Thyroid UK
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Dr Skinner

The late Dr Skinner was of the opinion that once you were on the correct thyroid meds the adrenals would heal.Has anyone found this worked for them?

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It was Dr Peatfield who learned in the USA who recommends that this is the correct procedure.

Dr Skinner was of the opinion that, once we were on an optimum of thyroid hormones that the adrenals healed themselves.

:)

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Hi Shaws,

Dr P said in a letter that I don't have a thyroid issue, I have an adrenal issue. 🤔

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I tried Nutri Adrenal but it didn't agree with me I had to stop.

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Can I ask how it disagreed with you please - my son has been on it (as am I) but he is having other problems now and things like his basal temp still very low. I was wondering if it was disagreeing with him. I have not had a problem with it.

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It just gave me severe palpitations.

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Thank you. Just wondered. My son has sudden and unexplained bouts of sickness, just wondered if he might be starting to react to the nutri adrenal, he has been taking since Jan. Suspect he would be sick all the time if so, but not. Again thanks.

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It would do no harm to stop taking them for a few days. It is not usual to have unexplained bouts of sickness. Sometimes it is the fillers/binders in some medications which affect us.

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Yes, I was wondering that. GP's are testing for other things, if clear will ask him to try stopping for a few days, and he is due to contact Dr P again anyway -he may have other ideas. Thanks very much.

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Apologies I left out the most important word. i.e. no

It would do no harm

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Your original does say the 'no'. But thanks anyway. Regards

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I must need eyes tested or more hormones :)

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I know how that feels! ha ha

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When I first saw him about 17 years ago I asked him about adrenals as I had read a lot about them. He examined me carefully and said he didn't think I had an adrenal problem and we just started on levothyroxine. A few patients with longstanding severe hypothyroidism can develop an adrenal problem and react to thyroid treatment but their adrenals recover with low dose thyroid hormone. I did some adrenal saliva tests at the time and on reflection they were a complete waste of time and money, the results were random and I've no doubt that I would get the same results now. I think 'adrenal problems' are a distraction and lead to unnecessary worry and expense.

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I adored Dr Skinner, but he had a fairly simplistic view of hormone medicine, I have come to realise. If your adrenals are out of whack because of untreated, or mistreated thyroid issues, then undoubtedly they will not heal until the thyroid situation is corrected. And that does not mean having TSH in range!

However, a) adrenals can be damaged or put out by things other than thyroid issues and b) even once the thyroid is corrected they can continue to be problematic long after. Long enough for other stuff to begin to go wrong if they aren't treated independently.

Three years ago I was diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue by the lovely Dr O. Saliva tests confirmed that my cortisol level was roughly twice what it should be at any given time - and way over range. The immediate cause was a withdrawal for 8 weeks of my NDT and misguided attempts to lose weight with intermittent fasting. My NDT had already been re-instated for a year at that time, and I'd given up any attempt to fast, but my adrenals were still in overdrive. But of course there had been a series of things in my life that had contributed to this whole situation. I had grown up with a father severely damaged by his war experiences. Nowadays we would say he had PTSD and he would have been treated accordingly but this was the 50s/60s and anything less than a total breakdown was ignored. So I was an anxious little girl. Then when I was 12 my mother died. I comforted myself with food, after all no-one did anything else, other than to make sure that I knew about periods and sanitary towels. Then I went through all the usual stresses of life, a chronically sick child, a divorce, an abusive relationship. All of these things led to stress reactions, more sugar, more stress. And my adrenals, already in overdrive, would jump in the moment the slightest thing went wrong.

But another couple of years after diagnosis things did start to calm down. I slept slightly better and learned to cope with sleeplessness. I meditated. I used adaptogenic herbs.

Now, at the risk of sounding like a cracked record, the ketogenic diet has sorted everything out. I sleep well, and wake refreshed. I rarely need a nap in the day (but might today after doing a distance trial in my swimming class this morning). My anxiety is gone - I feel normal healthy levels of anxiety, but cope when things are stressful, and I move on quickly when all is resolved. I no longer catastrophise as I used to, and I no longer have night panics. I haven't done another saliva test, but I am sure it would turn out to be near normal.

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I absolutely agree. I felt shocking before having my thyroid treated and my cortisol levels were tabked.

One of the reasons for introducing levothyroxine slowly in done people is to allow the adrenals to cone back up to speed. Mine did but my levothyroxine doses had to be painfully slow or I could not tolerate it at all.

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I agree with both the above comments. Certainly in some patients thyroid hormone needs to be introducted slowly and others can jump straight onto 100 mcg levothyroxine, the doctor needs to access how long the patient has been hypothyroid and if there are clinical signs of hypoadrenalism - which is quite rare.

Chronic stress will lead to excess adrenal output which needs to be addressed by exercise, relaxation techniques, yoga or whatever works for that particular patient. High adrenal output during stress is the adrenals working as they should do, don't blame the messenger!

A long time ago I did a lot of searching for research into adrenals and hypothyroidism, I could only find a couple of studies that were quite old and they tended to show slightly elevated cortisol levels in hypothyroid patients. The suggestion is that these mildly elevated levels are due to reduced clearance in hypothyroidism.

My view is that the adrenals may underperform in a few longstanding hypothyroid patients and because they are hypothyroid their adrenals do not fully respond to stress, they don't cope so well in stressful situations. The 'adrenal fatigue' solution is to take low dose supplements. I suspect this will just aggravate the already elevated basal levels and do nothing for the very high hormone requirements during stress. As far as I can see the answer is to gently tackle the problem, the hypothyroidism. This was Dr Skinner's view, the adrenals will sort themselves out once the hypothryoidism is sorted.

I'm not sure saliva tests are any use, I found them useless. I plan to do a little test when I have time and money and will post the results when I get them. This will be some time.

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I think you may have a valid point here. It is something to think about. However, I have had a hypoT problem for most of my life, now 55. Took me till I was c30 to get a 'positive' reading and treatment - the standard t4. This did nothing and for 20 years fought to find a balance that worked - gradually getting worse and worse. Spent those years - looking for answers which just were not out there. About 7 years ago I saw Dr P - my adrenals were low -Adrenal fatigue - (Lots of life/family issues) Dr P reckoned that I needed to get my adrenals sorted first or thyroid would never get right. Started on Nutri-Adrenal - slowly building up. This took time and several 'restarts' but it did work - it took about 18 months -2 years - but I then had a life for the first time, in my life! Lost 4 st in 11 months, without much effort - I do feel because the 'balance' was good. Unfortunately life has thrown some more curve balls the last few years and adrenals taken another knock.

My point is that whilst you have good valid points, we are all different, and for some it may be adrenals causing thyroid, for others it may be the other way around. As they are all connected we have to find what works for us.

The problem we are all dealing with is that there is not enough known about any of it - hence we are all on here trying to find something that works! If only the GP's would look at these sites and see how these problems are affecting us all in different and similar ways - maybe a real pattern might emerge.

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That's intersting and I take your point. This is a complicated issue with some confounding points. For example, every post I have read about Dr P has noted he said they had adrenal fatigue. It seems he diagnoses every patient with adrenal fatigue. Certainly Dr Skinner got many patients better without adrenal supplements. To be fair to Dr P he only uses very small doses of adrenal hormone / supplements. This could give the adrenals a little rest and time to recover although I think that if the adrenals cannot produce adequate basal levels they would fail catastrophically during an incident of stress, the patient would be hospitalised or worse. Many patients take the adrenal thing way beyond what Dr P advocates with much higher doses, this is not Dr P's fault, he is very clear about using tiny doses. My other issue is that I'm not sure the saliva tests are any use, except when they show quite dramatic results. They seem to be setting diurnal targets that may be beyond the capabilities of the test and subject to influence by normal daily stressors. We need a double blind test of 'adrenal support' and the doctors who propose this treatment should be doing the study, it's not as if it would be expensive.

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Very true, complicated issues with compounding points, is probably putting it mildly. I gather Dr Skinner was a very, and well deserved, respected doctor. A great loss. Too few like him. Having seen Dr P, for myself and more recently with my 22 yr old son, (who Dr P seems to think has adrenal rather than thyroid issues - adrenal sups helping but think other things going on too -still under investigation) I have an awful lot of respect for the man. He does seem to consider the big picture. He certainly helped me. After 30+ years of being 'fobbed off' by various GP's - his input was so much appreciated.

I am not a medic, and can only go by my own experiences and reading, my 'basic' understanding of the problem with thyroid and adrenal issues is the fact they as so closely linked and lack of understanding and rightful treatment of thyroid leads to a lot of unnecessary stress, which over the periods of time, most of us are struggling for, i.e. years, leaves us with compromised adrenals, or if adrenal issues are the instigator, HypoT. Yes, remove the stress and eventually things may settle, but this can take an awful lot of time, and if hypoT is also an issue, the lack of adrenal function impacts on the ability to process and get the best from thyroid meds.

It seems that a lot of testing can be 'flawed' to some extend by all sorts of factors - time of day, as you say - daily stressors, even down to what we have eaten. I was tested for coeliac a few years ago - having stopped eating gluten for several weeks - I found out after that you should continue to eat gluten until after the test - Dr knew I was off gluten, never mentioned it. (Waste of time and money , waste of NHS funds!)

If only Dr's would do these studies!! Take it back a step and if only GP's would a) consider their patients to know better than them how they feel - and b) use the experiences to make connections, make their own minds up, rather than, what certainly seems, blindly following a tick sheet!

On another connected note - my son, struggling with several intermittent symptoms went to he GP yesterday - saw a Dr he has not seen before (walk in clinic - as would have to wait a whole month for appointment) This dr sent him straight to A&E for a brain and liver scan. Dr at the hospital, decided they didn't think it was what GP thought - so did not do scans, instead did chest X-ray and took blood looking for particular salts - all clear - sent him back to GP to be referred for endoscopy. GP decides not necessary at this point and asking him for samples instead.

My son has obviously had some form of autoimmune for a few years, constant flare ups of several different symptoms - which lay him very low - lots of hypoT/adrenal symptoms, and has had for years - thyroid very much in genes, but no-one will do antibody testing. Surely this could point to what is actually wrong with him?

Maybe it is just me, but he has had 3 appointments in 2 days and we are no further forward. Because Dr's keep batting him backwards and forwards, and over-riding each other - instead of checking out what previous Dr referred him for, AND anything they suspect at same time? Would save a lot of repeated return visits! Again - wasted NHS money! It is just so frustrating!

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I am interested in the conversation as I have done the adrenal saliva test 3 times - 2012, 2013 and 2015. My results were all pretty much the same each time with a few slight variations. Pretty consistent chronic low cortisol, although I do have a rise for the first test of the day. However for some curious reason each time my DHEA is normal. This may be due to the various things I have done to try to support my adrenals over the years - I was on LDN for a longish while in 2012 but stopped it due to side effects. by 2015 I had started having support via a herbalist.

I was on T4 only for the first test and then switched to T3 only. By last summer I was doing pretty well and although I didn't have a retest of the adrenals, I would be pretty sure they were much better. Unfortunately I then had a series of stressful events again and went downhill gradually until by January this year I was in a bad way again. I had reduced my T3 on suggestion by an Endo (due to my low TSH, and diagnosis of osteoporosis) and then have recently switched to NDT but not doing as well as I would like. I am now using Progesterone cream to support my adrenals and bones (am 15 years post menopause) and that seems to be giving me better sleep.

NO easy answer to any of it in my experience!!! I have had a lifetime of stress and although things are calmer now, I don't cope well with medical procedures and there seems to be a lot of that with older age.

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Are you saying that adrenal fatigue is a completely curable and, thus, temporary condition...? I am asking because the so called Hertoghe doctors in Belgium seem to consider it a permanent condition and, once you're on adrenal hormone replacement (be it HC or Pred or Medrol), you are supposed to stay on it...what you say makes a lot of sense to me as our adrenal glands are not really dysfunctional, just tired after years of untreated thyroid disease...so it makes sense the adrenal glands would eventually recover if on optimal thyroid hormone treatment. The question is: what is optimal thyroid treatment??? Opinions seem to differ quite a lot...

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I am sure that thyroid treatment may improve adrenal health for some people, but it hasn't for me. My cortisol was extremely high, well over the range. My thyroid treatment isn't miles away from being okay, although it isn't optimal yet. But I think my cortisol is still high.

In my case I think my cortisol is kept high by chronic pain. And that pain is still getting worse. So, really your questions should be addressed to people who have no non-thyroidal illness.

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