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'Normal' Thyroid and ELEVATED DHEAS
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Questions in the Thyroid forum are answered by Mark Lupo, MD. Topics covered include Goiter, Graves Disease, Hyperthyroid, Parathyroid/Calcium Problems, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Nodules/Cysts, Thyroiditis, Thyroid & Pregnancy, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Thyroid Tests, and Thyroid Surgery.

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'Normal' Thyroid and ELEVATED DHEAS

Recently, on my 29th birthday I saw my OBGYN for my yearly well woman exam.  She recommended that I get tested for Thyroid Disease due to my symptoms (cold hand, sluggish, thinning hair and eyebrows, inability to lose weight, lump in throat, etc.)  The TSH and T4 tests were above the normal range of 0.5 - 5.0 and my DHEAS (adrenal hormone) was very high.  I was recommended to an endocrinologist who retested me...TSH, T4, T3 and free and total was lower (around 4.5 - 5.0), but the DHEAS was even higher.  She also recommended that I get a CT scan of my pelvis and ultrasound of my thyroid gland.  Both tests came back normal.
I have normal menstral cycles, have never been pregnant and have never been treated for any other disease.  She recommended that I do a 24 urine test to see if I have Cushings Disease, however after researching it, I don't have the main symptoms (moon face, etc.).
My concern is this: my endocrinologist said that if my DHEAS levels get higher than 500 (I am not sure of the measurements/units) then it is considered dangerous.  My last test result was 493.
Does anyone have any idea what this could be?
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97953_tn?1193367871
Would look at CT adrenals and do the 24h urine as many patients don't have the typical symptoms.  Some people run slightly high DHEA levels that are of no consequence, but this should be monitored.  If you are taking supplements/herbs of any kind, bring this to the attention of the endo.
5 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there,

If your TSH was in the range 4.5 - 5 that is not 'normal', that is subclinical hypothyroidism. I would suggest she tests antibodies to perhaps confirm. Sometimes when people are hypo their adrenal glands become fatigued and I have seen cases (such as my own) where I have elevated DHEA but low cortisol. It is the bodys attempt to pull up the low levels of cortisol by elevating the DHEA. You may have adrenal fatigue. You can do an ACTH stim test or even better a 24 hour saliva cortisol adrenal stress index. I'm not a Doctor. Good luck.

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Avatar_n_tn
I appreciate your comments.

I have been to four endos and can't find anyone that will treat subclinical hypo.  They say that until it is consistently above 5.0, it is considered normal.

I live in Missouri but would be willing to go out of state to seek treatment.  Is there a website, list of doctors or information on endos that would treat me with these levels?

Also, I asked my doctor about a saliva test for the cortisol.  She looked at me like an idiot and said she never heard of saliva testing for anything.  Is this a non-traditional method of testing?

PS-My doctor did a CT of the adrenals (with the pelvis)...it was normal.  I dropped off a 24hour urine specimen today.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I am Uk based but try this website. I had a TSH of 4.1 and felt terrible. By the time they retested a year later it was 53 and I was in all sorts of trouble. Try and sort it now, good luck.

www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/how-to-find-a-good-doc/
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97953_tn?1193367871
thyroidologists.com or thyroid.org

TSH >3 with positive antibodies - consider treatment depending on the patient

midnight salivary cortisol is well-accepted (published in JCEM) as a tool to screen for cushings
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