Adrenals or addisons: Iv had an under active... - Thyroid UK

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Adrenals or addisons

yorkshiregirl44 profile image

Iv had an under active thyroid for 3 years, and while im not falling asleep all the time i have started t feel very unwell. I refer to what i experience as episodes, the main symptoms are feeling like im going unconscious, dry mouth, discomfort in my trunk area, light headed and the worst feeling of all is that i am dying because i feel so so poorly, these episodes can last for a couple of hours to alot longer. I have a 24 hour cortisol test done which cam back at 34.quite low but in the normal range, i feel that when i feel very poorly my cortisol levels drop really low.

If anyone can identify with this or as any advice for me it would be much appreciated.

47 Replies

Sorry, I can't help, but maybe someone will see this who has relevant experience...

People tend to get a better response in the Questions section...



yorkshiregirl44 profile image
yorkshiregirl44 in reply to

Thanks for that..when i was trying to send my post questions never came up as an option thats why i sent it here..i will have another look..

RedApple profile image

Three possibilities come to mind (other than adrenal). Wrong dose or type of thyroid medication, making you over or under medicated. Histamine reaction to food and/or medication. Candida.

The obvious starting point is to investigate the thyroid medication. What dose are you on, what were your most recent blood test results and when were you last tested?

Hi and thanks. Last thyroid results two months ago and came back looking very good but that is not how i am feeling. Im on 100mg of thyroxine now, Dont know about Histamine reaction but i have been getting some allergic reactions to paint and air freshners. Candida, i tried the spit test which showed up positive. Iv got appointment with Dr Peatfield this months so maybe i will find out exactly whats going on

Thanks for your advice it makes a difference.

RedApple profile image
RedAppleAdministrator in reply to yorkshiregirl44

What do you mean when you say your thyroid results came back looking very good ? Is that according to your GP/endo or is that your own assessment? If you post the actual numbers (i.e. TSH, FT4 and FT3 with accompanying ranges), we can get a better understanding :)

allergic reactions to paint and air freshners These are external allergy triggers and if you've only recently started to get this, it may well indicate inappropriate thyroid hormone levels. The reason I mentioned histamine in relation to food is because this also is something that can be directly related to thyroid hormone problems for some of us. It really comes more under the heading of 'intolerance' than allergy. As well as food, an ingredient in a medication may be a trigger. A classic example is the acacia powder used in certain makes of levothyroxine tablets. (See article on Mary Shomon's site In the UK, levothyroxine made by MercuryPharma (including Eltroxin) contains this ingredient.

Gluten intolerance seems to be a problem for many thyroid patients too, so that's another possibility you could investigate, although if you do have a candida problem, you'll need to eliminate all carbohydrates, not just those containing gluten. All of this can be a direct result of thyroid problems for some of us (I know from personal experience!)

You might find it worthwhile to browse the forums at Allergy UK to see if anything starts to ring bells for you. Here's a link to get you started.

my last results were tsh 0.81 t3 4.57

and yorkshire girl---- cortisol controls histamine so if you have any inflamms or alergy reactions or swellings or irritations ,to my mind there is not enough cortisol to control the histamine.

yes yorkshire girl i can relate to that, i was so dreadfully unwell, i wrote it allout ona blog here 3 years ago i have since deleted it but too weary to write it all again, but but but-- i too thought i was dying, i was so ill, ligtheaded, hot cold sweating, faint feeling , nausea,, dry mouth unable to eat, felt like i was being posioned, lost a stone, i would have 'excess adfenaline' since learned that low cortisol will oroduce excess adrenaline, my cortsol was low , very ill an di had a syn test showing baseline 217nmol-- but---- on the addison page itsays 400nmol s the lowest- irest muy case as i was told i was depressed!--- itook b5, licorace root gylccerized, only if you have low b pressure, low cortisolcan make you feel very very ill... rhodiala ashwangda, but pplease read up before you take what idid, i am sure i evetually crashed and i wouldnt want anyone to suffer the hell that idid and still suffering now.

Thanks for your reply, I cant believe what you are saying as it sounds exactly how i would describe how i feel, when i try to explain it to people i say it feel like i am being posioned and yes i do believe i am crashing at that point.Have you started to feel any better and did you ever get a diagnosis.

yorkshire girl---- no i never got a diagnosis, i was totaly bloody ignored, i was labelled a nutter--- i am so disgusted i cant tell you how i was treated and left to get on with it... the hell lasted months, i am intio my 3rd year, and i just had to endure it- i have no idea how i survived but i did. my homeopath came me homeopathic cortisol, i took what i told you above, i know i had an adrenal crash but still no doctor consultant wants to committ themselves to acknowledging all the sypptoms, if you google adrenal insuficency symptons or eve n addisons you will getthe them up and mark off what applies to you... then you will have to help yourself or take the symptoms to a doctor and try to get them to understand that this is you, ask for an adrenal test. and rest, go onto dr jame swilsons site , i bought his book he willtell you that rest rest, i was so ill that i had no choice than to crawl to the settee and stay there each crawlback to bed,in fact my friend scooped me up an dtook me to live with her as i couldnt look after myself, it is a long recovery if it is adrenals, go to drlams adrenal site, pick up as many tips as you can and you can get well,not overnight but make sure it is adrenals.

The system is so unfair...Hope Dr. peatfield can sort me out. My Dr wanted t refer me back to chronic fatigue clinic as i was diagnosed with that but i refused as this is not about fatigue...hate that diagnosis because they dont look at anything else.

Im finding this site very useful and did we ever get along without the internet.

Hello yorkshiregirl. I suggest you do this adrenal quiz which will start giving you clues about whether or not adrenals are your problems. Your symptoms sound familiar and for me adrenals are the main problem with some thyroid involvement too.

I also suggest you read one or both of these books - "Your thyroid and how to keep it healthy" by Dr P or "Stop the thyroid madness" by Janie B. Both are excellent and both have loads of info on adrenals and thyroid.

If you can afford it, an appointment with Dr P would be a good place to start. He does clinics around the country and telephone consultations for those who can't get to a clinic. His office phone number is 01883 623125.

Hi and thanks for your mind. Great minds think alike.... i have read Dr.Ps boook and i have an appointment with him on the 19th of this may have some answers to whats going on

Have you sen Dr.P?

Yes. I've seen him twice. In April and again in Sept.

Q: I have a 24 hour cortisol test done which cam back at 34.quite low but in the normal range ....

I’m afraid the figure 34 doesn’t make any sense to me. I do not know of any such reference with regard to cortisol testing. Can you elaborate, please? What kind of 24 hour test was that – salivary? urinary? Blood test? - and what was the reference range?

rosetrees profile image
rosetrees in reply to Tina3

genova UK do a saliva cortisol test. It's the one I used. You take four saliva samples - one on waking, one at lunchtime, one late afternoon and one at bedtime. It's easy to do - just spit into four little bottles. Freeze the samples and send it back by courier. All the instructions are in the test kit.

thanks for that. do you order on line?

You have to order by phone.


The test i had was 24 urine and not saliva my mistake. The reference range was my 34 was on the lower end but i know it falls much further at times.

bluepettals2 profile image
bluepettals2 in reply to Tina3

allmy cortisols genova hav e come back low adrenals and at one time was only a daily amount of 12.5 range 21- 41... i rest my case.


I would also have the ASI test done from Genova Logisitics, I have had this and it did show up that I had Adrenal Fatique - where as the doctor said I was 'in the range' one of their favourate sayings. it doesn't matter how Ill you are - you are always within the range. If the adrenals are not working properly then your Thyroid Medication will not be taken up properly and will make you feel like your dyeing, I know all about that. As Rosetrees suggested - maybe a trip to see Dr P, he has written a book as well - that would help make things clearer.

Best Wishes

Thanks, yes i have appt with Dr P this month, hopefully i will have some answes.

kitten what is asi test

sorry i dont know what it is... im hoping to get a Acth test done

Hello Pettals,

This test checks the function of the adrenal glands throughout the day, you are supplied with four test tubes and you have to spit into them, first when waking, then lunchtime, then late afternoon and the last one just before bed, you pop it into a freezer until the special carriers come and collect it. (this also checks the DHEA levels) I do not think this test is available on the NHS yet. If you request from your GP the ACTH or (also as it can be known) Synacthen test - this only shows up Addisons Diease. The ASI test presents a clear picture and in my case it really saved me, I was terribley Ill and had requested the Synacthen Test (before I knew more about it ) - and was told I was in the Range so was refused Hydrocortisone which I desparately needed, but thankfully I found a fantastic website where I could by the Hydrocortisone from at a good price

what were your symtoms prior to the hydrocortisone

The T4 was making me very Ill - (thyroidtoxicous), my Temp was around 34.2, but my pulse was 125bpm, I had trouble breathing, would wake in the night gasping for breath, heart palpatations, had no energy - to the extent of having to crawl about, really big black circles around my eyes, constantly hungry, Fibromyalgia, I lost my sense of smell and taste, Terrible stomach pain & sharp pains in the chest, blurry vision, as white as a ghost - I think thats most of the symptons

After your medication that you bought did you have to take same strength of t4....and did these symptoms subside

The Hydrocortisone made a massive difference to me, it meant that I was able to continue working, my temp increased and the gasping for breath stopped. I can not take any form of Thyroid medication at all, my body reacts to it, however small the dose, So I am looking into that, the receptor uptake is very poor and their is a number of reasons for that. I do also wonder if I have a lack of Aldosterone. I am sure things will be much better for you

Fantastic - he his a great bloke

thats what i need...thanks

Hi Yorkshire Girl (I'm one too, born in Bingley, went to school in Bradford), what you said about feeling poisoned reminds me of Christine Wrightson's story on She had hypoadrenalism, you might find it helpful.

Thanks i will have a look at that... i went to school in Bradford also St. Margaret Clitheoe at Tong..

Hi, I remember now that i had read that link before but didnt remember the name. I wonder if its possible to have a pitruity problem with a 24 cortisol urine test levels at 34, range was from 10-175. It is my belief that my levels drop very low during these episodes.

I tend to think in nmol/L but I've converted, and 34 mcg/L comes out at 938.06 nmol/L. Was 34 the lowest it went to during the 24 hours? If so, I don't think you can have a pituitary problem as it's only when basal cortisol is between 83-497 that they recommend doing a more sensitive test.

34 was the reading within the 24 hours..dont know what the reading were individually.

I thought you'd get a graph - it was a spit test, right, with several samples taken over the 24 hours? Are you sure?

No i made a mistake writing my first blog it was a 24hr urine test not saliva

Oh sorry, I think I did see that you said that . . looking up urine tests it seems that they give you a figure for the total cortisol produced in the 24 hours, so this doesn't give you any idea of the lowest it goes. So maybe you do need another kind of test?

I might get a private acth test done but was thinking id see Dr.P first, iv an appointment with him this month.

Yes that sounds sensible.

I am having exactly the same episodes! Having one right now. I hate it!!!! It's been happening for the past 6 months. My doctor just didn't seem interested - said that they are anxiety attacks - told me I worry too much about my health and to go out and enjoy the sun. It was after that comment I changed to another doctor - who has turned out to be just as useless. My TSH is within range so that is all they are interested in. Both have offered antidepressants and beta blockers, but because these episodes only happen a few times a month, I have been reluctant to take anything that could have worse side effects. Btw I was diagnosed hypothyroid 15 years ago and I take 100mcg levothyroxine. I'm also taking sublingual B12, high dose vitC and magnesium spray. I feel now like I did before I was diagnosed. :-(

Sorry to hear your having a bad time and like you its so frustrating when drs say your anxious, well who wouldnt be when your feeling so ill,,,but i think we know our bodies well enough to know when something is not right. And like you my episodes are not daily, sometimes once a week, less sometimes but they are so profound and something needs checking out. Im going to see Dr.P this month in the hope that he can help. Have you had any tests on your adrenal glands?

i haven't had adrenal tests as my doctor doesnt think I need them. Looks like i will have to sort them out myself.

I will let you know how i go on when i see Dr.Peatfield in 2 weeks..i know he has several clinics around the country. im lucky as the clinic im going to is only 4 miles away.

Good luck! X

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