Thyroid UK

Cortisone instead of Nutri Adrenal supplements? I'm getting heart palpitations and a tightness in my throat & chest each morning when I wake

Hi everyone

Does anyone else with adrenal problems and/or poor T4 to T3 conversion get heart palpitations and a tightness of the chest and throat that's really painful when you're woken by a sudden noise or your alarm clock? I've had this on and off for years and am particularly stressed at the moment but have also come off of my 8 daily Nutri adrenals as they were making me burp too much(!) and didn't seem to be doing anything much any more. I've been on then for nearly 4 years and increased from 4 to 8 on Dr P's advice about 6 months or so ago. I came off of them about 2 months ago. I'm also getting acid reflux back as well as my hypoglycaemic shakes which have worsened. I just wondered if anyone else has this and if so, what do you take? Dr P did mention the possibility of maybe taking cortisone, although I don't think he wants me to ideally. (I'm female and 35). He also told me about Dr Wilson's special stuff - anyone tried this?

Any comments and answers gratefully received!

Thank you and keep well everyone,

Charlie x

9 Replies

Hello charlie3055,

Palpatations and a tight chest after a sudden noise are classic symptoms of adrenal problems. Eight NA is a lot and if your body tolerated them (except for the burping) I would be assuming your body needs them.

Dr P told me support is vital and some people will need it for life and he himself takes them everyday. This is because adrenal glands take years to be compromised but once they are, it can take even more years for them to recover, if ever.

Hypoglycaemia is another classic symptom of poor adrenal function. The body normally responds to low blood sugar by producing cortisol to increase blood sugar levels. When cortisol is low, adrenaline is used to elevate blood sugar. Hence we get shakes and lightheaded inbetween meals.

I have stopped this by eating a sensible diet with slow acting carbs and protein at every meal, and never missing a meal. (I have emergency Pulsin Protein Bars in my car at all times in case I get caught out.)

Acid reflux can actually be caused by too little acid in the stomach. If you have gut issues you might benefit from reading this link about supplementing Betaine.

I am taking Dr Wilsons adrenal supplements as was intolerant of Nutri.


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I thought this about the the reflux. I treated mine with Apple cider vinegar, and it turned out I needed hardly any to stop painful reflux every night. I started with three doses (tablespoon in a glass of water) per day. But now I just have a couple of glasses per week, and I get none, or one or two incidences per week.


I'm following the supplement protocol outlined by Dr Wilson in his book, which is the self help way of nourishing my adrenals as I don't have access to his ready-made formulations, and the very reason he even created his product is true - you have to take a bucket load of supplements otherwise.

I've been on the regime for nearly 3 weeks now, and its true, if you have adrenal fatigue/ insufficiency/ exhaustion, you will see improvements in this time. Healing apparently takes a minimum of 3 months, depending how severe your case is. I started on the regime cos I crashed on my natural thyroid meds, once I finally hit my optimal dose. It was a short-lived reprieve from being hypothyroid. But I'm not worried, as it may be that my hypothyroidism stems from an adrenal problem, and in fixing that I might not need thyroid meds afterwards. Fingers crossed!

However, after closer reading of Dr Datis Kharrazian's book, 'Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Labtests are Normal?', he points out that it'll be difficult (impossible?) to heal your adrenals completely if you have unstable blood sugar levels, which I do. So now while I'm doing the adrenal supplements protocol and taking milk thistle to support my liver (I have a fatty liver [NAFL]), I've just started the advanced plan diet to reset my metabolism as recommended by Dr Mark Hyman in his book, The Blood Sugar Solution. Basically, as I'm already gluten, dairy and sugar free, it can only be starchy carbs causing my blood sugar to be so high. Dr Kharrazian explains how being hypothyroid and hypoglycemia, or dysglycemia (low, high or up and down, whatever the case may be) commonly presents together.

I'm not sure if this helps, but it may help you think about what else you might be able to do in a bid to find that illusive holy grail we all strive for, good health... :-)

Oh, and in trying to find the underlying cause of your problems, you mentioned burping too much from taking the Nutri Adrenals, and acid reflux when you're not. From what I've been reading, a common problem for hypothyroid people is low stomach acid (from having a low body temp). Sounds like you've got digestive issues at the very least. Just as another route to may be look into, I've read lots of hypothyroid people in the States responding to something called Betaine with Pepsin, or HCL, as well as digestive enzymes. I took probiotics for a year to sort my digestive issues, plus gluten and dairy free, to good effect.

I'm only 41 myself, hypothyroid, single mum of a 3 year old. On a complete mission to try and crack this whole metabolism enigma for me too. All the best.


Haha, snap! Flower007 and I must have been writing our replies at the same time. Pretty much saying the same thing. :-)

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Kimarina, I was thinking of buying that Dr K book, after hearing him on the Underground Wellness podcast. Looking at it online it seemed like it was nearly all about Hashimoto's. I've had thyroid cancer and no thyroid, so it's always confusing reading stuff aimed at people with a slightly different problem.

Did it it have large sections about other things, and and would you recommend it to someone like me? Thanks!


I see what you mean. He does write a disclaimer that his book deals with hypothyroidism only, and not Graves or thyroid cancer. :-( But as I've got it on Kindle, I did a quick search and one thing I thought was quite interesting in regards to what you've described, is one of the functions of healthy gut bacteria is:

'to facilitate the conversion of T4 to T3. When diets are poor and digestion falters, dysbiosis, an overabundance of bad bacteria, occurs crowding out the beneficial bacteria and hampering thyroid function.'

I don't know what your diet or digestion is like, as I'm assuming you must be on appropriate thyroid meds for you, having been under Dr P AND due to not actually having a thyroid anymore, but as I mentioned before, diet and digestion are things I've been addressing in myself too, slowly over the past two years, and each change has seen a small improvement of sorts. I had IBS and already discovered dairy as one of my triggers back in my 20s, but have actually found going gluten free last Jan, has removed so many more of the symptoms I've been plagued with since I was in nappies. I then took probiotics for a year (high strength/multi-strain 50+ billion CFU) after researching about healthy guts. I no longer take probiotics as I've now moved onto eating fermented vegetables everyday, (sauerkraut is ridiculously easy to make), and I only need 1/4 - 1/2 a cup a day to get more than any capsule form could give me. It's like a yummy condiment now.

I've been toying with the idea of Betaine and digestive enzymes, but again as I mentioned early, I know my blood sugar is high (I'm one point away from what's classified as prediabetes) and I've got a fatty liver, both of which can apparently be reversed by diet, so I'm giving that a crack first. And to be honest, its day one of my second attempt to cut starch out of my diet (having cut sugar out at the same time as the probiotics regime) and I'm suffering major withdrawal symptoms - headache, nausea, gurgly tummy, itchy skin, diarrhoea, dry mouth, fatigue but insomnia (its 2am here at the moment). I know I'm not hungry cos I've eaten good meals all day, and even snacks in between, but it just goes to show how powerful any kind of imbalance can be.

Dr K doesn't bang on about it in his book (it was only in the second reading that I caught certain statements here and there), but he said first you need to address gut inflammation/dysbiosis, anaemia and blood sugar imbalances if you're to heal your adrenals and the dysregulation of other hormones, and I guess even in your case, your body's ability to fully utilise your thyroid meds. I've just started his second book 'Why isn't my brain working?' and its the same starting point there for healing too.

I really like everything these Functional Medicine trained doctors say, and they're all singing from practically the same book. Interesting that them, along with Dr Lee (writes about progesterone deficiency which I'm also trying to correct), say that even polycystic ovaries (have this too) is actually an indication of metabolism problems (caused by a diet high in sugar/starch/refined food).

Another thought might be SIBO or h.pylori or candida overgrowth. I'm guessing candida die off is what's driving my withdrawal symptoms at the moment, as yeast is a problem for me too. The list just goes on and on... LOL

Long story short, but not really - haha, perhaps start researching gut health and metabolism instead and what you could do to restore it naturally. Hope I haven't waffled too much.

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Thanks for your generous, long reply. I think I do need to start thinking about blood sugar. I'm taking several adrenal support things at the moment, and seeing a lot of improvement. But I'm also noticing how eating has an enormous effect on me, I think my blood sugar is swinging up and down. Although to really to tell whether it's a passing phase while my adrenals get themselves together, or one of the causes. My main focus at the moment is is enjoying the extra energy and getting out and about a bit more. But am trying trying to let some blood sugar thoughts filter through because it's probably probably going to be the next thing I need to do. Thanks again :)


Yep, I hear ya. Really excited about my own increase in energy too (on adrenal support). But figured I might as well go the whole hog now that I've had a little taste of what I could potentially feel like for the rest of my life! Feeling like crap at present, but optimistic for even just in a week's time. :-)

When you are ready, I'd recommend The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr Mark Hyman. He does bang on a bit to drive the point home, but the science is sound, the quizzes are eye openers to the extent of one's symptoms related to diet, and actually, the recipe ideas at the back are really easy, like seriously easy.

Oh, and I'm not following his full recommended supplement regime as I figure I've already got the basics covered through my bucket of adrenal supplements, with Vit D on top of that.

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OMG! Additional comment: Dr Kharrazian has written a book called, 'Why isn't my brain working?', it will really blow your mind (pun intended) with the seriousness, and the science, behind why its vital to balance your blood sugar levels, and to keep them stable. Everything is finally falling into place for me as I read it now.

Just thought I'd tell you as a follow up on our previous discussion. :-)


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