Cortisol refers to the group of glucocorticoids and it is one of the most active hormones in our body, which is produced with suprarenal cortex and regulated by ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone). It’s very important for regulation of metabolic processes in the whole human organism. That’s why it’s no great surprise that they make good use of Cortisol medications for the treatment of lots of diseases.
Any type of Cortisol medication make:
– Anti-inflammatory effect;
– Immune-suppressive effect;
– Antiallergic action;
– Antishock action.
But at the same time, the effects of Cortisol on the body makes this kind of medications to be very strong and contraindicative for a number of patients. In some cases, Cortisol treatment can be even life-taking. Therefore, self-treatment with Cortisol medications is prohibited and possible only after a professional medical advice and a number of medical tests.
When it’s Time to Have a Serum Cortisol Test?
When doctors consider that the health problems of patients are affected by the Cortisol levels in the body, they appoint to have Cortisol tests. The Cortisol urine test is considered to be the best to investigate the Cortisol level in the organism. But most doctors recommend their patients to have a blood Cortisol test. This test is also called serum Cortisol test. It’s more popular among doctors and patients because it is cheaper and allows getting the testing results quicker. Besides, Cortisol blood test provides more accurate results, which are highly necessary for the diagnosis of such serious diseases as Addison disease and Cushing’s disease.
When the serum Cortisol test indicates a high Cortisol level, it may be the signs of the following disorders and diseases:
– Cushing syndrome;
– Cirrhosis of the liver;
– Terminal states;
– Uncompensated form of diabetes;
– Asthmatic states;
– State of intoxication among non-drinking people;
– Emotional stress.
Low Cortisol concentration in the blood may occur if:
– Primary adrenocortical hypofunction;
– Addison disease.
Cortisol Supplement: Kinds and Purposes
Usually, low Cortisol level is managed with the help of supplements. Chemists shops offer a wide array of Cortisol supplement: nutritional and pharmaceutical. Nutritional Cortisol supplements have a mild effect and are appropriate for long-term intake. Among them adaptogens, DHEA supplements, steroid supplements and phosphatidylserine. Phosphatidylserine is thought to be the best Cortisol supplement because it has lots of advantages and little side-effects.
Pharmaceutical Cortisol supplements include cortisone and hydrocortisone meds. Cortisone or hydrocortisone is a pharmaceutical name of Cortisol medications, which refer to the group of glucocorticoids. They are produced in different drug forms: cream, pills, suppositories, inhaler, solutions and injections. The form of medications on the basis of Cortisol predetermines their assignment and the rules of their intake. Cortisol cream, pills and injections are produced in different drug doses. Taking into the account the fact that even a low dose of hormonal preparations affect the patient’s endocrine profile much, they have to be taken only on the recommendation of specialists and under the care of physicians. In order to reduce the chance of side effects, it is important to adjust the dose and duration of hormones timely that only a specialist can do. Besides, long-term treatment with Cortisol medications should be taken with testosterone supplements to avoid its deficiency in the body, as well as foods rich in proteins. But it’s better to restrict the use of carbohydrates and salt. Finally, only a doctor should select the regimen for the intake of hydrocortisone.
When patients have signs of high Cortisol level, doctors usually recommend trying natural Cortisol inhibitors such as enough rest and sleep, more positive emotions, regular and adequate nutrition, adequate and regular physical activities. It’s a well-known fact that testosterone and Cortisol are closely interrelated since if Cortisol is elevated, testosterone concentration decreases, and vice versa. That’s why all these methods play the role of a natural testosterone booster, which decreases a Cortisol level. Most sportsmen prefer to take steroids as a quick way to increase a testosterone level thus decreasing a Cortisol level. This method is very effective but has a great number of contraindications and after-effects.
Cortisol Cream: Assignment, Advantages and Disadvantages
Cortisol in the form of a cream is a steroid drug for external use. It’s usually taken as an antihistamine drug. The concentration of the active moiety is not more than 2.5% of cortisone. Whereas it’s better not to use Cortisol cream without doctor’s advice. It’s indicated for the treatment of:
– Inflammatory conditions of the eye-ball (after the surgery as well);
– Eczema and dermatitis;
– Neurodermatitis and psoriasis;
– Itching and redness;
– Insect stings.
Some Cortisol cream is used for the treatment of medicamental rhinitis and atrophic rhinorrhea.
However, their long-term use can damage collagen, which will reduce the elasticity of the skin and make it more delicate. Steroid cream may be allergic and can also increase the sensitivity of the skin, increase the chances of damaging the blood vessels (symptoms similar to premature aging).
Another drug form of Cortisol means that it’s used for the treatment of other health problems. Thus, Cortisol pills are mostly prescribed for Addison’s disease and adrenogenital syndrome. Also, they are used for the treatment of some allergic, inflammatory, infectious-allergic, autoimmune diseases.
All Cortisol pills are for internal use. Usually, a daily dose is divided in 2:
1. 6-8am – a patient has to take 2/3 of the daily dose;
2. 17-18pm – a patient takes the rest 1/3 dose.
With a threat of stress, the daily dose is increased 2-3 times and is prescribed in 3-4 doses (in 6-8 hours).
Cortisol Injections: Types and Assignment
There are some types of injections of Cortisol. But all of them are aimed to regulate the immune system or to decrease the inflammation. The types of Cortisol shots are:
– Local injections: intra-articular injections and epidural injections;
– Intradermal injections;
– Intramuscular injections;
– Intravenous injections.
Any type of Cortisol injection has a hormonal origin and is considered to be a very strong medication. Therefore, only the attending physician after a thorough examination can prescribe these injections. The instructions for use contain only general information. Dosage, treatment and duration of therapy are determined strictly individually. Your doctor advises patients which type of cortisone injection is best for them, based on their diagnosis, age, medical history, general health, and possibly their personal preferences.
When may Cortisol Shots do Harm?
As it was already said, Cortisol injections grade to strong medications. Besides, they have a number of limits and contraindications. Like almost any hormonal drug, the Cortisol shots can lead to the development of some adverse reactions, including serious ones. One of the most serious after-effects may be connected with the excessive elevation of Cortisol level which diminishes the level of free testosterone in the blood. For both men and women, it may result in weight gain, increased fatigability, decrease in muscle muss, depression and problems with night sleep. The most frightening after-effects for men are erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. And low testosterone in women results in loss of a cycle and infertility.
But it’s worth noting that most complications were observed only in the case of a chronic administration of Cortisol shots of large doses. Several injections are unlikely to cause such serious disturbances in the body.