Thyroid UK
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Help needed with test results

I'm really hoping that there is someone on here who can help me understand my grandson's test results. He is in his late 20's and has a lifelong phobia of needles and Doctors. He has been feeling ill for some time but is now very depressed and finding it almost impossible to go to work.

I and my daughter both have underactive thyroids and some of his symptoms do point to that but because of his fear of needles we are unable to get him to a Doctor for tests.

He has done a 24hr saliva and urine test with pulse health screening and we've just had the results back with the following:-

"Please find the results of your recent Adrenal - Thyroid Profile attached.

Your salivary cortisol levels are elevated for the middle part of the day in reaction to stress, whether that be physical as in an illness, mental or emotional. When the body responds in this way, it can result in adrenal fatigue because the adrenal glands cannot sustain a stress response long-term.

The other hormone tested, DHEA, which is a precursor for many of the sex hormones, also appears to be high. Causes of this can be metabolic syndrome or hypoglycaemia which is a pre-diabetic condition but with diet and lifestyle changes, it is possible to prevent this from developing further.

As the adrenal glands are showing these signs of stress, you may find the website of a US doctor to be helpful - It provides some useful advice with diet and lifestyle to support the adrenal glands. The only part I disagree with on food choices is consuming soy products as they can interfere with thyroid function, although non-GM fermented soy products are generally safe.

The other part of your test checked for Free T3 (Tri-iodorothyronine), which is the active form of thyroid hormone. Your level is above the normal range which may suggest that the receptor cells may be blocked so cannot make use of active T3."

Results Reference range

cortisol - sample 1 -5.49 (wakening) 2.68 -9.30

sample 2 - 5.08 0.75-2.93

sample 3 - 2.12 0.36-1.88

sample 4 - <0.19 (before sleep) <=0.94

DHEA : Cortisol Ratio 0.40 H 0.05-0.32


T3 - Triiodothyronine (RIA)

Analyte Result Units Normal Range

3.47 H nmol/24h


In this profile, Sample 1 (Post awakening) cortisol level is within the reference range. Because cortisol levels are

typically at their peak shortly after awakening, morning cortisol may be a good indicator of peak adrenal gland

function. Morning cortisol levels within reference range suggest a component of normal adrenal function with regard to

peak circadian activity.

Sample 2 cortisol level is above the reference range. Mid-day cortisol levels may be a good indication of adaptive

adrenal gland function since they represent the adrenal glands' response to the demands of the first few hours of the

day. High mid-day cortisol levels suggest a degree of adrenal hyperfunction with hyper-reactive adaptive response,

most commonly to stress. Other possible causes of high salivary cortisol include heavy exercise, pregnancy,

hypoglycaemia, smoking, obesity, depression, alcoholism, and if significantly elevated, adrenal hyperplasia or

Cushing's syndrome.

Sample 3 cortisol level is above the reference range. Afternoon cortisol levels may be a good indication of glycaemic

control exerted by the adrenal gland since they represent a postprandial sample. High afternoon levels suggest a

degree of adrenal hyperfunction with increased adrenal assistance in glycaemic control. Other possible causes of

high salivary cortisol include stress, heavy exercise, pregnancy, smoking, obesity, depression, alcoholism, or if

significantly elevated, adrenal hyperplasia and Cushing's syndrome.

Sample 4 cortisol level is within the reference range. Late-night cortisol levels may be a good indication of baseline

adrenal gland function since they typically represent the lowest level during the day. Normal late-night cortisol levels

suggest normal adrenal function with regard to baseline circadian activity.

DHEA is within the reference range. Proper levels contribute to the ideal metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and

fats, including efficient glycaemic control.

An increased secretion of DHEA relative to cortisol can represent a normal response to acute stress. Elevation of the

DHEA: cortisol ratio may be associated with exogenous DHEA administration, acne, panic disorders and polycystic

ovary syndrome.

Free T3 (FT3) is measured to be above the reference range. FT3 measures the biologically active fraction of total T3,

the majority of which is bound by protein carriers in the serum and is therefore inactive. T3 is 3-5 times as

physiologically active as T4, and 80% of the circulating T3 is from the peripheral conversion of T4 predominately in

the liver and kidney.

sorry about the long post, I'm really hoping that someone on here can put this into plain English for me and hopefully suggest any way of helping him get back to normal as we are all very worried for him.

8 Replies

As no one as yet replied all I can say is what was suggested to me when I did a saliva test and that was to post my results on an adrenal group post. Look on HealthUnlocked for one or there is one on Facebook as well who will discus the adrenal side but not the Thyroid as they also have a thyroid group to refer to.

1 like

Thank you I shall try that


Sounds to me as if you had a good Doc there analyzing the results - don't think I have read anything quite so informative. Especially about the T3 not being able to get into the cells due to raised cortisol blocking the receptor cells. I am not an expert - but on reading it would seem your grandson has raised cortisol in the middle of the day and low when it should be - before sleep.

His depression could be due to LOW B12 and VitD - have they been tested ? His phobia to needles and Doctors is irrational fear - and something linked to being Hypo I have read - as well as other causes - like a bad experience :-) I know that from my own experiences - over the years I was irrational about Dentists - flying - walking over bridges and so on. Have been much better since treatment. We are irrational when the brain cannot process information and make good decisions on the run. We all seem to suffer to a greater or lesser degree. Some people hate spiders and flies - which to me being brought up on a farm is completely irrational - but of course to others it is not !

I found reading the report several times - it eventually made sense and things began to sink in :-)

There are others here who have far more knowledge than me - perhaps they will be along soon. Click onto radd - and read some of her excellent posts or replies - she has good knowledge of adrenals and the testing results. She is not always on the Forum - but you can read her replies to others with a similar problem. There was one just a couple of days ago ....

Good to read about a Doc commenting on the unsuitability of soya - as it interferes with the thyroid !


Thank you for replying - I shall do as you suggest and read Radd's posts. It was interesting to hear you say about fear of walking over bridges he has had that since he was a toddler and also about being in a lift. i was wondering what sort of treatment you had which had helped you. He hasn't had B12 and vit D tested so perhaps that's next


No specific treatment - just my thyroid which was not diagnosed until I was 59 back in 2005. I think it is to do with balance/inner ear when it comes to bridges/lifts etc and B12/Thyroid play their part. Take a look at the signs and symptoms on the B12 website ...

Scroll down for neurological signs. The whole website is informative as are the short videos under the heading Films on the Menu.

There seems to be a huge overlap with symptoms of B12 Deficiency and low thyroid - chicken or egg ?

How about the Finger Prick Home Testing kits ?

There are several companies on the above Thyroid UK website.


Thank you for replying I don't think even the finger prick test is an option but I've never heard of the inner ear and B12 connection thanks for that I'll look into that some more - it is as you say a really informative website.

1 like

Have you thought about him maybe having hypnosis to get over the irrational fear of needles. It might just help relax him enough to get thing sorted. Just an idea.

Jo xx

1 like

Hi Jo - yes that is something we are considering. thank you


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