THYROID AND ADRENAL FATIGUE SYMPTOMS

I am a 24-year old man and have poor health symptoms which might indicate thyroid and/or adrenal fatigue conditions e.g. severe fatigue, muscle weakness, brain fog. I believe they were caused by side effects from a GP-prescribed medication which I stopped 6 months ago and has also contributed to other symptoms e.g. sexual.

Hopefully I will get some advice on this from the Community in confirming or denying these conditions and treatment. For the past 2-3 months, I have drastically altered my diet and am set to increase my supplements to address these conditions.

Examples of my blood test results:

(i) TSH and T4; 4-5 months ago are relatively low at ~1.3miu/l and 10.7pmol/l albeit in the "normal" range and so not progressed by GP.

(ii) Cortisol; ~5 months ago was 210-257 nmol/l

(iii) Vitamin D; 77.7 nmol/L ~2 months ago (after GP-prescribed supplement - was even lower ~5 months ago)

9 Replies

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  • Welcome to the forum, Userotc.

    TSH 1.3 is euthyroid (normal). I can't tell whether FT4 10.7 is particularly low without seeing the FT4 range (figures in brackets after results). NHS doesn't diagnose hypothyroidism unless TSH is over range (usually >5-6) or FT4 is below range.

    I can't comment on Cortisol, hopefully another member will.

    Vitamin D is replete 75-200 and most people are comfortable around 100. I would continue supplementing D3 until April when ultraviolet levels are high enough to stimulate natural vit D.

  • Thanks Clutter.

    The normal ranges that I previously found (and their sources) are shown below:

    (i) TSH: 0.4 - 4.0miu/L (http://www.btf-thyroid.org/information/quick-guides/97-thyroid-function-tests)

    (ii) T4 free: 9-25 pmol/L (same source)

    (iii) Cortisol: 193-772 nmol/l (http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2088826-overview)

    Hence I think I am low/borderline for (i)-(iii).

    I have ordered Vitamin D3 and plan to dose at 2000IU/day indefinitely.

    Re hypothyroidism, I understand your comments re NHS but I think I read last week on the Thyroid UK site an expert comment that the TSH/T4 readings may be misleading (?) so I may have the condition.

    Do you think I may have thyroid/adrenal problems?

  • Userotc,

    Labs use ranges recommended by the manufacturer of the analysis machinery they use and the local population samples taken. You can't compare your results with any range other than the range your lab uses. Your GP practice or the hospital lab pathology dept should be able to tell you what ranges your lab uses.

    TSH 1.13 rules out primary hypothyroidism but without seeing where in range FT4 10.7 is it isn't possible to rule out secondary hypothyroidism.

    While it is likely that symptoms may precede abnormal thyroid results by months, perhaps years, NHS diagnoses on abnormal thyroid levels, not borderline levels or symptoms.

    I don't know enough about cortisol to comment usefully other than to say you need to find out what your lab's range is as above.

  • Clutter, I must confess to not understanding all of your response but my experience with our GP suggests its a waste of time asking them for the details you suggest.

    Any other advice as to how I might find out if I have thyroid/adrenal problems or not? Whilst Ive seen an endocrinologist and found him not very useful (he tested my testosterone and related measures only), I could try him if you think it's useful.

  • Userotc,

    Either ask your GP receptionist or practice manager for the ranges the lab used for your results or order your own private thyroid labs. Blue Horizon Thyroid Plus 11 is quite comprehensive and tests TSH, FT4, FT3, thyroid antibodies and ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate.

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

  • Thanks Clutter. Since I can see my results online, I can also see the "Normal Range" alongside which are:

    (i) TSH: 0.3 - 5miu/L

    (ii) Serum-free T4: 10 - 18.7pmol/L

    (iii) Serum cortisol: No range shown

    (iv) 25-OH Vitamin D: 50 - 250nmol/L

    Hence the comment in my original post that my TSH and T4 are (just) in the "normal" range at ~1.3miu/l and 10.7pmol/l resp. Is that enough to say I dont have adrenal fatigue/thyroid isues? I repeat that I think I read on Thyroid UK that blood readings may be unreliable?.

  • Userotc,

    TSH 1.3 is low-normal but FT4 10.7 is low in range. Results are currently euthyroid (normal) because they are within range but I think you should retest in 6 months in case FT4 drops below range. If it does without TSH rising your GP should consider secondary hypothyroidism due to pituitary dysfunction. Thyroid blood tests are a snapshot in time and there is no reason to think they are unreliable. What may happen is that symptoms will precede abnormal blood levels by months/years.

    I don't know enough about cortisol or adrenal fatigue to venture an opinion.

  • Many thanks Clutter. I do indeed plan to ask for a retest for TSH and T4 (and T3) plus others Vits B, C, E, folate, ferritin, Mg, Ca. That will be next month so let's see then.

    I think it's good that you qualify T4 as low despite being "in-range". My GP and endocrinologist don't want to know if in-range.

  • Userotc,

    Unfortunately most doctors find anywhere in range acceptable whereas most thyroid patients on Levothyroxine will need TSH low and FT4 high in range to feel well.

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