adrenal fatigue should I change from levothyroxine

Thanks to this sites help and having done the questionnaire for Adrenal fatigue and discovered that I had almost every symptom, I went back to my doctor and asked for further blood tests which revealed problems with my adrenal glands. The doctor think sits probably Addisons Disease (so I am not depressed, as I had been telling the doctor for two months) and I am being referred to a specialist.

I first ead about adrenal fatigue when someone on the site wrote that the leaflet that accompanies the levothyroxine tablets says if you suffer from adrenal fatigue you shouldn't take them but how would you know? .I have been taking levothyroxine for about 20 years does anyone know more about this or Addisons?

A special thank you to grey Goose for your help and advice.


11 Replies

  • I have also been on levo 150mg for 26years and been very unwell for last 7 years with cfs and fybromyalgia had never seen an endo and suffered from severe depression at times, all these things have had a profound effect in my life, so last year insisted on referral to endo and after much testing and still ongoing I was diagnosed with low cortisol and put on hydrocortisone, I have now been diagnosed with hypopituritism and endo has now informed my doctor that the tsh level cannot be efficient testing for this diagnosis as my tsh will never change now and to test by free t4 only, I am also waiting to see if I now meet the nice guidelines to get thecred listed growth hormone injection as I am .3 over the 3 cut off. I have since learnt all this started 29 years ago after the birth of my son where I had massive heammoraging, called sheehans syndrome which kills blood cells and I have empty sella in piturity. These awful symptons and my life could have been very different if only they had tested this all those years ago, I have so struggled to get heard only to be labelled as a hypocondriac depressive have now lost faith in all medical profession have let me down all my life. Soldier on and make a fuss for tests , I only wish I had years ago, the internet has saved my life and this forum is very informative on thyroid issues.

  • I feel so bad for you and it makes me mad that medics don't take endocrine disease seriously....I'm not surprised you've lost faith in the medical profession. I don't know how you've survived, you must be a really strong person.

  • My niece was diagnosed with Addisons about 3 years, only 37 at the time but she had never suffered with thyroid problems. She was quite dramatically ill and was hospitalised for some time. My understanding is that it is a fairly rare condition in the population. Her adrenals packed up completely and do not produce any hydrocortisol (is that the correct hormone) so she has to take steroids for life and wear an emergency bracelet in case she is in an accident. Adrenal fatigue can come about because of the stress of undertreated hypothyroidism and I understand can be supported with supplements.

    The symptoms of hypo can stress anyone out if it goes on long enough, so its little wonder they impact on th adrenals.

  • Hi Most Endo`s prefer to get the thyroid right, probably with T4 and T3 also depending on these and TSH results.Also how one feels etc. Often then the adrenals correct themselves, othr wise after tests they are treated.

    Best wishes,


  • Thanks for this

  • It's probably not Addisons, and true, I've read that thyroxine might stress the adrenal glands so should be addressed first. Here is an article on how to treat the adrenal glands.

  • Thank you for this. Can you tell me why you don't think its probably Addisons? I don't think my low cortisol levels were just down to hyperthyroidism as I said I have five other auto immune disorders and all the symptoms of Adrenal fatigue and Addisons so I believe that's why doc is referring em urgently. Not to mention lost all my hair in seven weeks.

  • Hi chapers, not that I am any kind of diagnostician, it's just that it is rather rare and I think as jan mentioned above, you would be so ill you would be hospitalized. But, of course, the test would be a good idea.

    On another note, since you have so many autoimmune issues, have you looked into low dose naltrexone (LDN). It's being used in the states for multiple sclerosis. It's seems to be safe with rare side effects.

  • I have been told that its the other way round, once you get your adrenal system in better shape your thyroid symptoms improve. As low functioning adrenals hinder the processing if thyroid medication... If I understood properly?

  • Healthy adrenal glands are required for the conversion of inactive T4 into active T3.

    When the adrenals have reached a state of fatigue, they are no longer producing sufficient cortisol or DHEA. This leaves individuals more susceptible to chronic diseases from an inability to compensate for the stresses they encounter on a daily basis. It is very important to treat the adrenal glands before commencing treatment of the thyroid. Increasing thyroid hormone production while the adrenals are in fatigue can overwhelm the adrenals and lead to further exhaustion. I have found that once the adrenal glands are healthy and the other related system/factors associated with thyroid imbalance are optimized, there is no need to treat the thyroid directly.

  • Thank you for this and this would explain a lot about my symptoms and different things that have gone wrong with the auto immune system.

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