Thyroid UK
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Cortisol test results, what can i do?

Cortisol Levels

DHEA Levels

Sample 1 Post Awakening 5.0 L (12-22)

Sample 2 (+ 4 - 5 Hours) 3.7 L (5.0-9.0)

Sample 3 (+ 4 - 5 Hours) 0.5 L (3.0-7.0)

Sample 4 (Prior to Sleep) 1.1 (1.0-3.0)

Sample 2 (am) 0.29 L

Sample 3 (pm) 0.31 L (0.4-1.47)

Total Daily Cortisol 10.3 L

DHEA : Cortisol Ratio 2.91

Exhaustion Stage: This is generally a state of insufficient production of adrenal hormones after multiple years of persistent stressors with insufficient coping mechanisms. Patients usually present with fatigue,poor energy and immune system hypofunction. They may exhibit chronic anxiety. In some patients this represents impaired response to shorter-term stressors (i.e. overreactivity to short term stress). Adrenal support and restoration measures, as well as identification and balancing of major stressors are indicated.

10 Replies

Hello suzafc

Only just joined the site but have also recently had cortisol and DHEA tests carried out.

Mine were normal for the first three but the night-time was up, 4.2, way over the top. It may have been a blip.

Yours however, as the lab says, look quite depleted. I am not professionally qualified so these are just some suggestions as to where to go next. There is a product called Nutri Adrenal Extra, a high potency adrenal concentrate which is designed to support the adrenals but you may want to contact your doctor first just to rule out other things like Addisons Disease.


I saw my gp yesterday but he said he had no idea and I should wait and ask the endo. It'll be my first appointment with her so not sure what to expect from her.



Seems quite unbelievable that your GP had no idea, I assume you showed him the results. Perhaps he was just passing the buck as you are due to see an endo. Clearly the results aren't normal and hopefully the endo will take some action, presumably you feel very unwell? If you had the tests done privately make sure you take them with you. Good luck with your appointment and I hope its not too far away.



I have had only one Cortisol blood test for muscle wastage/weakness, and GP said it was OK.

I did however take DHEA pills 5 mg one a day later and had a rapid great success in muscle bulk and strength. So decided to double it, but put on so much weight then one breast became lumpy and hurt. Was only fibrous lumps, but the DHEA had turned into Estragen and I was overloaded, so stopped them.

A few years on and became weak again so tried the DHEA again, but this time no reaction or effect at all, which surprised and disappointed me.


Hello twinkleyt

Was your cortisol blood test recent and did you get a print out of the results? To be sure what your adrenals are doing you need to have a full test showing cortisol and DHEA throughout the day. I believe the best and most accurate one is done by saliva and can be done at home but you do have to pay for this, don't know if the NHS do it. Genova Diagnostics carry out this test and its easy and quick and samples of saliva are taken at 4 times throughout the day. Are you hypothyroid and for how long? I am not medically qualified but have been through a hypothyroid situation for the last 10 years and have tried to do as much research as I can. It seems from what I have read that the saliva test is the most accurate and you need to be sure what your adrenals are doing before you could safely self-medicate.

Hope this helps



Not sure if a saliva test would work as I take inhalers and am troubled with very dry mouth. It was about 5 years ago when I had the Cortisol test and Gp did not show me the result figures. He thinks it is due to my general arthritis and heart valve leakage. I am 70 next year, but things have got worse in the last few years.

Thank you


when I had the cortisol saliva test done you were supposed to avoid anything by mouth (except water) for 1 hour before taking the sample. You do need to spit quite a bit into the tube, although you don't have to do it all at once. Perhaps you could email Genova and see what they think, I am sure its a problem they have come across before.

You didn't say whether you had thyroid problems or not?


I am on levi 150mcg only so ct3m is not going to be an option. Thinking of nutri- adrenal but as this says may cause too much adrenaline


At the end of the article, it says that you shouldn't use the ct3m if you are going to use the ACE or adrenal CORTEX extract. Perhaps you could try that.


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