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Adrenal Fatigue...Hypothyroid or both??
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Adrenal Fatigue...Hypothyroid or both??

Adrenal Fatigue...Hypothyroid or both?

That is my question. I know it is impossible to diagnose over the internet, but I am looking for some general guidance.

A little background...

Male, 32 years old, 212lbs, Active (when I have the energy workout 3-4 days per week)

Diet: Eat higher protein, higher fat, lower carb diet about 70-80% of the time for the past 6+ years. Used to be 292 lbs, lost 50 lbs of it doing Atkins about 6 years ago. Have my splurges here and there.

Why the concern?

Well for probably the last 5 years or so I have noticed increases in unfavorable symptoms... Some of them are... Increased fatigue no matter how much sleep. Wake up tired. Seem to have energy at night though. If I can workout I feel good during, but crash after. Muscle weakness, ALWAYS cold hands and feet, lower sex drive, trouble losing weight, less concentration, muscle cramps, ringing in ears, digestive issues (can go 2-3 days without BM. Have to take colon cleanse pills to actually "go".), and a slew of other things that I never thought was related.


Long recovery period after any activity
Chronic Low Grade Depression
Often feeling cold
Cold hands and feet
Hard stools
No eyebrows or thinning outer eyebrows
Dry Hair
Dry cracking skin
Nodding off easily
Requires naps in the afternoon
Inability to concentrate or read long periods of time
Forgetfulness
Inability to lose weight
Always gaining weight
NO sex drive
Dry skin or snake skin
Ringing in ears
Lactose Intolerance
Inability to eat in the mornings
Joint pain
Excessive fatigue and exhaustion
Non-refreshing sleep (you get sufficient hours of sleep, but wake fatigued)
Feeling rundown or overwhelmed
Consistent lack of energy
Feeling unrested  
Low stamina
Muscular weakness
Slow to recover from exercise, injury, illness or stress
Poor digestion
Extreme sensitivity to cold
Afternoon “low” from 2 to 4 pm, followed by an energy boost at 6pm
Feeling sleepy at 10pm, but resisting going to sleep
Suffering from mood swings, mild depression
Lightheadedness when getting up from a sitting or lying down position
Decreased sex drive
Frequent sighing


About 3-4 years ago, I was fed up and started looking online, taking quizes etc... I came up with Adrenal Fatigue. I started working with a doctor in So Cal (Dr. Lam) and he too diagnosed it as level 3 Adrenal Fatigue. He has me on natural supplement regimen and consults, but unfortunately I was not able to keep up with the expense and had to stop.

Later I talked to another Dr. and he recommended I do a Saliva test for my hormones.

Here were the results and his comments.

Saliva Test 7:00am

Estradiol: Result - 0.5 pg/ml /  Optimal Range = 0.8-1.5
Progesterone: Result = 0.053 ng/ml / Optimal Range = 0.070-0.150
Free Testosterone: Result = 102.2 pg/ml / Optimal Range = 75-95
DHT: Result = 18.8 pg/ml / Optimal Range = 20-40
DHEA: Result = 585.3 pg/ml / Optimal Range - 250-450
Cortisol: Result = 4.8 ng/ml / Optimal Range = 8.0 - 15.0

His first red flag was the Cortisol and asked about stressors in my life. I didn't feel overly stressed at the time, but he pointed to possible Adrenal Fatigue. He had me do the "pupil test" and I "failed" that which was another indication.

I went to my regular doctor several times since then to get other blood work done... In a nutshell was always told you are in normal range and fine. The only thing that came back out of whack was my Vitamin D levels which were severely low.

Here are a few of the test results...

Dr. Blood Test (1:00pm March 3rd)

Free T4: Result = 1.0 ng/dl / "Normal Range" = 0.8-1.7
TSH: Result = 4.04 uIU/ml / "Normal Range" = 0.10 - 5.50
Fasting Glucose: Result = 95 mg/dl  / "Normal Range" = 60-99
Total Testosterone: Result = 391.7 ng/dl / Normal Range = 245-1200 (Dr. said average for my age was 700-900)

At that time when I talked to the alternative doctor about my saliva results he said "“I suspect since your estradiol is low that you have lower binding proteins and causing more than adequate amounts of free T to be around.IN your case, the low E is helpful. No need to worry about raising, aging and exposure to environmental agents will do that in time. The main issue is your low cortisol”


This really is the condensed version, but I wanted to paint as good of a picture as I could.

What are your overall thoughts and any additional questions?

Thank you in advance for your help
7 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Have you been tested for an autoimmune disease (ANA Titer) and/or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ? Consider asking your physician about these and especially if you have unrefreshing sleep (common in CFS)
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Avatar_m_tn
I have not, but will certainly do that next visit.
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657231_tn?1390151580
Have you seen an endocrinologist - to run blood, urine and other blood tests to see other levels?
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Avatar_n_tn
I'd see an endocrinologist----if you can find a good one---an alternative doctor cannot give you prescriptions if you need them for thyroid or cortisol.    Herbal supplements work for some people---but they just can't fix some things.

i go to a wholistic MD--he started out as a thoracic surgeon--and eventual started studying how to balance the endocrine system.  There was an article this last year in a medical magazine--My Mom copied it and sent it to me because she knew I was seeing this doctor.

He has me on about 4 different prescriptions---and a whole bunch of supplements to raise the vitamins and minerals that I tested low in.  He does not believe a person needs to supplement if they are not low----so he does not recommend a multiple vitamin.

His theory is that if the endocrine system can get balanced, hopefully I will be able to take as few prescriptions as possible and hopefully over time, i will need less of the prescriptions and supplements.  Most likely my thyroid and cortisol will not be able to be lessened.

I guess I should ask if your alternative doctor is a naturopath MD or just a naturopath?   I am leary of naturopaths.
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Avatar_f_tn
Naturopaths have prescriptive privileges, except for narcotics. I am leary of Medical Doctors
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Avatar_f_tn
Naturopaths are "ND"s, not MDs.  There are some states that allow people who are not NDs, who have taken seminars on natural health to say that they practice Naturopathy, so it's good to know whether the practitioner you have in mind has their ND or not.
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Avatar_n_tn
I looked up info on natuopaths once, and I learned that there are actually some naturopaths that are MDs.  Not all of them can prescribe prescriptions--but I would imagine if a naturopath had his MD, he could prescribe medication.
I was actually surprised to read that there are naturopath MDS--I'd never heard of it before.
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