Thyroid UK
90,481 members104,860 posts

Help and advice

Hi everyone

I'm having a really hard time at the moment and i'm pretty sure I have some sort of Adrenal Fatigue steemed from the fact that I have a irritable bowel disease (microscopic colitis), may appeitte is very poor, I only really eat lunch and never breakfast or dinner for several months now as i'm affraid that my colitis will flare up again. I work 65-70 hours per week and have no my time or relaxation time, hence adrenal fatigue. Here are some of my symptoms, hope others will have some advice on whether or not I have a adrenal problem.

Fatigue all day, worse in the afternoon but a bit better last at night 9pm onwards

shaking hands

weight loss

no motivation

low sex drive

nausea, diarrhoea

inaibility to handle stress and stressful situations

no energy

tired even in the mornings (sleep very poor) waking up at 4am most mornings

Anxiety symptoms

muscle/joint discomfort

heart pvc's


unsteadiness, needs to sit down much of the time

need to lie down after small amount of excersion

This is just some of my symptoms. I have been told by a holistic doctor that I may have adrenal fatigue, this was a year ago, but I have gotten worse

Thank you Dunc

20 Replies

Have you done a 24 hour saliva adrenal test? That will tell you if you have an adrenal problem.

For full interpretation you need cortisol and DHEA tested. Both Regenerus and Genova Diagnostics do this test. Details on ThyroidUK's main website

Have you had a full thyroid panel done, adrenals and thyroid are connected, all part of the endocrine system.


Good info. Thanks. In the process of sorting out my thyroid issues and, I suspect, my adrenals aren't in such great shape either. irina1975


Thank you, no I haven't done any tests so far, just read alot about adrenal fatigue and have done many of the online self assessments and they have all shown up high risk of adrenal fatigue.


You sound very sick and need to take life a bit easier. Google the FODMAP diet about food intolerances especially gluten and dairy. Eat small portions of OK food frequently (you are not eating enough and prob all the wrong foods). Spend even an a few mins daily calming your thoughts and stress. You are working very long hours but the money is no use to you if it makes you dangerously ill and you have no family or friends.


Thanks Clare

I'm on a GF diet and really limited on options so most of the time it's 'easier' to not eat. I'm so tired at night I don't cook or can't be bothered really. I know I have to eat otherwise things will get slowly worse. When I did manage to have a few days a week off during our school holidays here I ate on a regualr basis, no dinner but very good lunches. I cannot have any soya sauce products, last time I had this I had massive vomiting and diarrhoea whcih put me on a drip as I was so dehydrated, so I get 'scared' when eating foods I haven't had before. There is a link between adrenal fatigue and eating disorders as well I believe

1 like

Can you eat eggs, veggie and good fats? That’s easy to make. I’m concerned that you not eating regular meals is contributing to your adrenal fatigue in that it is creating blood sugar issues with no food in your system. Handful of nuts here and there, hard boiled egg, carrots in the go, and salad w chicken. Thing easy to eat that will stabilize your blood sugar.


Soy sauce has gluten in it

Try Tamari sauce as an alternative


This symptoms that was on the thyroid test is 100% accurate Seaside susie


• Nervousness

• Weakness

• Sugar cravings

• Insomnia

• Dizzy spells

• Headaches

• Decreased stamina

• Irritability

• Fibromyalgia

• Anxiety/Depression


I thought I had adrenal fatigue as I had all of the symptoms you mentioned and the same working hours.

After 3 years of going back to the doctor it turned out I had Hashimoto.

Without enough thyroid hormone you cannot convert cholesterol to Pregnenolone. Pregnenolone makes all other adrenal hormones.

Have your cholesterol and Pregnenolone levels checked as well.

1 like


Seasidesusie is right it’s essential to have the four saliva tests for cortisol and they test for dhea which if low is treated ( one option) with pregnenelone. Any other tests are worthless as you need to assess how you are over a full day.

If you google DrMyhill. under the adrenal gear box you will have all the computations of possible outcomes and how to move forward. The good news is low levels are pretty easy to fix. High more tricky. Definitely worth the cost. You could have the test and put your results on here. You’ll be supported.

Having worked those hrs it is crazy- I am lucky my husband makes gluten free batch cooking- so cooked a chicken on a Sunday and will make four salads at once so all you do it plonk it on a plate. Try and eat the best breakfast you can. A large omelette takes v little time to make and I can have some at lunch with say mackerel or tuna. Tey and buy organic if you can- Aldi stock a fab range and it’s cheap.

Glass Tupperware and pans ceramic not metal. It’s hard but once you get organised you’ll eat better.

No money is worth your health. Obviously there’s a huge overlap for many people with adrenals thyroid vitamins and absorbtion of food.

I ended up paying for everything over time but it was worth it.

Good luck x

1 like

Working those hours eventually causes hell in anyone ...get back to basics and only eat totally fresh produce fruit,salads,veggies, meat fish cheese eggs never never anything touched by food industry

Check every piece of cookware and be sure its only stainless steel or cast iron or glass

Throw out anything thats aluminium or non stick or foil

Do not drink cans of stuff or anything from drinks machines

You have to get back to basics and give your body a chance to heal

Take Bio Kalm probiotics and Slippery Elm and at least 2000mg vitamin C in split doses every day


You need to ask your GP to arrange a Short Synacthin Test, probably at your local hospital. I became very ill last summer and by November, despite lots of tests, I knew that I was dieing. I’m not being dramatic, I was literally dieing. I lost 2 stones in 6-8 weeks, I had constant severe nausea, no appetite, crushing headaches, stomach pains, felt dizzy, exhausted ( so much so that I stood in the shower and my arms were so heavy I couldn’t lift them up to wash my hair). I spent my days lining on the sofa, yunable to do anything. Finally, my gastroenterologist said “let’s do a SST seeing as you’re hypothyroid “ . The following day, I received a call telling me the endocrinologist would see me at 5pm that day. My Cortisol was so low, I was close to collapse, coma and then death. She said to me “ you poor thing, you must have been feeling so ill. But I promise you will feel better.” Within 24 hours of that appointment I started to improve - it was a miracle. I still get bad days but they are fewer than the good, and much of it is a balancing act with the medication but I have hope now and only last November, I couldn’t see that I would ever get better.


1 like

Hi Clemmie,

This is my first time writing and I’m a little nervous but I was so stunned by your post I had to pluck up the courage to enquire about your situation.

Firstly, I do really hope that you’re feeling more like your old self now and that your health is improving. 🤞 My reason for being stunned is that at present I have EXACTLY the same symptoms, showers are a nightmare and my husband washes my hair once a week while I bath. I won’t list all the symptoms as all I can basically say is ‘snap’ after reading yours. These symptoms have been going on since February 2017, and after a recent cortisol test my reading was 58mmol (I’m in NZ). I’ve always had low sodium, the last test was fairly normal for me at 124..the previous test was 118. I am anaemic as well and have an Ana titre of 640. I have SLE, Type 1 Diabetes..late onset, Fibromyalgia and Hypothyroidism. I take 50mg ? Levothyroxine daily. My free t4 was 13.9pmol and the tsh was 4.5miu/L. I’ve spent virtually all of our summer in bed sleeping and only to wake fully at night for a few hours. I’m down from 67kg to 52kg and only occasionally do I have a genuine appetite. Within an hour of being up during the day I’m so exhausted that I just crash back into bed and sleep heavily for at least the rest of the day....and sometimes through to the following morning. I could go on and on but you’ll be bored stiff so I’ll leave it there, except to ask you if you have any advice for me, as I just feel that my Dr considers me an annoying hypochondriac 🙄 Thanks heaps for taking the time to read my post, very much appreciated here. Do take good care and I’m hoping your health is on more of an even keel now. Cheers, AJ

1 like

Yes, my advice is ask to be referred to an endocrinologist who has a special interest in Addison’s. You will need a SST which needs to be done early in the morning. 58 mmol Cortisol is too low. It may well be lack of cortisol that is causing you to feel so unwell. I am feeling so much better - certainly there are not so good days but I’m learning how to balance my medication and how my body copes with stress. I sympathise with you because it is a horrible feeling, that lack of hope. I too have ANA’s, hypothyroid ( often hypothyroid and diabetes go hand in hand with Addison’s disease (or Adrenal Insufficiency as they tend to call it.)) So definitely you need proper testing. Good luck and I hope that you start to feel better soon. I know how you feel reference seeing GP, I saw one particular GP at our surgery and practically begged him to help me and he just shrugged his shoulders. I will never see him again.


1 like

Thank you for your sage advice, I’ll do just that, I have made an appointment for tomorrow afternoon so fingers crossed. Would you mind my asking where your cortisol was down to, numbers wise and the medications that you were then given? I really very paranoid about having to take prednisone as each time I’ve had it prescribed my body reacts incredibly badly...were were certainly not made for each other!

Thanks again, AJ.

1 like

When I had my SST, the Endo told me the result was flat and after the injection, it hardly moved at all but I think the highest it went was about 44, so extremely low. I had to start taking hydrocortisone immediately, 40mg a day, spread over three/four doses then after a week I started reducing. I now take 22.5mg a day but have to increase when I’m unwell so as I’ve just had flu and a chest infection I’ve been taking double doses. Everybody’s needs are different, I metabolise the hydrocortisone quickly so need a higher dose than usual first thing in the morning. Clemmie


Hi I am new hear and really dont have the answers you maybe looking for but I have adrenal fatigue and lost my job because of it. I am now suspecting hypothyroid but waiting to see endocrinologist. Check out Dr. Lam on AF. AF has different levels, believe me when I say there could be worse to come. You need to eat little and often and probably protein at every sitting.The descision of slowing down will be made by your body. Eat clean; sleep before 10pm; supplement vit and minerals as much as possible. Try and improve things before it gets worse.Good health to you.

1 like

Hey everyone

Many thanks to all of you who gave me some advice, much appreciated and will follow up things with my docs


Several years ago now I saw a cheap intolerance test on facebook, I think it was something around £44 but full price was around £250. Well I was sceptical but would rather 'throw' the £44 away than the full amount. I made my appointment aandxturned up on the day. Like anything g else there was paperwork, was fine with my name and address but asking about illnesses well I didn't want to say hypothyroid as I thought he might somehow fix the results but he was fine and said we would leave that until later. So it was all electronic and I don't fully understand how it worked but if my bodies objected to the sample the manchineel would whine and the higher the pitch was the more sensitive I was. He told me not to worry as he was bound to fine a couple but the most he had ever found was around 20 and that was someone with eating problems. Well outcof 200 I got 142! Ok a few were mineralsxetc not quite high enough for me although I was supplements but a lot of the negatives were things I already knew or suspected! The following week I was going on a cruise with me son who was worried I couldn't hack the places on shore. I told him I had done many before and didn't tell him it was42 years before. I arrived with very swollen feet from the flight and really deep cuts where the straps had lacerated my feet. I felt like a beached whale but I was also determined to eat the things I'd learnt I could eat. Over 12 days my feet healed and I went home more like a seal and I'd done a lot of walking in intense heat by UK standards. I'd rated quite a lot and felt good. The major change was breakfast, a cheese omelette so I took these things forward andci certainly eat better now. I don't have antibodies so I wasecrntually told I was probably short of iodine and the eggs each morning supported that theory. Fast forward a few years and I was treated for breast cancer but caught it early so operation, no chemo but a short course radiotherapy. The. Anger centre had booklets about every type or cancer and how to promote wellness but it also was very kern to hand out a cookery book of nutritional meals, easy to prepare as with treatment your energy levels are depleted and many patients don't have the support at home. So lots of simple meals, poached egg on toast, various vegetable based simple soups etc so may be looking for a simple easy cookbook with nutritional meals can help you turn the corner food wise. Remember as well we do need to eat good fat to absorb fat based vitamins like vitamin D. Now many vegetables I can't eat so I take many vitamins and minerals aswas found to be low in and I can't get them in my diet so I would also get Vit D, B12, folate and ferritin tested and supplement where necessary. The results need to be optimal but SeasideSusie has excellent advice on her posts so if you get those high you are helping your thyroid to work better and convert the T4 to T3 better plus get rid of many symptoms we tend to have. It doesn't happen overnight but well worth the effort. So getting better nutrition and easy meals to prepare my well increase you desire to eat more and continue on the road to wellness. Give yourself a reward for each step forward. Doesn't have to be food but may be something you have always wanted to do or buy. I'm not saying it will be easy and I know many wouldn't want to take vitamins in pill form but I think you need the feel good factor quickly to help you make the progress you need. Get good quality supplements if you can. As that will speed things up and introduce them at 2 week intervals to make sure they aren't upsetting you. Good luck!


I went for 4 years before a holistic doctor found out what was wrong with me. Your symptoms could be from adrenal .I went to UCLA,USC, Long Beach Memorial, UCI Irvine 2 Kaiser,s And 3 other Hospitals well known in Southern Calif. I had your symptoms plus skin problems on face and arms and this skin condition all over my scalp like cradle cap like babys get . I was tested for everything like all the time everyday somewhere and they check cortisol and other test that are suppose to show up in urine and blood. Everything negative until I became bed bound and in a wheel chair. This homeopathic doctor had me come in for twenty five days mon thru sun and draw blood everyday at same time. note I had a test at a kaiser for a special test they inject radioactive medicine and in a chamber cant remember name and I was told they found something but it must have been a mistake it was too rare to have this condition. Right after my new Dr. after about 15 days of blood work informed me he found out what my illness was he informed me I had Pheochromocytoma ... that is a tumor on the adrenal gland that produced hormones. I also couldn't eat for that last year prior that I was on TPN Where they feed you by a catheter a port and nothing by mouth. I had the adrenal and tumor removed it's been 10 years .The last 18 months I feel like I did before and they can't find anything I have also Hypothyroidism goiter over 30 nodules and this Endocrinologist I have runs same test says everything normal. Since I already been through this Im asking for all kinds if extra testing to help him help me and I was taking synthroid 10 years and having all these problems again up for 3 days sleep 5 hours up anxiety panic attacks so I asked to go off synthroid see what happens 6 weeks later I calmed down can sleep better did blood work and my test show on the medicine or off my levels stayed the same. So now he thinks I have Cushings which is adrenal related. If synthroido worked my thyroid and goiter should be fine but it wasn't. This has messed up my heart kidneys I have had 4 kidney surgeries for stones its all related I have been told I have Fibromyalgia, neuropathy all the things they tell you when they don't know what it really is. I thought I had M S and they said no finally after all the test they found lesions on spinal cord brain, and thyroid . This illness alot of the same symptoms for these different illnesses.The biggest mistake I did was take all these different medications for what they thought would help made me sicker because all the side affects is a whole new thing to deal with. The doctor from along time ago I have no insurance for and I read two books that I was told about and I feel you have to really be a big part of helping yourself to find whats really going on .THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEMS not just take medicine to treat the symptoms. If you want to read these books I believe you will find comfort while you seek help. The book is MEDICAL MEDIUM & THYROID HEALING they both touch on more than thyroid also he has a book on food the author is Anthony Williams. Don't give up reading this will open up a way to help you avoid what might trigger your symptoms the library should have them if not on line or Barn's Noble. Sorry this is so long but I hate to see someone suffer for so many years .It's very hard for a Doctor to figure out a illness when so many symptoms are the same as other illness forgive me I wish you the best to find relief So I did have MS and all those conditions I mentioned. I had the symptoms plus other that you mention .I stopped eating certain foods which has helped alot. dairy sodas sugar gluten only no fried foods .I was told to eat kale instead of lettuce but I found out kale triggers my illness I can't have any steroids after you find out your illness you can learn more about a diet that will help you with the stomach problems. Take care my friend. Remember this is me and what I went through everybody is different and you have to do what works for you!

1 like

You may also like...