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Thyroid UK
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Adrenal ignorance

I need to join an AA group for Adrenal Anger and recover from the shock and dismay that Doctors must be still being taught things from the dark ages. I wish I could get back 15 or so years of my life that have been wasted, not to mention all the money I've spent on all the mis-diagnosis and mis-treatment.

Why isn't Adrenal fatigue, insufficiency, exhaustion, etc....recognized by doctors????

Did you know it can take years for the Adrenal glands to slowly be destroyed and it's not until 90% has been destroyed that lab test will pick up problems?

Did you know that once you get to the point of Addison's disease, that if you are put on thyroid medication, that can precipitate an Addison's crisis?

Many with Thyroid problems are put on thyroid supplements and wonder why they feel worse or don't get better. The doctors never have a clue why.

I've only been able to tolerate low doses of thyroid supplements and can't understand why my free t3 and free T4 are so low. I can't raise the dose of the thyroid meds, because I have such a negative reaction. Once I woke at 4 am with such a severe headache I thought I was going to stroke out. My only answer has been to stay at a low dose of Armour and be put on blood pressure medication and live with below normal free T3. I drag through every day and keep being told to talk to a Therapist.

Why do doctors not know that if there is Adrenal insufficiency , the body's response is to suppress the thyroid function. These systems all communicate to each other. It doesn't take a Rocket scientist to understand this. Your Adrenal glands need you to rest and reduce stress, in order to do this, they try and lower the metabolism by suppressing the thyroid. Do we listen to our bodies??? No! We all have too much to do and not enough time.

I know now, that FIRST the adrenal problems have to be treated....then the thyroid can be looked at and supplements decided on. Everyone with thyroid problems should be screened for adrenal fatigue. On my own I did a saliva test that checked what my cortisol was doing 4x throughout the day.

In the early stages of Adrenal fatigue you will see abnormal patterns, as I had years ago, when my cortisol was low in the morning and high at night, but my doctor then didn't understand this. Eventually the fatigue progresses and I'm seeing this with me, all levels are low. My chart looks "flat line".

I'm a nurse, an R.N. but that doesn't matter. I've had to research and learn. We all need to teach the doctors! We need to be informed and question things. Yes, I know there are other things, like low Iron, so we also need things like Ferritin levels checked. Most doctors don't know that either.

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What do you think of taking adrenal glandulars like the Swanson product that contains nothing but 350 mg of bovine adrenal? I was reading around today and was wondering if it would be worth trying.

Don't know if putting up the link for this is permitted and if not, then mods will cut it.



I have been taking nutri adrenal extra for 3 months and it has definitely helped. Took those for 3 weeks before introducing nutri thyroid


Churchie, most of what's in that is vitamins. I don't need the vitamins. I just want to know if pure adrenal extract makes any difference.


I've wondered about that. Just like the dessicated thyroid meds, like Armour....wouldn't adrenal extracts be a similar thing? Also, just like with taking hydrocortisone....there's a feedback loop, so taking the adrenal extracts will tell your own adrenal glands to make less.

It's probably safer than HC, but you have to watch the dose of adrenal extracts, be on them for a limited time and then wean off them, just like with the HC. Both give your own adrenal glands a chance to rest and heal. When you wean off these, your own adrenal glands should start producing again.

With adrenal extracts, you want the adrenal "cortex" extract and not whole gland. In the whole gland can be too much adrenline. I haven't given this a try. If I did, I'd want to know is it just cortex and what dose to use and for how long....

We are so far behind in the medical world, I don't know if there is any protocol for this.


I'll have to rethink this.


yes, look into it. I'm only telling you things I've read and don't remember all the specifics. I did take HC several years ago and I took it for at least a year. I took what is called physiological doses...20 to 30 mg a day...what the normal adrenal glands would produce in a day. These very small doses are not suppose to do any harm.

Yet, over a long period of time, the feedback loop has kept the adrenals shut off and this long term thing can maybe permanently affect their function.

After going off the HC, I think I went back into adrenal fatigue and it just kept getting worse. I didn't know what was happening. Now I can't help but wonder did the long term HC hurt things OR was it something I needed and should never have stopped?

Either way, I have a feeling I need to be back on it and maybe always need it. I don't care anymore. I think having the ACTH stim test will help me know more. I have an appt Nov 4th with a doctor and I'm going to get them to order this test.


Maybe you needed it from the get go and still need it. Because a normal situation would bounce back quickly.

I have an appointment with my endo coming up too and another doctor has already suggested I get this test done as well. (When bottom of range for cortisol is 178 and I score a 205...... highest ever 251....... we have a problem Houston.)

It's all very well for people to advise that we need to sleep more, go out and smell the trees and roses more and etc. I'd need to retire to do that. I no longer have disability insurance (but as my lawyer said 'when you buy disability insurance you buy a lawsuit'... been there done that, got a settlement) although given that 'adrenal fatigue' is not recognized, I don't think I'd be able to take months off work. I am not a civil servant.... oh how I regret not becoming one.... I'd have been on stress leave, short term disability, long term disability and retirement by now. I don't think just living among the daisies is the solution since probably neither of us can afford to do that. I don't put up with bullshit but situations wear me down.

I'm sure there have been points in time where things were functioning a bit better but never fabulous. And excess stress has always resulted in crash and burn. We have no reserve. We can plug along okay with routine so long as nothing upsets the applecart. Because then we are unable to 'rise to the occasion'. So need help.

The problem with HC therapy is it is complete replacement dose and if there is excess stress, a person needs to be able to recognize it and adjust the dose accordingly.


Yes, I agree. I would want to try and keep to the lowest dose possible, because of weight gain, etc... I would hope in time you would learn how your body feels and get good at the dosing. It's got to be better than this anyway.

I've always had a fantasy of moving away, out into the country. It's like I want to be a hermit and just be with nature. We all have to learn ways to cope. I read a lot of books. The best one I read, is "Dying To Be Me". She suffered from cancer for several years and then had a near death experience. It opened her eyes to how she had been making herself sick. She had lived a life of worry and could not just be her self.

She came back and healed. A medical miracle. Now she wants us all to know we are each magnificant. We have to change our thinking. It's not easy..it's a practice.


Did you try the adrenal product and did it make any difference?


You mean the hydrocortisone? Finally saw a new doc. She ordered some lab work, to be done this week. She's trying to learn about me and the big pile of everything I loaded on her. I guess I also have some bad systemic yeast problems, so I'm to be on these high doses of probiotics, but first do a cleansing diet....then after a few weeks go on Diflucan, anti-fungal med.

I hope after the lab work and when I see her next, to get the green light to go on the HC. It's always slow going and with a new Doc, it's difficult to push at things.


I have not personally been diagnosed with thyroid issues but have started to read this forum as there are many similarities for me and autoimmune issues are often related and the testing procedures often fail.

A book I am reading at present is about how high dose vitamin d3 can 'cure'lupus which is something I have been diagnosed with.

I think it may be a useful area of research for others.

Its worth reading before just dosing as too much d3 can in some instances cause issues but if you can get it right for you it can supposedly have massive beneficial effects. D3 is another thing that cannot be patented by big pharma. Possibly a reason why something that could bring benefits is not pushed.


I am just a little unsure that D3 cures auto-immune issues like Lupus. I think it can go into remission and can then be better managed. I myself have Crohns and Hashimotos so am aware of the benefits of VitD and take 10,000iu's daily. This enables me to manage my life better. Learnt here :-) Also being gluten free can help many to heal their gut which is the source of so much illness.....

Have you had your thyroid anti-bodies checked ? All my TFT's were in range - but anti-bodies were way over range :-) Thyroid Scan ??


I have recently had a thyroid test done but unsure what is being tested for. Test just indicated thyroid

I did take rather a large dose 10000 iu recently when I was rather unwell

But alongside lots of other things. Something triggered a recovery but not exactly sure what.


You really need to know what has been tested - you may have Hashimotos - the auto-immune thyroiditis - as auto-immune issues often go hand in hand.

The tests you need are - TSH FT4 FT3 and the Antibodies Anti-TPO and Anti-Tg. Just having the TSH tells you so very little about the thyroid and what is going on in your body. You need the complete picture...

Also B12 - Ferritin - Folate - VitD - Iron - need to be tested and OPTIMAL for wellness....

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The root cause of auto-immune illnesses is the gut. It's the gut that makes our immune system, when this gets messed up, things go haywire. There is some degree of "leaky gut" and it also isn't able to absorb nutrients as well and you get over growth of things like candida.

It can take months...a year or so even....to heal the gut and get the normal flora balanced. This will bring the auto-immune attack down. Some will see no more anti-bodies on their lab work. You can become healed.


We have to address the issues that are causing us stress, that thought is being left out of the equation. So many of us do not have the necessary skills to deal with difficulties that occur in our lives, we do our best but how many people for instance are passive/aggressive instead of the healthy alternative of being assertive. Assertive communication is a skill in itself and few are good at it for many deep seated reasons, without this skill we are more than likely to succumb to stress and it's knock on effects. Just wanted to highlight this important realisation. Sometimes we need to learn how to change to lower our stress levels which again in turn the adrenals will thank us for.


I agree with you joyia, we suffer through lack of sleep, anger and stress, it all rebounds on us. It is so difficult in this day and age, such a stressful pace everyone is going at. I have suspected Adrenal problems for a long time and will definitely be requesting the 24 hour cortisol test with my Endo next week.


It's a vicious circle. The worse your adrenal function is, the less you can handle stress. Without normal cortisol you become less and less able to cope. Last year after a lot of stress, was in such a state of adrenal exhaustion, but didn't know it. I didn't want to leave the house. Any arguements with my teenagers turned into me screaming, like I was just losing it.

I did learn what a door-mat I had become for people. I had to learn to just care for myself. A lot of religions teach this self sacrifice, giving, humble, guilt-inducing way of life.

I now believe self love is not selfish. In fact, it is selfish to not love yourself...because then you will always be trying to get it from others. You'll be more of a "needy" person.

Be the best you can be and then you'll be better for others.


Artemiss - if you need founder members for your Adrenal Anger chapter please let me know (here my message was truncated - I also wanted to ask if maybe a certain type of personality has a predisposition to develop adrenal exhaustion? And have you learned to say no or to develop assertiveness as joyia mentions while feeling so very bad and unable to cope? If so please share! Thank you for your insights.


The AA thing was a joke, but not a bad idea eh? Yes, I think there are certain traits. A big one is co-dependent types. Also people who are very consciencious and try and be so responsible. People pleasers.

Things having to do with how we were raised and the "not feeling good enough". Many of us think in order to get love we must be worthy. We must be the right thing, say the right thing, do the right thing.....

We have to change our thinking and not care about other people's opinions.

I went through breast cancer, after a divorce. I thought I learned what to avoid in relationships. I thought I had become healthy by losing weight and eating healthy....but I found myself back in the same patterns again and again. Still trying to please others. Feeling like I had to be the care-taker to have value....

We are looking for healing in our relationships and are often attracted to people where we are wounded the most. We want to work at getting them to accept us. Our brains confuse this HOPE with feelings of love. We feel an emotional attraction to people we have to strive and get approval.

Someone who just easily accepts us, may feel boring. But we need to look at people we know would be good for us and let enough time form emotional bonds. This is all my learning from dating.

Love yourself and then have self confidence. It's actually an attractive thing. people want to be with someone they respect.

With men, I go by their actions now. I ask myself, are they treating me well? I use to let myself be in a delusion... made excuses, I gave the benefit of the doubt, I'd try different things.....instead of looking at the plain truth in front of me. What they say and do is IT! Don't read into it....don't be their therapist....don't feel guilty.

Life is short. Tell yourself every day that you are a prize.

Maybe the best thing that ever happened to me is getting breast cancer and living now with a very high chance of it coming back. I needed this. To me it's a gift. I have to think every day, is what I'm doing making me happy? Will my choices benefit me?

We can live always thinking that something in the future will make life better. If I accomplish this....if I get this done....if I find a partner....on and on....but that never ends. NOW is better. Don't live always in a waiting mode. Now you are better. Now is the only reality....tomorrow is a dream.


Artemiss - at the point my original message was cut off I had put a winking emoji - so yes, an apt joke well appreciated!

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences, your thoughts and conclusions; they have come at exactly the right moment.

Often, being incapacitated with adrenal fatigue my main feeling was guilt at letting others down, which made me force myself to somehow function, which caused more stress, which made the fatigue so much worse, which made others angry, which made me try everything to soothe their irritation - until I exploded and was, of course, labeled the 'irrational' one etc etc.

I have been contemplating a prescription for hydrocortisone for two weeks; I realize (for now) my choice is to either take the steroids in order to cope with stressors or to remove the stressors and have the life that makes regaining better health possible.

Your generosity in sharing some of your experiences and conclusions gave me the 'eureka' moment I needed - and I am sure will give food for thought to many other readers.

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I recognize things in what you're saying. Keep looking at your relationships. We often aren't aware. My ex was verbally abusive. Verbal abuse is not always "overt", no, it's often covert and subtle.

We often are made to feel guilty...always having to explain everything and defend yourself. Often disagreements are made to escalate until you are screaming....it's what they want.

You are always made to feel like you're the problem. It's easy to get a lot of self doubt and feel confused.

Look at every relationship and remember to never give away your power. We often give our power to others.

My ex left me for another woman. That was 5 years ago. Now I'm so glad that happened. I may have kept staying in an unhappy marriage, because I didn't have the guts or strength or know-how to do anything other then be dependent and not rock the boat.

I can look back and see how every "bad" thing that has happened has led to making my life better. I've learned to have no fear, things will always work out and you will have gained much compassion for others in the process.


Artemiss - I feel sorry that you had to go through what seems like a lot of illness, betrayal, unhappiness and self-doubt to arrive where you are today. All the more thanks for sharing what you learnt. Reading your words I suddenly had the feeling I could breathe again after a long-established knot in my stomach and fear of what you describe - the simple desire for a discussion of a topic turning into an escalating marathon of being backed into a corner, interrogated, belittled, being left shaking and near collapse - settled a bit.

No more walking on eggshells!

If I read your posts correctly you are still in the middle of solving your adrenal problems? How is that going? Keep us informed, please.


I think I'm like many here, trying to figure out what's next. I read good and bad things on-line about using adrenal extracts or hydrocortisone.

I've tried many herbal things and now I'm finding out that most of them are mostly to lower cortisol, even though they are touted at adaptogens helping your body if it's high or low. Everyone is different, but it can take months on up to 2 years to fully recover. You have to try diet, get your Iron levels up, reduce stress...then you start your recovery time.

Protect yourself and don't let anyone cause you to slide backwards. Think how you'd protect your own child....why can't you do this for yourself?

I feel more empowered now. I make all my own choices. I will not play the victim and blame others. Be smart about how other people treat you. You deserve to be treated well.

When we allow others to treat us badly, it's because we unconsciously think we deserve it....we don't think we deserve better or can get anything better. We don't value ourselves.

These unconscious feelings often prevent people from healing.

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So many true words - I will refer back to them often!

I am experimenting with CT3M and licorice to extend what little cortisol there might be ... early days. Adaptogens worked for me in the beginning when high cortisol levels were the problem. Now they make me feel worse.

The diet and main deficiency pieces of the puzzle are in place.

I wish you the best of luck in figuring out all the missing pieces, as I said: let us know! and remain strong!


What is CT3M? is it straight T3? Yes, I've heard licorice helps keep the cortisol that you do have around longer. I have to be careful with that, for some strange reason I sometimes have high blood pressure, haven't figured that out yet.

You're right, what a puzzle this is!


Oops, of course, I forgot about the blood pressure issue with licorice! Shame you have to skip that puzzle piece for now!

Paul Robinson's circadian T3 method tries to kickstart the morning/peak cortisol production by 'flooding' the body with T3 or NDT 90 minutes or more before getting up time.

I am seeing small improvements, but because there are so many variables to type, dose and timing of meds it is a very long process.


oh! yes, I've read about this. Supposedly your adrenal glands use the T3 for the morning production of cortisol....so you're giving them some T3 in the very early hours of the morning, before the peak of cortisol.

I'm finding this confusing. Even when I tried to increase the T3, using straight T3 or increase the Armour....My adrenals make me feel worse.

Since I'm ok on the 1 grain ( taking half in am and half in pm), all I would do is take my usual am dose at like 6am, if I get up at 8am.

I'll set my alarm and try it, why not?


hmmm, you have done an awful lot of reading/learning/research already. do you want to add ct3m handbook or the recoveringwitht3 website to your reading list? he pulls together a lot of information.

For comparison: my last saliva cortisol test showed a flat line at the very bottom of the range with the midday reading just under range. I started with 1mcg T3 at 05:30 and very quickly felt a slight increase of energy in the morning. I don't jump out of bed at eight yet but neither am I barely awake at midday anymore. My body happily wakes up just before the alarm. On 1/2 grain at 10 and another half at 15:00 I do ok-ish until about 17:00, then the shaking and weakness start. None of this helps on stressor days though.

So, who's ready for the adrenal thyroid retreat on some island so we can all figure this out in peaceful surroundings..?

From my misses and trials I would agree with your instinct of just giving it a try!

Maybe move another 1/4 to the a.m. dose to get that wave effect?

Please let us know how it goes!


great to hear from an actual person that is seeing some benefit. I know that the armour 1 grain, has some T3, around 9mcg. So, just taking the half earlier should be some help, rather then waiting till when ever I get up.

Yes, I can try more multi-dosing too.

I agree on the Island retreat, I think we may need a few months on it...umm, er...just for all our scientific research....

in the mean-time I will check out the website, didn't know there was one!


PS there is a T3CM (sic) yahoo group, members only, that is a great source of in depth information on this method, whether you want to search the archives or post questions.


You've just completely described me. I'll join your club and research !!!!


Great!!! We can all share what works.


Artemiss well said. We have to give up our rescuing behaviours and learn to connect with ourselves more, something so often lost especially when you are a mother, not easy but I am practising very hard!

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