I'm in my early 50's. I have just been diagnosed with a small adrenal nodule on my left adrenal gland and a medium sized cyst on my left kidney. This is after years of complaining about unexplained weight gain, extreme exhaustion, fluxuating blood sugar levels, extreme thirt episodes, large kidney stones, cataracts and fibroids.
I first started to question my symptoms almost ten years ago. I'd always been thin and suddenly I could not keep the weight off. I've also seen, in the last two years, a change in body shape that was pronouncedly different than before. I gained weight in my trunk and breasts, around my neck and on my lower jaw.
I brought in my exercise and diet schedules to doctors. I exercise all the time and eat no more than 1200 calories a day. Nothing seemed to work; not diets, exercise suppliments, etc.
After a second bad kidney stone episode that required sound waves to break it up, my kidney surgeon orders a CT scan. A friend recommended that I take the suppliment, Holy Basil, because it ws supposed to protect against cell damage from radiation. I didn't know if that would work, but looked up Holy Basil and saw nothing dangerous with it. So, I tried it. The CT scan revealed the nodule in my adrenal cortex. The Holy Basil suppliment revealed something else.
Caveat: I can't guarantee this will work for anyone else. I can only report what happened to me.
After about three weeks on the Holy Basil (twice a day), I started to lose weight, my blood suger dropped to normal and my 24 Cortisol went down by 40 points. When I looked up the suppliment, I found there have been a limited number of studies that point to normalization of excess cortisol and blood sugar.
My edocrinaloglist did not believe it. I didn't doubt him. I could only report on how the suppliment seemed to be working on me. We decided to do an experiment. I went off the suppliment for a month. Within two weeks, I had gained back the weight, my blood sugar was up and my blood pressure had risen way up. My tests were rerun after four weeks. My cortisol had risen over 40 points. My endocrinologist told me to go back on the suppliment and refered me to surgery to have the nodule and possibly the cyst removed. I have my consult with the surgeon coming up in a few weeks.
In the meantime, I'm taking the Holy Basil. I found this Dr. Weil article on it from 2004: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA346157/holy-basil-to-combat-stress.html and, so far, it does work the way described in the last paragraph for me. However, it also stops working as soon as I stop taking it. My endocrinologist, who could not deny the empiracal evidence of the tests, made the point that it was a maintanece tool only and there was no way to know if it would continue working. Surgery is the answer we both decided on. I can always go back on the suppliment if the surgery does not solve the problem.
Important point: I'm not suggesting that anyone go out and get that suppliment. If you have or suspect Cushing's, it might be something to bring up with your doctor. I did not take it without check with my doctor first. So please, don't go out and get it without talking to your doctor because of my report here! We're each unique and, again, I wouldn't have used it without involving my doctor first.
I'll update as I have more information after the surgical consult.
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