Thyroid UK
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Cortisol and ACDH


I am desperate for some advise and support. First I had my cortisol and ACTH done via "blue horizon" in the summer 2014. I had a really bad journey to get to the hospital - eventually I had the test(s) completed at 10.30 AM (I was fasting from the previous evening). The results from this test are: Cortisol level: 277 - range - (64 - 536) ACTH level was 15 (range 10 - 46.7). I realize that these tests are to low and point to adrnal insufficiency.

However, I had a corisol test done via my GP - NHS. This was complete 6th Jan 2015. This show CORTISOL level at 516 (range - 170 - 540) This was done at 9.00 AM (fasting again).

I was told that my Gp cannot do a ACTH. I will have to pay private. ********I cannot aford this. It cost £134.00. I am so frightened of these results....I fear I have something serious..........I dont know who to turn to next...........I have nobody to turn to.......

* I also have underactive thyroid of 4.8 - this is being treated now with 100 micrograms of levothyrroxine. My feretin level is low - I am medicating for that. I also have B12 injections every 8 wks. I suppliment them with weekly B12 injections. My B12 level is good.

Please help,


5 Replies

Hi, ACSH should be ACTH - apologies Olly bear


Hi gill, I think many people with low thyroid also have low cortisol. Have you read some articles about adrenals? I have a couple of links. Usually licorice root, siberian ginseng and adrenal glandular are the boosters for that gland. Also vitamin C. These can be found at a health food store.

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Your ACTH is low. A low ACTH and Low Cortisol is Pituitary..Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency. But..then you had a high normal Cortisol at 9am..all makes no sense. I think you will need some repeat testing, or different testing done, to determine if you have something going on with your Pituitary.


I had below range cortisol on saliva stress test, all four samples were low, but blood cortisol was 709. Reason? Blood does not measure what is available to body, what body is using in cells, but saliva test does. A one off test can also vary. Have u had saliva stress done as it maps the days cortisol and dhea. I am very ill, more or less bed and housebound with diagnosis of m.e. Pretty sure the reason is the catch 22 of thyroid and low cortisol. I am now self medicating with hydrocortisone to get my cortisol stable enough that my cells will be able to use the thyroxine I've been on for twenty years. This is tricky, potentially risky but something I have decided to do after trying everything else and getting help and advice from Facebook groups. Forget the nhs they won't help u u have to do your own research and work out what's going on for your body. Sad but true. Good luck.


Yes buy stop the thyroid madness is an excellent starting point for helping yourself.


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