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Thyroid UK
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NHS tests that may help diagnose adrenal issues

A few people asked what tests my endo ordered in order to find the root cause of my adrenal problems. The ones that are different to the normal lifter function, bone, urea etc. are

Heterophile antibody - a test for Epsten Barr Virus/glandular fever.

IGF-1 - IGF-1 may be used with other pituitary hormone tests, such as adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), to help diagnose hypopituitarism.

ACTH - measures the level of the hormone in blood

Adrenal antibodies - self explanatory

Lyme serology - test for Lyme disease

Fasting gut hormones - a test to find out if there is a pituitary tumour

ACTH stim test - measuring the stress response of the adrenals to ACTH, which can assess the function of the adrenals.

Tests ordered by my GP prior to this based on a 24hr saliva test which showed 3 very low cortisol and very low (out of range) DHEA

DHEAS - a good test to measure adrenal function. DHEAS can be measured to help distinguish adrenocortical tumours (tumours in the cortex of the adrenal gland) from adrenal cancers, and adrenal hyperplasia (which may be congenitalor adult onset).

Aldosterone and renin ratio: can be used to test if people have poor adrenal function

24hr cortisol urine test - measures the total amount of cortisol produced in 24hrs. Not useful if you have peaks as these may normalise the cortisol lows.

I hope this is of some use for people.

8 Replies

Lifter is meant to read liver! Doh


Gosh very confusing. If you were going to have one test would you have the saliva or urine test?


Brilliant. We all want tests, tests and more tests so we can get results. Hope you are finding some spanglysplash.


Still waiting on results. If I had to choose a test between urine and saliva I'd go for saliva as that tells you how it peaks and troughs during the day. The NHS doesn't offer the saliva test, the tests I've listed give the NHS something to work with in a language they understand. If it's recognised by more doctors that prescribing Levo to patients with underlying adrenal issues can leave them totally debilitated maybe more doctors will be more open to treating the adrenals and look at other treatments (ndt or T3) for thyroid issues.

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very helpful thanks my cortisol is low and dhea and I am feeling like I am dragging a ten truck behind me allday and cant even move properly in be dto lift my head

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I hope you get better soon. I'm making very slow subtle progress but at least it's progress.


spangly how are you doing this


Well I haven't been taking any NAX or Erfa for the last 3 weeks as I have to be clear for the upcoming tests as they affect the results (previous to this I had taken NAX for a week and a half and Erfa for 3 days and I noticed some improvement)

I've been going to TCM acupuncture weekly, restorative yoga, autoimmune protocol dirt with betaine/pepsin at every meal and lots and lots of rest.

I can't work at the moment.


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