Thyroid UK
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adrenal cortex extract (ACE)

hi, all. i had a full blown adrenal crash (not addison's--just very low cortisol) a few years ago and haven't been the same since. i've had major difficulties with various thyroid meds--am finally now on something that works (NDT alone, without any synthetic t3 or t4). i sense that my adrenals are finally a bit happier and my guess/hope is that they will become even happier as more time passes on just NDT and as i optimise my dose (i'm currently on 2.5 grains). a friend familiar with these things recommended that i try taking ACE (adrenal cortex extract) in order to get rid of lingering adrenal symptoms; i ordered one from thorne and now have it but am a bit afraid to take it and don't really know how to take it. (in the past, i had terrible reactions to most everything recommended to me for adrenal issues, including liquorice, phosphatidylserine, selenium, etc.) i was wondering if anyone out there had taken it, has any advice on how to take it, and/or if it's worth my while to just wait a bit longer to see if the NDT will take care of things on its own. (for what it's worth, my husband is really against my taking it because he is worried about BSE.) thanks !

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Julie, I'm sorry you've had no replies. Perhaps you could quarter a tablet to see how you tolerate it and titrate dose slowly to tolerance.

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Thanks, Clutter. I took one this morning on a relatively empty stomach and 2 hours later had what reminded me of my salmonella experience years ago. Truly awful. Maybe unrelated to the ace?, but my husband is fine and we've been eating the same things. So, no more adrenal cortex experiments for me !

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Julie, 1/2 to 1 tsp of salt in orange juice is a natural adrenal support which might be helpful.

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Thanks - have been doing the salt thing for years but somehow without success. I'm just hoping now that maybe continued time on a better thyroid dose will allow the adrenals to do better, too. Seems like there might not be an alternative.

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Julie, two respected doctors, both recently deceased, were of the opinion that sorting out thyroid levels would also sort out adrenal function.

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that is wonderful news! it has been my suspicion, because i've noticed all along that my low cortisol symptoms improve (with time) when my thyroid dose is better, but it's really nice to have (possible) confirmation of this.

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Hi Julie, I'm reading through old posts and I am currently in the situation you were back then. Can ask how you are now? Did your adrenals catch up with the NDT? My doc has recommended T3 only but after 4 days on a very low dose it caused a big crash.

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hi, franny. boy, reading those messages over sure takes me back... i'm really sorry to hear you're suffering right now and hope that things will even out soon. i'm doing much, much better now (after years of misery). what it finally took for me was being on a good dose (not too high, not too low) of NDT for a good long while. i did horribly on t3 alone, and very poorly on the various combinations of t4 and t3 and ndt that i tried. NDT alone has been the best thing for me, though it's been a bit tricky finding a good dose. it seems like the more time passed (with me just taking NDT), the better and more normal things got. i'd tried only t3 at some point and found it just an awful, difficult experience. every time the next dose was due, my heart would pound like crazy and my heart rate would accelerate. it was like a roller coaster, and i just never felt calm or comfortable in my body. (it's great for some apparently, though.) NDT feels much softer, for lack of a better word.

my main difficult side effect, by the way, used to be a terrible, terrible tremor that would come on with any isometric movements (like even holding my toothbrush up). that's almost completely gone now. i also seem to do better when my free t3 blood test results are not in the upper end of the range. the middle seems to be a more comfortable place for me, though i also feel slightly under-medicated.

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almost forgot to add: i've also noticed that i don't do well with most supplements and have cut most of them out. i just take iron sometimes (and have to monitor it to make sure it doesn't go too high), small dose of vitamin c, occasionally a tiny bit of vitamin d, and a whole-food multi at half the recommended dose.

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I'm glad you're feeling much better. That's the most important thing. :) However, I'm curious whether you tested your adrenals before and after optimising your thyroid hormone levels on NDT. (I'm wondering about the notions of 'fix your thyroid and your adrenals will follow' and 'fix your adrenals and your thyroid will come round'.)

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