Cortisol, Progesterone, and Hypopituitarism
The pieces of my puzzle are coming together now.
I was prescribed Prednicarbate ointment at around 8 years old for chronic eczema that nothing worked for. I was too young to know what the medicine I was taking was – I had barely any supervision using it except that I had to take a break for a week for every two weeks using it. So that's good at least. But the amount used probably varied every single day. I used it for TEN YEARS until 18 years old. At the end I would only take maybe 5 days off in between - the eczema was so bad.
I went to a dermatologist who prescribed Elidel (non-steroid) which cleared up the eczema right away of course. But I still had no clue that my previous life-long ointment was CORTISOL. The dermatologist said I could QUIT it cold-turkey even after I expressed concern doing so.
I had also been put on synthetic hormones (birth control) a year and a half earlier which were not working out for me so I quit them too.
Little did I know my body was making no progesterone or cortisol. The misery that ensued (and continued to) was almost unbearable day-to-day.
Let's fast forward to today...
It's been seven years since quitting cortisol and synthetic hormones. I just recently made the connection between my cortisol ointment and why I've been deteriorating ever since.
One year ago I had my salivary progesterone levels tested. Almost non-existent. I've been using 400mg USP progesterone cream for a year. It has healed me from some symptoms (from the synthetic birth control hormones) but I continue to feel chronically low cortisol in my body.
I will have my salivary 4x diurnal cortisol test results in about a week – this will give me some information.
1. Is my pituitary gland permanently damaged from 10 years of cortisol use? Is there any way to heal it? I believe I am suffering from elevated CRH (much adrenaline whenever I feel stress) and diminished ACTH production.
2. Is the USP Progesterone 400mg suppressing whatever cortisol production I have or is it helping me create it?
3. Do I have to supplement with cortisol forever, or will my pituitary eventually start up again and I can wean off of cortisol?
4. I have heard taking Pregnenalone along with cortisol is good and that it suppresses CRH by 60% in the brain. How much should I take?
5. I have heard taking DHEA along with cortisol alleviates any negative effects of cortisol. How much should I take?
6. How do I tell if my pituitary is failing to make other hormones? Will the DHEA and Pregnenolone help make up for the insufficiency?
I am continuing to deteriorate in my ability to handle any stress – whether it's exogenous, internal, inflammation etc. The frequency of having a crisis episode (where my mental state feels like it's going to collapse, I can feel nothing but panic and I wish I were in a coma so I wouldn't have to go through it) is happening a lot more often. I am not new to vigorous researching about my health, but I need guidance in the area of adrenals and how to proceed. Any feedback regarding my situation would be tremendously appreciated. I thank you all for your time and generosity. I am so glad to have found a support network.