DHEA & CORTISOL to improve T4 to T3 Conversion - Thyroid UK

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DHEA & CORTISOL to improve T4 to T3 Conversion

TappedOut profile image

Hi All,

I have been, like everyone, trying to get a grasp on my hashis/hypoT. I've been reading here, and other sources, much about sex hormones, DHEA, Adrenals, Cortisol but admittedly not as much as I've been reading Thyroid specific studies/articles. Luckily, I had one doc, who I no longer see, order a 24hour saliva collection for me. Unfortunately, I really don't know much about interpretting as it relates to thyroid care. The notations on the bottom of the report state:

"Diumal cortisol pattern and reported symptoms are consistent with evolving (Phase 2) HPA Axis (adrenal gland), although concomitant thyroid and/or iodine insufficiency cannot be ruled out.

The reported symptoms are suggestive of progesterone insufficienienct (estrogen dominance) and androgen imbalance. E2, Pg and Testosterone levels are a consideration."


Would you mind helping me?

Here are the results, ranges and optimal ranges. And thank you everyone!!


DHEA 322.31pg/ml (106.0-300.0)


430am Morning 12.01mmol/L (5.1 - 40.2; optimal range 18 - 35)

1140am Noon 13.26mmol/L (2.1 - 15.7; optimal range 6 - 12)

820pm Evening 2.44mmol/L (1.8 - 12; optimal range 4-8)

1130pm Night 2.96mm/L (0.9 - 9.2; optimal range 2 -6)

23 Replies

symptoms are consistent with evolving (Phase 2) HPA Axis (adrenal gland) Means your adrenals are starting to struggle but not bad, i read your results as 3 highs and one ok, your nigh time is very high. For thyroid meds to work well everything must be balance, are you having trouble sleeping with that nigh time high? do you wake up 1-3am each night?

your DHEA is robust so im assuming you are young xx

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to endomad

No, her night time is low optimal. 2.96 There were no really highs.

TappedOut profile image
TappedOut in reply to endomad

Hi thank you for your reply....I'm 38years old. And no I don't wake at 1-3am, but I am often going to bed at 1am. I wake lately at about 5am, regardless of when I go to sleep. I can go back to sleep, although I have been recently, popping up at about 5am lately. I used to wake at about 7am.

endomad profile image
endomad in reply to TappedOut

as i said your night time cortisol is high, other wise you would be sleeping at a reasonable time and sleeping longer. Your night time cortisol should be right at absolute rock bottom of range to get a good nights sleep the optimal ranges are misleading. 1am-5am is a low sleep pattern and will exhaust you, if not already.

My night time cortisol is considered high by the adrenal group Cortisol Night 1.55 nmol/L 0.33-9.0; optimal range: 1.0-4.0

they said mine needs to be at 0.5-1 I also struggle to go to sleep at bedtime and wake early. Your daytime ones are much better than mine, i am at (Phase 3) HPA axis (adrenal

gland) dysfunction.

Your circadian rhythm should be highest on waking, declining all day to rock bottom at night. Yours goes up at noon and at night.

Your best bet is to join face book group who can advise you properly FTPO - ADRENALS (For Thyroid Patients Only) they have lots of fail safe tests taking your temperature and suggestions to get level again.

TappedOut profile image
TappedOut in reply to endomad

And how does one improve adrenals? That's what I've been googling all night but I haven't hit upon any concrete tips. I have Adren-All, if I haven't taken it just yet. Any advise? Thank you so much for helping me. 😊

Simba1992 profile image
Simba1992 in reply to TappedOut

Eat more carbs and sugar. Your night time cortisol is high because your liver does not have enough glucose fuel for the night. This stress is compensated by adrenal activation and cortisol that in fact gets the energy from your tissues when glucose not available. Your body is functioning in a stress mode during the night. I take milk with honey before bedtime. Salt, coconut fat, sugar works for many. If you wake up have a fruit or juice to fill your glucose need.

Simba1992 profile image
Simba1992 in reply to Simba1992

Some helpful reading on the subject.


TappedOut profile image
TappedOut in reply to Simba1992

Hi Silva1992. I'm sorry I'm just now seeing your reply. Thank you so very much for this!

Hi TappedOut -

do you usually get up somearly i e is that really a morning reading? Or do you rise later and the 4:30 is a night time reading?

As a morning value it is too low, ideally it should be close to the top value.

By noon your body has cought up, the downward curve is a good sign (in advanced adrenal fatigue the levels would go up from afternoon onwards and in full adrenal fatigue would tank altogether).

Apart from lifestyle adjustments I would work on bringing the morning value up.

The body can convert progesterone into cortisol when needed, a progesterone supplement might help cortisol levels and balance oestrogen. A full sex hormone panel would be a good idea!

TappedOut profile image
TappedOut in reply to milupa

Hi, and thank you for your reply....

I work pretty early in the morning, but my schedule changes so some days I'm up at 230am and some days 430am. I'm usually very sleepy in the mornings, but lately I've been waking on my own at 500am, if I am left to wake naturally (without an alarm clock).

TappedOut profile image
TappedOut in reply to milupa

And I feel, every morning like I'm struggling along, like I've been drugged. It's a bad feeling. I perk up eventually but just in the last year, I'm so groggy right after a nights rest.

endomad profile image
endomad in reply to milupa

i agree on getting the morning up but for it to be bit later than 4.30am you want it at its highest when getting up for work. Check out the adrenal group you dont want to go at it unsupervised as it could easily swing the opposite way with supplements, phase 2 is tweekable.

A good source is Circadian t3 method CT3M which does it in a more natural way by tweeking times you take thyroid meds.

I am using progesterone cream to gently improve mine but 4 months in my sleep is still bad.

How old are your tests? the best way to check adrenal reserve is DATS daily average temps.

endomad profile image
endomad in reply to endomad

sorry just seen 4.30am is your work time x if your cortisol rock bottom at night you would sleep earlier and wake refreshed, best to get the proper group to help you, adrenals are notoriously tricky and affect our thyroid. x

TappedOut profile image
TappedOut in reply to endomad

I understand. Thank you so much for getting back to me! I appreciate this very much. Thank you endomad!

So is cortisol what people mean when they say adrenals? The terms are interchangeable?

yes but please go to the adrenal group, you can do more harm than good guessing at adrenals. None of us on here are medically qualified and are going on our own experiences, we are all different so what works for one might not for another <3

TappedOut profile image
TappedOut in reply to endomad

Adrenal group. On my way....and thank you! It's confusing bc my doc has me on the Nature Throid. I'm still at a low dose; but I hear what you're saying too. I don't know what to do...

(it's 630am and I just woke on my own after going to sleep at 1am.)

Thank you everyone. Very much...

endomad profile image
endomad in reply to TappedOut

its a minefield isnt it, so much to read and take in, like you i have thyroid stuff, adrenal stuff but also hormone imbalances, food intolerance's, pain which may or may not be thyroid related so lack of good sleep really affects my well being xxx hope you feel much better soon

TappedOut profile image
TappedOut in reply to endomad

Thank you, and I have the same hopes for you...thank you so much for your kindness and replies . I'm looking for a good adrenal group, as you thoughtfully suggested.

Check out Addison's.co.uk. may not have spelled correctly... They are excellent.

TappedOut profile image
TappedOut in reply to Daisy77

Hi Daisy77....thank you so much for your kind reply and suggestion. Will do.

Sorry, it is addisons.org.uk for everything adrenal. My consultant recommended it to me.

TappedOut profile image
TappedOut in reply to Daisy77

Got it. Thank you!!

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