No Action On High Cortisol Levels

I feel I'm at the end of the roads here now. I have done all I can. These are my Cortisol Results over the last year:

May 2015 649

Feb 2015 652

Aug 2014 648

Range (175 – 600)

My GP spoke to the endo who said there was a screening test they could do at the surgery and for me to phone him but when I spoke to GP he told me the endo didn't think there was a need for the screening test because of the levels of my Cortisol eg he didn't seem to think they were problematic.

The test would have involved taking a steroid and having blood tested early in the morning. When I asked about side effects of steroid GP said I may stay awake all night and as he didn't think the test was necessary, I declined.

19 Replies

  • FoggyMoggy,

    Adrenal output is only recognised as a problem by doctors when it reaches either end of the spectrum resulting in Addisons (low cortisol) or Cushings (high cortisol).

    A person could experience an extremely high or low or even boarder line cortisol level and the medical profession would fail to recognise it. Treatment for recognised adrenal problems are steroids.

    If your cortisol levels are too high, your body can not rest or maintain this level for ever. Your levels will change to highs and lows, and then eventually all lows as cortisol is depleted.

    Specialist supplements and adaptogens can help with adrenal problems but can be powerful and best used under professional guidence.

    A good read is "Adrenal Fatigue. The 21st century stress syndrome by Dr Wilson.

    Below is a link explaining adrenal disfunctions and the repercussions.


  • Many thanks for your reply, Flower. I guess I'm going to have to wait for them to become more depleted for them to take it seriously :(

    But I have got a copy of Stop This Thyroid Madness for my birthday so maybe there's something in there too about adrenal fatigue.

  • Yes there will be.

    If you read about adrenal disfunction you will realise it is better not to wait to treat them. Restoring adrenal health can take a long time and you will probably never get that help from the National Health unless you got Addisons or Cushings, both of which are quite rare, and you really don't want to have to medicate on steroids for the rest of your life.


  • Thanks Flower. I will read more about it. I posted my Cortisol levels on the other thread I started which you are subscribed to :)

  • Are you on the pill? Some contraceptive pills can make your total cortisol levels seem higher than they really are, even though the bioavailable (free cortisol) you have will be "normal".

  • Absolutely not Juliet! I was on it decades ago and it sent my blood pressure through the roof. I am on anti-depressants but my blood pressure now isn't high. It's normal

  • This man knows what makes thyroid and adrenals tick.

  • Thanks Heloise :)

  • You could well be on the way to developing Cushings and unlike some have said, will continue to rise or rise and fall in cycles. Some Cushing is not consistant and it takes many tests to find it at times. This would be due to a Pituitary Tumor or Tumor in the lung or on Adrenal Glands. You will have to insist on imaging tests or an itial 24 hour Urine collection test, as these levels are too high. You will have to not give up and see more doctors. I have watched my friend go thru this in the States.

  • I have heard and known someone who had the benign tumour of the pituitary test. All the GP offered was a steroid test which he said would keep me awake all night and that the endo didn't think it was worth pursuing at these levels. He didn't say anything about a urine test but that would make sense - I could do that at home and they could check for different levels throughout the day. I am due to have a health check so could ask for it then

  • The urine test only checks the total amount of cortisol in 1 24 hour period, 1x. You have to fill up a jug and take it to the lab. The doctor needs to be concerned about Cushings tho, or they won't order it. We have all been thru Hell. The doctors, everywhere, don't listen and don't know their jobs, when it comes to thyroid, cortisol..hgormones in general..they just don't get it.

  • Will they not send it to the lab for you? I don't have transport so not able to take it myself

  • In the US, when i had my test, i had to go to the lab, get the kit and return it when done. There must be some kind of trasport. for people unable to get to and from the lab. You will have to check. I'm sorry that you feel so bad.

  • No worries. I am in the UK so don't even know if they will do this test for free.

  • The doctor ordered mine. I still had to pay something.

  • I would ask your GP if you can do the 24 hour urinary free cortisol test. You don't take any tablets just collect all urine from a 24 hour period into a container and they analyse it. It only measures the free cortisol so it's more accurate. Mine was over 600 when blood tested but below ref range on the 24 hour urine test.

  • Thanks Shaz. That sounds like a plan. I am due for a 20-25 minute medical as they are offering it to everyone between 40 and 75 so I could ask then. :)

  • I had very similar results to you, in that NHS test my result was over range, but they said it didn't matter.

    Then I got the 24hr saliva test, and it was all over the shop. My morning cortisol was twice the upper range, but low or below range all the rest of the day.

    I did this with a private doctor from Louise Warvill's list, who then set me up with adrenal support including Nutri Adrenal. I'm now 3 months in and am getting huge improvements.

  • Thanks Silver Avocado. Others have suggested a free urine test so may go for that first. I have a feeling that my Cortisol will be higher at night because I am most alert then but don't know for sure.

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