Thyroid UK
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Thyroid and Adrenals both, how to heal?

My main issues right now is this debilitating fatigue, and general weakness, both mental and physical. I get tired from just thinking (or remembering even, processing info, etc) from taking my Dog out for a walk, from reading a few sentences, doing easy, basic mundane daily tasks. It’s like this constant, continuous feeling of exhaustion. And it’s quickly become unbearable. Unrefreshing sleeps, napping through the day, to no avail!! and like every 10-20 seconds I’m complaining of fatigue, and it feels awful, undescribeably terrible. I also have no stress response left... like, stressful situations tire me WAY too much, I just can’t stand them, and can’t seem to handle stress or anxiety anymore...or I will feel even more tired. and I try to avoid all stressors because of this...it’s so odd because I used to handle stress just fine, but now I just can’t, it’s impossible to... I’m basically tired 24/7 no matter how much sleep I get during the day also. And every 10 seconds, the fatigue sets in again...I’m constantly in bed, but even that gets me tired. Reading is the worst anymore. I just get so so so tired even reading, or just doing the most basic of things!!! :( what is even wrong with me?? Also, my concentration and memory are terrible...I have virtually no attention span left...But just the weakness, mental fatigue, and exhaustion for no reason. And when I got stressed at work last week, I was so tired I barely could get out of bed for 2 days straight, after that one shift, that’s how sensitive I’ve become...A shift like that I would normally handle it just fine... but now, just no tolerance to that kind of stress anymore, I’m basically so so so crippled and fragile, which is so weird and odd and awkward how a person can become so fragile, like this just from “stressing too much” sometimes before? Really don’t get it why this would happen...I’m a young guy and should be able to handle stress etc just fine but I’ve become decapacitated.. it’s embarrassing and SO annoying, really... And I need help ASAP because I cannot live like this anymore it is unecceptable. It’s been getting worse like this over like 3-4 months, but the last couple of weeks have been an all time low, some sort of substance is depleted and unless I quickly restore it I’ll be in the dumps for ever...it’s like my body is just not able to carry me through anymore. It’s been a misery...

I tested for thyroid and TSH was fine, but T4 and T3 were very low, so because I couldn’t handle it all anymore, I had to ask around and self medicate for that, not realizing that it could’ve very well have been my taxed, fragile, abused adrenals that were causing the T4 and T3 to be so low... so basically,

I’m currently on 50mg of T4 and 25mcg of T3 Synthroid, it’s helped my symptoms a lot, but only by a bit, like when I take them I’m OK and not AS sick and tired, but I still very well am exausted, and very very tired, which just leads me to believe that it’s just the Adrenals that are and have been causing this all along...and that over time of them being “weak”, they have brought down the Thyroid now as well... (the thing too, is that my Cortisol used to be fine, but the last test it actually came back LOW. Surprise surprise, And low Cortisol indicates Stage 3 Adrenal Fatigue...) and not the other way around, and so now I’m medicating the wrong things because Adrenals needed to be healed first... so now I’m kinda Paranoid that yeah, maybe I should’ve started with a different approach... but hopefully that should be fine, and once Adrenals are fixed or should all be ok? I’m already on the thyroid stuff, and if I miss a dose I go back to feeling as crappy as I did before I started them, so just leave that for now since it’s helping, hopefully things will adjust... just wouldn’t want to hurt things further or anything, I’ve been reading lots on this and lots of ppl are saying that it’s NOT a solution to be healing Thyroid when Adrenals aren’t healthy (which mine aren’t according to the Cortisol test...) but I just hope I can manage like this until I get the hydrocortisone I need it so so bad. Idk what destroyed my Adrenals, but it did, and I don’t have many options anymore... (tried it all) and I just don’t know what it could be other than Adrenals that is causing all this fatigue... it has to be that, but getting hydrocortisone prescribed is impossible, so my question was what other methods could I try to heal the Adrenals without it for now? I know I need it because my symptoms are so bad and debilitating, that nothing could help me at this point anymore. I mean it is all gone so downhill within the last couple of weeks, just all pummeled down. Yes I was overusing my brain both at work and at home, but that’s how life is, and now replacement is my only solution. I just wanted lastly to know of any possible miraculous Adrenal Cortex/Glandular supplements that have fast shipping that I could try since isocort was discontinued sadly :,( I’ve tried health supplement stores in my city but the best I could get was Thorne Cortex (not even the Adrenal one) and it hasn’t helped at all... must be that 30mg is too low, I’m also already taking a B complex, Vitamin C, Adrenal and thyroid Support complex (adaptogens and vitamins), multivitamin, ginseng, iodine, and selenium, and these things have NOT helped at all. I’m starting to lose hope in everything except for HC. Don’t care how long I have to take it for, as long as I’m healed :( my symptoms are very similar to someone with Addison’s at this point, and that’s reflected in Cortisol...im just very very fragile and nothing I do seems to be able to save me from the dumps anymore.

P.S my AM Cortisol was (120 Range:135-537)

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The first thing I would suggest is to go back to your doctor and explain all this to them. I think your T4 (50mg) is too low, ask the doctor to increase this to see if it helps with your symptoms. Also, have you considered the foods you are eating, maybe cutting gluten from your diet and taking Vit D (4000 iu) per day could help as well. I have just started doing this myself and I have found a noticeable improvement.

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I will try, but my doc is weird and chances are he won’t say/do anything like he’s done in the past, and leave me to my own methods...Thank you so much for that advice!!! I’m taking around 5000iu of Vitamin D, as I’m D deficient as well...don’t eat much gluten anyway, but if you don’t mind me asking, are you also struggling with fatigue?? adrenal fatigue as well? I’m just looking for a good Cortex/Glandular that could potentially save me...and isocort isn’t available.

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Andy, we need to take this one step at a time. And, the first step is blood test results. Let's see what your thyroid results were. You say your TSH was 'fine' - what does that mean? Frees low? How low? We need facts and figures to be able to help you - blood test results and ranges.

How has your cortisol been tested? Have you done a 24 hour saliva test? Or just that am blood test - which are notoriously unreliable.

So, give us some numbers to work with.

Did you see my response to your last question? Stop the adaptogens! They are probably making you worse. Stop the iodine, same reason.

It's probably a good thing that you can't get HC prescribed, because I doubt many doctors know how to use it properly. And if it's misused, it can shut down your adrenals completely. So, let's see what we can do without resorting to HC, shall we? :)

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Hi, thank you for answering. My T4 and T3 were both very low, which was I believe what was causing a lot of the symptoms... it was 12 (9-20) and 3.3 (3.1-7). I haven’t done the 24hr yet, my doc would only ever order the AM, I need to request that one as well, thanks for reminding me. Really, stop ashwaganda too? That’s lame, I’ve spent so much money on those and I thought Adaptogens were a big part in healing the adrenals...I guess all the info I read was wrong. (that’s my focus here, I need to raise the Cortisol...I believe that’s what’s causing a lot of the symptoms...like the extreme unbearable fatigue.) I just don’t know how to fix it anymore, I keep looking for a good Glandular but can’t seem to put my finger on one. I’m trying to save it all myself but it’s proving to be all so very difficult, when you have no energy to move/do anything. I woke up exausted today too, more tired than I ever was before, which sucks so bad, I have work in 2 days and idk how I’m gonna do this :( I just want this misery to end so bad :’( I’m so sick and tired of being tired and feeling like crap. :( idek what’s causing this fatigue, is it even the adrenals, or is it just thyroid, or is it something else altogether??

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An FT3 that low would cause symptoms, yes. It's much, much too low. The FT4 is low, but not as low, and T4 doesn't cause symptoms.

You won't get a saliva test on the NHS. You'd have to do that privately.

Adaptogens are good are lowering hormones, not raising them. So, yes, the ashwagandha if you want your cortisol to rise. I don't think they do anything for the adrenals per se. A lot of people on internet say that adaptogens 'regualte' hormones. They are, in theory, supposed to raise low hormones, and lower high ones. But, do you really think that's possible? In practice, what we see is adaptogens lowering hormones, not raising them.

I honestly thing that it's that very low T3 causing your fatigue, rather than the cortisol. And, raising your T3 should help your adrenals. Apart from that, just be kind to them. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day - adrenals like regularity. Have a high protein breakfast as soon as you rise. How much vit C are you taking? How much of th Bs? How's your salt intake? Have you tried the adrenal cocktail?

And, if you're stopping the adaptogens, why not try the Adrenavive? People speak very highly of it. :)

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Oh wow, ok, interesting, thank you so much for that info!! Where would I be if it wasn’t for you guys, I’m so grateful, thanks a bunch for that information!! I am though currently taking 25mg a day of T3, which is an already high dose, and I’ve noticed mild improvements, should I increase my dose to 50mg that’s high?? That would be very high, but its important to further raise the T3? I’ve already been taking the cytomel for a week and it’s cleared the Brain Fog, weight loss, and some energy, but most symptoms of fatigue are still there... Idk anymore, honestly I think that maybe it’s the combination of cortisol and thyroid, not just one or the other? I keep reading that low Cortisol indicates Stage 3 AF, and also that Adrenals need to be healed first before thyroid...and I have a low stress tolerance, which are all symptoms of advanced AF...plus I’m already taking pretty high doses of T3 and the thyroid symptoms have gotten better but not so much the Fatigue, muscle weakness, lack of energy, etc. so the Synthroid has helped a bit already, but not entirely. I honestly believe maybe my Adrenals have just become way too taxed and damaged, from prolonged periods of stress, and now I can’t even get stressed anymore...I just keep reading that Adrenals are important to heal too. And the low Cortisol is there. Either way, Im on a good path...I’ll be focused on raising the T3 again, and also I’ll be ordering the nutri-meds adrenal glandulars, those seem to have a good reputation. And a good Cortex as well... idk it’s just too coincidental too, because I’ve been putting my body and mind through lots of stress lately so it would make sense that things would just “crash” eventually...(I’ve even been taking various stimulants etc. too, and I’m very delicate and crashed from those pretty bad, so I wouldn’t be surprised if my adrenals were super damaged now, from all the abuse...) I’m taking 1000mg of vitamin C (used to be 500), and a B complex. Will up my salt intake as well, thank you so much for that!! & I’ll look into Adrenavive.

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No, it isn't a high dose. I take 75 mcg. I might be an exception, but not that much of one, I don't think. But, I would not advise you to double your dose like that! Increases should be 6.25 mcg every two weeks. Any more and you will stress your body and put yourself right back at square one. So, you can increase your T3 by 6.25 mcg in a week's time. Did you start straight on 25? That might have something to do with your fatigue! No levo?

Opinions are divided about whether you should treat adrenals or thyroid first. The problem is, we don't really know how far gone you're are to be able to say. But, increase your FT3 SLOWLY should help the adrenals, take the strain off them.

You cannot hope to get rid of all your symptoms in one week! It could take years! It took more than one week to get you into this state, so how can you hope to get out of it in less time?

Your adrenals will have been taxed, but not damaged. Adrenals bounce back very well if they're treated right. The just need a bit of TLC. :)

You can slowly increase your vit C, too. It's water-soluble so you'll just pee any excess out. Increase to gut tolerance.

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Yeah 75 is pretty high, be careful not to destroy your muscles or something, people who talk about Cytomel on steroid forums, do say to not go too high without also adding a testosterone enhancer as well. (Which my testosterone is low too...fml) but hopefully it’s not too high and doesn’t damage your muscles? Just be careful. & no, no worries, I got there very slow, I started with 6, then 12 and now 25mcg... so I’ll be going up gradually as well. That definitely wasn’t an issue. I noticed improvements right away though. and I am taking 50 of T4 as well, but will be upping it to 100mg levothyroxine, also gradually, like I’ve been instructed. I’ve also been debating switching to NDT, but I don’t want to do too much at once, so I think I’ll just wait for just the T4 and T3 to stabilize first before making any more abrupt changes. Hmmm. You are once again making sense so thank you for that!! I’m glad to be taking the strain off the Adrenals, that is my #1 goal. Idk but I’m pretty far gone. I’ve never been this sick my whole life, it just hit me about 2 weeks ago and has really been “in the dumps” since then. The T3 and T4 only slightly helping...at least though I’ve been able to get out of bed and stuff... just very scared about work in a few days. aha. gotta take it slow...& yes you’re right, patience is key, but it’s hard to be patient sometimes when you’re so tired all the time and it’s hard to do mundane tasks. Thanks so much for this advice, it has been very valuable!!! You’ve been a life saver, I just need to look into a few more supplements and I’ll be set. (Specifically the extracts and the adrenavive)

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But people on body-building sites are not hypo, and should not be taking T3 at all! There is a difference. But, I know people - hypos - taking a lot more than me.

Do not increase levo and T3 at the same time. One or the other. But, is it really necessary to increase levo when you are taking T3? Possibly not. It's going to be low anyway, when you're taking T3.

What extracts? I don't think you should take Adrenavive and NutriThyroid at the same time. That sounds like over-kill!

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Ah, I see. Ok, thanks for clarifying. Very useful information, thank you. Yeah, I’m definitely not considering adrenavive at this point because all it contains is more adaptogens? I don’t see glandulars or anything like that in the ingredients, all I see is ashwaganda, rhodiola, and ginseng and roots, and also l-theanine which I’m already taking. It’s my understanding that I should not be taking adaptogens, so I will be skipping that one. Have you looked at the ingredients of that product? It’s just mostly adaptogens and roots and stuff...you told me not to take any of those, so I’m not going to. yeah, oh my gosh thanks so much for everything man, you’ve been a life saver!! :) I’ll keep you updated.

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Andy

"P.S my AM Cortisol was (120 Range:135-537)"

I am no expert on these tests, but that is below range. What is your doctor doing about it? Has Addisons been mentioned by your doctor? You need to speak to your doctor.

I can't concentrate well enough at the moment to be able to read and take in all of your post, but I think this is beyond taking over the counter supplements for adrenals.

Also, adaptogens, although meant to balance things, can lower cortisol (as I have experienced), Iodine is not a good idea unless tested and found to be deficient (it is anti-thyroid and used to be used to treat overactive thyroid), and multivitamins are generally a waste of time, they contain too little of anything to help and if it contains iron then that affects the absorption of every else.

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Thank you for that, sadly that’s how I currently feel as well, I’m so tired today too, can barely get out of bed again, and it just makes no sense. I slept so much yesterday, it makes no sense that I would wake up still tired today!! What is wrong with me. Why do I feel like this...I have work in 2 days again but how am I gonna push this through, i just feel so incapacitated and crippled like this, I’ll have to call in sick again?! I just don’t know anymore. I’m just hoping to get some sort of answers and see if that helps, I virtually am out of options I’ve tried it all and it just gets worse..

EDIT: he also said not to worry about Addison’s because my electrolytes were ok... I should get tested for ACTH stimulation though asap.

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It makes perfect sense when one looks at your FT3 result! That is what is wrong with you. Stop the iodine, stop the multivit and stop the adaptogens. They are more than likely making you worse.

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Thank you so much for that advice and prospective! Just don’t wanna overdo it with the T3

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With your level, there's not much danger in the immediate. :)

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