Cortisol and very low DHEA: Hi everyone I'm new... - Thyroid UK

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Cortisol and very low DHEA


Hi everyone I'm new here and was hoping someone could advise me on my latest saliva test results from Geneva? My total cortisol is 40.4 range is 21-41, my mean DHEA is 0.03 and the DHEA cortisol ratio is 0.07 these are all nmol/L. My Secretory IgA is 740.9 normal range is 118-641 optimal range is 130-471.

My last thyroid results were

TSH 1.44 range 0.35-5.5

Free T4 10.9 range 10.5-20.0

Free T3 4.4 range 3.5-6.5

I've not been officially diagnosed as having a thyroid problem even though I have most if not all of the symptoms of both hypo and hyper, my Dr agreed to try me on Levothyroxine 50mg and I've been taking it for about 7/8 weeks now with no improvement in symptoms at all??

My main concern at the moment is my DHEA to me it looks almost non existant?? Is this something that I should be worried about? I've contacted where I got the test from but they want more money to discuss the results.

My Dr says its all in my head because I suffer from anxiety! Really don't know where to go from here??

Thanks in advance :)

11 Replies

Sorry you had no replies - hopefully someone will pick this up from Latest Activity..




Thanks, hope so :)

Hi Emt1974

Maybe people could give you more info if you write the breakdown of the saliva results ie. The 4 results, as everyone has a different pattern over the day in highs and lows. It is absolutely not all in your head-your FT4 and FT3 are both low. Drs love ranges and if you are in range they can pronounce you "normal" and if you keep having symptoms it is all in your head basically because they don't know what to do and their training on thyroid is so limited. What lots if patients have found is that they need their levels to be optimal not just "in range". (Optimal FT4 is at least above half way or higher in the range and optimal FT3 is in the top third of the range). Even then symptoms are the main thing to diagnose on. You may need to change Docs and try to get a referral to an Endocrinologist-but a good one-there are lots of awful ones. Louise Warvill (above) can send you a list.

You could also post your question onto one of the specialist adrenal groups on yahoo-Natural thyroid hormone-Adrenals I think it's called as the moderators there may have more experience of DHEA levels. Best of luck with it. Di

Here is link to some info on optimum lab values

A low/normal TSH along with a low T4 plus symptoms associated with being hypo can indicate secondary (central hypothyroidism).

This is caused by a problem with the pituitary gland where it cannot produce enough TSH to raise the T4 level. Getting this diagnosis can be difficult and is often overlooked so you will need to make sure that it is not dismissed.

The pituitary can become damaged by a head injury and/or excessive blood loss during/after pregnancy.

You also need tests for B12, Vit D, Folate, Serum Ferritin, Serum Iron - Maddie


Thanks for the replies :) here's a breakdown of my cortisol results

Sample 1. 21.3 range is 12-22

Sample 2. 5.3 range is 5.0-9.0

Sample 3. 10 range is 3.0-7.0

Sample 4. 3.8 range is 1.0-3.0

Then it says


Sample 2 (am) 0.03 flagged as low

Sample 3 (pm) 0.03 flagged as low

DHEA mean 0.03 range is 0.40-1.47

I've now stopped taking the Levothyroxine as I don't feel like it was actually helping me just giving me a huge sugar/food craving and weight gain :/

Thanks again :)


Sorry forgot to mention I have a folate deficiency and vit D insufficiency which the Dr isn't bothered or concerned about???

My last vit D test was April 2012 and it was 46.3 nmol/L (which states I'm insufficient and to consider replacement)

On the same date my serum ferritin was 145.6 range was 10-200

My serum iron was 14.5 range was 11-30

None of these have been tested since?

My B12 has only been tested once back in nov 2011 and was 437 range was 180-900

I had normal cortisol but low DHEA - 0.1 (0.2 - 0.7) and felt much better once I started supplementing with DHEA. I began on 10mg/day and increased to 20. I felt a real difference ( after a few weeks). After about 18 months my DHEA had increased to 0.32.


Did your doctor prescribe or did you self medicate? If you don't mind me asking what differences did you notice? :)

Emt, my results are v v similar to yours! Apart from my cortisol was lower. We can be buddies :-). I am seeing private doc as my GP has spent years telling me I am depressed (and trying to give me antidepressants) There is lots of info out there and some great books - the adrenal sections of Stop the Thyroid Madness and Dr Lam and Dr Wilson etc all have great information. Are you having any joy yet?


Thanks :) I've finally been referred to an endo, appt is at end of July. I've since made an appt with a private Dr in London, Professor John Studd, he specialises in hormones and really seems to know his stuff! I'm really hoping he can help as it kinda feels he's my last hope at the moment. I'd be interested to know if anyone here has seen him? Thanks :)

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