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Old 07-17-2008, 01:49 PM   #1
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Adrenal AND Thyroid Issues_Please Help

Hi Everyone -- I'm feeling just terrible, like my life has been put on hold, barely able to function. I'm very concerned being as I am currently single and living on my own, plus I am self-employed, so have no avenues for support while I deal with this. I have limited funds available to deal with these health issues (due to having started my own business!), and I have Kaiser for insurance, so am limited in that area as well (although my doc is open minded, so that's good, at least). I'm hoping someone might be able to offer input/experience regarding my situation. Wondering what the best way to deal with adrenal fatigue is, in conjunction with Hypo.

I'm suffering from what seems to be a mod-severe case of adrenal fatigue (I've been under enormous stress for many years), plus Hypothyroidism. I have difficulty in concentrating and thinking, I forget things easily, and I have very little energy (can no longer exercise). I feel tired all the time, and have gained a little bit of weight around the middle. I feel worst in the morning/first part of day, and best in the eve. The symptoms started about a year ago, and at that time I felt poorly in the morning, but was able to function in the late afternoon/eve. Then in January of this year, things got much worse, and the symptoms seemed to be with me the entire day. And just this week, my hands are starting to feel a bit numb and tingling. I think I may have had some level of this stuff going on for many years though, undiagnosed.

I have Kaiser, and saw my doc in March 08 for the above symptoms. He did some lab work, including running thyroid tests. I now know that I need to ask for Free T3 test and will have this test run in the future. I'm also going to ask for Ferritn test (sp?). I've been tested for B-12 (was OK), and Vit D (was on low side of normal range). Below are the results from the thyroid tests:

March 08: T3 -- 92 [58 - 159], Free T4 -- .85 [.70 - 1.48], TSH -- 1.06 [0.4 - 4.00], TPO -- <60 [ - U/mL]

He then put me on Levothroid, which I started VERY slowly, as I'm quite sensitive to meds. Starting dose was 1/4 of a 25mcg / .025 mg tablet (which I know is hardly anything), and I worked up to a full tablet over 3-4 weeks. I think the following test results were obtained after I'd been on Levo for awhile, but I'm not sure if I had started the Armour yet as well (more on that next).

From May 08: T3 -- lab forgot to run this test [58 - 159], Free T4 -- ..84 [.70 - 1.48], TSH -- .92 [0.4 - 4.00]

I started to feel a bit better on the Levo, but I also started getting really intense heart palpitations (like I said, I'm sensitive), and could not sleep, so I went back to the doctor to discuss options. I was told by a couple of people who have hypothyroidism, that Armour was tolerated much better, and that T3 is often also needed in addition to T4, so I asked if I could try Armour, and my doc agreed and prescribed a very low starting dose of 15mg. I worked up to taking about 25 mg and that's where I've been for some time now. I've been feeling a bit more energy (relative, mind you), compared to how I felt in January, but I think the Levo was helping a little bit more....BUT, I cannot tolerate the Levo, so I don't know what to do (Is there a natural T4 booster available?). It seems my latest test results, shown below (just had lab work done yesterday), suggest that I need to take something for T4 specifically (but then what about T3?). I'm also not understanding the change in TSH value.

From July 08: T3 -- 130 [58 - 159], Free T4 -- ..85 [.70 - 1.48], TSH -- .72 [0.4 - 4.00]

Thanks so much to all who offer input. I'm really feeling like my life is over. Very depressing.

 
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:34 PM   #2
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Re: Adrenal AND Thyroid Issues_Please Help

Have you had your adrenals tested yet? If you do indeed have AF you will get nowhere with the thyroid meds until you treat them. The correct way is to be on adrenal support alone for about a month before starting on thyroid meds as it is very stressing to already weak adrenals if you don't.

You will have alot better chance in tolerating the thyroid meds if you are treating your adrenals. You might want to visit the addison's board here as that is where you will find more people with adrenal issues.

Good luck

Deb

 
Old 07-17-2008, 09:35 PM   #3
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Re: Adrenal AND Thyroid Issues_Please Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb123 View Post
Have you had your adrenals tested yet? If you do indeed have AF you will get nowhere with the thyroid meds until you treat them. The correct way is to be on adrenal support alone for about a month before starting on thyroid meds as it is very stressing to already weak adrenals if you don't.

You will have alot better chance in tolerating the thyroid meds if you are treating your adrenals. You might want to visit the addison's board here as that is where you will find more people with adrenal issues.

Good luck

Deb
Thank you for your input Deb123. I appreciate it.

I have not had my cortisol levels tested, because I was told that unless I discontinue use of my nasal allergy spray for at least one month, the test levels would be skewed. I'm not sure if that would really make much of a difference though, being as it seems that my cortisol pattern would be just as important to know, as individual numbers....meaning it would be interesting to confirm that my levels are too low in the morning and too high at night. Would it be worth getting the test regardless of the fact that I'm on steroid nose spray? I have really bad rhinitis and would not be able to breathe if I discontinued the spray. Are there other tests I should ask for to test for adrenal fatigue? I'm quite sure I have it.

Thanks!

 
Old 07-18-2008, 02:07 PM   #4
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Re: Adrenal AND Thyroid Issues_Please Help

Hi,

Hmmm, the nasal spray may very well affect your test results. I know if taking any adrenal support and wanting to retest you are supposed to be off of it for two weeks prior to testing. Not sure a month would be necessary. Could you possibly get by without it for two weeks?

I was tested with a 24 hr urine but other forums I frequent say the 24 hr saliva is the best. I've never had one but it would be good to get an ACTH test done as well. That can help determine if you problem is Cushings, Addisons or possibly Hypotituitarism. It would be good to have your Aldosterone and Renin tested as well. Both of those are hormones that are tied in with the adrenals and if low can be treated with Florinef.

I have not worked in four years due to my AF. I'm so much better than I was as I was bedridden at times the fatigue and weakness was so overwhelming. I'm kind of doing a little part time work now that is only about three hrs a day about three days a week and I'm holding up to that for now but I really don't think I will ever be able to work full time again. I went a long time undiagnosed and untreated working a very physical job and I think I've done permanent damage.

Do definitely push for the Free T3 test as the T3 is useless. Most docs automatically run the T3 and if you don't specifically request it the labs won't run it.

I know it's scary but just hang in there and research, research, research. I can tell you from experience, when it comes to AF, you almost have to be your own doctor as the majority of docs don't understand it.

Deb

 
Old 07-18-2008, 06:38 PM   #5
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Re: Adrenal AND Thyroid Issues_Please Help

wow,
your symptoms sound just like mine. Ive had hypo and hashi for about 2 1/2 years and never did get better. Actually I am worse and have been tested for everything under the sun and still dont know why I feel complety exhausted. i also have low cortisol, DHEAS and testostrone but not Addisons. I guess I have adrenal fatigue. I wish there was something us Adrenal fatigue folks could take to make us feel better.

 
Old 07-18-2008, 08:05 PM   #6
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Re: Adrenal AND Thyroid Issues_Please Help

nervx and bitty---
What other odd symptoms do you have? Do you have weird/unexplained bruising, red stretch marks on belly, boobs, arm pits, other places?
Foot pain? On the bottom or on the top or both?
Have your rings become tighter?
Has your foot size changed oddly in the last little bit?
Has your skin gone "tan"? Without exposure to sun?
Is your skin oddly "rough"----feels like sandpaper and darkened?
Do you crave salty foods?
Have your veins suddenly become more difficult for the lab techs to get blood from them? (Like the vein collapses or rolls over?)

Last edited by T4T3hell; 07-18-2008 at 08:07 PM.

 
Old 07-19-2008, 11:02 AM   #7
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Re: Adrenal AND Thyroid Issues_Please Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by T4T3hell View Post
nervx and bitty---
What other odd symptoms do you have? Do you have weird/unexplained bruising, red stretch marks on belly, boobs, arm pits, other places?
Foot pain? On the bottom or on the top or both?
Have your rings become tighter?
Has your foot size changed oddly in the last little bit?
Has your skin gone "tan"? Without exposure to sun?
Is your skin oddly "rough"----feels like sandpaper and darkened?
Do you crave salty foods?
Have your veins suddenly become more difficult for the lab techs to get blood from them? (Like the vein collapses or rolls over?)
Thanks to all for your input. It seems this predicament is daunting, at best, and as such, I can't help but feel hopeless, being as I live on my own and run my own business (or try to run my own business at this point)....and do not have family to count on for support during hard times.

Where do I turn for help if I can no longer work (assuming the government programs do not recognize sub-clinical numbers as being "enough" to debilitate someone). My biggest fear is that I will end up on the street! Very depressing.

As for additional symptoms, from the above list, the only symptom I can say that I have with certainty, is that I crave salty foods big time. In addition to those, my periods are heavier now and I have very painful cramps (cramps used to be mild). I have tinnitus and sometimes it's very intense. I've had this symptom for many years. I have difficulty with sleeping and take low dose lorazapam to help with this (nothing else worked for me) 1/4 of a .5 tab. I have allergies, severe rhinitus, and sinus problems. I had a lot of problems with bloating and gas etc., but these seemed to have gotten a bit better after giving up gluten a few months ago. I was until recently, a lacto-ova-pesca "vegetarian", but have recently started to eat chicken again, and working up to other choices.

I should mention that in the past my doc diagnosed me as having fibromyalgia as I had many of the symptoms of this illness, and I lived with this diagnosis for many years. Subsequently, upon doing much personal work and changing things in my life, the pain lifted, I became more active, and I do not believe (nor does my old doc), that I had/have Fibromyalgia. The physical therapist I had been seeing said I did not match the personality profile of the type of person who most commonly gets FM, and thought my symptoms were likely a combo of stress and maybe a mild arthritic componant. I think my issues are all related to stress, as I've had much of it since childhood.

So, I guess I'll try and get my Kaiser doc to refer me to an Endo, and see what happens. I've also made an appointment with the Kaiser nutritionist, can't hurt.

If anyone has any more input, I'd be grateful.

Thank you!

 
Old 07-19-2008, 11:57 AM   #8
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Re: Adrenal AND Thyroid Issues_Please Help

Heavy periods are linked to hypothyroidism---as is some cases of fibromyalgia that is not true fibromyalgia...

Salt cravings---ADRENAL disease---and hypothyroid would aggravate it.

My sister has been diagnosed with fibro---and she is finally getting help with some things---but I am convinced that her carpal tunnel problems are symptoms of hypothyroid---but her doctors have told her that things are "fine".

She is getting some help with liver cleansings---but this all makes me think that her slow metabolism is due to hypothyroid.

Maybe it's time for another doctor or a second opinion...
Good luck!

 
Old 07-19-2008, 03:08 PM   #9
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Re: Adrenal AND Thyroid Issues_Please Help

Carpal tunnel can definately be due to low thyriod levels.

Fibromyalgea can be due to low thyroid and/or low vit D.

These are the things I found to be low:

Free T3
ferritin
Vit D
Vit B12
magnesium
zinc

I used to have wrist pain and sore muscles (what would have been likely diagnosed as fibro if I had complained of it). I didn't even know I had the muscle aches until they went away! I thought everyone felt like I did & hurt when they were hugged . I though the hugs were just too hard!

All this went away gradually after I started on Armour and supplemented with all those things I was found to be low in!
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25 years feeling worse every year on Synthroid & 13 months feel good on Armour Thyroid.

 
Old 07-19-2008, 05:24 PM   #10
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Re: Adrenal AND Thyroid Issues_Please Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by nervx View Post
As for additional symptoms, from the above list, the only symptom I can say that I have with certainty, is that I crave salty foods big time.
That is likely as not from the adrenal fatigue. Try 1/4 tsp. of a good sea salt in a glass of water twice a day and if needed to up to 1/2 tsp. twice a day and see if that helps with your fatigue at all. If your aldosterone was tested I can almost certainly tell you it is low.

Deb

 
Old 07-19-2008, 05:30 PM   #11
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Re: Adrenal AND Thyroid Issues_Please Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by bittygirl View Post
wow,
your symptoms sound just like mine. Ive had hypo and hashi for about 2 1/2 years and never did get better. Actually I am worse and have been tested for everything under the sun and still dont know why I feel complety exhausted. i also have low cortisol, DHEAS and testostrone but not Addisons. I guess I have adrenal fatigue. I wish there was something us Adrenal fatigue folks could take to make us feel better.

You need to be treated for the low cortisol, dheas and testosterone. Low levels of any of these can cause fatigue, let alone have all three low. I'm low in all of those as well and am supplementing and it does help. If your adrenal fatigue is not too bad you may get some benefit from over the counter type adrenal support products and possibly Isocort pellets but you would have to do some research and know what and how to supplement. If your adrenal fatigue is moderate or severe like as not you need hydrocortisone which is what I am on.

Deb

 
Old 07-20-2008, 08:34 AM   #12
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Re: Adrenal AND Thyroid Issues_Please Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb123 View Post
You need to be treated for the low cortisol, dheas and testosterone. Low levels of any of these can cause fatigue, let alone have all three low. I'm low in all of those as well and am supplementing and it does help. If your adrenal fatigue is not too bad you may get some benefit from over the counter type adrenal support products and possibly Isocort pellets but you would have to do some research and know what and how to supplement. If your adrenal fatigue is moderate or severe like as not you need hydrocortisone which is what I am on.

Deb


thank you. How did you get your doc to give you the hydrocortisone? Since my endo tested for addisons and I dont have it, she wont even give me a sliver of hydrocortisone.

 
Old 07-20-2008, 10:07 AM   #13
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Re: Adrenal AND Thyroid Issues_Please Help

Thanks to all for input. This sure can be confusing to figure out. I'm on Armour, and my T3 is now in normal range, my T4 is low and has not budged since I started treatment, and my TSH levels have dropped now. I wonder if something's amiss with my pituitary gland? I have a couple more questions, but I think a new thread is in order.

Thanks again!

 
Old 07-20-2008, 08:37 PM   #14
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Re: Adrenal AND Thyroid Issues_Please Help

A higher FT3 and an FT4 that continues to be low can also be another sign of adrenal insufficiency. The body needs cortisol in order to use the thyroid hormone. If cortisol is low the thyroid hormone doesn't get absorbed and pools in the blood causing high FT3 labs.

 
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