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With high cortisol, he may be suffering from a condition called Cushin's disease. Cushing's disease is due to excess amounts of a hormone in the body, called Cortisol. Hormones stimulate different organs of the body in different ways, and when cortisol is in excess, it can cause obesity, fatigue, fragile skin, weak bones, etc.Cortisol is secreted by a gland called the adrenal gland, which lies on top of the kidneys. The adrenal gland releases cortisol only when it receives a chemical from the pituitary gland, called the ACTH. When there is a pituitary tumour, excess amounts of ACTH are released by the pituitary, and this causes release of excess amounts of cortisol, and this in turn causes Cushing's disease signs and symptoms.
You should approach your doctor, preferably an endocrinologist who specializes in hormones, and ask for investigations to rule this out.
You can look up here:http://www.endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/cushings/cushings.htm
Causes of hair loss are: Age related baldness: this may be male pattern (loss of hair starting from the center or from the temporal regions) or female pattern (thinning of hair throughout the scalp). Disease: the three most common diseases that cause this are diabetes, thyroid disorders and Lupus. Nutrition; poor diets not rich enough in protein or iron. Medications: drugs used for gout, depression, blood thinners, anti-hypertensives, birth control pills, chemotherapy. High fever or other illness: hair may thin out after about three months of a severe illness due to stress.
Hormonal changes: this can occur after pregnancy or with the use of birth control pills. Can also be related to menopause. You need to do investigations like blood sugar and thyroid levels . If other causes are eliminated, then it is likely that you are having female pattern baldness.
The treatments that you can do is: Iron supplements: you should take an iron supplement available OTC at pharmacies. High proten diet Minoxidil (Rogaine) : apply twice daily to the scalp. This is available OTC. Finasteride (Propecia) : available on prescription for male pattern baldness.
In addition to investigations to rule out cushing's disease, yo can ask your doctor for a prescription for Finasteride which will work for him.
You can look up the following sites: http://familydoctor.org/081.xml http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003246.htm I hope this answer was helpful. If you need more information, feel free to ask. For accepting this answer, please click on the green 'accept' button below. Feedback/Bonus will be warmly appreciated.
I praise you for doing extensive research to try to help your husband. Sometimes we find ourselves in the middle of a situation without the quick answer we need but we have to keep searching, and I guess that‘s why you came to Just Answer. Your husband presents with an interesting situation and I found some info for you to look at in case you haven't found it in your research already. This is about stress and sudden hair loss which definitely is part of the problem as you stated. Here is the website, below:
The diagnosis mentioned is Telogen Effluvium, it is the type of sudden hair loss due to sudden or severe stress. A full explanation is given along with some good treatment options for reducing stress. Perhaps your husband will try them. You described that he had a lot going on right now and his stress level is way up.
On the following website, scroll down to the second paragraph under the Introduction. It is a study revealing info about the ratio between a high cortisol level/low testosterone level as a result of stress. You'll notice the importance of getting the stress level down to decrease the cortisol level to prevent getting into stress induced cardiac problems. Some of this demonstrates animal studies but further down in the article you will see the study on humans. This confirms what you stated earlier about the high cortisol level contributing to the problem. It is a cycle that needs to be stopped so can get better.
One more website for you below, demonstrates how to reduce stress with dietary supplements and therefore bring cortisol level down which is what you wanted to do. The paragraph below is from that website .
"With all this emphasis on balancing exercise with adequate recovery and eating the right amount of macronutrients for energy and tissue repair, where do dietary supplements fit in? Aside from avoiding stimulants, such as caffeine, ephedra and synephrine (which can increase cortisol levels when used for more than a few weeks), a variety of dietary supplements can help keep cortisol levels within normal ranges, even when a person is stressed. The first step is to take a daily multivitamin/mineral containing, at a minimum, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and B-complex vitamins to help modulate the general stress response"
I am glad to hear it. I will continue to search for info. If I come upon somthing new that might help, I will post it for you.