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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Could I have Adrenal Fatigue?
Posted by: Dawn
Date: February 9, 2001 5:40 PM

I am a 31 year old female with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (diagnosed at 24). Since last summer I was over-medicated on Synthroid (.15) and started exhibiting hyper symptoms (insomnia, shaking, crying, extreme anxiety, high resting pulse rate (100) unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds. This was corrected at the beginning of January (doctor pulled me off Synthroid for two weeks and restarted me at 0.1 on 1-28). The problem is that I am still having trouble sleeping. I feel amped out all the time. I am still losing weight, still shaky, still crying. I am also extremely depressed. At night I feel like my adrenaline is just pumping like crazy. My heart rate, however, has not gone back up since reducing to the 85 bpm range at the end of January. Adrenal fatigue has been suggested to me as I exhibit (and have exhibited for the past few years) some symptoms that are more like it than hypothyroidism. Could I have both? Is there any hope for me before I go completely insane? Thanks for any help/suggestions you can provide. My doctors are not very responsive, to say the least.

RE: Could I have Adrenal Fatigue?
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: February 9, 2001 7:56 PM

There is no law against having more than one hormone deficiency. If you are making some cortisol you do not have total adrenal collapse, but you could still be hypoadrenal. The test is the ACTH Challenge test and it is definitive. A dose of ACTH is given and within 30 minutes the cortisol level should at least double. If it does not, you are hypoadrenal. An equally valid way of diagnosing the problem is the 24 hour urine collection for adrenal and sex steroids. This gives a
total pictures of hormone status and is the best test available. I prefer AAL Labs' test. The most likely thing is that you are still somewhat hyperthyroid, i.e. over-medicated. That is common with Hashimoto's as the disorder waxes and wanes requiring frequent readjustment of meds. Nevertheless, balancing the adrenal and sex steroids can be of great benefit.



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