Genova cortisol saliva results

Genova cortisol saliva results

Please could someone offer any advice on reducing cortisol levels.

I suffer from ptsd and anxiety. Chronic stress due to some ongoing extended family issues. I also have an underactive thyroid and am taking 50mg of levo as advised by my gp. Tsh was 2.6 in November and I'm due a re test at the end of this month.

Genova said it appears stress is causing my high cortisol as my DHEA result balances it out and is ok.

Any advice appreciated.

Thank you.


22 Replies

  • I've been getting good results from taking Holy Basil. I'm taking these :

    The dose is supposed to be two capsules, twice a day, but that wasn't enough. I started on one capsule twice a day, then gradually increased it. I'm currently taking six a day and might increase to eight, I'm still dithering about it.

  • Thank you.

    I take an anti depressants so guess I'd have to check they were ok to take with that.


  • Hi human bean, I'm just quickly jumping in. I got up to 7 capsules 4 times a day... my sleep got worse so I went down to 6... they were helping me with sleeping but for the last few days I wake up at 12 1am... could this be an adrenaline surge?... I have 4 highs and also take the same number of PS.

  • I don't feel qualified to say much about the adrenals, sorry. My treatment of my own high cortisol has been slapdash and inadequate.

    I do get the impression that my adrenals are fighting back against the Holy Basil I'm taking. In the beginning my cortisol did seem to reduce (basing this statement on symptoms only - always a dodgy thing to do). But if I keep a dose the same for a few days I get the impression my cortisol starts to rise again despite the treatment and I have to increase the dosage. But I'm not prepared to take vast quantities of Holy Basil - last night, for the first time ever, I got pain that seemed to originate from the area of my liver, and the idea of having liver damage is scary.

    I've never taken PS (phosphatidyl serine). Back in 2013/2014 I did take Seriphos (phosphorylated serine) for a while, to reduce my cortisol, but I was seriously ill with other problems at the time and it was a disaster. I only took it for a very short time.

    I found out recently that Seriphos changed their formula to be ordinary PS. There were so many complaints that they are going to start making the original formula again and also produce the PS too. I don't know if or when this change will happen.

    I am noticing my sleep is getting disturbed. I'm almost back to being nocturnal again, and it was only a short time ago I managed to get away from that. I think either my dose is wrong or I'm taking it at the wrong time. I must experiment more.

  • Hi human bean. I'm on another group thyroid UK and they advocate, through patient experience to take PS and holy basil together to help reduce cortisol levels. That is, after having a saliva cortisol test. I have 4 highs.

    Thank you for your response.

  • Jingyd35, Your cortisol levels follow the normal pattern, i.e. much higher in the day to 'get us going' then decreasing as we get ready for sleep. You don't have particular 'spikes' like I had. Low thyroid hormones can cause the adrenals to overwork to compensate. Your TSH should be below 1 (depending what the range for your result is), so you may need an increase in your medication.

    I had high cortisol for a long time when I was not on the right thyroid medication. I changed to NDT, but also took Nutri Adreset, which contains ginseng, rhodiola and cordyceps, as well as Magnesium Glycinate (6 tablets per day). I used Pro-gest cream to balance female hormones, advised by a non-medical health practitioner.

    I addressed lifestyle issues through meditation, counselling and I make sure I get enough sleep.

    I feel much better and don't have the horrible shaky, sweaty, faint feeling I used to get when I experienced any stress.

    If you want to read about it, 'Adrenal Fatigue The 21st Century Stress Syndrome' by James L. Wilson is good. Also, Dr. Lam has lots of info on his website about adrenal fatigue including diets.

    Good luck!

  • For some people, cortisol production stays high no matter what they do.

    It isn't always possible to raise thyroid meds enough because cortisol is high, so people continue to feel hypo.

    And lowering cortisol can be impossible if there is a continued stress that cannot be removed e.g. chronic pain, or a family problem that is never resolved and can't be resolved.

    Also, telling someone with lifelong insomnia that they should get enough sleep is ... not helpful.

  • I do think the trauma I experienced with family led to my thyroid illness and it's probably why I have the high cortisol. I'm not surprised by the results after the 4 years of stress I've had. Then the ill health hitting on top last year kind of sent me over the edge.

  • I didn't TELL J to get enough sleep , I just described what worked for me. I would never do that.

  • I hope you saw my reply below. Sorry if you missed it. Thanks for your help.

  • Thank you.

    So you'd not say my results look too bad? I took comfort my cortisol wasn't rock bottom.

    My tsh is 2.6 in a range of 0.27-4.2. I'm due my 3 months test in 2 weeks so I shall then be increased to 75mg I'm sure.

    I suffer chronic fatigue and huge energy crashes that land me in bed if I do too much physically or get stressed. If I have to see family memyers who caused my ptsd for example. Those are usually the 2 reasons I crash but day to day I've a chronic fatigue and it's what led to my gp running tests.

    Thank you for your reply.


  • If you look on this page :

    you'll see some suggestions as to what the ideal levels of cortisol should be under the heading 24-hour cortisol saliva.

  • Thank you.

    It seems then by evening my cortisol is way too high which concerns me but my dhea is ok,

  • if my tsh is above 2 I feel terrible and feel best when it is 1 or that alone effects how you feel.... may be undermedicated in my opinion...

    how Is your free t3 free t4...very important...

    holy basil, vitamin c and b complex extremely important for adrenals daily.....I take 2000 mg of ester c a day......and make sure you are sleeping 8 hours a day....SLEEP IS CRUCIAL

    many dr say stop all caffeine....or cut it down....

    also other hormones estrogen testosterone dhea progesterone being off can throw off adrenals.....

    check d3 and b12 levels and ferritin iron....

  • My ft4 was just under 19 in November in range of 12-22 and ft3 5.3 in range I think 3.1-6.8. Tsh was 2.6.

    I've re tested and hope to get results today or Monday.

    B12 is about 500 last tests so upped my b12 supplement. Ferritin been low over ten years. As low as 8. Now up to 34. That's using feroglobin liquid as I can't tolerate tablets from gp in any form. D3 was about 70 something last summer.

    I don't have caffeine in my diet. I sleep around 7 hours a night. I think my issue is chronic stress due to ptsd and situation with my extended family since attacked 4 years ago by my brother. I've suffered anxiety since as a result of that.

    Thank you


  • make sure you don't take meds the day of test.....until after labs...

    taking vit with iron helps speed up absorption in creasing values

    stress and high cortisol is a killer....when you realize it affects makes you realize to stop worrying, stop fretting, and let go of many things and live one day at a the old saying....worrying and stress is like a rocking can do it all day and you will not move forward....or change anything....except stress will steal your health....and rocking will just make you tired.... I have learned to just surrender and control what I allow myself to think and talk about and move on........a big wake up call when it affect your health...

    holy basil may help also..... and avoiding sugar and

    stress is very acidic to the body

    a green drink non gmo helps me also...I just add a little juice or other liquid and chug....

  • Thank you

    I take my thyroxine after I do my bloods and 25 hours after the last dose.

    My stress is tough. I have ptsd. I was attacked 4 year ago by my brother. My mother and sisters treated me terribly and we're abusive for 2 years after as I was resented for not forgiving him. He has serious mental illness and hurt many people including my husband the year before infront of my kids so I took a tandem and said no more. I became agoraphobic and anxious for 2 years. All the constant hell from family kept me on this negative spin. Eventually I stopped my sister making any contact by blocking her. My mother I tolerated a monthly visit for the children's sake but inside I've been hurting and anxious everytime I've seen her. We arent close and I'm devatsted how she hurt me and abandoned me. So every birthday and Christmas my inner turmoil is stirred. Knowing my sis terrible ill demand to see the children and my mum will visit. I get anxious and afraid. Last month I had 4 weeks of panic attacks and constant fear about Christmas. I was terrified of family wanting to see the kids. I made myself so ill with stress. No wonder my recent cortisol is high as I'm still recovering from an anxiety setback.

    I overcame the agoraphobia and anxiety then a year ago my health suffered and the anxiety flooded back due to how weak and fatigued I've beenever. I was bed ridden with the chronic fatigue early last year. I have 3 children and had to carry on doing the school run and cooking. It was hard but I coped. My husband is amazing and helps every evening once home.

    So the stress has come from the fact there is still that inner turmoil going on for me. Dread of my sister demanding to see my kids on birthdays and Christmas, my mother wanting to visit monthly.... it's an ongoing turmoil for me. I do it for my children to have a grandmother.

    It's a very tough situation and it's why I struggle to see a way around it and lowering my stress levels. When my mum visits I have to pretend I'm well and fine, when she leaves I crash badly for days. I am weak and fatigued from it. All the anxiety inside and emotions crash me badly, another reason I fear seeing her as I hate the fatigue crashes I get.

    I also live in fesr if this ill health. I'm always fearing fainting or collapsing. Always comparing myself to other mums who aren't ill. Grieving my old self who worked hard and fought hard for her life free of anxiety. Then my ill health started and it was taken away from me.

    Sorry to have offloaded. I just am struggling to see how I can live a stress free life with this inner turmoil I still feel. If I didn't have children I'd walk away for good. My brother I've zero contact with, he's respected that. My 2 sisters randomly contact and it's never positive. Demands to see the kids, demands we spend Christmas as a family, demands to attend kids birthdays..... my mother knew I was ill last year all year and she never once offered support. I just can't see how I can move on with their constant hurt, each year my mother rejects and hurts me when I need her. I want to walk away so I can recover but I know I can't.

    I've a wonderful husband and 3 amazing children. I've a lovely life. I'm so blessed. I know once my energy and weakness subsides I will be living life again to the max. After 16 months I worry will that ever happen but I'm staying hopeful.

    Thank you for your reply.

    Julie x

  • Ps I got my results today and tsh has gone back up to 5.7. Bummer!!!

  • Hi Julie

    I'm sorry to hear you've had such a dreadful time. Have you tried EMDR to get over the trauma?

    Your children need a well and happy mother more than they need a grandmother. I highly recommend the book "When you and your mother can't be friends" - you should be able to get a second hand copy on Amazon fairly cheaply, but it's worth every penny.

    It's great that you've got a wonderful husband and amazing children. Hopefully you've got a couple of good friends too. They should all enable you to move away from your birth family who don't sound good for you. It's a tough thing to do, but once you accept that they're never going to give you what you want or need and do whatever you need to do to protect yourself, you'll feel a whole lot better.

    Good luck x

  • Thank you

    I totally agree with you, and with my health issues I don't need family adding to it.

    I shall have a look for that book, it sounds ideal.

    I have a wonderful husband, 3 amazing children and a few good friends who don't live local but we text and speak daily.

    Julie x

  • I haven't tried EMDR but I read for multiple trauma it's not ideal which apparently is what I have.

  • I'm surprised to hear that. A friend used it successfully for three traumas, which perhaps isn't multiple. You could always speak to a practitioner and ask about that.

You may also like...