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Old 01-25-08, 03:49 AM
fredonian fredonian is offline
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Face to Face: Adderall and Cortisol?

I fret to bring up the cortisol issue but I've done several searches and can't seem to find the information or answers I seek. While this question may be more for the bodybuilder types who take adderall, I would greatly appreciate any input from anyone who might have a clue.

My issue is that I think I am suffering from elevated levels of cortisol. I've read on here how amphetamines can elevate cortisol levels significantly and (sort of) understand how they can negatively affect the body and mind in high levels, but I have not been able to find out how one can combat them (short of discontinuing stimulant medications). I started Adderall XR (15mg BID) in Feburary 2007. Having inattentive type ADD, before taking Adderall I always suffered from lack of energy. I was always stiff and achie and moved like a slug. Once I started Adderall, my aches and pains were relieved to the point that I started to excercise daily. I also adopted healthier eating habbits. I went from weighing 290 pounds to now weighing 240.

My excercise regimen is mostly aerobic, and while I joined a gym, I must admit I don't do enough weight training (only once a week if I am lucky) and mostly just stick with an hour of aerobic excercise daily. The problem that I have had is that I've noticeably lost enough muscle mass to the point that I am seriously concerned. I've researched a bit and it seems it might be my cortisol level.

If this is the case I wonder how I might combat the problem? Would taking a beta blocker (propranalol - inderall) might help reduce my cortisol levels? Are there any other suplements or drugs that might help while on adderall? Strangely I did a brief (3 week) trial of Vyvanse (DEX) and it seemed that my cortisol levels dropped because I started looking and feeling healthier. My face had a glow to it instead of looking as if I had been up all night. I had to stop Vyvanse because it got to where I felt drained all the time. I blame that on the extended release and wonder if IR would be better. I would consider trying DEX IR but my doctor always frowns and does not like to prescribe it. Your thoughts or suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated?

Charles (aka Fat A_S) in Texas

Last edited by BR549; 04-15-13 at 01:12 AM.. Reason: paragraph breaks only
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Old 01-28-08, 09:08 PM
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Re: Face to Face: Adderall and Cortisol?

Someone please hand me another water bucket...this post is sinking to the bottom fast. I should have titled it RMS TITANIC.
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Old 01-28-08, 09:27 PM
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Re: Face to Face: Adderall and Cortisol?

Are you consuming enough water and are you sure that it's muscle mass that you're losing and not body fat?
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Old 01-29-08, 10:03 AM
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Re: Face to Face: Adderall and Cortisol?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredonian View Post
I fret to bring up the cortisol issue but I've done several searches and can't seem to find the information or answers I seek. While this question may be more for the bodybuilder types who take adderall, I would greatly appreciate any input from anyone who might have a clue. My issue is that I think I am suffering from elevated levels of cortisol. I've read on here how amphetamines can elevate cortisol levels significantly and (sort of) understand how they can negatively affect the body and mind in high levels, but I have not been able to find out how one can combat them (short of discontinuing stimulant medications). I started Adderall XR (15mg BID) in Feburary 2007. Having inattentive type ADD, before taking Adderall I always suffered from lack of energy. I was always stiff and achie and moved like a slug. Once I started Adderall, my aches and pains were relieved to the point that I started to excercise daily. I also adopted healthier eating habbits. I went from weighing 290 pounds to now weighing 240. My excercise regimen is mostly aerobic, and while I joined a gym, I must admit I don't do enough weight training (only once a week if I am lucky) and mostly just stick with an hour of aerobic excercise daily. The problem that I have had is that I've noticeably lost enough muscle mass to the point that I am seriously concerned. I've researched a bit and it seems it might be my cortisol level. If this is the case I wonder how I might combat the problem? Would taking a beta blocker (propranalol - inderall) might help reduce my cortisol levels? Are there any other suplements or drugs that might help while on adderall? Strangely I did a brief (3 week) trial of Vyvanse (DEX) and it seemed that my cortisol levels dropped because I started looking and feeling healthier. My face had a glow to it instead of looking as if I had been up all night. I had to stop Vyvanse because it got to where I felt drained all the time. I blame that on the extended release and wonder if IR would be better. I would consider trying DEX IR but my doctor always frowns and does not like to prescribe it. Your thoughts or suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated?

Charles (aka Fat A_S) in Texas

Interesting question. I've never really read anything about cortisol levels and Adderall. I have been slowly but surely gaining muscle mass over the past few years, and taking Adderall, if anything, actually increases my workout results on days I hit the gym after work (as I'm more alert, focused, motivated). My '6-pack' hasn't dissapeared while on Adderall, either.

I'm in the same boat as you. I have Inattentive ADHD, and my p-doc says there is evidence to support a Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT) subtype, and that's basically me. In addition, I suffer from persistent dysthymia. Add Inattentive ADHD + dysthymia= chronic fatigue!

I take 250-500mg L-Carnitine on Adderall days, in addition to a small Magnesium supplement at night. I alternate between a few high-quality multivitamins (in winter I put an emphasis on B vitamins) and take a GNC Double-Strength Fish Oil gelcap daily. On the weekends I take the "Fatigued to Fantastic Energy Revitilization Formula"- it's a multivitamin in a shake and a potent B-complex capsule. Available at Whole Foods or online.

I'm in pretty good shape, workout 3-4 times per week, and engage in all kinds of outdoors activitites. I'm 6'1, 175 lbs so I certainly don't look like I have issues with fatigue, but my whole life I've always been low energy, depressed, lethargic, and have this persistent 'brain fog'. I have to push myself to do ANYTHING! Being only 27, this is very frustrating.

I take two Adderall XR's daily Mon-Thu (15mg @ 6am and 10mg 1:30-2pm). I work 4/10hr days by choice, and like to run errands on workdays so I can actually enjoy my weekends. Going to the grocery store or Home Depot on a weekend without my meds would be a miserable, all day venture, and would frankly ruin my weekend! When I take Adderall, I feel like a healthy, alive, alert, normal person- for basically the first time in my life.

I make a point to eat a lot of protein (a can of tuna is an excellent between meal snack) and drink a LOT of water. Eat several smaller portions of meals throughout the day.

I would recommend seeing a General Practioner that is an M.D. but focuses on alternative medicine. I have basically come to the conclusion that I pretty much need meds in order to function in the adult world, but many side effects can be managed without taking another med.

Also, I'm weening off of Paxil verrrrrrrrrry verrrrrrrry slowly, as SSRIs make me even more sedated than I naturally am. I will probably be starting a low dose of Wellbutrin within the next month. That should help with the depression/low mood/low energy, which all come back in full force on the weekends when I don't take Adderall. I saw your other post re: drug holidays and after taking Adderall during the week I get used to feeling more functional, so Wellbutrin should (according to my p-doc) raise my baseline mood (and therefore energy) levels which will inherently close the gap between the Adderall and non-Adderall days.

My p-doc did say that I can take Adderall EVERY DAY and I shouldn't build a tolerance. That being said, I still prefer to take it 5 days per week at the most.

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Old 01-29-08, 12:11 PM
adhdogwalker adhdogwalker is offline
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Re: Face to Face: Adderall and Cortisol?

I really don't know too much about adderall and cortisol, but here's something to consider. I was a vegetarian for years and, despite constant exercise could never really build enough muscle mass-- I was skinny but never as toned as I wanted to be despite lots of running and weightlifting. When a vegetarian, I did make every effort to consume enough protein. I'm sure my diet was heavy on the carb side since I didn't eat any meat and I think this was a lot of the problem. Anyhow, about a year ago, I found out I had Celiac's disease and have to be on a special diet for it. I can no longer consume anything with gluten (no wheat, oats, barley or rye). Naturally, most carb food types are eliminated from this diet. I eat a very high protein diet-- meat, fish, nuts, cheese, fruits, vegetables. I can eat rice and potatoes but don't eat a lot of them. I now have more energy than ever and build and maintain muscle very easily. Furthermore, now that I rarely consume carbohydrate-laden foods, I really notice that they make me feel like crap if I eat too many. You might just want to try changing your diet and eliminating most grain products and see if this makes a difference. It sure did for me. And another aside, I've always been slender but am now more slender as a result of my dietary change. My mom has to follow the same diet and she lost 30 lbs. without trying and without worrying about what she ate.
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Old 02-05-08, 04:02 AM
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Re: Face to Face: Adderall and Cortisol?

Thanks for the tips guys. I will try them out and continue to follow this post.
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Old 03-26-08, 12:48 PM
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Re: Face to Face: Adderall and Cortisol?

have looked into this also. big worry of mine

i dont want that midsection body fat from cortisol!


the only thing that is thought to help is high high vitamin C dosages throughout the day. ie 5000mg per day broken into 3 lots.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fredonian View Post
I fret to bring up the cortisol issue but I've done several searches and can't seem to find the information or answers I seek. While this question may be more for the bodybuilder types who take adderall, I would greatly appreciate any input from anyone who might have a clue. My issue is that I think I am suffering from elevated levels of cortisol. I've read on here how amphetamines can elevate cortisol levels significantly and (sort of) understand how they can negatively affect the body and mind in high levels, but I have not been able to find out how one can combat them (short of discontinuing stimulant medications). I started Adderall XR (15mg BID) in Feburary 2007. Having inattentive type ADD, before taking Adderall I always suffered from lack of energy. I was always stiff and achie and moved like a slug. Once I started Adderall, my aches and pains were relieved to the point that I started to excercise daily. I also adopted healthier eating habbits. I went from weighing 290 pounds to now weighing 240. My excercise regimen is mostly aerobic, and while I joined a gym, I must admit I don't do enough weight training (only once a week if I am lucky) and mostly just stick with an hour of aerobic excercise daily. The problem that I have had is that I've noticeably lost enough muscle mass to the point that I am seriously concerned. I've researched a bit and it seems it might be my cortisol level. If this is the case I wonder how I might combat the problem? Would taking a beta blocker (propranalol - inderall) might help reduce my cortisol levels? Are there any other suplements or drugs that might help while on adderall? Strangely I did a brief (3 week) trial of Vyvanse (DEX) and it seemed that my cortisol levels dropped because I started looking and feeling healthier. My face had a glow to it instead of looking as if I had been up all night. I had to stop Vyvanse because it got to where I felt drained all the time. I blame that on the extended release and wonder if IR would be better. I would consider trying DEX IR but my doctor always frowns and does not like to prescribe it. Your thoughts or suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated?

Charles (aka Fat A_S) in Texas
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Old 05-21-08, 11:55 AM
Iluvskittles Iluvskittles is offline
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Re: Face to Face: Adderall and Cortisol?

I think ritalin may increase corisol...Increased cortisol means increased anxiety and stress...add/stimulants make some people nervous and anxiety..so theres my non-medical answer
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Old 05-21-08, 12:09 PM
Iluvskittles Iluvskittles is offline
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Re: Face to Face: Adderall and Cortisol?

Phosphatidylserine lowers cortisol
so does: vit c, and mayb passion flower or L- thenine
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Old 05-22-08, 09:27 PM
Iluvskittles Iluvskittles is offline
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Re: Face to Face: Adderall and Cortisol?

Bump~!
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Old 05-22-08, 09:46 PM
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Re: Face to Face: Adderall and Cortisol?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iluvskittles View Post
.Increased cortisol means increased anxiety and stress.
Yeah my very first libray studying(high school 1987 or so) on my problems "Shyness" lead me to that I might have high levels of cortisol.

Quote:
1: Child Dev. 2007 May-Jun;78(3):927-37.
Links
Salivary biomarker levels and diurnal variation: associations with medications prescribed to control children's problem behavior.
Hibel LC, Granger DA, Cicchetti D, Rogosch F.

The Pennsylvania State University, Unviersity Park, PA 16803, USA.

This study examined associations between medications prescribed to control children's problem behaviors and levels of, and diurnal variation in, salivary cortisol (C), testosterone (T), and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Saliva was collected in the morning, midday, and afternoon from 432 children ages 6-13 years. Relative to a no-medication comparison group, children taking (1) antipsychotics had higher DHEA levels and flat C diurnal rhythms, (2) Ritalin or Adderall had flat T diurnal rhythms, (3) Concerta had higher T and DHEA levels, (4) antidepressants had flat DHEA diurnal rhythms, and (5) hypotensives had flat DHEA diurnal rhythms and higher T levels. Medications prescribed to control children's problem behaviors should be monitored in studies of the endocrine correlates and consequences of developmental psychopathology.

PMID: 17517013 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
That suggest Adderall does not effect cortisol levels.

Quote:
1: Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2006 Sep;85(1):123-31. Epub 2006 Aug 23.
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Cortisol effects of D-amphetamine relate to traits of fearlessness and aggression but not anxiety in healthy humans.
White TL, Grover VK, de Wit H.

Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA. Tara_White@Brown.edu

The current study utilized personality measures thought to relate to noradrenergic and catecholamine function (i.e., sensation seeking, anxiety and aggression) to investigate individual differences in amphetamine-induced increases in cortisol. The goal of the study was to better understand variations in responses to psychostimulants in healthy volunteers. METHOD: A placebo-controlled within-subjects investigation of salivary cortisol responses to oral D-amphetamine (20 mg) was conducted in seventy (N=70) young adults. Personality traits were assessed using the Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI), Sensation Seeking Scale Form V (SSS-V) and the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire-Brief Form (MPQ-BF). RESULTS: A more rapid rise in salivary cortisol after d-amphetamine was associated with SSS-V Thrill Seeking (r=-0.32 with time to peak, p<0.05). A greater peak increase in cortisol and a greater recovery after amphetamine was positively associated with MPQ-BF Aggression (r=+0.35, p<0.05; r=+0.38, p<0.05). In contrast, cortisol responses were unrelated to a composite measure of trait anxiety (EPI/MPQ-BF Anxiety Index). CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that the personality traits of aggression and thrill seeking are related to cortisol responses to d-amphetamine, raising the possibility that personality may predispose certain individuals to use drugs through a glucocorticoid pathway. The data also suggest a distinction between fear and anxiety, as amphetamine-induced cortisol responses were associated with measures of trait fear but not measures of trait anxiety in the current sample.

PMID: 16934318 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Though that suggest for some people it can.
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Old 05-24-08, 01:48 AM
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Re: Face to Face: Adderall and Cortisol?

If stress affects cortisol, then it probably depends on the patient... my husband took adderall for 4 years (and has a little extra around his midsection)... he just started taking Vyvanse, and for the first time told me that he always felt 'stressed' on Adderall. He didn't know this was not necessarily a positive side effect until he took the Vyvanse and noticed how much calmer he was. He assumed that anxiety was the thing that motivated him, and now he realizes it was likely a huge detriment to him. I'll be interested to see if his weight changes now that he isn't under a constant state of stress.
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Old 05-25-08, 12:00 AM
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Re: Face to Face: Adderall and Cortisol?

Greetings all, and I am glad to see this thread has received more response from members, as I it virtually went without answer when originally posted. While I think adderall alone DOES increase cortisol levels to some degree, by itself they are marginal if one practices good diet and sleep patterns. I come to realise that most of my issues with cortisol were aggravated by other factors as. First and foremost, I was drinking an excessive ammount of coffee while taking adderall. Caffiene is also know to aggravate cortisol levels, and it would also cause me at times to get tempermental. Secondly, I was doing way too much aerobic excercise while not eating enough at the same time. Basically doing high burn with low fuel, and from what I've can increase cortisol levels. Finally, and mostly, I was not getting an ample ammount of sleep due to the combination of coffee and adderall mixed together. While I would sleep (from exhaustion) I was not getting any TRUE sleep. I now do slow cardio, and walk an hour a day. I consume 6 small balanced meals a day. I try to eat a high protien breakfast in the morning. I drink more water as suggested in some of the post above, and limit my coffee to one small cup in the morning. With these changes I am now loosing weight again; looking and feeling a lot better. When one is taking adderall one should keep in the back of thier mind that you can loose track of how much you are not eating or how overexerted your body might be without knowing it. I primarily take adderall for inattentive ADD, and I don't want anyone to confuse me as associating it much as a DIET drug. It does however help some of us have the focus and energy to improve our physical health and appearance. Which is another good benefit I get from taking adderall.
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Old 12-19-11, 11:47 PM
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Re: Face to Face: Adderall and Cortisol?

Hi
How r u doing now? I'm on Dexedrine and my cortisol is high. I'm also hypothyroid- did you lower your cortisol and lose weight? When I started dex i lost 15 lbs in 6 mos but now it's all back and some! Despite daily cardio of 60-70 mins with heart rate at 159 and one protein meal a day! I drink lots of coffee at least 40 ounces a day, diet coke and wine every night. Where id u get info on the cardio - too much- breaking down body? And the not eatin? It would seem these things would help but I guess it causes more cortisol and more fat! Any other ideas on loweing cortisol and the effects of dex or adderall on your body would be great!
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Old 04-11-13, 12:08 PM
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Re: Face to Face: Adderall and Cortisol?

Hello to all, I am new to this forum and had to join as my search for an answer in regards to the relationship of taking Adderall/Ritalin and increased levels of cortisol is a topic with many answers.

My heart goes out to the original poster of this question. It is my personal experience/conclusion that Yes!Yes!Yes! is the answer and please allow me to explain. I have spent countless hours researching this question of high cortisol and it's adverse effects concerning weight gain and muscle loss. Again, it is my own experience that I am speaking from today. I am presently taking 10mg of Ritalin/day. I have been taking this medication for over a year. I could write volumes on what I learned from my research but I will keep it as simple as I can here on this post.

I enjoyed a 10 lb.weight loss as an added benefit during the first 8 months of taking this medication. Considering that the stresses in my life have not changed, I have experienced a huge change in weight gain since December of last year. I am a petite, 124 lb. woman who is moderately active and I have gained over 10 lbs during the past 4 months... As soon as the first 5 lbs. went on, I immediately began several lifestyle changes. I forced myself to get more sleep (the usual 4 hours was apparently bad both physically and mentally), I started making better choices with my eating and stopped almost all processed sugar foods and started grazing (small meals throughout the day to keep blood sugar stable) and I increased my vitamin intake: 2000 mg of Vitamin C, 1000mg of B5-Pantothenic Acid in addition to many other supplements too long to list at this time. I have seen a slight 2 lb improvement. I am disappointed that my little changes will take time to have benefits and I am powering through currently on ways to get rid of the dreaded fluffy cortisol fat. There are many variables to consider and I truly believe that we are all different in how we metabolize foods, our environments, genetics and age. I cannot give a general answer to everyone (on medication or simply dealing with middle aged stress), however I have witnessed weight gain and huge amount of muscle mass loss on my ex-husband who has been taking Adderall for several years. His situation is a whole other story and it does not have a happy ending as his testosterone tanked very soon into starting his Adderall therapy and he is severely unbalanced in body, mind and spirit.

Thank you for the opportunity to just begin scratching the surface on this topic. It is my true understanding that each of us has the ability to be at the optimum level of our individual and unique personal best if we simply listen to our inner voices. If the original poster (sorry I haven't acknowledged real name) is asking if cortisol production and their medication are related? There is an extremely strong probability that it is indeed happening to their body.
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