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Is my panic a hyper or hypo response to cortisol? thoughts?

Discussion in 'Adrenal Rx and Leaky Gut Rx' started by ColdBren, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. ColdBren

    ColdBren New Member

    A striking pattern of cortisol non-responsiveness to psychosocial stress in patients with panic disorder with concurrent normal cortisol awakening responses.

    Petrowski K, Herold U, Joraschky P, Wittchen HU, Kirschbaum C.

    Source

    Institute of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic Medicine, School of Medicine, Technische Universität Dresden, Fetscherstr. 74, 01307 Dresden, Germany. katja.petrowski@mailbox.tu-dresden.de

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND:

    Subtle and inconsistent differences in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity have been reported for patients with panic disorder. While these patients show little or no alterations in basal ACTH and cortisol levels, it has been hypothesized that HPA hyperresponsivity was a trait in panic patients when exposed to novel and uncontrollable stimulation.

    METHODS:

    Thirty-four patients (23 females, mean age 35 yrs) diagnosed with panic disorder were compared to 34 healthy controls matched for age, gender, smoking status, and use of oral contraceptives. Both groups were exposed twice to a potent laboratory stress protocol, the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) on consecutive days. Free salivary cortisol levels and heart rate responses were repeatedly measured before and following the TSST. In addition, the cortisol awakening response (CAR) was assessed to further investigate HPA reactivity in PD patients.

    RESULTS:

    While the TSST induced similar heart rate stress responses in both groups, cortisol responses were clearly absent in the panic patients with normal responses in the controls (F(1.96, 66)=20.16; p
     
  2. Hi Coldbren,

    I'm sorry you're having such a difficult time. I've used GABA calm from source naturals on occasion when I'm anxious and found it helps, ymmv.

    I'd suggest reading Julia Ross, the mood cure. GABA may be helpful for your anxiety/panic attacks. I think Jimmy Moore and Sean Croxton have both interviewed her in their podcasts, check it out. She also has a website if you want to google it.

    HTH
     
  3. nonchalant

    nonchalant Silver

    Hi Bren, I hope you don't mind what might be a completely off-topic comment, but I used to wake up at night in a panic. My heart would be pounding, my mind would be confused, and I'd be in a cold sweat. As soon as I woke up, however, I'd know what the problem was. I would roll onto my side, and in a few seconds, all would be well. I was pregnant, you see, and the baby was pressing on my portal vein, cutting off circulation a bit. I think the doctor said it was the portal vein. I tried never to lay on my back, or even use the recliner, but once asleep who knew where I would end up.



    I'm ever so happy that my cortisol awakening response did its job, on numerous occasions. This was from 4 months up to childbirth, with both of my pregancies. It was a bit unnerving.



    I hope you find the solution to your panic attacks soon.

    -Sally
     
  4. nonchalant

    nonchalant Silver

    Hmm, I think actually that was the vena cava, not the portal vein.
     
  5. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    http://www.longecity.org/forum/blog/61/entry-362-what-supplements-influence-cortisol-levels/
    I was trying to remember which vitamin helped with cortisol. It is b-5 and pregnenolone. Anyway, I ran into this and thought it might help you. The whole page is pretty simple and good, I think. Not rat studies. It seems Aspbergers have a chronic cortisol problem and need to not things up. It is good information to me.
     
  6. janagram

    janagram New Member

    Whaaat?? I take 5htp every night. AND I don't sleep well......? hmmmmmm
     
  7. johnnyb

    johnnyb Gold

    When sleep apnea was ravaging my brain 5 htp helped my thoughts slow and let sleep come at night. After correcting the apnea 5HTP seems to have no effect. It also helped my calm during the day.
     
  8. ColdBren

    ColdBren New Member

    Thanks so much for the responses and chocolate for that page, it was fascinating. I am more confused now though. lol
     
  9. Souldanzer

    Souldanzer Banned


    It most likely means that someone along the way suggested that people with panic disorder are hypersensitive to serotonin. This study does not support that hypothesis.
     
  10. Souldanzer

    Souldanzer Banned


    You shouldn't be taking 5-htp on it's own. It will deplete your catecholamine neurotransmitters. Always combine with tyrosine in a 1:10 ratio and use co-factors.
     
  11. Souldanzer

    Souldanzer Banned


    This study doesn't suggest that you have a problematic reaction *to* cortisol. It says that your problem might begin earlier in the processing in your brain b/c people with panic disorder don't show the expected cortisol release when under emotional stress. They call this a hyporesponsive HPA axis when under emotional stress.



    Cortisol isn't the problematic part according to this study. The problem might be that it's missing. It also says that it is specific to emotional stress b/c the subjects had a normal cortisol reaction in the morning (when cortisol rises naturally), so it's not like their cortisol response is broken in general, just in this specific case (emotional stress).
     
  12. ColdBren, do I remember correctly that you've had the night panics since you were a kid? Sounds like a bad neruopathway (I don't know if that's the correct term). I guess what I wonder is, in your case which is coming first - the panic or the adrenal rush?
     
  13. janagram

    janagram New Member

    hmm, if adrenal rush is cortisol.....then, how does that stack up with the above research?
     
  14. ColdBren

    ColdBren New Member

    I have had it since I was about 20. Am now 38. It is definitely not emotional. It only occurs after I fall asleep and can happen if I was stressed or not that day. I still dont understand the connection to cortisol, but I know this problem is related to it somehow.
     
  15. Sistagrok

    Sistagrok Shanee

    Hi Bren,

    Does it happen just as you hit sleep onset? And does it happen repeatedly after your woken up with this?
     
  16. ColdBren

    ColdBren New Member

    Yes, to both
     
  17. ShuffleUp

    ShuffleUp New Member

    Have you ever had a sleep study?
     
  18. ColdBren

    ColdBren New Member

    Yes, 2...both by CW people. No apnea and everything was normal.
     
  19. Sistagrok

    Sistagrok Shanee


    Ok, I ask those questions as that is exactly what I've been dealing with for the past few years also. I have however lessened the episodes considerably and went from 3-5 times per week down to 2-3 times per month, which has been a lifesaver for me. I had started to think I was going to lose my mind from lack of sleep, as the episodes just kept repeating themselves for hours into the night. And I woke up in the morning quite a wreck.



    The reason your sleep apnea test came back fine is because the sleep techs are trained to wait until after you go past the sleep onset stage of sleep to start counting apneic events due to "normal" ventilitory control fluctuations at sleep onset.



    I know mine to be central apnea events though, as when I woke(from the adrenalin rush) on very bad nights, I had visual disturbances(black spots) and dementia type issues , along with a drugged, over all very ill feeling, for the few minutes that I had gotten woken due to lack of oxygen. Sometimes though, I'd just get the adrenalin rush, along with myoclonus or both of them together.

    After a minute of waking, my CO levels would even out all the symptoms went away, and right back to sleep I'd go, until a few minutes later where it all repeats itself. All of this happening in a very groggy state too.



    That adrenalin rush is your body telling you to wake up and breath.



    I discovered melatonin. It does not take away the episodes at all. But...it makes you cross the thresh hold of sleep onset to sleep, much faster. The episodes don't repeat as long and as many times. Melatonin literally saved me I think. For me, the repeating went from maybe 4-5 hours of misery to less than an hour of it. Now my sleep is unbelievably good! If your interested I can go into this more with you, as for me, I have a reason why I get these episodes, and have therefore been able to control them, making them occur hardly at all anymore. Feel free to message me and ask anything you may be interested in, as I don't want to go on and on here in this forum about it. I've done more research on this than just about anything though, as for me I felt it to be a matter of life and death to fix it. :)
     
  20. ColdBren

    ColdBren New Member

    Sista grok, this is exactly what is happening. I do use melatonin now and it does help in exactly the way you explain....but if I take more than just .5 gram, I have nightmares and visual disturbances. I think the false suffocation alarm theory explains this problem best, but healing it is where I really hope the genious of the people here can help. Sorry you have it too, but glad to have someone who gets it....would love to hear any of your thoughts on it all.
     

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