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Old 12-14-2011, 06:33 PM
Location: Columbus, OH
500 posts, read 916,532 times
Reputation: 746


I had a slew of testing done last month because I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. I have all major symptoms of hypothyroid (and it runs in my family), but those test results were normal. My two main symptoms are extreme fatigue (although I tend to have more energy at night and can't seem to fall asleep easily) and extreme insensitivity to cold.

When they ran my labs at 10am, my cortisol level was 6.4. That concerned my endo, so the next day, she sent me for the ACTH test, which turned out fine, supposedly. That test was done at 11:30am, and my cortisol level was 10.72.

She just ran more labs last week, and at 2pm, my cortisol was 14.24.

Now, I do understand that these tests were all on different days, but it seems to me that the possible reason for my extreme fatigue during the day and feeling better at night would be because my cortisol might be low in the morning and high at night, rising as the day progresses, instead of falling.

The nurse that called me basically said, "Your labs are fine, just come back and have them checked again in 6 months."

Am I just crazy?
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:45 PM
Location: St. Louis
9,493 posts, read 16,631,567 times
Reputation: 13239
Well I'll start by saying that I have little knowledge of this except for maybe a couple of things: I think it's common for those who are low in cortisol to get a second wind at night, which would explain the rising levels I think. If the dr. office thinks it's normal, I'm guessing that is so, but I have a problem with the def of normal. Does normal mean that you're in perfectly good health, despite how you feel, or does it mean that you're as sick as everyone else? I'd guess the latter so keep on trying to get answers and maybe a functional med dr. might do you more good on this. Meanwhile, I've heard that GABA is a good supplement to take and really cleaning up your diet--no sugar! Sugar alone will stress out your adrenals.
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:17 PM
Location: Right here. Right now.
283 posts, read 1,167,619 times
Reputation: 232
Hi CMJones,

I might have some info that might be helpful. Please DO NOT let your doctor ignore you. My doctor ignored me for 3 years, despite my continued complaints of extreme fatigue (I would fall asleep in a chair after dinner every night), cold sensitivity, weight loss, bruising/discoloration on my gums and the inside of my mouth, low sodium levels (3 years worth!), leg cramps, and my skin was becoming unusually tan.

I had never really ever been sick before. I am very active (always have been). Last February, I came down with the flu and it triggered a very severe autoimmune response. What my symptoms had been telling everyone (and they were all CLASSIC symptoms) was that I was showing signs of Adrenal Insufficiency or Addison's Disease. I was in the hospital two times, and sick as a dog. The first hospital let me out, not knowing what was wrong with and pumping me full of sodium solution (which helped bring my sodium levels up for a while). After I left, I became sick again as the sodium left my body. Finally I saw a doctor who knew what he was seeing. I was admitted to another hospital and I was diagnosed with Addison's and hypothyroid. I take medication daily now and I feel terrific.

I must stay on the meds for the rest of my days, but they are just making up for what my body no longer produces.

I am not sure that this is what you are dealing with , but Addison's is so rare that most doctors are totally unfamiliar with it... INCLUDING MANY ENDOCRINOLOGISTS. To put your mind at ease, or to assist you in learning more about Addison's, I would suggest the website: adrenalsupport "dot" com: Dusty Hardman - Consistent & Persistent - Life with Addison's Disease. You may have to register, but there is TONS of information on Adrenal Insufficiency, both primary (Addison's) and secondary... And about hypothyroid.

I wish you much luck in pursuing your road back to better health. Just keep an open mind. And if this is indeed Addison's, you MUST take cortisol... supplements will not help this. It is replacement of a hormone that the adrenals just can't make anymore. In the way that insulin replaces what the pancreas cannot make...

Best of health to you in 2012.

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Old Today, 01:18 PM
201 posts, read 155,747 times
Reputation: 31
Curious how this ended up?? I know it's been a while!
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