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Heckofagal 01-25-2012 03:45 PM

Adrenal Fatigue ?s
Has anyone here, or do you know of anyone, who has been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, been put on Hydrocortisone, gotten better, and then gotten off the hydrocortisone?

Was diagnosed hypo 5-6 years ago, and have been told I also have issues with adrenal fatigue. In the past I have been given adrenal supplements and eventually felt better. This time I am not feeling better.

3 thyroid dose increases since August, and though my last set of labs showed me pretty close to optimal, I am still very ill. Its been 5 weeks since my last increase, but I am not getting better, I'm getting worse. Don't think I am going hyper, as I don't feel any hyper symptoms...just unrelenting dizziness, fatigue, brain fog, gastro issues and hair continues to fall out. At this point I have no life. Can't drive anywhere, missing a lot of time at work, and don't feel up to doing anything when I am at home besides sit on the couch.

And though my Naturopathic dr. diagnosed me with Adrenal Fatigue, it sounds like most regular M.D.s don't believe in it. I seem to fit the profile, even have aches in the adrenal area, but I've read so much about people going on HC and still struggling, and about people having issues weaning off of it.

I guess I will be taking the plunge soon as I am so sick, I need to find a way to get better. Just waiting on my saliva cortisol levels first and to also see my next set of thyroid labs. (also heard I should lower my thyroid meds to avoid a thyroid dump...who wants to do that when i still feel so hypo?).

Any success stories out there or words of advice?

lisa789 01-26-2012 02:38 AM

Re: Adrenal Fatigue ?s
I'm sorry you're feelign like this.

Not knowledge in the field of adrenal fatigue, as a matter of fact still exploring it for myself, but anyway that said aside. I do [I]belief[/I] that if one has a thyroid condition that should be treated and without that, one won't get anywhere. Unfortunately that takes patience. you write it's been 5 weeks since your last dosage increase. (hair loss is not uncommon with fluctuating levels which is the case being since the dosages are still adjusted). As far as I know, once the levels are close to optimal it still takes time for the body to recover and heal. So symptoms follow the levels, but it's not because levels are good that one instantly feels good, unfortunately enough.

you write: Don't think I am going hyper, as I don't feel any hyper symptoms...just unrelenting dizziness, fatigue, brain fog, gastro issues and hair continues to fall out.
please note, hypo and hypersymptoms can be confusing and overlap. how is your heartrate to name one?

it's true, most MD's don't belief in adrenal fatigue, it's not a recognized diagnosis so to speak. now to my knowledge people who struggle with adrenal fatigue will have hypersymptoms even with low dosage or hypolabs.

Do you have any recent labresults? of so please feel free to post them including the reference ranges.

hang in there! :wave:

Heckofagal 01-26-2012 07:16 AM

Re: Adrenal Fatigue ?s
Lisa, thanks for responding. Yes, I know it takes time for the body to heal and adjust to the meds. Each time I've had a med adjustment I've noticed the 2 steps forward, one step back. However, this time I don't seem to making any steps forward. And, in my opinion, my numbers are not that far off for me to be feeling so bad. A list of my last 3 labs:

TSH: .03 (.40-4.5)
FT4: 1.3 (.8-1.8) 50%
FT3: 4.6 (2.3-4.2) 121.05%

8/27/11: increased synthroid from 125 to 137.5, decrease cytomel 15 to 10

TSH: .07 (.40-4.5)
FT4: 1.2 (.8-1.8) 40%
FT3: 3.0 (2.3-4.2) 37%

11/2/11: increased synthroid from 137.5 to 150, kept cytomel at 10

TSH: .07 (.40-4.5)
FT4: 1.3 (.8-1.8) 50%
FT3: 3.1 (2.3-4.2) 42%

12/21/11: increased synthroid from 150 to 175, kept cytomel at 10

I'm due to get labs in a few days. I know that last increase was a big one (normally only increase 12.5 at a time) but I am still feeling hypo. I slept almost 12 hours last night. My heart rate/pulse seem normal. I do take a beta blocker so don't know if that would be masked if I were hyper, though in the past I did feel heart palps when hypo (have not had those lately). The only issue that feels hyper to me is a couple instances of diarrhea in the last 4-5 days (mixed in with constipation).

Is there anything else, besides adrenal fatigue, that prohibits thyroid meds from getting into your system adaquetly? I'm certain it is not something in my diet, the only thing different lately is that I have added Adrenogen which is a supplement to help my adrenals. I've also eliminated all soda.

sammy64 01-26-2012 07:41 AM

Re: Adrenal Fatigue ?s

Your current doses aren't overly high - I am aware of other people taking even higher doses.

I will tell you this much, I'd be on my knees if I had the levels you posted for Dec. 2011.

I need my FreeT4 level to be at least 95% of range and my FreeT3 level at least 75% of range to be symptom-free.

And, I didn't "feel" my optimal levels right away. Symptoms slowly started to dissipate within a few weeks of "hitting" them and it really took a few months to feel 100%.

I know it's hard to be patient when one isn't feeling well. I don't necessarily think you are having absorption issues. I think your body is going through the typical process of adjusting to new doses of thyroid hormone. And, you did take a bit of a "detour" when your Cytomel dose was decreased too much.

Let's see what those next labs show - you just might be closer than you think.

lisa789 01-26-2012 07:44 AM

Re: Adrenal Fatigue ?s
As you already know your levels still left room for improvement, let's hope the last increase brought you in a better place.

Yeah indeed beta can mask heartpals if those would arise.

You write [I]my numbers are not that far off for me to be feeling so bad. [/I] I'm wondering about this myself, since my labs are getting close, but I still feel as sick as a dog. So honestly I do think it somehow makes sense (don't ask me how), but think as some veterans already shared, levels being close is step 1, then it still takes time for the body to heal.

hang in there:wave:

AlwaysTired247 01-26-2012 07:51 AM

Re: Adrenal Fatigue ?s

I can tell you, I've been diagnosed with it, but not from any MD. I've taken everything under the sun for it. I did manage to get my saliva results up from severe to moderate. I'm currently waiting results from my latest saliva test to see where they are, now. I will post them when I get them in my thread on here.

I can tell you, things that I have tried that I believe helped.

1- 3,000mg of Vit C daily
2- 4,000iu of vit D daily
3- 150mg of B-complex twice daily
4- Various different types of adrenal rebuilder.
5- a good multi vitamin
6- a good omega 3

as far goes as the adrenal rebuilder, I'm on one now by "pure". Simply because I'm working out again (as hard as it is...) and don't want to kill them

Heckofagal 01-26-2012 08:36 AM

Re: Adrenal Fatigue ?s
Sammy - I am not on my knees, I am on my @SS! I feel like I have lost my life as I can't drive because I am so dizzy, but it does not matter, I don't feel up to going anywhere. When I do try to force myself to go out for a bit the dizziness gets even worse (I simply cannot tolerate all the different noises/activity in a restaurant.) I try to get to work a few days a week but at least once a week I have to call my hubby to come pick my up early, as I feel so dizzy I'm afraid I will pass out. It's so hard to plan anything in the future as I don't know how I will feel. Within the next 5 months I have a family reunion/weekend getaway at a campground, my 20th wedding anniversary and my daughter's sweet 16 birthday. I want to be able to celebrate these things in life!

And I don't think my dose is overly high, but within a year my synthroid went from 100 to 175, although a step down in cytomel. I am trying to be patient, I just can't understand why I should be getting closer to being optimized and I am feeling worse. 100% feels like a pipe dream, I would be happy for 50%.

But thanks for piping in that you think it still could be thyroid. The tears are falling now and they can't stop.

Lisa - the last time I had heart palps I was on the beta blocker too. They were scary so I'm glad I don't have that anymore. And I'm sorry you are so sick too! Don't you wonder why some hypo people just take their meds and never have any issues and others struggle unless their numbers are just right?

AlwaysTired - You brought your adrenals up from severe to moderate without HC? That is good to know. I am trying to increase the vitamins you've listed below, except the multi-vitamin as I tend to have too much iron. I'll post my saliva cortisol results from over a year ago to see what you think. Still waiting on my new results.

7am-9am: .12 (.27-2.06)
11am-1pm: .14 (.03-.77)
3pm-5pm: .09 (.05-.27)
10pm-12am: .04 (.03-.14)

sammy64 01-26-2012 09:32 AM

Re: Adrenal Fatigue ?s
[QUOTE=Heckofagal;4917310].... within a year my synthroid went from 100 to 175, although a step down in cytomel. I am trying to be patient, I just can't understand why I should be getting closer to being optimized and I am feeling worse. [/QUOTE]

Going from 100mcg to 175mcg Synthroid over the course of a year is truly a slower titration than what some doctors would order.

My doctor kept increasing my dose every 6 wks. as labs and symptoms indicated. This type of titration method would mean 8 possible dose increases over the course of a year.

I suspect you might be feeling worse this time because of the 25mcg might have been a little too much too soon for your body.

Unfortunately, with thyroid disease, "close to optimal" isn't good enough.

Either your levels are optimal or they're not.

Each of us has his/her own optimal levels - called "setpoints". A slight deviation can bring on symptoms.

Some of us are fortunate to be able to feel well within a range of optimal levels. For example, I'm "good" with FreeT4 95-105% of range and FreeT3 75-100% of range. Anything other than those types of levels and I'll have symptoms...the further my levels are away from my optimal, the larger the number of symptoms and the greater their intensity.

Others need their levels to be spot-on....otherwise they will have symptoms.

So, even though your Dec. 11 FreeT4 level was 50% of range, that won't cut it if you need a FreeT4 level as high as I do....same thing with your FreeT3 level.

I know how hard it is to be patient....I think we all do. It is truly the pits but, there seems to be no escaping the need for it. ((hugs))

Your dizziness is definitely a concern. Does your doctor offer anything to help with that? Meclizine? Even Dramamine or Bonine might help.

Heckofagal 01-26-2012 10:43 AM

Re: Adrenal Fatigue ?s
Sammy - I was just pointing out that my Synthroid has been nearly doubled in the past year (and I had been stable on 100 for over 3 years). We did increase in early Dec 2010 (and I think maybe again the end of Jan 2011, I can't find that documentation)...but then we held steady until I was having the anxiety attacks in August. Perhaps I was not completely optimal all of last year,just well enough to mask all my symptoms for a few months.

My dizziness is my biggest concern at this point, and I have been using Dramamine on my very worst days. It is also my #1 hypo symptom so that is what makes me wonder if this is all thyroid related.

What makes me wonder if it is adrenal related is my reaction to stress. Most my anxiety attacks over the past 6 months occurred when I was driving, I think because I would get dizzy/lightheaded and then nervous. Not getting those so much right now as I don't drive anywhere. However, I can think back to some of stressful times I've had over the past 2 years and remember getting very lightheaded (visiting my very sick friend in the hospital, going to the funeral home for an elderly neighbor, evaluation from my boss.) However prior to that I had a very stressful 18 months and don't recall having the lightheadedness on the most stressful events (when my mom was resuscitated, then hospitalized for 3 days and then died, when my dad was having health issues, moved to a nursing home and then died, I could go on.)

Is it possible that a suboptimal thyroid can cause those reactions to stress?

sammy64 01-26-2012 11:44 AM

Re: Adrenal Fatigue ?s
By any chance do you have records of your labs at the time you were stable on 100mcg for 3 years? Somehow, I think we discussed this before and sorry if this is a repeat question. I would hope your doctor would have records.....

If my memory is correct, you have Hashi's and that means eventual thyroid destruction. Maybe your thyroid died off a bit more in the recent past. Thus, the need for dose increases. This happens.

Plus, our bodies change so, it makes sense that our needs for thyroid hormone can change.

I think everyone's stress response is different. I know that I have endured some extreme life stress at times and fared pretty well. However, at certain other times, it seems my stress management capacity wasn't as good as it was before.

I do know that my ability to handle stress was significantly reduced when my thyroid hormone levels were too low for me. I was very uncertain about things, worried needlessly and would wake up with a start sometimes and have a panic attack.

I can understand your concerns about the dizziness and hope you've explored other possibilities. I had a bout with Meneire's when in my 20' was months before I was better. I know my doctor ordered a brain MRI for me when I complained about brain fog (she said it could be MS - yikes!). She listed "dizziness" as the reason for the MRI.

While dizziness is a known hypo symptom, it does make sense to rule other things out....just in case.

I've been researching rhodiola as of's purported to help with adrenal function - maybe you might want to investigate this.

lisa789 01-26-2012 12:07 PM

Re: Adrenal Fatigue ?s
As far as Rhodiola goes, agree with Sammy, as a matter of fact I'll start with mine tomorrow. hope it helps.

I don't want to make things any more confusing then they already are, but I do recall I had a very bad stress when I was on too much T3. that's been a while and long story. I never did the panic attacks (knock on wood) but it's like my body would just 'block', 'shaky' kinda, very weird to say at least. it also would make me dizzy, more lightheaded really but since you say that's a typical hyposymptom for you...

Sammy did it ever occur to you that meniere you're talking about [I]could[/I] have been thyroid? I don't know, not saying it was. I do remember I once had that too, supposedly, but for me what I afterwards experienced in thyroidland was sometimes just a bit too similar, then for me that is, not saying that's the same for you.

Heckofagal 01-26-2012 12:20 PM

Re: Adrenal Fatigue ?s
Sammy - there a holes in my records and I really should update my records next time I see my dr.

I do see this from 5/2/2008:
TSH: .827 (.350 -5.5)
FT4: 1.23 (.61 -1.76) 53.91%
FT3: 3.3 (2.3-4.2) 52.63%

And I must have felt poorly as we increased synthroid from 88 to 100 on 5/9.

And this on 9/12/2008:
TSH: 1.247 (.450 -4.5)
FT4: 1.32 (.61 -1.76) 61.74%
FT3: 3.2 (2.3-4.2) 47.37%

Nothing from must have been a good year. LOL

I don't think I ever had Hashi's confirmed, just assumed. Both my parents were on thyroid meds.

I've considered looking for another reason for the dizziness, but i'm not sure what else to look for or what dr. to see. It just seems all related to thyroid to me or related to something else affecting my thyroid (such as adrenals).

And I've got some Rhodiola in my 2 Adreset I am taking each day.


sammy64 01-26-2012 01:01 PM

Re: Adrenal Fatigue ?s
[QUOTE=lisa789;4917462] Sammy did it ever occur to you that meniere you're talking about [I]could[/I] have been thyroid? [/QUOTE]

I highly doubt it.

I'm quite confident about the onset of my Graves' disease - I had very mild hyper symptoms (didn't even realize they were hyper symptoms) for about 6 months before my annual physical detected hyperthyroidism.

Looking back, I did have the typical, mild period of hypothyroidism a few months before the hyper symptoms set in.

Graves' was my 50th birthday present. :)

sammy64 01-26-2012 01:11 PM

Re: Adrenal Fatigue ?s
[QUOTE=Heckofagal;4917470] Nothing from must have been a good year. LOL

I don't think I ever had Hashi's confirmed, just assumed. Both my parents were on thyroid meds.

I've considered looking for another reason for the dizziness, but i'm not sure what else to look for or what dr. to see. It just seems all related to thyroid to me or related to something else affecting my thyroid (such as adrenals).

Looking at your labs from 2009 might be helpful....if you were feeling good, that *could* give an indication of your optimal thyroid levels. Admittedly, it's not uncommon for optimal levels to change as the body changes (for example, post-menopausal women usually need lower levels than pre-menopausal women). But, it's a start.

Based upon the fact that there is a genetic component to autoimmune disease, I would say it's safe to think you do have Hashi's. So, this could very well explain why you need a higher dose now.

While I was confident that my symptoms were thyroid-related (since I have no other health issues), my doctor was adamant about ruling other things out.
A neurologist would be the type of doctor to address dizziness. Of course, that would most likely involve extensive testing - including a brain MRI. Have you discussed your dizziness with your thyroid doctor? What does he/she have to say?

No matter what, you know I hope you feel better sooner rather than later!

Heckofagal 01-26-2012 01:37 PM

Re: Adrenal Fatigue ?s
Yes, I am hoping this is a Hashi's flare killing off my thyroid and I am hoping it is about done. I discussed my dizziness with my doc a few weeks back, and she was ready to start me on anti-depressants or HC. Dizziness has gotten worse since then and I am reluctant to start HC or anti-depresants, so I have not called. Getting bloodwork done this upcoming week and hoping saliva results will be in by then too so will follow up with her then.

I did have a head CT back in Feb 2007 (that came back clean) when I was still struggling with my initial hypo issues, and also an adrenal MRI to rule out adrenal tumor. I know those were awhile ago.

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