(Total Revision DRAFT #3)
© Owen R Fonorow, 2018
“That cortisone and cortisol are normal hormones of the adrenal cortix implies that in physiologic dosages they must be safe” – William Mck Jefferies, Safe Uses of Cortisol. 3rd Edition, 2003
“Our hypothesis, contrary to almost all medical opinion on this matter, is that every symptom of disease that a human being experiences, including chronic pain, is entirely predictable. Symptoms vary based upon blood levels, more specifically tissue levels, of the adrenal hormone cortisol.” – Owen Fonorow, Vitamin C Foundation
Our blood cells: What they need, why they need it, and when they need it
Think of cells as little fish in their big red ocean of blood. There are trillions of these fish, so many cannot move. These fish have multiple mouths (receptors) and a big mouth for one of their favorite “foods.” They are highly addicted to one natural hormone in the big read ocean of blood they live in, the natural hormone cortisol.
The adrenal cortix, a major portion of a small gland that rests above our kidneys, produces cortisol daily. The brain determines the production level of the cortisol. After analyzing the signals that indicate that the fish need more cortisol, the brain sends a second hormone to another part of the brain, which in turns sends a third hormone through the blood to the adrenals. “Boys,” the brain communicates through the second hormone, “The other fish (cells) are complaining out there! They aren't getting their daily cortisol fix. Adrenals, get cracking!”
The daily cortisol fish-food manufacturing product (FMP) is usually 40 milligrams. When the human is healthy (fish are happy) and there is no undo stress to cause a part of the system (other fishes) from “stealing” extra cortisol from the red ocean, or making other fish feel deprived. Deprived fish may start growing more mouths (cortisol receptors) to help them capture their fair share of any cortisol they can find from that big red ocean.
Cortisol (and oxytocin and melatonin) blood levels vary in the blood in a well-known cycle. Cortisol levels are not constant throughout the day. As cells wake up, fish start eating or complaining early, and cortisol levels rise all morning from the tissue requests to the brain, until, after lunch, and the fish are fat and happy, the cortisol levels slowly begin their decline after noon, until evening. Cortisol levels are at their lowest while most of the fish are sleeping. (Note: Higher levels of the melatonin hormone induce sleep).
As an aside, high levels of cortisol fish-food trigger a response from the liver that releases glucose into the bloodstream. These hormones are called “glutocorticoids, or glucose stimulators. Cortisol is the only natural one. It is as if we evolved to "know" that if the fish are hungry and complaining, an immune response is not far behind; and the immune system will require a good supply of glucose to fuel the impending immune cell division. It is curious to note that something keeps glucose levels elevated while we sleep at night, while there is no glucose present from the food. Somehow, both high and low levels of cortisol seem to trigger blood glucose to rise, even at night when cortisol is low.
The budding science of the late 1950s and 1960s illuminated how breast cancer was either caused or exacerbated by estrogens. Estrogens promoted the growth of breast cancer, similar to adrenal fish (cortix) making other "steroid" hormones, including testosterone and estrogens. During this time, well meaning doctors completely reomved the adrenal glands of breast cancer patients to eliminate the supply of estrogen (SAFE USES OF CORTISOL, 3rd EDITION, William Mck Jefferies, MD, 2003). During the “adrenalectomy” procedures, these doctors discovered that the adrenal glands produce more hormones than they initially suspected. They also discovered that the hormone cortisol was so important that its absence would lead to death within 24 hours.
“Cortisol is the only essential hormone,” Jefferies begins his book by telling his readers. “We can do without every other hormone for long periods, but if we are without cortisol, even for a single day or two, we die.”
The experiments with adrenal-less breast cancer patients determined that 40 mg daily of cortisol (as hydrocortisone, the bioidentical equivalent of cortisol), regardless of body weight, would keep these women alive and in reasonably good health. The fish were happy; they didn't care that their favorite food (cortisol) came from Merck pharmaceuticals, rather than their adrenal glands. However, if for some reason the adrenal factory fails to produce cortisol, the fish become angry.
Personal note: This author has a secondary adrenal insufficiency, meaning the factory still works, but became faulty in 2011 due to a series of stressors. This author’s endocrinologist prescribed 30 mg of cortisol as hydrocortisone per day, more in the morning, etc. With his own 25 percent production and 75 percent from Merck, his fish are happy and he feels and looks normal. Life is good.
This author’s mother, Billie Valentine Fonorow, had Rheumatoid Arthritis – which manifested in pain in her fingers and everywhere – all her later adult life, after 1974. After Mayo Clinic received the Nobel Prize for discovering cortisol in the 1950s, Merck first synthesized it, and William mck Jefferies was the resident who administered the very first doses of Merck hydrocortisone to patients in an arthritis ward. They had no idea of what dose to use, and Jefferies became the world expert.
Billie was sent to Mayo Clinic after her diagnosis in the 1970s, and received one cortisone shot. This led to immediate relief, but not a cure. She then moved to Tucson and started to read Linus Pauling's Common Cold Book, which led to her trying 3 grams of vitamin C. She then read Adelle Davis, and found that vitamin C was the only thing that could relieve (but not remove) her arthritis pain. She started taking high doses of vitamin C to mitigate her then life-long pain, and the rest, as they say, is history. Despite having to suffer her entire life with her unhappy fish, she was able to pass down her knowledge of Vitamin C and its healing properties to her son.
However, this author has her genes, and the propensity to have unhappy fish despite his very high vitamin C intake. He was at least 10 years older than his mother was when his fish first became unhappy campers. It is known that the adrenal glands have the highest concentrations of “reduced” (not oxidized) vitamin C of any group of fish (tissues), other than the brain. Vitamin C, by helping the adrenals function, can sometimes make fish happier; however it seems that much of the time, these fish aren't completely satisfied by higher vitamin C alone. Fish are only satisfied if they get their daily cortisol “fix.”
Dr. Jefferies and his team discovered that when you first get the flu, the flu virus interrupts the brain signaling, which turns off the adrenal function, which stops the production of cortisol (SAFE USES OF CORTISOL, 3rd EDITION, William Mck Jefferies, MD).
Our cells running out of Cortisol is what causes that “terrible” feeling when the flu first sets in, which manifests in a fever, chills, shames, flushing, pain, and vomiting. “Help us brain, help us brain... Let’s emit histamines, so other cells around us know there is trouble brewing...” The fish start complaining with everything they can. Dr. Jefferies recommended 100 mg of oral hydro-cortisone at the first onset of the flu to his patients, and then tapering to 50 mg on day 2, and so on. This protocol can cause one to avoid nearly all flu symptoms.
Linus Pauling also wrote that taking vitamin C in high doses might stop or mitigate the severity and duration of the flu. High concentrations of vitamin C are needed by the adrenals, though most people take only the small amount of vitamin C suggested by their doctors and government. This leads to the question: Could taking vitamin C to combat the flu have some connection with the adrenals/cortisol? Jefferies poses this question in his book, as well.
Another important component to mention is that the fishes’ mouths (cortisol receptors) can become oxidized! The fishes’ mouth can become plugged and gagged, causing them difficulty in eating their favorite food. Vitamin C, a strong antioxidant, can save the day by removing the fishes’ gag from its mouth. The newly un-oxidized mouth can again eats is favorite food, cortisol, as long as some of the food is passing by in the big red ocean.
One could ask, what if the fish whose mouths are being gagged (oxidized) are adrenal fishes (tissues)? What if the adrenals cells aren't able to eat their required fish food because their mouths are oxidized?
One could also wonder whether is it possible that because all the fish are gagged, this leads to what looks like a massive body infection. Sepsis is a body infection that leads to frequent hospital deaths. Thanks to professor Paul Malik. MD, we now know that a little fish food (cortisol) can save the day. However, because fish mouths become gagged (oxidized) in severe illness, Dr. Malik’s cure includes vitamin C – a powerful antioxidant that opens up the fish mouths (un-oxidizes the cortisol receptor). With fish now able to eat their favorite food, which is being amply supplied, the human recovers in a few hours. Otherwise, 1000 to 1500 people die every day from sepsis in hospitals, medical centers that for their own economic survival, rarely routinely provide either vitamin C or cortisol to patients.
As mentioned previously, when the fish complain, the brain computes what is needed (how many screaming fish are out there?) and then sends it’s second hormone signals to the adrenals, through the big red ocean, with the current total amount of fish-food necessary to quiet all the fish down (the current quantity of cortisol that has to be produced).
Not often considered, these brain signals may affect other hormones, especially if the fish don't quiet down. The other hormones made in other parts of the adrenal glands are not the real targets of the brain signals, but the production of other adrenal hormones can be affected. When the brain is being bombarded with requests for cortisol, the fish are unhappy, releasing substances telling every other fish they are unhappy, and creating more cortisol mouths to feed. Meanwhile, body defenses rise, fluids build up, mucous build up, an “immune response” takes place; however the big red ocean still doesn't have the fishes’ favorite food. Maybe 40 mg isn't cutting it today, so the brain is getting an extra signal or two... Maybe today is the day the fishes need 50 mg... “Okay adrenals, get busy…overtime request…” But the adrenals are maxed out and cannot make any more cortisol, or they are missing all of the signals, or maybe there is not enough vitamin C. Other parts of the cortix can and does respond, and a hormonal imbalance is created.
In review, the output of the cortisol from the adrenal is usually a set value, e.g. 40 mg, and if some is provided by Merck, the total required is 40 mg and no more gets released into the read ocean. In other words, it is not additive. The body doesn't generally receive a full load from the adrenals PLUS the supply from Merck. Under normal conditions, the Merck food makes fish happy, and the brain signals less to the adrenals, “Slow down boys, all fish are happy.” This is called resting the adrenal fish. A good Merck dose to rest the adrenal fish is between 10 to 30 mg. If we overdose, and give it all from Merck at a high dose greater than the need, say greater than 40mg, the adrenal fish will become lazy, the brain is quiet, the adrenal fish go to sleep, “stop the vendors, we don’t need supplies, lets take a vacation.” This is called shutting down the adrenals, but probably only the fish that make cortisol stop working. Other hormones continue to be made if they can.
Resting the adrenals is a good thing, so the factories are ready to produce, and have excess capacity, if something major happens. You stub your toe! The adrenal fish are ready to go into max fish food production (cortisol) and respond like the champs they are. The adrenals can deal with stress with increased cortisol! We can take what ever the outside world throws at us.
The author's adrenal insufficiency condition is such that he only has a 25 percent adrenal production capacity for cortisol. 75% of his adrenal manufacturing plant has burned down (i.e., 75% of the fish that make cortisol may have been killed).
When a major event hits him, he doesn’t have the way to feed the fish, and boy do they complain. Mayo/Merck and his endocronologist ride in to save the day, with fish food to be taken orally! The symptoms subside; all is well on a high fish food diet. High doses of “steroids” (fish food) flood the red ocean. At the right dosage, fish can be happy in 30 minutes for the next 8 hours. The liver not only knows how to handle cortisol (it is orthomolecular), its fish requires the same fix/food as well!
The brain may be requesting slightly more fish food than some people's cortisol fish in the adrenals can provide to its customers. Signals keep coming to and from the brain; other departments of the adrenal cortix start responding to the adrenal signals from the brain because the brain is becoming desperate (where are those cortisol guys?). The brain starts sending more frequent, stronger, perhaps other hormonal signals down to the adrenals. “Lets go, get with the program.” This is one reason why DHEA hormone production may also burn out. Dr. Jefferies found that DHEA supplementation could be very helpful in his patients (who he is already giving a safe 30 mg daily to rest their adrenals) for the same reasons. It helps to quiet the brain.
Jeffries outlined case study after case study in his book to speak to the benefits of cortisol. Young women in puberty with small breasts, presumably because the erroneous brain signals prompted the production of male hormones, started taking Jefferies' safe adrenal resting dosage of cortisol. This caused their brain to settle down, and their small breasts became normal sized. Jefferies’ protocol has also turned childless couples into parents with 100% success rate! He uses the same formula – keep the fishes happy with about 50% of the daily fish food requirement supplied by Merck.
Big Pharma: How would it make money if everyone is well?
Naturally, a natural fish food (hydrocortisone) isn't going to make a drug company a lot of money over time. One must have something that keeps fish happy, but that can be patented; a kind of super fish food! The “unnatural” glutocortocoid steroids like prednisone, methyl prednisilone, etc. are “concentrated” fish foods, thus different and possibly toxi-molecular forms of fish foods. The liver may not know what to do with these kinds of fish foods, for example. Less is more, so instead of 40 mg of hydrocortisone, Merck can supply 8 mg of methyl prednisilone, and the fish are happy, and the drug is patented. Hydrocortisone as a natural hormone might have been as easily available over-the-counter as DHEA, or melatonin, or progesterone...
If all of the fish are always happy, there would be no need for a wide range of patented “fish poisons” on the market, prescription drugs. If one were to make unhappy fish, and then treat all the symptoms from unhappy fish with patented medication, then one could create a business with enormous profits!
But what if people found out that fish can be happy on the cheap, natural bioidentical fish food? First, it would have to be prescribed, and doctors must be terrified to prescribe it, must be made to believe that a “steroid” is the most dangerous drug a doctor can prescribe! A doctor applauded as the best by U. S. News and World Report shared this with the author.
The basis for the fear that cortisol is dangerous is rooted in very early research when doctors had no idea how much fish food to provide. When they started studying the concentrated, toximolecular forms, such as prednisone, instead of the 10 mg of prednizone (that equals the 40 mg adrenal suppressing dose of hydrocortisone), they gave patients 100-150 mg or more (the functional equivalent of 500+ mg of hydrocortisone). As one could suspect, things went haywire. These old studies are used to scare doctors, and the new studies are suppressed by medical journals. This allows the pharmaceutical industry to maintain its status as the largest profit industry in the world.
Modern life, stress and certain foods can lead to higher level fish food requirements, or false brain signaling; which has been used as the basis for a smear campaign against cortisol, and causes people to become afraid of high cortisol. People under stress should be given a safe level of fish food so that they can help rest the adrenal factory, and avoid adrenal exhaustion from modern life. It may sound paradoxical to treat high cortisol with more cortisol, but the basis of this is to keep the adrenals from going under from exhaustion (over production).
This author believes that if he was a naturopath (ND), and was able to give or prescribe patients’ hydrocortisone, that there would be no pain or illness in any of his patients. Unfortunately, most people cannot get their doctors to provide long-term prescriptions for fish food in the proper dosages.
However, one might argue: If we can give patients enough of the good fish food so that they never complain (even if there is a real virus afoot attacking the body), is that a good idea? Would it be preferred to have no symptoms, no fluids, no mucous, no cough, and breathe normally; even if under a full blown attack of viral pneumonia? Not even have to go to a doctor or hospital?
This author’s bias is that most people who are diagnosed with pneumonia are diagnosed from symptoms caused by unhappy fishes. This author wonders: is there even an infection?