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Thyroid UK
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New & Confused: Could it be Hashi/Ord's or Adrenal Fatigue?

Hi Newbie here. I've been battling with my GP for over a year with many symptoms of Hypothyroid and have been struggling with stress for many years. My Cortisol was tested as being very high last year (570) but saw an Endo who ruled out Cushings but was totally unhelpful in looking into anything else (he basically told me to go away and calm down!!!). So I've spent the last 12 months eating healthily, having counselling, joined a gym 4 x per week but still struggling with symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, heavy periods, hair loss, brain fog, lack of libido, can't get out of bed in the morning etc etc.

I've had some blood tests and cortisol saliva tests done with Medicheck but I really don't understand the results. It has indicated some out of range results but thyroid seems healthy and cortisol is much reduced from previous tests. I've been having a nosey online and wonder if there is a combination of Adrenal Fatigue/Hashi/Ord's going on? I don't know wether to re-visit my GP with these results or just to keep on with the healthy lifestyle for longer to see if it eventually gets better?

Can anyone help with these results:

CORTISOL (SALIVA) WAKING *24.3 nmol/L 6.00 - 21.00

CORTISOL (SALIVA) 12:00 7.130 nmol/L 1.50 - 7.60

CORTISOL (SALIVA) 16:00 2.410 nmol/L 0.00 - 5.49

CORTISOL (SALIVA) BEFORE BED *69.100 nmol/L 0.00 - 1.99


FREE THYROXINE 19.5 pmol/L 12.00 - 22.00

TOTAL THYROXINE(T4) 74.5 nmol/L 59.00 - 154.00

FREE T3 3.97 pmol/L 3.10 - 6.80

THYROGLOBULIN ANTIBODY *125.000 IU/mL 0.00 - 115.00


Thanks in advance for any help anyone can give me!

13 Replies

Your antibodies are high this is Hashimoto's, (also known by medics here in UK more commonly as autoimmune thyroid disease).

About 90% of all hypothyroidism in Uk is due to Hashimoto's

Your TSH is very slightly higher than average, but not enough for a GP to consider a problem. FT4 is high, but FT3 is low.

You are extremely likely to have low vitamin levels, Hashimoto's affects the gut

Essential to test vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12. Always get actual results and ranges. Post results when you have them, members can advise

Hashimoto's affects the gut and leads to low stomach acid and then low vitamin levels

Low vitamin levels stop Thyroid hormone working

Then bloods don't reveal how hypo you actually may be

A pith you did not do the full vitamin and thyroid tests, but you can get vitamins tested separately

Poor gut function can lead leaky gut (literally holes in gut wall) this can cause food intolerances. Most common by far is gluten

According to Izabella Wentz the Thyroid Pharmacist approx 5% with Hashimoto's are coeliac, but over 80% find gluten free diet helps significantly. Either due to direct gluten intolerance (no test available) or due to leaky gut and gluten causing molecular mimicry (see Amy Myers link)

But don't be surprised that GP or endo never mention gut, gluten or low vitamins. Hashimoto's is very poorly understood

Changing to a strictly gluten free diet may help reduce symptoms, help gut heal and slowly lower TPO antibodies







Starting selenium supplements may help improve conversion of FT4 to FT3

Also good daily vitamin C

Your cortisol is out I would suspect because it's trying to cover up the low thyroid hormones

1 like

Wow, thank you so much SlowDragon, this is more info than I could have ever expected!

I never thought to get my Vitamins tested, TBH I don't really know what I'm doing I'm just guessing but I will get them done asap & post a reply.

Thank you also for all the links, I'll have a good read over the holidays.

Is this something that I need to take to the GP for medication or is it likely that the antibodies will drop with good diet/exercise/vitamins etc?

Thanks again.


Antibodies fluctuate all the time, so even if they do drop, you won't know why. And the odds are, they will rise again. They are highest just after an autoimmune attack. Because it's not the antibodies that cause the disease, they are just the result of having Hashi's.

Having a good diet and raising your vitamin levels may help you feel better, and convert T4 to T3 better, but it's doubtful they will reverse the disease, or repair the damage already done to your thyroid.

Too much exercise, on the other hand, could do more harm than good, because it uses up your T3, and your calories, making it harder to produce more T3. And, it's low T3 that causes symptoms.


Thank you Greygoose,

I only do 10 minutes cardio and 40 minutes on weights and thought I was doing the right thing by increasing exercise, especially as I previously did none except walking the dog. I've been going to the gym 4 days per week since July and not lost 1lb, have the same body fat % and don't feel any better health wise even in spite of a good diet so perhaps I am overdoing it? (in fact I've had a stinking cold for over 6 weeks now that seems to be getting worse rather than better so perhaps my immune isn't great either at the moment?)

I really appreciate your reply.


Your immune system isn't great, you have Hashi's. Yes, I think you are over-doing it. Your T3 is very, very low, and you are a poor converter. If you use up what little T3 you have exercising, what is left for the rest of your bodily functions? No wonder things are going wrong. I know we've all been brain-washed into feeling guilty if we don't exercise until we drop, but it isn't the answer to everything. And, remember, everything we do is 'exercise' in the sense that it uses up T3 and calories, even thinking. I'd just go back to walking the dog, if I were you. It's good for both of you. :)

As for diet, we also have to remember that we aren't what we eat, we are what we absorb. And, when you're hypo - and you are hypo with that low T3 - you have difficulty absorbing, because stomach acid lowers. That is why we always recommend that people get their vit D, vit B12, folate and ferritin tested, and supplement things that are sub-optimal. No matter how good their diet, they are bound to be sup-optimal in some things. It's not just about hormones, it's about everything, I'm afraid.


Thank you, I'm so glad I found this site as I thought I was doing everything right and not understanding why it was all going wrong.

As soon as I get back from my Christmas break in January I'll get the vitamins tested and make another trip to the GP. He's a good doctor but as SlowDragon said, if Hashimoto is poorly understood I'll give him a head's up about what I'm coming in for.

Thanks again


You're welcome. :) Merry Christmas, enjoy your break!

1 like

Very many GP's and even endocrinologists would not have any idea poor gut function is linked to thyroid

Low thyroid causes low stomach acid and this leads to low vitamins

Low vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12 affect and hinder thyroid hormones working in cells. That causes you to be more hypo, stomach avid gets lower etc. Vicious circle, but Thyroid blood tests often show little

There's Thyroid hormones in the blood, but not being used due to low vitamins

As Greygoose says.....it's not what you eat....it's what your gut can absorb

With Hashimoto's,that can be surprisingly little

Gluten intolerance can be as severe as coeliac disease but doesn't show up in any current standard NHS tests

Perhaps make the gluten free step after Christmas

Meanwhile gentle exercise, like walking won't lower FT3 too much


Low stomach acid can be an issue

Lots of posts on here about how to improve with Apple cider vinegar or Betaine HCL





Other things to help heal gut lining

Bone broth




1 like

Thanks so much for all the links and info. Lots of useful info to digest, if you'll excuse the pun!

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Good luck. I got my antibodies right down by gluten feee and use Nutri products to heal gut and acid, 'follow your gut. ' 😊


Hi Jeppy,

Which Nutri products do you use to Heal your gut?

If you're not allowed to use the product name on here, perhaps you could say what they contain?

I take quite a few Nutri products and find them very good.


Hi you can speak to consultant there which advise to do

I think it's option 2

...one if mine is Systain powder this is the one that helped the porous but I believe and it is made into a shake drink


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