Adrenal test results

Adrenal test results

Hello, still new here, and I've just got back my test results, and wondered if anyone was able to help me understand them.

I had them done, as I feel so poorly, its terrible. I sleep most of the time, and can't hold a conversation longer than 10mins without nodding off! I've put on 4stone of weight over 2 years and I am at breaking point. I don't know where to go or what to do.

I currently take 100mcg of levo and half a 25mcg tablet of T3, and I'm desperate.

Thank you for reading and it would be great if anyone can help.

13 Replies

  • Bellerin You have the two middle samples high cortisol and your DHEA is low, obviously they're not balanced. You need to address the high cortisol.

    These links to Dr Sarah Myhill's site explain about adrenal test results: - you are number (4) in that list - number (3) in that list which is the same as number (4) in the above - again number (3)

    Dr Myhill says how she treats this but says it must be part of a package although she doesn't expand on that. I'm not a practioner nor medically trained so I can't recommend what supplements you should be taking to address this, I only know what my practioner has advised for my particular problem which isn't quite the same as yours.

    Your thyroid tests from a month ago, presumably on 75mcg Levo and 12.5mcg T3 if I've read your other post correctly, showed

    Serum TSH - 0.05 miu/L (0.3 -5.5)

    Serum free T4 level - 15 pmol/L (12 -22)

    serum free triiodothyronine - 5.8 pmol/L (3.1 - 7)

    and Clutter replied

    Your TSH is low, which is fine, FT4 is mid-range, which is good when on combination T4+T3, and FT3 is excellent in the top third of range. It looks to me as though you are already optimally medicated on T4+T3.

    You are now on 100mcg Levo and 25mcg T3, that's quite an increase considering your previous results and Clutter's reply. Did your GP increase your Levo? You are probably self treating with T3 as they are the 25mcg tablets. Do you have any new results now you are on the higher doses or are you planning to re-test?

    I see from a previous post

    platelet count - 117 /L (150 -450) - that is way below range, has your GP said anything as this needs to be discussed

    lymphocyte count - 1.04 /L (1.5 - 3.5) - below range, again has your GP said anything about this?

    serum potassium level - 3.9 mmo/L (3.9 - 5.3) - at bottom of range, maybe mention to your GP so he can keep an eye on it

    folate - 20 ug/L - (3.8 -16.0) - A bit high, I don't know anything about high folate but because of your other results out of range above, I would be asking your GP

    ferritin - 64 ug/L - (15 - 150.0) - that should do with being at least 70, preferably 100+, for thyroid hormone to work properly, are you supplementing?

    vitamin B12 - 843 ng/L (197 - 771.0) - that's good

    What about Vitamin D?

    I doubt your GP will take much notice of your Genova adrenal test, it may prompt him to do his own test though, but I really think you should be discussing those out of range results. There seems to be a lot going on and it could possibly all be connected.

  • Hi SS,

    I think op is still on 12.5mcg T3,

    J x

  • Thanks Jose651 - I've just gone back up and re-read the original post and see it says "half a 25mcg tablet of T3" - my mistake.

  • No probs SS


  • Thank you for all your lovely help.

    I think a lot of the results of my blood work, is down to my Anorexia. (which I have had for 10 years and still do, even thought my weight has ballooned over the last 2 years)

    Unfortunately my GP had recently moved & left, so I'm a bit distressed about where to go next with that. I had such a good relationship with him over the past ten years, he has seen me through 2 hospital admissions and 2 clinics!

    I was wondering if I can could go to see a private GP? I would just like somebody to look at all my symptoms as a whole, rather than just their field.

    As I was unsure whether its my Anorexia, thyroid, cortisol or a mix of all of them being the problem! I also have a problem with my liver results, due to paracetamol is-use, so I don't know if that is an issue also. A new GP referred me to an NHS Endo, and he was useless! Just told me not to touch T3 with a bargepole and he wouldn't be prepared to treat me if I continued with it! I was taking 75 mcg of Levo and 25mcg of T3 since 1st of may, so now since seeing him, I am coming of the T3, but wanted to up my Levo (even though he told me not to) as I felt awful on just 75mcg, hence, why I added the T3 in the first place!

    Still feel so poorly, I sleep most of the afternoon (which is weird with my cortisol levels!) and struggle with swollen legs, feet, chest, neck and especially ankles and face, as well so lots of pains in my joints and muscles. But I do seem to be actually hot all the time, so not sure what's happening with that! I have an extremely good nutritionist who first advised me to have my adrenals tested, so I will see what she says also.

    I will try to see if I can get a private GP and Endo to see if they can help, its just so damn expensive! Again thank you for your advice, it is vital for me as I feel so desperately lost.

  • High cortisol can be caused by any kind of stress - mental, physical, or physiological.

    Everyone knows what creates mental stress for them, and I'll leave that one up to you.

    Physical stress - If you are doing too much exercise or exercise which is too tough for your body to handle this can cause physical stress and can play havoc with cortisol levels (and other things like Free T3 levels). Eating a poor diet and not eating enough will also cause stress. How much exercise do you do and what type? What is your normal diet like?

    Physiological stress - Having poor levels of vitamins and minerals will cause cortisol problems. You need a generous intake of omega-3 fatty acids, plenty of vitamin C, and good levels of all the B vitamins. If you take any of these can you tell us how much and what kind, please.

    There are substances called adaptogens which help some people. From personal experience of the ones I've tried, I've found that trial and error is necessary. Don't introduce more than one at a time, and give yourself a week or two to work out whether something helps before giving up or adding something new.

    Of the adaptogens listed in the above link, I've tried 2, 3, 5 and 6.

    Holy Basil - I've only ever tried this in the form of a tea. It helps me, but I intend to try it in the form of a proper supplement when I can get my act together and buy it. It can be bought online without prescription e.g. on Amazon. The recommendations I've read suggest taking one tablet an hour before a high cortisol reading. You have two high readings so I would suggest trying one for a few days then add a second if you think it is helping and you tolerate it well.

    Ashwaganda - I'm in a minority of one on this. I couldn't tolerate it. Lots of people say it helps them.

    Licorice root - raised my blood pressure. I wouldn't take it again.

    Rhodiola Rosea - I loved this for ages. It gave me a boost of energy in the mornings when I felt like death warmed up. The usual dosage is one first thing in the morning, with a second if necessary later in the morning/lunchtime. Mustn't be taken after 1pm because it can affect sleep. As I've got better I've found it less helpful, but I'd still recommend it to someone as worth trying.

    There is another substance (not an adaptogen) that people find helpful and it is used in the same way as Holy Basil - take one about an hour before a high cortisol reading. It is called Phosphatidyl Serine (PS), and is also available without prescription on sites like Amazon.

    Please do your own research on all the above. Try one thing at a time and don't rush into trying six things at once. Concentrate on the vitamins and the Omega-3 before adding any adaptogens or PS.

    Be prepared to be seriously annoyed when you read over and over again - To lower cortisol you need to get lots of sleep at night. As someone who also has/had high cortisol I always want to scream at the author "How?"

  • Thank you :) If you see my reply to Seaside Susie hopefully I've explained a few things.

    But once I feel up to it, I will definitely be looking into the things you have suggested, thank you so much for your advice and time.

  • Just interested to know why you went for adrenal testing? High levels of cortisol can also be due to Cushings, although you are only just high in the range.

    I would ask your GP to do some further testing especially as you've put on a fair bit of weight.

  • What further tests? I had these done privately as my GP is terrible, and wont do anything! Could these be causing my weight gain? I thought that would be down to my thyroid. Thank you for replying :)

  • I can only respond from my own experience with high levels of cortisol, it may not be he same for you but it is worth pursuing.

    Cushing's disease/syndrome causes high levels of cortisol causing lots of symptoms in the body. ie sudden weight gain mostly around the middle, insomnia, fragile skin, red face, stretch marks, easy bruising, plus lots of other problems. It can be caused by long use of steroids, a benign pituitary tumour or one on the adrenal glands.

    It is worth asking your GP for more tests. An early morning cortisol, 24 hr urine, Dexamethasone suppression test. You may need a referral to an Endocrinologist. Many GP's will put you off saying you need to eat less & lose weight as it is a rare condition. It may be your thyroid but it's worth following through. Good luck!

  • Thank you, if you see my reply to Seaside Susie, then I hope I've explained a few things about me, especially my Anorexia. I will try to sort out a GP appointment. Thank you :)

  • Hi Bellerin,

    I am in the process of getting my adrenals sorted. I posted my results from Genova on here a while back and 3 out of 4 readings are high.

    I sent the results to my GP with a follow up telephone appointment .

    She has referred me to and Endo and just last week the Endo has requested a 24 hour urine test to be carried out before I see her.

    As PaulineS says it is needs further testing.

    J 🍀

  • Thank you, if you see my reply to Seaside Susie, then I hope I've explained a few things about me, especially my Anorexia. I will try to sort out a GP appointment.

    I did have an Endo appointment (which I waited 3 months for!!) and he just said he wouldn't treat me whilst I was taking T3! Very upsetting, but once I get myself together again, I will try to sort things again, with somebody new.

    Thank you :)

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