What is your 'average' cortisol level and Prednisone 'breaking point'?

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

MNBeachgal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 3/13/2013 8:50 PM (GMT -6)   
So I'm trying to taper off of Prednisone and doing a very slow taper. Basically I taper every few weeks (whenever my BMs are back to 'normal' for a week and I feel my body is used to the current dose).  I'm on an every other dose right now - 12.5mg one day/10mg the next. As soon as I get below 12.5mg my body seems to really notice I am tapering.
This got me wondering a bit about cortisol levels and what the 'average' is. I've read many times that 7mg is about what your body produces, but I could swear mine has to be around 12.5mg. I've tapered several times now but never this slowly so its been hard to tell in the past. But now that I'm below 12.5 and have been for a week, all the 'low dose' side effects are coming on. I am just curious what dose others feel is their 'Prednisone breaking point'?
 
On a side note, I've been doing a little research on natural ways to increase your cortisol levels. Licorice root is one of them, which I know some people on here take.  Also sleep (duh!) and even exercise raises the levels. Funny how I alwyas feel better, UC-wise, after I do a hard workout. I feel worse after it seems to wear off though. This is especially true while on Prednisone I've noticed. Just wondering if finding natural ways to increase my cortisol levels while trying to get off Prednisone might help me taper easier. At this point I'll try anything to just get off of this Prednisone for good!
--------------------------------
UC - diagnosed 1994, in remission for 10 years, currently trying to get over a flare
Meds: Prednisone 12.5mg; Colazal 3 pills/3x day, 1 mesalamine enema a day, VSL #3 DS 1/2 packet/day, Align probiotic, Ultimate Flora 30 billion, iron, calcium, folic acid, L-lysine, Zyrtec, Yasmin, multi-vitamin, evening primrose oil, zinc
Tried Imuran but it affected my pancrea

garylouisville
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 6758
   Posted 3/14/2013 7:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Just a warning that licorice can have very dangerous side effects related to blood pressure and the heart.
Asacol 400mgs 2 pillsX3; VSL#3 112.5mgs 1 pillX3; Vitamin D3 5000 ius 1 pillX2;Bentyl & Swanson DAO with meals;black cherry concentrate

Discontinued: Robinul; Natural - peppermint oil, Inflaguard (Boswellia), Pepto Bismol, Omega 3 fish oil, Imodium, Beano, Zymactive, Renew Life Probiotic 80 billion, Florastor, DGL, Monolaurin, slippery elm

aguywithuc
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 2503
   Posted 3/14/2013 7:54 AM (GMT -6)   
MNBeachgal said...
So I'm trying to taper off of Prednisone and doing a very slow taper. Basically I taper every few weeks (whenever my BMs are back to 'normal' for a week and I feel my body is used to the current dose). I'm on an every other dose right now - 12.5mg one day/10mg the next. As soon as I get below 12.5mg my body seems to really notice I am tapering.
This got me wondering a bit about cortisol levels and what the 'average' is. I've read many times that 7mg is about what your body produces, but I could swear mine has to be around 12.5mg. I've tapered several times now but never this slowly so its been hard to tell in the past. But now that I'm below 12.5 and have been for a week, all the 'low dose' side effects are coming on. I am just curious what dose others feel is their 'Prednisone breaking point'?



On a side note, I've been doing a little research on natural ways to increase your cortisol levels. Licorice root is one of them, which I know some people on here take. Also sleep (duh!) and even exercise raises the levels. Funny how I alwyas feel better, UC-wise, after I do a hard workout. I feel worse after it seems to wear off though. This is especially true while on Prednisone I've noticed. Just wondering if finding natural ways to increase my cortisol levels while trying to get off Prednisone might help me taper easier. At this point I'll try anything to just get off of this Prednisone for good!


It has to be a looooong workout, so intense but an hour or longer to kick in cortisol release. Maybe its 45 cuz I remember reading to get it all done in 30 and get out for regular body builder wanting to avoid cortisol.

But its a zero sum game you need more because the workout generated more inflammation.

Also I read prednisone is 4 times as powerful as cortisol but I know 8mg is what we produce in cortisol, last week taper from 15 to 10 resulted in a bit of edema so I know think it is important to ride the brakes on taper from 15-0 not 10-0. Picking up enough to do that taper going down 2.5 drops from 10 on down. Trying to hurry to get into surgery so may drop every 5 days not sure. See surgeon today.

MNBeachgal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 3/14/2013 8:07 AM (GMT -6)   
I do a pretty hard workout, longer than an hour and easily zone 3-4 for an hour in my cardio classes with short cooldowns. I agree, workouts cause inflamation but only in the muscles you breakdown while working out, not in your colon (unless you are working out your colon somehow!). 
 
I'd never taper pred faster than 2.5mg now, at least not below 20mg.  Don't hurry too much, although if you already having surgery you probably don't care much if it makes things more inflamed with a quick taper. I had my first normal BM this morning after starting the 12.5/10mg taper almost 2 weeks ago. So I'll try to get a week of normal BMs before tapering down to straight 10mg.
 
I still feel like 12.5mg is some sort of even point for my body. My hair is shedding alot now which seems to happen when I get down to a lower dose. Also my heart stopped racing at night now.  I do feel it takes my body 1 1/2 to 2 weeks to realize I've dropped the dose, I'm sure from being on it for so long now.
 
I'll stay away from the licorice root for now!
--------------------------------
UC - diagnosed 1994, in remission for 10 years, currently trying to get over a flare
Meds: Prednisone 12.5mg; Colazal 3 pills/3x day, 1 mesalamine enema a day, VSL #3 DS 1/2 packet/day, Align probiotic, Ultimate Flora 30 billion, iron, calcium, folic acid, L-lysine, Zyrtec, Yasmin, multi-vitamin, evening primrose oil, zinc
Tried Imuran but it affected my pancrea

aguywithuc
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 2503
   Posted 3/14/2013 10:52 PM (GMT -6)   
MNBeachgal said...
Licorice root is one of them


It does not increase actually, it blocks the removal enzyme in the liver so it 'sustains' cortisol levels but it does not trigger a more awake adrenal gland.

deltaforce
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 1941
   Posted 3/15/2013 8:11 AM (GMT -6)   
I discussed this with the clinical trial doc and he told me its equivalent to 10mg oral Pred. We were actually discussing about adrenal suppression and rectal hydrocortisone, if rectal hydrocortisone can be absorbed to a level of adrenal supression (or putting adrenals to sleep, happens when we are on high Pred dose). It turns out system concentration of rectal hydrocortisone is equivalent to 5mg of oral Pred only and the body's average levels are equivalent to 10mg oral Pred, so even if you take rectal hydrocortisone for months (like me), it will not affects the adrenals (and the study).

Now if you ask what blood levels will be otherwise, I have no clue. Since your question was referenced to Pred tapering, I thought this might be useful.
Diagnosed March 2007 with left sided UC.
Currently on daily dose of,
Colazal 9 caps, Imuran, 200mg, Vit. B12, 1mg, Multivitamin, 1 tablet, Fish oil 2400mg , Vit D 2000 IU, Benebiotics 2caps

Verapamil 320mg, Nortryptyline 20mg for migraine, Migraine episode now at least 4X a month,
Nabumetone 750mg as an abortive, so far so good with GI side effects.

Madcat25
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 1111
   Posted 3/15/2013 8:55 AM (GMT -6)   
I feel 10 is my limit. Going below that my colon starts acting out. Can't be on 10 forever can i? Also are there not cortisol supplements for bodybuilders?(i may be thinking of sonething else entirely).
ASK THE CAT
UC Forum Moderator

Ulcerative Colitis diagnosed Oct 2007. Prednisone for flares until Oct 2012. Half-remission from Remicade.
Currently on: Prednisone 10 mg, Imuran 50 mg, Remicade 300 mg (5 infusions)
Supplements: Ultimate Flora x 1, L-glutamine 1000 mg x 1

journey2health
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2687
   Posted 3/15/2013 11:25 AM (GMT -6)   
You are doing the wake up the adrenals method by daily alternating higher and lower doses.

My trouble spot was 7.5, so I did alternating 7.5 and 5, 7.5 and 2.5, 7.5 and 0, then 5 and 5, 5 and 2.5, etc...

I got well, but my adrenal function didn't come back for a long, long time. I was just on prednisone quite a while.

I don't believe in any of those cortisol supplements.

It could be that you need more than mesalamine to heal... or you just need more time.

It's good you're really trying to figure out this pred taper thing.
Pancolitis since 8/09. In remission since 6/10 - Asacol 2400 mg. daily; Rowasa 2 nights a week, calcium supplements. No gluten, corn, soy, peanuts, alcohol, processed foods -- eggs, dairy and sugar, only if unavoidable and in tiny amounts. Can't kick caffeine. Bipolar/anxiety/depression: lamictal 75 mg Lexapro 7.5 mg.
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Wednesday, October 22, 2014 6:04 PM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 2,248,739 posts in 250,145 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 157416 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, Von Awesome.
410 Guest(s), 22 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
MarieLS, scifigal2k, logoslidat, Wrap_down_unde, twingirl812, Savannah Rose, Captain Slow, Admin, ByeByeUC, Fronton, Redwing57, Giftcreations123, InTheShop, Old Mike, paulroy, Garden Peace, CarenZ, randynoguts, Von Awesome, Myself 09, stixandstonz, UCandMe


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest  Follow HealingWell.com on YouTube
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2014 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer