Thyroid UK

High cortisol

High cortisol

Can having high cortisol levels effect absorbtion of thyroid meds? I was put on 25/30 mg of hc 7 years ago and had a tt,then hubby left and I couldn't afford to see the dr who was helping me but I just stayed on the hc ,but never could I get my thyroid levels too raise from right at the bottom of the scale for years and was bed bound ,so I bravely weened myself off the hc over 6 months waited 7 weeks then did the saliva test...whilst I was weening and only up too 3 weeks ago was I able too cope alone or go out and was nearly hospitalized with mental health symptoms and extreamly scared and I'm just wondering if being on a inappropriate dose of hc can block the thyroid meds. .?. Thank you for reading a teeny bit of my horror

3 Replies

"but never could I get my thyroid levels too raise from right at the bottom of the scale for years and was bed bound"

Could you be more specific about your thyroid levels, please. What levels are you referring to? Do you have recent results to pass on?

There are several things that you need to know about your thyroid function. The complete set of tests, which is rarely done, is :


Free T4

Free T3

Thyroid antibodies - there are three kinds - see the table on this page :

Not knowing your history I'm not sure how many of the antibodies apply to you - I'm also not sure which ones persist after thyroidectomy.

I looked back at some of your previous posts and noticed a very old result from about three years ago where you wrote about having very high (over the range) reverse T3. I had the same problem - in fact your result was identical to mine. I stopped taking any thyroid meds that contained T4 and went on to T3 only. I had terrible trouble with it at the start and had to raise my dose very, very quickly indeed, because otherwise I couldn't walk or talk properly, I staggered and forgot my vocabulary instead. I'm sure it was the high reverse T3 that made that necessary. I managed to lower my high reverse T3, and last time it was measured it was just over mid-range - still too high for my liking but nevertheless a huge improvement. I didn't stay on T3 only at the time, I kept on experimenting for a while, but I'm back on it again now, and taking a fairly small dose. I feel a lot better than I did, but still have a way to go.

Since you have no thyroid, it would be extremely dangerous - in fact life-threatening - for you to switch to T3 the way I did, so please don't follow my example. My thyroid still produces some hormones but you don't have one and you must never be in a situation where you don't have enough thyroid hormone to keep you alive. But if you wanted to try it, I imagine you could switch over slowly from NDT to T3. You should ask for advice in a new question : "Had a TT and want to try T3 only - opinions and advice please". Marram, one of the administrators, has had a TT and now takes T3 or T3 plus NDT, but at one time she was on levothyroxine and was dreadfully ill. Her posts over the years where she refers to her own health and treatment are worth reading :

Another thing...

I have also had problems with high cortisol. After I reduced my reverse T3 back in to the normal range the symptoms I associated with the high cortisol became less of a problem. I haven't had a recent test to find out how my cortisol is doing though. I don't have bad symptoms now so I don't see the need to test.


Yes Tanyaking,

STTM states that high cortisol can block the conversion of T4 to T3.

TREATMENT: Since this is simply a stress pattern of healthy adrenal function, patients use certain adaptogens which help even out your body’s response to stress, both raising low and lowering high. Examples include Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Relora, Eleuthero, Maca, Schisandra, etc. Patients will often combine them, or take alone.

Sorry you have been so ill. Cortisol problems can have far reaching effects.

I hope you start to feel better soon.


1 like


I am having cortisol issues can you advise me in my previous post to the group?



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