- March 30, 2017 at 9:59 am #11083
I am 33 year old male and have had a multitude of strange aches, chest tightness, shortness of breath come about around 6 years ago. Prior to that, I was absolutely the picture of health, with the exception of having crippling anxiety and being a hypochondriac. I was relatively happy though and would socialize with friends, workout, etc. Now though, I have those symptoms since around 2011 and I’ve probably been to the ER around 40 times thinking it was a heart attack. I’ve been to every doctor you can think of: cardiologist, pulmonary doctors, neurologists, allergists, etc, etc etc. The only minor clue, maybe, was when I begged an endocrinologist to run some tests on me.
He ran a thyroid panel. The only thyroid level that came back ‘slightly’ out of range was my TSH, which was 3.8. He said “nowadays, that is considered subclinical hypothyroidism so you can treat it if you want”. However, my thyroid antibodies were negative so it is not Hashimotos which he said is very rare for someone to have elevated TSH and not have thyroid antibodies unless something else was causing the thyroid to be suboptimal.
** clue #2**?
He also ran a 24hr urine cortisol test on me. The normal range is 3 mcg – 55mcg. Mine was 145mcg. He did a repeat a week later and it was not as high, but still above the normal range at 69mcg. He ruled out Cushing’s disease and said some people just have high cortisol levels due to stress.
** clue #3**?
Lastly, he did a gastric emptying study to see if my chest tightness could be from food staying inside my digestive tract longer than normal. It tests how long food stays there via xrays. If over half the food they give you remains in your stomach after 90 minutes, you are considered *positive* for slow gastric emptying (gastroparesis). My stomach emptied out half the food in 88 minutes, so I had only 2 minutes to spare. My doctor said “it’s slightly sluggish”.
Does this sound like adrenal fatigue? I am truly desperate at this point.April 10, 2017 at 10:03 am #11196
Prior to that, I was absolutely the picture of health, with the exception of having crippling anxiety and being a hypochondriac
It sounds to me like your anxiety might be the source of your problem. It certainly explains the high cortisol levels. You need to try to get your stress and anxiety under control, as the longer you leave it the more your adrenal glands and HPA axis will suffer.
He ruled out Cushing’s disease and said some people just have high cortisol levels due to stress.
This is a really weak answer from your doctor. He should be suggesting things that you can do to relieve your stress and get your anxiety under control.
Exercise, meditation, and deep breathing are all good ideas. Fawne’s book contains lots and lots of ideas for reducing stress. You can also make changes to your diet to give your body a better chance of coping with stressful situations. Giving up caffeine is the most obvious one. Quitting added sugar will help too. And supplements like adaptogens can help to moderate your body’s response.
I hope that gives you a few areas to start on!
I suffered from Adrenal Fatigue, and I'm here to help as many people as I can! (Note that I'm not a doctor!)
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