Blog changes

Thanks to everyone who followed Training Because I Can! over the last nine years. This blog started with Addison's Disease, hypothyroidism and a crazy idea of doing an Ironman distance triathlon. My life has changed and so has this blog. I am using this blog strictly for Addison's Support topics from here on out. I hope to continue providing people with hints for living life well with adrenal insufficiency.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

More reinforcement that you need DHEA in your body

Most Addisonian's don't produce adequate amounts of DHEA. Have your doctor test DHEA-S, the stable form of DHEA in your body before and during supplementation. Thanks to Heather N for passing this article on!

Medical News Today

Hormone Levels Contribute To Stress Resilience

06 Aug 2009

It is important to understand what biological mechanisms contribute to an individual's capacity to be resilient under conditions of extreme stress, such as those regularly experienced by soldiers, police, and firefighters. Dr. Charles A. Morgan III and his colleagues from Yale University and the VA National Center for PTSD have worked closely with collaborators at the Special Forces Underwater Warfare Operations Center to study special operations soldiers enrolled in the military Combat Diver Qualification Course (CDQC).

Dehydroepiandrosterone, or "DHEA" as it is commonly known, is a hormone that is secreted by the adrenal gland in response to stress. Although medical scientists have known for over a decade that DHEA provides beneficial, anti-stress effects in animals, they did not know until now whether this was also true for humans.

The scientists completed psychological and hormone assessments on a group of soldiers the day before they began the month-long CDQC, and immediately after their final pass/fail exam - a highly stressful, nocturnal, underwater navigation exercise.

They found that soldiers with more DHEA performed better during the final underwater navigation exam than those with less DHEA. These findings are being published by Elsevier in the August 15th issue of Biological Psychiatry.

Underwater navigation is a task that relies on an area of the brain called the hippocampus that is very sensitive to the negative effects of stress. "Animal studies have shown that DHEA buffers against stress, in part, by modulating receptors in this region of the brain," explained Dr. Morgan. "These findings are important in understanding why and how soldiers may differ in their ability to tolerate stress and also raise the possibility that, in the future, compounds like DHEA might be used to protect military personnel from the negative impact of operational stress."

Clearly, additional research is still needed but these findings are a step forward in the quest to help prevent or better treat the symptoms of stress-related disorders that these high-risk individuals experience.

The article is "Relationships Among Plasma Dehydroepiandrosterone and Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate, Cortisol, Symptoms of Dissociation, and Objective Performance in Humans Exposed to Underwater Navigation Stress" by Charles A. Morgan III, Ann Rasmusson, Robert H. Pietrzak, Vladimir Coric, and Steven M. Southwick. Authors Morgan, Pietrzak, Coric, and Southwick are affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut. Morgan, Pietrzak, and Southwick are also with the National Center for PTSD, VA CT Healthcare System, West Haven, Connecticut. Rasmusson is from the Department of Psychiatry, Boston University, and the National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, in Boston, Massachusetts. The article appears in Biological Psychiatry, Volume 66, Issue 4 (August 15, 2009), published by Elsevier.

Jayne Dawkins

Article URL:
Main News Category: Anxiety / Stress
Also Appears In: Psychology / Psychiatry, Endocrinology,

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It's cold

Two mornings in a row. August 16 & 17. Is this winter or summer??

Frost in August

This will be short, I hope. Did the 50 mile mountain bike race on Saturday and achieved my goal, to finish! In the process, I also doubled my mountain bike mileage for the season. Yay! Running has kept me in pretty good shape and now I know where my weak areas are so I can work on them when I start lifting this winter. Went on a 20 mile run with Jen on Monday. Jen did 25!! I quit early and used good judgement for once. My hands were blown up like balloons and my stomach hurt. Good idea to stop, huh? Today I'm exhausted and will up my HC so I can work...

Pictures below from the last week.

Troy's motorcycle and bicycle

Jen on the way up to the top of Fred's

The usual view from the top of Fred's. This is a view that I'll never get tired of no matter how damned cold it is here.

Jen and I stared at this huge equipment going up to Lightening Ridge. The tires were about 5 feet high! As we approached the ridge, the equipment looked like toy trucks.

Me on the road up to Targhee with the picture perfect Tetons in the background.

Joanne happily doing trail maintenance in Henderson Canyon.