Thyroid UK
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Hypothyroid: High cortisol tests, cannot explain, but coincide with high thyroid labs, on new NDT brand this year

Originally, almost 2 years ago, I was diagnosed hypothyroid and had low hormones right across the board, including low cortisol all day. Recently, after some time stable and optimal, my thyroid FT3 and FT4 were over range, so I have been reducing my WP Thyroid which I started this year. I just did saliva adrenal tests and I am well over the range at all 4 times of the day. I can't explain why and I don't feel like I have adrenal fatigue again. The only difference in lifestyle is I am exercising regularly- as I did before I first became unwell- and I guess its quite hard although I really like and enjoy it. I am sweaty and hot a lot, I thought down to my thyroid, but other than that I don't have any symptoms of high cortisol. I am puzzled as to why this happened when I am meditating regularly, I work from home and I see a therapist for CBT and hypnosis for train anxiety which has just almost completely resolved itself. I am WAY more relaxed than I have ever been in my life. I haven't been this happy and content in years and yet my cortisol is really high! Could it be from the thyroid issues? I also just found out I wasn't absorbing B12 sublingual, low but not very low, B12 and I have switched to patches to help that. I used to have good levels even when I was in a hypothyroid state but since going over range I am having trouble with a few vitamin levels going down a bit. Puzzling.

7 Replies

Whats your age, blood pressure and weight?


I'm 40, blood pressure has always been really good, sometimes low but not in any concerning way. I don't weigh myself much but am a size Uk 8-10, lost weight since on NDT and thyroid settled down.


these high lab results have only occurred since switching from Armour to WP, wondered if there was a connection somehow.


Supplements and drugs can alter cortisol levels. Look at these lists and see if there is anything on them which you are taking :

Please note that neither list says "X raises cortisol" or "Y lowers cortisol". They just say "these affect cortisol". If you are taking anything on either of those lists you will have to do your own research to find out whether it lowers or raises cortisol.

Stop The Thyroid Madness suggests stopping drugs and supplements which affect cortisol for two weeks before saliva testing, but only if you can live without them.


Ah thank you! I don't take anything regularly other than my thyroid medication but I had just gone on holiday the week before and on longer journeys I take a benzo, low dose, due to travel anxiety. So I will re-do this test in a month or so, when I haven't had anything for a while, and see if that changes the result. I didn't even think about the anxiety meds because I don't take them regularly. Thanks a lot!


It could just be that your adrenal glands are working better than they used to thanks to your thyroid medication.

I'm just "thinking out loud" here and it could be rubbish, but ...

When people start to get ill with thyroid problems, their adrenal glands start to work overtime to keep the person going and to try and make up for the lack of thyroid hormones. Over time there is a possibility that the the adrenals won't be able to keep pumping out cortisol and adrenaline and so low cortisol results. The process is displayed here :

If you are now treated optimally, you feel well, and are able to exercise without any problems, perhaps you are going backwards through the stages of adrenal problems (i.e. back towards your original good health). It would be nice to think so. :)

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Interesting thoughts, possible isn't it? I should say my low cortisol results were from almost 2 years ago and they did stabilise a my thyroid improved with treatment- as did all my hormones that were low. I used to use adrenal cortex, but not for more than 6 months. The benzo tablets I have only taken twice, as I have had hypnosis and CBT to help with day-today travel quite successfully, but I took them a week or so before I did this saliva test. Another test in a month or so will give me a better idea I think. If I was still showing high cortisol then, I would be more concerned. My DHEA is now okay too, possibly could be raised a little.


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