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Adrenal Fatigue or Thyroid?

Hi All,

I am coming here looking for answers for the hell I've been going through the past few years. It's a long story, so hopefully someone can help me out. In 2011, I started exercising and eating healthier and lost some weight. I think I may have overexercised and underate during this time though. Definitely stressed my body out.

In 2013, I went to the doctor for some fatigue I was experiencing, and he ran a thyroid test on me. My TSH was 5.98, and he put me on 25 mcg of generic Levo. I didn't feel too different on it and we increased it to 50 mcg, TSH was around 2 and FT3 was 2.1. At the time, I didn't really know about FT3 or anything, and we increased my dosage to .75 mcg because I wasn't feeling any different.

In August 2014, my doctor increased my dosage to .100 Synthyroid and that's when all hell broke loose. I felt pretty overmedicated till October, and had him lower my dose down to .75 mcg again. My results were:
TSH: .198 (.450-4.5)
FT4: 1.30 (.82-1.77)
FT3: 2.6 (2.0-4.4)

I got horrible water retention during the time I was taking .100 mcg and heart palps, so my doctor told me to get off thyroid medication for a month and retest. In December, I was retested:
TSH: 3.2
FT4: 0.98
FT3: 2.8
My Vitamin D and Ferritin were low, so I'm supplementing those as well.

He gave me 30 mcg of Armour which I started 3 weeks ago. Not feeling too different on it, water retention is still there.
I believe that I have an adrenal problem though too, and I'm not sure where to go from here. I sometimes get dizzy when I stand up, and wake up at 3 AM sometimes. I don't really have an issue getting out of bed or falling asleep though.

I think my hypothyroidism is due to adrenal fatigue, so that would be secondary hypothyroidism correct? If I fix my adrenal issue, will my thyroid heal? Or will I continue to have to take this medicine?
5 Responses
Avatar universal
I am not a follower of the adrenal fatigue school.

Adrenal insufficiency is a salt wasting disease, so if you have abnormal sodium and/or potassium levels, then that can indicate that your cortisol or your renin/aldosterone is off.

Hormones work in feedback loops where the pituitary sends out one, it stimulates another and then if all is working well, they settle in at nice levels. When one is off, too high or too low (but usually too high) it can mess with others, but your glands are built for life - they don't get tired but they can get diseased.

Is your BP low?
Avatar universal
I sometimes get dizzy standing up too fast, it usually runs about 107/90.
Avatar universal
Sorry i meant 107/80, usually the low end of normal i guess?
Avatar universal
There is a BP tracker here that you can use (free) on the site or on your phone (I think) so you can take it and see if over time your BP trends high or low. Is your BP taker a wrist one or elbow? The wrist one, per my cardiologist, can read lower but is easier to use.

I run really low and had a hard time finding a machine to read my BP... your BP seems ok to me. At least, that is me when I am decent on tons of salt and my meds. The diastolic (lower number) is supposed to be 80 as far as I know. The upper number should be under 120 and I know you feel cruddy under 100.

If anyone gets up fast, they get dizzy... so try to get some trending data and see how that is. It may help know. I was doing this for a while and took it every morning after breakfast. Read the instructions on the BP meter - they all work a little different and some require that you hold your arm up.
Avatar universal
Hi bfinger, I'd research M.E and CFIDS (chronic fatigue immunodeficiency syndrome). I started out with the many of the same warning signs as you in the 90s. They were subtle, intermittent until more frequently causing havoc then they stayed and never went away. More research is now being done on M.E. / CfIDS but it has a long way to go. Treatment is a "crap shoot" but look into HHV6, orthostasis that comes along with M.E/CFIDS. ALso, M.E is a neuroendocrine disorder thought to be of viral etiology. Valcyte is prescribed for some, stress reduction, and if caught early enough maybe you won't be left disabled . You'll need a well trained Infectious Disease Specialist to rule out or in other coexisting rare infections too. Viral; antibodies wreak havoc in our lab results at times. as with Lyme results , and other rare viral/bacterial infections which may or may not be accurate due to viral antibodies. My M.E ended up also leading to Thyroid Cancer which was found by mistake in a head and neck MRI to rule out a chiare. It was advanced . And did not use the Thyroid Hormone (TSH) to grow the cancer. My TSH, T3 and T4 levels all remained WNL as the cancer grew over the years. Find the best answers asap and you have a greater chance at being cured. The longer M.E/CFIDS goes on the less chance you have at recovery. M.E is a "living dead" sentence. Living in bed with the inability to handle stress, light, travel, people, being upright and rare doctors who believe M.E/CFIDS exists. I do not mean to be a downer. I just want you to find help soon so you can recover. Best of Luck:)
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