By Alfred J. Plechner, D.V.M.

Did you know that certain specific diseases can be diagnosed, based upon the amount of cortisol found to be present daily in the body’s serum, urine and saliva?

Salivary tests can be done at 4 hour intervals during a 24 hour period to determine the amount of active cortisol a person or animal is producing. Urine samples can also be used to determine how much active cortisol is produced by a patient in a 24 hour period.

It is important for you to understand the amount of measured cortisol must be compared to the other hormones that the cortisol regulates including specific immune functions in order to determine if the cortisol is active or inactive. The normal daily amount of cortisol produced in people and in dogs is 30 to 35 units.

What does this actually mean?

It means that even though the cortisol is present in proper amounts there is no guarantee that it is in a form that the body can use. Simply put, there is no guarantee that the cortisol that is produced can be used by the body.

To determine whether the cortisol is active or inactive, blood must be drawn and a specific endocrine immune blood panel will establish the results. Full details for this test and where to send the sample are listed under articles on this website.

When the body’s cortisol production is normal or even high but still is not working, it is called Atypical Cortisol Estrogen Imbalance Syndrome (ACEIS) or as the public refers to it as Plechner’s Syndrome. The medical profession normally refers to this inactive cortisol as either Atypical Cushing’s Syndrome or Atypical Addison’s Syndrome.

Cushing’s syndrome came from a pituitary tumor which produces an increased production of a pituitary hormone called ACTH which in turn causes an excess production of active cortisol.

In Plechner’s Syndrome, the production of cortisol only comes from the middle layer of the adrenal cortex and has very little to do with excess ACTH production which comes from the pituitary gland.

Addison’s Syndrome is caused by a deficiency of a hormone which is produced in the first layer of the adrenal cortex. This hormone is Aldosterone which regulates electrolyte balance in the body. The first layer of the adrenal cortex does not produce cortisol.

Please remember, before you have further tests done on you or your pet to determine the amount of cortisol that the middle layer adrenal cortex is producing, you need to have the endocrine immune blood test included with the standard blood tests first. This is the only way to determine if the amount of cortisol present is active or inactive and if Plechner’s Syndrome is present.

Plechner’s Syndrome (Atypical Cortisol Estrogen Imbalance Syndrome) is a totally different and life threatening syndrome that is often overlooked. Please see other articles relating to Plechner’s Syndrome on this website. You can also read a complete examination of Cushing Syndrome and Addison’s Syndrome in the Biography currently available on 50 Years of Healing.

You can also read more about Plechner’s Syndrome in Against the Odds, Given up for Dead – The Life Saving Work of Dr. Al Plechner DVM. Which is soon to be released on "Against the Odds… was written, from the heart. It contains many true stories from people I have helped and other anecdotal moments from my long life not available in my other books. It also contains the Healthfully Yours Handbook, for Whole Animal Health which is a comprehensive collection of valuable information regarding diet, nutrition, environmental dangers, safe breeding practices, food allergies, catastrophic diseases and a whole lot more.”

Additional Information

Safe Uses of Cortisol

William McK. Jefferies, MD

Copyright ©2012