cortisol and aldosterone

Does anyone know anything about cortisol and aldosterone? I just had cortisol and aldosterone levels tested (I have previously been diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease, spent ten years on thyroxine, and was switched to Armour in 2012, then to Erfa in 2013).

I am not sure when you are considered suffering from adrenal fatigue, and when treatment is usually necessary?

Labs from 25 July, 2014:

cortisol saliva 8 am

8870 pg/ml (ref 1800-14500 pg/ml)

free cortisol blod 8 am

14 ug/dL (ref 3.7-19.4)

cortisol 24 h urine

15 (refug/24 h (ref 4-176)

aldosterone blood 8 am

156 pg/ml (ref 75-361)

434 pmol/l (ref 208-1000)

aldosterone 24 h urine

35,2 nmol/24 h (ref 3,9-55,5)

I would be grateful for any input on these labs!

6 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Hi,

    I am hypothyroid, have high aldosterone (primary hyperaldosteronism), which is responsible for my high blood pressure, and now take one medication instead of the three strong medications that were used without success to try and control my blood pressure. I also have low cortisol and severe growth hormone (GH) deficiency, treated with hydrocortisone and injections for the GH deficiency. This is unusual most people have low cortisol and low aldosterone.

    If you have low thyroid, cortisol and aldosterone (hypoaldosteronism) you have hypopituitarism. Not sure whether you have been able to get an NHS endocrinologist to help you (whow if you have you are lucky). Really you need to have serious investigations done, the test results you give look quite basic and more like those conducted by a GP. All I can say is it has taken nearly thirty years for me to get this sorted and generally feel have got my life back so keep on trying. Adrenal fatigue is not an expression to be used with main stream docs, either primary adrenal insufficiency (Addison's disease) or secondary adrenal insufficiency which is the most difficult diagnosis to get.

    I would suggest you talk to Alison the Endocrine Nurse at the Pituitary Foundation, details of when and how can be seen on their website.

    Good luck.

  • Thank you! I am not in the UK, I am in Belgium, and my doctor is a so called top doc trained by Thierry Hertoghe...not sure whom to turn to if this does not work out.

  • It will be interesting to see whether you get better help in Belgium. Please read up all you can as the difficulty for patients and doctors is that pituitary problems are difficult to assess when only evidence based medicine is used. Even the testing methods are critical to ensure you get the correct results. I have been told by an endocrinologist that if I had not educated myself I would never have been diagnosed. Always try to explain why you consider things important. Not sure that I will be able to do much if it does not work out but please ask two minds are always better than one.

  • It will be interesting to see whether you get better help in Belgium. Please read up all you can as the difficulty for patients and doctors is that pituitary problems are difficult to assess when only evidence based medicine is used. Even the testing methods are critical to ensure you get the correct results. I have been told by an endocrinologist that if I had not educated myself I would never have been diagnosed. Always try to explain why you consider things important. Not sure that I will be able to do much if it does not work out but please ask two minds are always better than one.

  • Thanks for your comments! But adrenal fatigue resulting from years of untreated hypothyroidism is not really related to pituitary function, is it? My cortisol and aldosterone levels are within the lab's reference ranges, but not high enough to make me feel optimal. One problem is that NDT does not work optimally, and I have read that adequate cortisol levels are necessary in order to ensure maximum absorption of thyroid hormone. That is why I had to see a Hertoghe doctor, as most conventional doctors only know how to diagnose and treat Addison's disease...

  • Sorry Anna, I am new to this and have only just seen your reply. Hope things are now a bit clearer. Yes, hypothyroidism can be related to pituitary function. The pituitary is the master gland and controls the thyroid.

    This link could prove useful, dailymail.co.uk/health/arti... . Personally, I believe there are many things that can cause hypopituitarism not just head injury.

    Another problem is if you read the thyroxine leaflet it makes it quite clear that before you take it you must tell your doctor if you are suffering from untreated adrenal problems. My question has been if a doctor does not recognise you have these problems, how would the unitiated patient know. All we know is that we feel like death. No one will answer the question and my conclusion is that this is a "get-out" clause for doctors, because the drug companies have put the onus on the patient.

You may also like...