Thyroid UK
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Ardenal Test results


I'm really sorry if this is the wrong place, if it is then please direct me to the right forum. I've had really helpful advice from people here on my recent thyroid results - thanks!

I've seen a few other members of Thyroid UK post Adrenal Saliva test results and wondered if anyone can help me? I am having a review with nutritionist but not for a while.

I've just had mine back from Biohealth:

Cortisol morning - 8.7 (13-24 range)

Cortisol noon - 3.3 (5-8 range)

Cortisol Afternoon - 0.4 (4-7 range)

Cortisol evening - 0.2 (1-3 range)

Cortisol sum 12.8 (23-42 range)

Cortisol:DHEA-S Ratio - 1.6 (5-6 range)

I can see these results are poor.. but what does this mean? Is this adrenal fatigue? And what is the basic treatment or advice for this? I've been off work for 4 months with extreme fatigue which I had put down to my recently diagnosed under-active thyroid/hashimotos, but this is another piece of the puzzle I guess.

I've already changed diet to Paleo and taking some basic supplements as per nutritionist.

Will the NHS help with this at all?

Thanks for the advice I'm a bit lost in it all. If I should post this somewhere else please let me know!

14 Replies

Hi there, are you on any thyroid med? I was diagnosed with a very hypo thyroid back in 1981, put onto T4 only, felt worse, in 1995 was prescribed steroids for very low adrenals by a private doctor (also changed from T4 to T3.) Many years on, I'm now of the opinion that if the thyroid is at optimal level, the adrenals will find their natural level. I must stress that this is my own opinion after much trial & error with both thyroid med & steroids for low adrenals. I've realised that my thyroid med was much too low for many years. My view is to look again and question your thyroid dose. I'm now regretting taking steroids for adrenals for so many years. Best wishes


Dr Skinner had the same point of view as you in that if we had optimum thyroid hormones the adrenals looked after themselves.

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Hi Shaws, I read about Dr Skinner's view on this on this site a while back. I've come to my own conclusion from my own medical history & what's happened since I was prescribed steroids. I really do think steroids have caused further medical problems... osteoporosis, weak muscles.


Natural dessicated thyroid hormones contain all the hormones our dead/dying thyroid gland produces. Would mother nature provide hormones we don't need? Even although T2, and T1 are extremely. Calciton too, I have read, helps prevent osteoporosis. I am on T3 alone because, like others, GP wont prescribe NDT. I do know of one that suits me well too.


Hi, thanks for your reply. Yes I've been on Levothyroxine for 2 months, GP has just upped it to 75mcg. My TSH was high and my free T4 was low so he is hoping that after 6 weeks on the 75mcg things will have improved on the Thyroid front.

Really good to hear your thoughts on the steroids - I don't want to take them if I don't need to so this will prompt me to do some more research and talk to the Nutritionist about this when I get to see her (she is functional medicine trained too).


With your cortisol levels being so terribly low, I think you urgently need a referral to an endocrinologist to find out if you have Addison's Disease.

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Thanks, your reply prompted me to see my GP tomorrow to ask about this.


If you get your cortisol levels checked by your GP and they come back ok (mine did, despite 3 saliva tests showing low cortisol), then I would highly recommend taking adrenal cortex extract 3 times per day. I have found this the single most useful thing for my weak adrenals and have definitely noticed improvements with energy (and I am optimally dosed on NDT so I know that's not the culprit)

I also take:

Vit C 1500mg

Vit B complex

Vit D3

Selenium, Vit A, C and E


Raw hypothalamus

Raw Pituitary gland

I use Adrenergize Adrenal Glandular 150mg - I have tried others, which were not as strong but they didn't work as well.

Hope this helps :)

If you do ask your GP to check your levels, and they do come back normal - don't expect any further help as you may not get it. They fail to recognize anything between either Addisons Disease or Cushings Disease, which to me is absolutely ridiculous! It's about time they were re-educated in this field as far too many people are suffering from low levels, and never receive the proper help and treatment. Shocking.


Ah thank you that is so helpful - it's so much new learning to do isn't it!! I am now seeing the doctor tomorrow morning and we'll see if he is willing to test and see.

Thanks for the advice on what to take - if you don't mind me asking, how long have you been on these? Are you expecting to take the Adrenal Cortex & extract forever or gradually be able to come off of it?

It is crazy that they don't offer support for anything in between Addisons and Cushings!


Well - I have been taking them for months on and off. I feel much better when taking them, but when I stop - it creeps back again, so in all honestly this is where I get a bit stumped. I have seen different opinions on how long to take them - some say 3 months, some say 6... some say longer. I guess it all comes down to the individual, and how bad it is. I will continue with them again now for at least 3 months solid, and then wean off and see how that works.


Hi, I'm quite new to this cortisol testing and adrenals but from what I've gathered from reading up on these sibjects is that 13-25 is the optimal range for morning saliva cortisol rather than the actual range. On the NHS and in general the actual range for the saliva cortisol morning was around 5-45. Once you start getting <3 you get quite serious symptoms. However I do agree that you probably do have adrenal fatigue and that low cortisol is playing a part in your symptoms and you should go to the GPs but just to warn you that they might not take it too seriously. I got 4.6 in the refrange given above and they're not that bothered about that.

Hope you get some answers soon


Thanks Carly. Did you manage to get some answers for yourself which help with fatigue and the effects of low cortisol (if you have symptoms)? I'm not putting a lot of hope in the GP but hoping another doctor/practitioner will be able to help with supplements etc.


The endocrinologist is repeating the saliva test on Monday to see if its low again then I'll have the short synacthen test if it is. I was also diagnosed with Pernicious anemia a few days ago which probably hasn't helped with my health. Have you had your b12 levels checked? Its worth finding out what it is because doctors are absolutely useless at diagnosing b12 deficiency and can let it get really bad before they do anything.

I would still encourage you to go to the doctors and try to reason with them, whats important to know is that a lot of medication can interfere with the cortisol blood tests so its best to try and get a saliva test done again if you are on any meds. Sorry that I can't give you much more info, its just taking so long to find out what is actually wrong with me!


Ask your GP to order a test for adrenal autoantibodies. If it comes back positive, you should be referred to an endocrinologist - not necessarily a good thing! Good luck.


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