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Melatonin and Cortisol

Discussion in 'Optimal Reset 2013' started by Claudia, May 9, 2013.

  1. Claudia

    Claudia New Member

    My salivary cortisol test showed low cortisol am and adrenal insufficiency:

    My doc recently suggested that in addition to adrenal support I am taking with adaptogens and panthotenic acid, that I add melatonin before bedtime to RAISE cortisol in am. Anyone know anything about this? I am finding a lot on searching Internet about an inverse relationship between melatonin and cortisol. On a facebook adrenals group, I was advised that this is the WRONG way to raise am cortisol. I was told that melatonin will make things worse and lower cortisol more.

    I am struggling with BAB (have no appetite and can't seem to do it right most of the time). I am doing some CT, some grounding walking barefoot on the beach, wearing orange goggles at night and amber lightbulbs, and taking my t3 only for low thyroid (one dose of 12.5 mcg before waking up like the circadian method that is supposed to heal adrenals).

    I don't want to make things worse by following advice of my doc to take melatonin. I did try a few nights recently, 3 mg time-released melatonin. I don't have high cortisiol at night, which seems to me the melatonin would be better for. I don't have sleep issues, no problems falling asleep, never have insomnia, don't have trouble falling back to sleep. I do have "normal"wakings and I get up to pee and then, right back to sleep. I don't wake up refreshed so that correlates with the low am cortisol.

    Here are saliva cortisol results:

    Morning cortisol 11.3 (range 6.0-42.0 nmol/L)
    midday, noon, 9.2 (2.0-11.0)
    4pm, 9.1 (2.0-11.0)
    evening, 8pm 2.9 (1.0-8.0)

    Cortisol Daily, total 32.5 (11.0-76.0)

    DHEAS Values
    morning 13.9 (range 2.5-25.0)
    DHEAS/Cortisol RATIO AM 1.23 HIGH (0.20-0.60 RATIO)

    I will do another salivary panel at the end of June to see where I am.

    Thanks you all :) for any advice, particularly about melatonin and cortisol raising or lowering.
  2. caroline

    caroline Moderator

    I don't know if this will help you .....awhile ago I was taking a time release melatonin and I didn't seem to be using it until way later ..... Consequently my am melatonin was crazy hi. Dr. K. Thought it would interfere with the leptin reset because it wasn't breaking down when it should. I wasn't at all hungry in the morning and I think that is why. Dr. K said to try just regular melatonin if I wanted .....but I don't think he is a fan.....and everyone is different.....that was going to be a question at the next consult.

    Personally - if you don't have sleep issues - I wouldn't use it. Maybe look for other culprits... Like EMFs are you staying off your laptop /ipad at nite time and try no TV .....and are you makig sure you leave at least 4 hours tween your last meal and bedtime?

    Have you looked into the magnetico sleep pad? It seems to be making a huge difference for many here. Have you listened to the sleep webinar?
  3. nonchalant

    nonchalant Silver

    Claudia, you are looking at the sunrise, right? I know when I see the sun it really seems to set things in motion for me. Appetite, energy, bowels...
    I had a similar 4x cortisol profile last year, where my AM cortisol was low. I recently took just an AM cortisol test, it was much better. I do not take melatonin at all. I stopped taking adrenal support early last year.

    I'm hoping the next time I take a cortisol test, it will be even higher.

    Oh, how about taking pregnenolone, the precursor to cortisol (and other steriod hormones)? I've been taking that; it probably is also helping.
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
  4. JanSz

    JanSz Gold


    At least cortisol goes down steadily

    Being on this board you already know most of the right stuff to do.

    daily routine that enforces Cricadian rhythm, day/night cycle, BAB, CT, barefoot over wet ground, EMF exposure, good water, tanning to sun, vit D(100-150), K2, mostly Omega3 food, minimize Omega6 food, +70% good fat, no industrial fats, (selenium+ tons of iodine) no carbohydrates of the kind that raise glucose and insulin

    I would like to address adaptogens and panthotenic acid.

    I think that that is good move
    you want to pay for your doctors expenses for very long time
    it is move in right direction
    it will take long time and you will newer know which way you are going and why, just lots of guessing.

    In the test above you show that you are missing
    50% of cortisol
    50% of DHEA

    Cortisol and DHEA are Steroid Hormones.

    There is many steroid hormones, look here,
    spend some time on this post and the links there:

    Look at the table there which shows cortisol and DHEAs participation by weight in Steroid Hormone Panel.

    are missing half of all your steroid hormones by weight.

    My suggestions:
    trust but verify

    verify=to figure out if what you are doing is right you must have a way of verifying (hand-waving does not count)
    that will exclude most of saliva tests, blood spot tests

    what you are doing must be compatible with (Epi-Paleo Rx)----> you will be wet and have a dirty skin often, you do not want to rely on something that you put on skin

    What to do:

    1---Check, optimize, verify your micronutrients (using Spectracell Comprehensive Nutritional Panel ) + iodine

    2---Check, optimize, verify your Steroid Hormone Panel (using part of LabCorp tests from my list)

    3---Check, optimize, verify your Thyroid Hormone Panel (using part of LabCorp tests from my list)

    4---Check, optimize, verify you Fatty Acid Panel (using Genova and/or Mayo tests)


    Depending on how complicated is your case, how your insurance works and your finances, you may at the extreme, do all of the above without doctor's participation, except for occasional consult with dr Kruse.

    Unless you need testosterone, all else is available otc or from internet.

    Micronutrients----Spectracell will tell you what you are missing, take a pill for that, 6 months latter Spectracell will tell you which hole to plug next.

    Steroids----in first phase your work horses are:

    Pregnenolone Micronized Lipid Matrix from Nutricology, 150mg tabs
    DHEA Micronized Lipid Matrix from Allergy Research, 50mg tabs
    if you are after good price buy by the dozens from HerbsPro.com

    With luck, above should provide you with complete Steroid Hormone Panel optimization at least for the first half of menstrual cycle.
    In second half you may be missing some progesterone, if you do, Prometrium to the rescue.

    To figure out proper pregnenolone-MLM and DHEA-MLM dose
    take a pill or two or more of each
    multiple pills of each divide and take about half at wakeup the rest 3-4 hrs latter
    test month latter, see where you are (or post results here, send me PM, I will give you me non-proffessional opinion, I am not a doctor).
    I am 73yo man who is doing just that for number of years and it works for me.
    I was starting from a point lower than yours and was able to claim out of the hole.

    If you can, ask doctor to do a whole LabCorp list at least once a year.
    Do blood draw on day 3-4 of your cycle.

    If you need to compromise, you may not need doctor's script, you can buy it online.
    I will help you with that if need arise.


    There is more, but above should give you good start.

    Last edited: May 10, 2013
  5. Claudia

    Claudia New Member

    Thanks Nonchalant. I wouldn't say I'm looking at the sunrise, no. When I wake up, usuallly about 7:30am, I go straight to my bathroom window, open it, and look into the sun. I do that for a few minutes and then, go rush to get the kids ready for school. I just asked for pregnenlone to be checked and I will find out what that number is pretty soon. You are taking pregnenlone?
  6. Claudia

    Claudia New Member

    Yeah, I'm leaning toward not taking the melatonin and I have stopped it for now. What about 5-HTP? That seems to help boost melatonin and maybe that would help. Interesting that Dr. K is not a fan. I am not a silver or gold member so I didn't hear the sleep webinar. I haven't purchased webinars as they are too costly for me. I have attended a few of the free Q&A sessions, they are excellent.
  7. Claudia

    Claudia New Member

    Thank you so much for your reply JanSz, There is so much here for me to digest. What do you mean by tons of iodine? I am doing most of the rest of the things, like the walking barefoot in the wet sand, a little CT, struggling with the BAB right now. I had done the leptin reset back at the end of 2011 and I thought I was LS and I stopped doing it. But based on many of my labs, low DHEA, high SHBG, etc., Dr. K says I need the BAB. I have no appetite in the morning. I am working on it. I think I need to be more strict about stopping all eating earlier and then, maybe I will feel hungrier in the morning. I am also a mom of 2 and focused on cooking my kids very healthy Paleo breakfasts so they are ready for school and then, mom comes last usually or there just isn't enough time for all of us. I need to start putting myself at least on the same level as them :).
    Last tested, My iodine level was low at 44 (52-109 mcg/L), performed by Quest. I started taking kelp and bladderwrack in capsules. I was afraid to take Lugol's or another. I didn't want to take too much. I also have dulse flakes that I sprinkle in water.
    I take 7-KETO DHEA for a few months now. I don't know if it's working. I just had more blood taken on 4/26. My doc is very thorough and my insurance seems to cover all my lab work.
    I just asked for pregnenlone to be added to my labs. I'll find that out in June.
    My thyroid turned up with pretty low ft3 and high rt3 last year. I was started on t3 only, began with 5mcg, then 10mcg. I take 12.5 mcg Cynomel ordered from Mexico and I take that because I cut the 25 in half. I try to take a circadian dose about 1-2 hours before I wake up. It really seems to help. I feel more energized when I wake up. This is a method of taking the t3 called circadian method that is supposed to help adrenals. My doc doesn't know anything about it. Most who do this method take a lot more t3 than I am taking but my doc doesn't want me to take anymore and frankly, I am unsure of going this route. I don't like taking any meds at all and this was a big deal for me as it is.

    I'm in the sun (no sunscreen) a lot, also take v D, my water is reverse osmosis and I add 1 tsp. sea salt to it, I drink a lot of water, I have forgotten the vitamin K but I was taking it last year, and I do 70-75% healthy fat, about 15% protein, and very low carbs from veggies and some dark chocolate. I do eat as much seafood as I could, mostly grass-fed beef, bison, eggs, some salmon, raw butter and coconut oil.

    I stay up a bit later than I should but my H gets home from work late and I wait to see him with my orange glasses on :).

    Thanks for your help Jan Sz.

    I have lots of other labs here is you can help with that I can post more. I will get the results of my recent end of April test when I go back to the doc in June.
  8. caroline

    caroline Moderator

    sorry Claudia - don't know about 5-HTP ... and I am not really sure about how Dr. K feels about melatonin - I certainly don't want to put words in his mouth - I am sure tho that it would depend on your situation. I found that when the seasons changed here in Oz - my sleep was crap even with melatonin - so I just thought why bother taking it? Lately I have tried magnesium orate 1 hour before bed and that seems to be working great ... and also mag malate around 3 pm.
    Dr. K also suggested walking in damp grass barefooted around 4-6pm.
    Also - light cycles are huge for me ... I need to set when the sun does! and if I use my ipad - I can forget about sleeping that nite ......bothers me way more than my laptop.
    Alex97232 likes this.
  9. Claudia

    Claudia New Member

    That's interesting Caroline about the iPad. I don't have one anyway but I am on the computer when the kids go to sleep. Usually for about 1 hour I am doing some work then.
    My sleep is fine. I am sleepy at night. I don't have an issue with sleep at all, fall asleep fine. I am tired in the morning. I have always had a hard time waking up in the morning but worse as I've gotten older. I don't wake up refreshed. That goes with the low morning cortisol. So, I wasn't told to use melatonin to help me with sleep but to raise morning low cortisol. Honestly, I'm afraid that taking it could actually cause problems down the road. I'm lucky I don't have sleep issues so why mess with that. But I do want to raise morning cortisol as it's not even close to the high end of the range where it should be.
    Also, caroline, have you tried the orange glasses at night and the amber lightbulb.
  10. caroline

    caroline Moderator

    Yes - Absolutely ... the orange glasses made a huge difference for me! I don't turn on any lights at all in the evening and don't watch much TV. When I first started wearing the glasses - i would get drowsy very quickly. I am very affected by lite cycles and EMF.

    Your morning should start like this ....... wake up and go outside and look at the sun ..... have an orgasm and then have your BAB.

    I can't remember - have you had a saliva ASI done so you know the status of your hormones?
    My Progesterone was extremely low and my am cortisol was as well. Have you read the adrenal R/X?

    I had many years of extreme stress when my husband was very ill so everything was depleted.

    Have you had your pregnenolone checked? It can be shunted to cortisol or progesterone. Also have you read Suzanne Somer's books?
    Alex97232 likes this.
  11. Claudia

    Claudia New Member

    I did have saliva tests. I think I posted the results above on this thread.
    I know my progesterone is a bit low. I tried progesterone cream, compounded, and I felt absolutely awful on it. The doc I was seeing prescribed 200mg dose, which is very high from what I understand. I am 44 and having very regular cycles and no signs of menop but def in perimeno. The progesterone made me feel so lethargic and so depressed, I couldn't take care of my kids. I had the worst week, couldn't function, and gained 5 lbs in one week and couldn't fit in my clothes. It was so bad. My cycle came early by 3 days when I am usually right on 28 days. The following month, I tried it again but used a lot less cream, estimating it was about 50mg, 1/4 of the spoon. Same symptoms so I discontinued. I'm afraid to try it again. I did try Prometrium, oral, 100mg, and that didn't give me any symptoms, but I didn't like taking it because it has artificial colors and additives and fillers and that felt like I was putting more crap in my body to detox.
    I just asked for pregnenolone to be checked and don't know the result yet. What do you mean by shunted? I have read a couple of Suzanne Somers books and found them to be very interesting. I don't have a doctor who knows what they are doing with this. The one who prescribed the prog cream at such a high dose clearly doesn't know what she is doing.

    Is it not enough to stick my head out the window and look at the sun? I'm up on the second floor. I can't actually go outside then because I have many things to do to get the kids ready for school. Orgasm isn't in the cards for me, except maybe on the weekends.

    I haven't read the adrenal Rx. Or I may have read it awhile ago. Is it hard to find? I find that sometimes the blogs have strange names and I can't find what I am looking for to re-read something
    Thanks Caroline.
  12. caroline

    caroline Moderator

    I agree that sometimes the blogs are hard to find .. and sometimes I think I am losing my mind because I think the names of the blogs have changed???? Martin just posted in his journal how it is huge to go back and re read the blogs - sometimes I would swear that I never saw them before even tho I read everything that JK writes. Your perception and understanding does change - JK always says we are looking at them with new eyes! I will check out the adrenal R/X and get back to you.

    In Suzanne Somers book - Breakthrough .... she talks about all the hormones ..
    in the adrenal cascade, pregnenolone is the first hormone to be made from Cholesterol, and progesterone is the second. Both can be converted into several other hormones besides DHEA including the sex hormones, aldosterone and cortisol.
    This is a really good book in my view - she details all the hormones and is easy to understand.

    Yes - I think looking out the window is okay ... no screen?

    When you have time - read the oxytocin thread in the cave - it is extremely important....don't overlook or underestimate this...... there is a blog on this too - I will find it and let you know ....
    Alex97232 likes this.
  13. caroline

    caroline Moderator

    I assume you have read Hormones 101

    Brain Gut 16 - adrenal fatigue

    Brain Gut 10 - the other trip through the rabbit hole

    Happy reading!
    Alex97232 likes this.
  14. Melanie Procter

    Melanie Procter New Member

    I find incredible benefit from this too.
  15. WereBear

    WereBear New Member

    I also take pregnenolone. I find if I wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble getting back to sleep, taking 25 mg then helps a lot. I also use a salt lamp after sundown and amber sunglasses. My laptop has the f.lux program on it which is a great reminder of the time going by. I shut everything down an hour or so before sleep and just read.

    Also, I wear a sleep mask and that does wonders... just try different ones until you find a style you like. I hit my favorite on the fourth try.

    The problem with melatonin, as I understand it, is that normal body function creates it after four hours of total darkness. You can't recreate that with a pill. Also, by taking it yourself, you are undercutting your body's own signals. We don't want to confuse them.
    Alex97232 likes this.

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