Thyroid UK
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Adrenal fatigue, any ideas?

I took a saliva test (four times of spitting in one day) less than a month ago and received my results. They were:

1. morning: 1.1 (reference range: 0.5-5.7),

2. four hours after awakening: 0.74 (reference range: 0.2-3.6),

3. eight hours after awakening: 0.7 (reference range: 0.2-2.4),

4. before bed: 0.3 (reference range: 0.2-1.3).

As you can see, my results were all very low - I think the reference range is placed way too low. I've read online what would be best is that my morning cortisol was somewhere around 4-5 and then gradually dropped during the way, but as you can see, it's nowhere near that number. My GP laughed at me for even doing the test - she didn't even know what the symptoms were for AF (I have pretty much all of them) or how the test is done, I had to explain it to her, but that didn't stop her from bullying me. I am seeing an endo at the end of this month, but I'm feeling horrible. Also, the results of my last thyroid checkup for TSH said I was at 4.75, with the upper reference range being 5 - that is also a clue for hypothyroidism, which I was told I had when I was 13, but my doctor said that was normal too, just like my cortisol. Whatever it is - I am not feeling well at all, I am extremely exhausted and dizzy all day, every day, I just can't get enough sleep or make myself do anything. Top it off I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks all the time and I'm severely depressed. By the way, I'm 20 and from Croatia. Any thoughts/ideas/opinions more than appreciated.

8 Replies

You are hypothyroid.

Considering how hypo you are one would expect your adrenals to be under stress trying to compensate. But although its a bit low, you are within range, and the shape of the curve is what it should be. So its a lot less of a concern than your thyroid, and I would expect your adrenals to improve with proper thyroid treatment.

Anxiety and depression, and sleeplessness are all symptoms of hypothyroidism, and probably wouldn't exist if you were properly treated.

Are you in the UK or living in Croatia still?

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I am living in Croatia. Your comment is reassuring to me because it means I'm not too late to help my body. Doctors have pretty much told me for the past 7 years that I had hypothyroidism as a child due to the fact I was entering puberty and that it would stabilize and are currently viewing me as someone healthy, which I am sure as heck not. I forgot to mention I also have 2 nodules in my thyroid that I have to check every single year - the endo I was last seeing told me it was "no problem" as long as I check it regularly. I just found myself a new endo and can't wait to see if he's any good, but if he's just another one in the bunch who will, like so many before, tell me I'm "perfectly okay" I swear I'm gonna flip :/


Well, before you flip, consider self treatment.

Untreated hypothyroidism can do permanent damage. These doctors make me SO angry!!!


I am trying to start something but don't know how or where, I am still so overwhelmed by everything I am reading. And also very mad at doctors. Hence why I'm writing here - I am hoping someone might help :/

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Welcome to our forum and sorry to hear you are feeling so unwell.

Unfortunately if your TSH is within range many doctors do not recognise hypothyroidism, even when accompanied with typical hypothyroid symptoms.

Anxiety is a classic symptom of overworked adrenals, compromised from low thyroid hormone and all your cortisol results are low..

Have you had thyroid antibodies (TPOAb & TGAb) tested ? ? ... Also iron & nutrients (Vit B12, Vit D, folate and ferritin) which are typically low in hypothyroidism, as low thyroid hormone may instigate gut problems and so malabsorption issues ? ? ....

These issues will hinder good thyroid function and so it becomes a vicious circle.


Thank you for your reply. I have only had iron tested (it was okay) considering my doctor never had me take any other tests other than what's called a full blood test. I was considering going to a private clinic and having all what you mentioned above tested, but it's very expensive. Can I ask an endo to send me to have that checked? Or should I beg my GP? I really have no idea whom to ask considering if they tell me to check it I'm getting it for free - otherwise, I'm looking at over 150$ worth of money spent on tests I could get for free only if I had a sensible doctor!



I am in the UK and these are checked routinely with a good GP who understands thyroid issues (or is open to a diplomatic suggestion or two ! ! .....) but I do not know the procedures in Croatia.

Members in the UK whose GPs//endos are uncooperative, unfortunately have to use private labs.

An "okay" iron level may not be enough. For many with low thyroid hormone or even with thyroid hormone replacement meds, it needs to be optimal.

In the UK some GP's are slightly more inclined to prescribe thyroid hormone replacement (possibly with a TSH over 5) when Hashimotos is diagnosed.

Post any results complete with ranges (numbers in brackets) for members to comment.


I don't exactly remember the number, but my iron was somewhere right about the middle, even a bit more than the middle when considering the reference range, so no worries there, but I know an optimal iron level doesn't mean optimal ferritin level - need to have that checked out. I'll try to suggest to my endo then to send me to have all that checked if he doesn't suggest it himself. Thanks for the advice!

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