Border line adrenal fatigue and synacthen test

A recent blood test taken at 10am by my local NHS hospital shows I have border line adrenal fatigue. My GP has organised a synacthen test due to be taken shortly. I have extreme sensitivities to drugs/chemicals and concerned about the substance they pump into you for this test. I am aware a saliva test may be more accurate but not in a position to fund privately and have to go with the flow. Should my levels be of concern to the hospital I am worried what treatment they may recommend. I much prefer the alternative route, having followed this for years, unfortunately I am not in a good space at present even though I have a healthy diet/life style. I admit to having been subjected to a great deal of family stress which I am attempting to deal with at Counselling sessions.

I am on 100 levo having been reduced from 125 but Dr insists this is for the best. At 74 years of age I think stresses of life have finally caught up with me, I really thought my final hours were up around five weeks as I felt so dreadful, I am limping along. Since then I have quietly attempted recovery following James Wilson's Adrenal fatigue advice. Sadly I am finding it difficult to recover and feel I have no choice but to end up in the hands of the NHS and all that entails. I am a fighter and a great researcher so any advice and help would be very much appreciated. Thank you for reading my long blog.

11 Replies

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  • Hi,

    A adrenal test should be taken no later than 9am, unless delightful nhs have changed the guidelines. This is for accuracy at a time when cortisol is likely to be low (it can increase from then). That is what my Dr told me.

    I suffered dangerously low cortisol but my short stathecen was ok pm two days later. The test is only as good as the time it was taken. I think there is a 24 hour test (is that the saliva test?) but nhs refuse this.

    You may already know the above, but in case not.

    Wishing you well x

  • Hi,

    A adrenal test should be taken no later than 9am, unless delightful nhs have changed the guidelines. This is for accuracy at a time when cortisol is likely to be low (it can increase from then). That is what my Dr told me.

    I suffered dangerously low cortisol but my short stathecen was ok pm two days later. The test is only as good as the time it was taken. I think there is a 24 hour test (is that the saliva test?) but nhs refuse this.

    You may already know the above, but in case not.

    Wishing you well x

  • Hi,

    A adrenal test should be taken no later than 9am, unless delightful nhs have changed the guidelines. This is for accuracy at a time when cortisol is likely to be low (it can increase from then). That is what my Dr told me.

    I suffered dangerously low cortisol but my short stathecen was ok pm two days later. The test is only as good as the time it was taken. I think there is a 24 hour test (is that the saliva test?) but nhs refuse this.

    You may already know the above, but in case not.

    Wishing you well x

  • Hi,

    A adrenal test should be taken no later than 9am, unless delightful nhs have changed the guidelines. This is for accuracy at a time when cortisol is likely to be low (it can increase from then). That is what my Dr told me.

    I suffered dangerously low cortisol but my short stathecen was ok pm two days later. The test is only as good as the time it was taken. I think there is a 24 hour test (is that the saliva test?) but nhs refuse this.

    You may already know the above, but in case not.

    Wishing you well x

  • Please don't bother wasting your time with a synacthen test. See my historical posts on the experience. It is no more than an NHS box ticking exercise. The NHS does not even have reference ranges for the test, so whatever you results are, they come back as "normal". The NHS does not treat or acknowledge adrenal fatigue (as others here will also tell you). They will do nothing unless you have Addison's , by which time - frankly, it may be too late.

    You can try a number of things, get your salt intake up (proper salt, not the processed rubbish), keep blood sugar levels stable, get lots of rest, eat good food - avoid all junk; try one of the adaptogens like Rhodiola. Get up your levels of key vitamins and minerals required for good thyroid function, iron, D3, B12. Get high dose supplements without mag strearate. Do not be fobbed off by being told any nhs blood tests are normal as invariably they are not optimal for good thyroid function.

    The key thing is to be optimally medicated which i have a feeling you may not be. If you gp will not up your levo, consider doing what many here do and self medicate with NDT. It is more affordable and accessible than you think.

  • I had a synacthen test that came back abnormal, but all that means is that you'll get sent for an MRI and an insulin stress test. Even though the insulin stress test made me collapse, it was *normal*. I eventually got much better on my own with meditation, herbal remedies and adrenal support supplements (but it took a long time).

  • Thanks everyone for your replies. I have upped my organic salt intake, resting and eating nutritiously, I do take vitamins but have not tried Rhodiola which I will look into. I have misgivings about the nhs treatments but even though I am following much of the above I feel very unwell indeed. I had a trial run of T3 last year but I felt unwell on it and went back to just T4 which seemed to put me back on track then. I have never taken NDT and would not know where to start with it or what to buy or where. I have read brilliant advice here over the years but it does get confusing sometimes to understand it all. I know it takes time to get well, something I have been aiming at over last years but recently I have gone down with a bang after a very stress episode. After years of specific diets leaving out this and that, taking numerous vitamins etc I feel so fed up with it all now I just want to go to bed and give up. Sorry to be so down beat but if the nhs is a wash out what is there left to do, I am having a job to see the point anymore.

  • joyia don't ever give up, when the sun comes out and the daffs appear and the flowers and the birds sing, it looks different, we must never give up altho I know exactly how you feel.. I am verysimilar to you, stress also sets me back, I was beginning to feel a tad better last year and thought at last then I was floored by a massive family stress situation, I even wentto the doctors to get antianxity pills, very alien for me to ask. I solderied on but it hs obviously taken its toll as I am on the floor now and feel so dreadful. but I keep telling myself, I got ther before and I will do it again. you can too. keep strong.x

  • I too was so ill 5 years ago with cortisol well below 400,mine was 217 and I was normal even I was too weak to stand, I collapsed on the stairs of my friend before goin gto hosp. but hey I was normal and told that there was nothing organically wrong, by a horrible short nasty little prof of endo who I would love to name and shame.... funny but when I went toanother prof later he looked thru the tests and declared abnormal! but I stil l never had adrenal support , it was DO OR DIE, I suppose my number wasn't up for God at the time, but I have never really recovered. I shall keep blue daffs print above. also at that time my genova saliva ws all outside range very low and my daily amount of cortisol was 12nmol in a range of 21- 41 nmol... and even then it was outside range.

  • blue daff that is a brilliant piece of advice.

  • joyia I have adrenalsprobs too and when you are tired it is hard to research, I remember when I thought I was on th e way out five years ago, I am feelin g that now and it is scary, all I can say is b5 and licorace not deglyzarrized but only if you hav elow bp which you prob have as you are adrenal insuff.

    ashwangda and rhodiala. I wish you bettersoon x

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