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adrenal exhaustion?
Posted by: Mike
Date: July 26, 2004 10:23 AM

I am very unwell,and have been for many years (18 or so) without ever being able to discover why. I now strongly suspect endocrine problems, especially adrenal. I have had tests for many illnessess,but all are negative, apart from a 24 hour urine test a couple of months back which showed fairly weak thyroid function (though I had a normal range thyroid blood test,) and very poor adrenal cortisol/weak adosterone (this test was done on a totally stress free day,when I did practically nothing!). Cortisol 4 in a range 21 to 85ug/24hr (nowhere near even the bottom of the range!), aldosterone 4.0 in a range 5-19ug/24hr. I have aches and pains all over, am constantly fatigued, light /muddle-headed, dark rings around the eyes, and have what I can only call a constant malaise "feeling of illness." I am not overweight, actually rather thin have not lost hair and don't have skin pigmentation. Would this low urinary cortisol be a good indicator of adrenal fatigue? I have not had an adrenal blood test.

RE: adrenal exhaustion?
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: July 26, 2004 3:44 PM

Don't bother with the blood test, you have had the best test already. Providing those are accurate figures and that there was no lab error, there is no doubt that your adrenal gland is on vacation. However, that may be only a symptom and not the primary cause of the problem. The endocrine glands are designed to work and when they do not it is best to look for the reason they do not and correct that. The most common cause of hypoadrenalism, in my experience at any rate, is heavy metal toxicity. The metals, especially mercury, retard the manufacture of the adrenal steroids by disabling the enzymes which produce those hormones. They also disable the thyroid hormone receptors. Digestive problems are very common in people who have heavy metal toxicity. Not everyone with a load of heavy metals is ill however as it seems that some people are very sensitive to metals and others are relatively immune to the problem.

However, the degree to which you are ill makes me think there is even more amiss in your body than that. What you describe, I commonly see in people with what is coming to be called the "procoagulant syndrome." This occurs during (and persists after) an infection or other severe stress and involves a tendency of the blood to coagulate too quickly. This tendency to clot can easily be seen in a dark field exam of a droplet of blood. Taken to the extreme it is called the diffuse intravascular coagulation and can be very dangerous. At the end stage people have a sense of impending doom. In most people it does not quickly reach that stage but exists as a coat of fibrin (early clot) on the inside of blood vessels (originally designed to trap bacteria, viruses, etc. and put an end to an infection). This retards the free flow of oxygen to tissues, produces body pain where it occurs in the body as well as tremendous fatigue and malaise if it occurs in the cerebral vascular circulation. It is hard to say if heavy metal toxicity is a provoking cause. I have not been able to tease out that connection as so many people have dental amalgam and are loaded with mercury. It is very common to see heavy metal toxicity and the procoagluant syndrome in the same person but I not sure there is a direct relationship.

At any rate, I am not saying that you have any of this, only that what you describe reminds me of many cases I have seen and treated and those people did have the situations described above. The good news is there is a way out of this, but I need to see you, and run some tests to pin down what exactly you have before I can accurately advise you as to how to proceed. If you are going to try to find a doctor close to where you live, I advise you not to even present this to anyone not on the list of docs we provide (see the yellow tab above). Even at that, I am not sure how many of those docs really understand all this yet. You could try finding a few of those docs, presenting this text and see if anyone says "Aha ! I know what he is talking about."

RE: adrenal exhaustion?
Posted by: Mike
Date: July 27, 2004 12:03 AM

Thank you for your very helpful answer to my question. My problems developed after 2 specific things occured. First, I had a probable injury to my thyroid gland as a result of being "neck jerked" by a seatbelt in a car crash. I have suffered this nightmare of an illness which has gone on forever and destroyed my life! This was in 1986. I was never medically examined after the crash, but the body aching etc. started a couple of months later, long after the event it struck me that this was almost certainly the genesis of the trouble. Previously I had been normal and healthy, never had anything remotely like it, never even needed an asprin! Then, in 1994, I got a very bad "viral" type illness. I had grogginess and constant nausea for months. Eventually the extreme symptoms went, but I was left in a debilitated state. My theory - for what it's worth - is that poor adrenals developed from a long period of thyroid underfunction, or the virus or a combination. I am in the U.K,so unfortunately,consulting you personally (which I would very much like to do) is not an immediate option for me. However,depending on how it goes with some things I have coming up, it is not impossible I might make a stateside trip. The last holiday I had was in 1999 to L.A. and I would love to go back to California!

What you say about Mercury strikes a chord. I have a mouth full of amalgam, and I've been strongly considering getting them replaced. In fact, I start some dental work this week including replacing 2 fillings that had come out. I had been thinking of having white fillings put in instead of amalgam. They are much more expensive but that doesn't matter. I'd rather be poorer and feel well, than richer and rotten! This will probably be the first stage of having them all done. I will be discussing it with the dentist on Wednesday.Your advice has only strengthened my resolve to have this done-whatever the case, I do not like having a mouth full of toxic metal!

There is a very good physician in the UK, Dr. Barry Durrant Peatfield (author of The Great Thyroid Scandal and How To Survive It), who has made a specialty of looking at endocrine problems - thyroid, adrenal etc. He has a good track record of dealing with cases which have been badly handled by other medics where people have been undiagnosed and told there is nothing wrong with them (like me!). Dr. Peatfield is a strong advocate of the 24 hour urine diagnostic test for these areas. Indeed, like you, he feels it is superior to the blood test. I have an appointment to see Dr. Peatfield next week which frankly can't come too soon the way I'm feeling! On the phone, when he heard my adrenal urine result, Dr. Peatfield said that in his view, this was probably the reason I feel so poorly. Of course, as you say, why the adrenals are not working properly is the big question. Possibly, the explanation lies in those events I detailed earlier, possibly the mouth full of mercury is poisoning my endocrine system and of course what you have said about the procoagulant syndrome is another possibility. Tthis sounds very interesting and naturally I had never come across it before. On the phone Dr. Peatfield told me to take a small dose of hydrocortisone starting with 2.5mg. I am now only up to 5mg. This may give him an indication of what's going on if this does anything for me. Is it okay if I mention the procoagulant syndrome to him in the course of my consultation? Dr. Peatfield is known to be open and interested in new theories and for all I know he may be abreast of this area already!

RE: adrenal exhaustion?
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: July 27, 2004 4:00 AM

Sure, print out and share our correspondence with Dr. Peatfield. Here are a couple helpful articles. Print them out and take them in to Dr. P:


I see a lot of this problem in its early stages, but I have seen one individual recently neat death. Pulled him out of the fire so to speak and I think he is going to make it. The other 99 cases out of a hundred will be milder and harder to diagnose. The best way to pick those up is with a dark field microscope. The clotting happens right before your very eyes.

RE: adrenal exhaustion?
Posted by: Mike
Date: July 27, 2004 6:36 AM

Thanks. I will!

This Thread has been closed


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