced by our adrenal glands and we release more cortisol in response to stress. This could be either emotional stress or physiological stress such as low blood sugar, allergic reactions, toxic exposures etc. Rarely it could be a sign of cushing's disease (hyperadrenalism) or an adrenal tumor but this is unlikely, a holistic doctor may help you determine the source of stress. ...Read more
Severe symptoms: Patients with true addison's disease have severe symptoms that include: orthostatic hypotension (blood pressure drops when standing leading to lightheadedness), loss of appetite (that can be as extreme as nausea/vomiting), weight loss; weakness, fatigue, darkening of the skin. It may present as a chronic illness, suggesting an underlying cancer, as a result, the diagnosis is missed frequently. ...Read more
Probably not...: Probably not but the more important question is why was the cortisol level drawn in the first place? Reference ranges for cortisol are almost meaningless as cortisol levels are affected by so many things... Including time of day, one's stress level, etc. Having said that, in some contexts, a 8am cortisol value of 6.7 mcg/dl might be considered a bit low. Best to get the advice of the doctor who drew it. ...Read more
Cortisol levels: No, a workout would not do this. But what is meant by "abnormally low cortisol"? Cortisol varies considerably throughout the day. You do not really want a cortisol that is "high" (Cushing's syndrome) or "low" (Addison's disease). If you feel well enough to work out, then who is measuring your cortisol, and why? ...Read more
What causes low cortisol level even after you have been on medication s for more than six months?
Need more informatio: What medications have you been on? How do know your cortisol level is low? Do you have any symptoms? We need more information to provide any reasonable answer. ...Read more
What does it mean when my cortisol level is 0.7 at 8am after a dose of dexamethasone the night before?
Normal: Hi. Your doctor ran a standard screening test for Cushing's syndrome, the overnight dexamethasone suppression test. Your cortisol in response to dexamethasone suppressed normally (normal cortisol suppression should be less than 1.8 or so). Therefore, the data are consistent with you not having Cushing's syndrome. ...Read more
I had cortisol blood test at 8:20 in the morning my level is 19.9 what it means is it considered high.
Don't know: Why you would have had a morning cortisol done, but your value is normal. If you're concerned about cortisol excess, the afternoon (4pm) value or a suppression test may help. Talk w/your doctor. ...Read more
My serum cortisol levels came back 5.4 mcg/dl. What is the range for serum cortisol levels? What do these results mean? Thank You :-)
Impossible to know: Cortisol flucutates thorught the course of the day and can be extremly labial being affected by medicaitons, stree, other ilness etc. Wihtout known all of these factors it is impoisble to state what an isolated value means ...Read more
If some one fast for 21 days will the insulin and cpeptide levels be low if they have prediabetes also will there cortisol levels be high?
Yes but why fast...: Insulin and c-peptide will be low if you fast. 21 days is not recommended for anyone. Diabetes and prediabetes will not affect these levels in any reliable way. I also do not expect cortisol levels to be particularly helpful. If you are concerned about dm or prediabetes, the answer is a fasting glucose test and a hemoglobin a1c. ...Read more
Dr gave me steroid pill to take at nite and get cortisol am check and it was low at 1.3 normal range is 7-20. What does this mean for me. Very confuse?
Was the blood drawn in the AM or PM.
Ask the provider who drew it what he was looking for and how to interpret the results ...Read more
Many options: I don't know how your docs may treat but I'd advise adrenal supporting herbs like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola & Cordyceps, reducing stress (both physical & emotional), healthy low-glycemic diet, adequate rest & meditation. Treat any infections (including chronic low-grade ones) & avoid allergens/allergenic foods (often undiagnosed). Consider adrenal glandular extracts. See http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/ ...Read more
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