Hypothyroidism vs Adrenal Fatigue

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH



Hypothyroidism and Adrenal Fatigue

The following table outlines the key differences in the signs and symptoms between adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism.

Characteristics Adrenal Fatigue Hypothyroidism
Body Measurements
Weight Early: gain weight; severe – cannot gain weight Generalized weight gain
Body Temp 97.8 or lower Low 90s to 98.6
Temp regulation fluctuating and exaggerated Steady
Mental Function
Mental Function Brain Fog Slow thinking
Depression Sometimes Frequent
Physical Looks
Eyebrows Full sparse outer 1/3
Hair Thin, sparse on extremities Coarse and sparse
Hair loss Sometimes Common
Nails Thin, brittle Normal to thick
Peri-orbital Tissue Sunken Puffy
Skin Thin Normal
Skin tone Dry Oily or moist
Internal feeling
Ligaments Flexibility Good Poor
Fluid retention No Yes
Pain Headache, muscular, migraines Joints, muscles
Reactivity Heightened and hyper-reactive Hypo-reactive
Medical condition
History of Infections Common Occasional
Chronic Fatigue Yes Yes
Orthostatic Hypotension Frequent No
Blood Sugar Levels Tendency toward hypoglycemia Normal to hyperglycemia
Heart Palpitation Frequent No
GI function Irritable or hyperactive Constipation and hypoactive
Mal absorption Yes No
Sensitive to Medications Frequent Normal
Personality Traits
Personality Type Type A Type A or B
Obsessive Compulsive Frequent Mixed
Habits
Sleep Pattern Wake up 2-4 am Sleepy
Temperature Tolerance Intolerance to Cold Intolerance to Heat
Food Craving Craving for sweet and salty Craving for Fats

Thyroid location for Hypothyroidism

Iodine is an important mineral for the health of the body thyroid glands. It is needed for the production of T3 and T4, thyroid hormones critical in regulating the body’s metabolism. Without sufficient iodine, insufficient production of these hormones affects the body’s function and metabolism, leading to the development of hypothyroid symptoms. Fixing these kinds of hypothyroid symptoms is relatively simple, only needing an adequate amount of iodine for the thyroid to use in the production of thyroid hormones. Iodized salt and vegetables are common dietary sources, while iodine supplementation is a more reliable and exact method of acquiring dietary iodine.
Conventional physicians also tend to prescribe prescription hormone medications designed to replace thyroid hormones. However, 70% of people taking thyroid replacement medications continue to complain of symptoms.
It is not unusual to have concurrent presenting symptoms of both low adrenal and low thyroid functions. Conventional medicine tends to miss this due to ignorance on adrenal fatigue. Those who were diagnosed as hypothyroid after a traumatic and stressful event such as pregnancy, accident, infection or an emotional trauma such as divorce or death of a loved one should be especially on the alert if thyroid replacement alone is not helping.

Those who have poor body temperature regulation are more prone to have mixed presentation. This group of people may present a steady low body temperature from low 90’s to a little below 98.6F. They may also present a slight exaggerated response in body temperature as compared to the environmental temperature as characterized by a sensation of feeling hot when it is warm and cold when it is cool outside.

Related Post
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  7 Common Extreme Fatigue Causes

Hypothyroidism Due to Adrenal Fatigue

Hypothyroidism can be primary or secondary. Primary hypothyroidism can easily be cured with administration of thyroid replacement therapy. If hypothyroid symptoms such as dry skin, low body temperature, fatigue, and weight gain persist despite thyroid replacement therapy regardless of laboratory values, one must look elsewhere for the cause of the low thyroid function.

Secondary hypothyroidism is low thyroid function caused by malfunction of another organ system. One of the most frequently overlooked causes is adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is perhaps the most common cause of secondary low thyroid function, both clinically and sub-clinically. Low adrenal function often leads to low thyroid function, classically evidenced by high levels of thyroid binding globulin (TBG), low free T4, low free T3, high TSH, slow ankle reflex and low body temperature. Few physicians are trained to detect this connection. Fortunately, secondary hypothyroidism can be reversed when the underlying root problem (such as adrenal fatigue) is resolved.

When the adrenals are exhausted, the ability of the adrenals to handle the stress associated with normal bodily functions and energy requirements is often compromised. To enhance survival, the adrenals force a down-regulation of energy production. In other words, the body is being metabolic down-regulated to slow down in order to conserve energy as the body needs to rest. Lower energy output reduces the workload of the body. In times of stress, this is exactly what the body wants. As the thyroid down-regulates, production of thyroid hormones T4 and T3 is reduced. The down-regulation also leads to an increase in thyroid binding globulin (TBG) level. As a result of increased TBG, more thyroid hormones are bounded on a relative basis and less is released to the body cells where they work. This leads to reduced free T4 and free T3 levels in the blood if measured (while total T3 and T4 levels may be normal). In this well orchestrated systemic down-regulation to enhance survival, the body also shunts some of the available T4 towards the production of the inactive reverse T3 (rT3) which acts as a braking system and opposes the function of T3. This reduction in T3 combined with an increase in rT3 may persist even after the stress has passed and cortisol levels have returned to normal. Furthermore, rT3 itself may also inhibit the conversion of T4 to T3 and may perpetuate the production of the inactive rT3. If the proportion of rT3 dominates, then it will antagonize T3 and possibly leading to a state called rT3 dominance. This results in hypothyroid symptoms despite sufficient circulating levels of T4 and T3. The body therefore has multiple pathways to down-regulate energy production to enhance survival under the direction of the adrenal glands.

Read Part 2 Now!

Related Post
Read
  Signs and Symptoms: Difficulty or Inability in Handling Stress

Further Reading

Read about adrenals and the thyroid connection.

© Copyright 2013 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

DrLam.com
5 - "Hello Dr. Lam-" Hello Dr. Lam-

Reading your website has brought a lot of things together for me. The triad described struck a note with me- beginning stages adrenal fatigue.

Thank you so much for your efforts in helping people like me.

I look forward to your reply.




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71 Comments

  • Robert G says:

    Thanks for replying back to me , most appreciated.

  • Prince says:

    Thanks a lot doctor you are completely right, modern medicine is moving more towards disruption especially in case of hypothyroid treatment, they only seeing one angle TSH and depending solely on that.

  • Prince says:

    I have sublcinical hypothyroidsm with normal T4 and low T3 and high TSH like over 15 when on no medication. When levothyroxine dose is increased to bring TSH under 3.0 Free T4 is increasing but Free T3 decreasing and starts to get bone problems like back, leg, neck pain etc and poor circulation. When checked serum calcium at this time its on high side and forcing to reduce levothyroxine dosage. Also serum sodium is on high side and potassium on lower side. What might be the suitable treatment plan in this condition? Thank you

    • Dr.Lam says:

      your situation is complex and there is not enough history and info based on what you submitted because you really need to first understand why when thryoid meds go up that your ft3 goes down. often times this can indicate deeper problem such as thyroid resistance. Why the time calcium and sodium is imbalance, the body internally may be in more trouble than you think because these are self regulating in a normal body. you need to see an endocrinologist who understand AFS and have a thorough history taken as that is the key. Right now there are multiple moving pieces and we need to ascertain if they are related and to what degree because anytime you touch one part may affect another part.

      Dr Lam

      • Prince says:

        Thanks a lot doctor, I have went to several doctors and done several blood tests but only thing odd is the high TSH value and they prescribe levothyroxine. When taking levothyroxine at low dosage like 25 mcg not much problem and TSH brings down to 6. But when levo dose is further raised like 37.5 mcg, TSH is reducing like 2.5 but at this time T4 on roof while T3 not increasing and it seem like going down even more. When T4 on high value and T3 not increasing symptoms like high LDL, poor circulation, brain fog, occasional palpitations, tremor and lightheaded like feeling, bone problems including sciatica like symptoms appearing. But when levothyroxine dosage is reverted back to lower one many of these symptoms are disappearing. My blood pressure is always on low side like 100/60 and sometimes 90/55. Body weight is always on low side and hard to gain weight though TSH is on higher side and free T3 is low side contrary to hypothyroid condition.

        • Dr.Lam says:

          What you have experienced is quite common in people who have low thyroid symptoms driven by AFS. Using high dose of thryoid meds to solve this problem can ruin your body .

          Dr Lam.

          • Prince says:

            Yes I too feel I have AFS for long and due to it thyroid function also reduced. Sadly no doctor is helping and they instantly dismiss when I say to them regarding adrenal problems. I have tried herb Ashwagandha and it seem to lower TSH down without increasing levothyroxine dosage also Vitamin D also seem to help. I am now looking at your AFS recovery section to help manage it as doctors not even acknowledge it. The dangerous thing they doing to adrenal fatigue patients is blindly prescribing levothyroxine to bring down TSH without caring about symptoms. Thanks a lot doctor for writing lots of information regarding this issue which most doctors hardly tell.

          • Dr.Lam says:

            Conventional doctors are not educated enough to be on alert for adrenal related thyroid symptoms. This will change we hope . You need to be careful as far as long term use of ashwagandha .

            Click Why Conventional Medicine Rejects Adrenal Fatigue for more information.

            Dr Lam

          • Prince says:

            Yes ashwagandha have some side effects as over time need more dose to cope also it have pretty high iron content and mine ferritin level is already on high side like 300. What is then the best way to cope when one have both subclinical hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue? What is the optimal TSH level to aim for when one have adrenal fatigue related hypothyroidism as conventional .3 to 3.0 range is often making situation worse. Also doctors who do acknowledge adrenal insufficiency prescribe steroidal hydrocortisone to cope but that might lead to increased blood sugar level over time.

          • Dr.Lam says:

            The best is to allow the body to heal by balance itself by self generating hormones etc that it needs without the use of external compounds. If there is low thyroid as a result of AFS, then your focus should not be too much on TSH values. Remember that only 15 years ago, the upper threshold of TSH is 5.0. It has been lowered through the years and will continue to go down in the next few years. Talk to your doctor who knows AFS is the key, or you easily compromise yourself further.

            Dr Lam

          • Prince says:

            Thanks a lot doctor you are completely right, modern medicine is moving more towards disruption especially in case of hypothyroid treatment, they only seeing one angle TSH and depending solely on that.

  • Cindy says:

    I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. was put on medication, three different milligrams and I haven’t been able to take any one of them due to increase of heart paplatations and heart rate. This really scared me since I have a history of aneurysm and take seizure medication. What is my answer? I’m confused. Where do I turn? Any help would be appreciated! Thankyou!!!

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Thyroid meds are stimulatory by design and you should talk to your doctor given your risk factors and history as the downside can be very significant. Given the complexity of your situation, that is all I can say by email at this time.

      Dr Lam

  • Robert G says:

    I have most of the symptoms related to hypothyroidism, but I have not been diagnosed. I’ve read that Iodine can be beneficial, if so, how so ?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Iodine helps support thyroid function, but you should not blindly take it without know first where you thyroid function lie. If you are a sensitive person, the dosage is very important to be titrated to avoid hyperthyroid which can happen. Also if the low thyroid is contributed by weak adrenals, your focus should be on the adrenals also.

      Dr Lam

  • Joann G. says:

    I took a cortisol suppression test back in the 80’s. At that time my doctor thought this could indicate clinical depressive disorder. The results said that I may have Addison’s disease and my cortisol was lower than the normal outcome should have been. Since I am not extremely thin, nor crave salt, multiple doctors have dismissed my request to get a complete redo of testing (new tests are now more reliable, plus genetic testing is available). I have had thyroid problems for years and at one point my ACTH levels were over 200. Also, thyroid issues run in my family, as do the fact that the inability to deal with physical or emotional stress seriously makes life difficult for myself, my son, my daughter, and now both granddaughters struggle with similar issues. I also have reported “visual snow” (new research in this area in UK and Germany, not US). When given a steroid for the cortisol suppression test my vision cleared up, my thought processes were clearer than I have ever experienced, and my mood felt stable. The next day, all things were back to “normal”. I have had the visual disturbance my whole life. Is there a doctor that will take this seriously and provide a complete screening to test my theory? Also, I do have an area of hyperpigmentation, but this was present since I can remember. Any suggestions?

  • sandra schomaker says:

    Can periorbital shrinkage be reversed if AF with catabolic muscle wasting is properly addressed? I am 73 yo with the affore mentioned maladys. Any suggestions would be helpful.

  • Lisa says:

    I went to see an endocrinologist and she said she couldn’t help me. She said my labs were in normal range and that’s what they go by. I told her I was disappointed. I don’t like spending money going for help and not getting any so she did a cortisol test on me which she said came back normal. Lots of $$ down the drain and I’m not any better! She said my lab tests are normal but I have so many symptoms of hypothyroid. I took it upon myself to go to my local hospital and get tests done and it came back hypothyroid . Last test my t3 uptake was 35.7 out of 32-48.4, my T4 was 7.1 out of 6.1-12.2 and my TSH was 2.28 out of .340-5.600. Please help! I’m very frustrated!

    • Dr.Lam says:

      You need to make sure that you have the right test, which is Free T3, Free T4, and TSH as far as thryoid is concern. Having said that, your endo is right from his perspective. Normal lab does rule out primary hypothyyroid which is what conventional medicine look at . It does not explain the root problem which will continue to haunt you .

      Laboratory test on cortisol has limitations, and that is why we do not embark on that unncecessarily. Click Laboratory Testing for more information. YOu need to find a AFS literate doctor. Remember the key is in the history , not labs. That is our appraoch is our telephone coaching program.

      Dr Lam

  • Ashley says:

    Wow, I have Hashimotos but I feel like something else is wrong. I pretty much have every symptom of Adrenal fatigue. Instead of cold intolerance i have heat intolerance, i have very low vitamin d and low B12. My dr wants me to see a neurologists and a cardiovascular dr as I also have spells of dizziness and faiting as well. Could this all be bc of Adrenal fatigue?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      heat intolerance is part of temperature dysregulation and common in advanced stages of AFS. Seeing various specialist is good , but do not have high hopes.

      Dr Lam

  • Samone says:

    So if a person has these ” high levels of thyroid binding globulin (TBG), low free T4, low free T3, high TSH, slow ankle reflex and low body temperature.” should they start supplementation for both hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      The laboratory numbers provides an indication. Whether or to not to start medication or supplementation is a clinical decision requiring a lot more comprehensive understanding of the body done by a physician. Many people make the mistake of over trusting laboratory numbers and that can have negative outcome.

      Dr Lam

  • Colleen kisla-Renshaw says:

    Hi dr. Lam I just read your article hypothyroidism and or adrenal fatigue I’m laying in bed right now I thought I had hypoglycemia but I’m thinking I have adrenal fatigue I’ve been getting up every hour at night to eat something for fear of passing out I’m very tired I just ate breakfast two eggs and toast and bacon thinking I would feel great eating the protein and within 10 minutes I got extreme stomach pain laying in bed broke out in a cold sweat what do you suggest I do I don’t think I can go on much longer like this please help

    • Dr.Lam says:

      You need to see your doctor. there could be multiple issues going aside from metabolic imbalance. Cold sweats breaking out can also be related to autonomic nervous system dysregulation , among other concerns. If no one can figure out what is going on with you, call my office.

      Dr Lam

  • Stephanie says:

    Going over the differences between Adrenal Fatigue and Hypothyroidism has really helped me. Also, I can now see the connection between adrenal fatigue and low thyroid function and feel there is hope for my recovery.

    Thank you dearly for the information.

  • s. h. says:

    Is it ok to keep taking naturethroid while taking natural medicines for adrenal fatigue?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Most people need to do both at the same time , at least in the beginning, if they have both issues, because if done right, they can support each other. The biggest issue is that most people dont know how to do it right, ending up taking stimulants that can potentiate the effect of thyroid and that can be dangerous. Others try to use adrenal compounds to replace thyroid and that could be devastating. The key is to understand that while there is a strong adrenal support component to health thyroid function and vice versa. Knowing how to balance is the key.

      Dr Lam

      • s. h. says:

        How can we know how to get the right balance. Drs only bring frustration cuz they don’t understand or believe how bad it is. We got a book that is helpful but not sure how to get the right balance of all the vitamins, minerals, and adrenal extract. The naturethroid dose is 1.5 mgs per day.

  • Kevin says:

    How important is iodine in the diet? I like sea salt but the kind I used is iodine-free. Should I supplement with iodine separately for my thyroid, or is switching salt the best option?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Iodine is very important, and you do get it in your vegetables, especially kelp. Over supplementation can be a problem, so you do have to be careful

      Dr Lam

  • Teri says:

    Dr. Lam
    My Dr. had put me on a low dose of Synthroid 25 mcg. At first I did okay but then got irritable and could not sleep and had major thirst and started to gain weight rapidly. I stopped taking it against the wishes of my Dr.. He says I need to be on it. I think it is aggravating my adrenal glands. He says no that the Synthroid will help my adrenals. I am confused. Please help. Thank you

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Thyroid medication are stimulatory by nature to increase metabolism. The adrenals can benefit from this, but also can be put on overdrive if it is already weak. What you experienced is not uncommon clincially. Conventional medicine has no explanation. From nutritional perspective, the body is tell you something is wrong. The body is always right, so take the time to further study why this is happening is the key. Until you know what is wrong, it is hard to fix.

      Dr Lam.

  • Sarah says:

    Dr. Lam
    Thank you for the information! I feel this way! Over year after thyroidectomy and still can’t regulate my levels either low .04 or not high 10.28 Tsh. I feel my body can’t regulate temperature. I have always been average 96.5 degrees. I am exhausted, to the point of passing out, unfortunately using carbs and Caffiene for quick energy which never lasts and causes crashes. I try to balance whole body but can’t figure the extreme fatigue. I will check the book out. I know the body can heal and balance itself out. Thank you !!!

  • Dawn says:

    I was recently diagnosed with Addison’s disease after multiple hospitalizations and being written off by my primary care physician. I am currently reviewing my medical data as a lay person, and it is difficult to find the information needed to help me come to terms with how this was missed for so long. My last blood test with my physician shows a TSH of 7.210 ulU/ml, and he ignored that despite ongoing hyponatremia and previous hyperkalemia. The BUN levels in my latest blood test were 14 mg/dL, high, but within range, but my BUN/Creatinine ratio was at the upper range with a 19. At this point I was also considered anorexic by my doctor due to extreme weight loss. When does it make sense to write off a TSH of 7.210 as anorexia and anxiety?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      When you have Addison’s, regular interpretation of labs has to be adjusted to correlate with the clinical picture. Whether it make sense of not therefore really depends on that moment in time when you are examined. So as much as I like to help, it is not possible to give you a straight and simple answer. Tsh of 7 is obviously high under normal circumstances. sometimes giving thyroid support when your adrenals are not functional can make matters worse. I suggest you ask your treating doctor for specific reasons of why they do what they do and you can learn from it in real time. dont be misguided by overly focusing on lab values alone. They are just one of many parameters. In fact, inexperienced doctors will treat numbers, while experienced doctors will treat the whole person by making exceptions.

  • Jasmine says:

    I feel like my T3 is no longer helping me anymore can this happen? Should I switch T3 or does this mean that I may not need T3?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Your body produce T3 naturally as the main thyroid hormone. If external T3 is not helping you, that indicates problem within, and that can range from resistance to many other issues which your doctor should sort out systematically.

      Dr Lam

  • Leah says:

    Thank you for the posts. I believe I’m suffering from adrenal fatigue. I would like suggestions on how to help me. I am a very healthy person physically, mentally, nutritionally. 40 years old And now just really feeling fatigued to the point of having to talk myself into picking up my legs to move. Please help.
    Thank you

  • Dr. Rahul Deogaonkar says:

    Dear Sir, I suffer from Bipolar Mood Disorder 7years back and had taken Lithium medication for nearly 3-4 years. However, i was shifted to lamotrigine soon and iam currently on the same medication. .Lamotrigine 400 mg /day. From 2 months im having rectal tenesmus, weight gain and lethargy. When i did investigations i found my lipid profile is on high side and my TSH level is above 160 while t3 is normal,
    and t4 is 2.3 microgram/dl. I have been advised to start Thyroxine 100 by my physician. Plz advise me if possible.

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Normal Tsh level is under 3.8. There are multiple reasons why TSH can be high, and your doctor will be the proper person to do further test if needed and institute treatment. When the thyroid is so low, do make sure that the lab value is correct, and follow up closely as you follow your doctor’s advise. There are too many pieces to the puzzle and this is not the right forum to go into those other than to say that AFS can lead to low thyroid function clinically so you have to alert your doctor.

      Dr Lam.

  • Angela says:

    I believe I am bipolar. But have not been dx yet . everything I read points to family history. .I have Graves disease Hypothyroidism and I take levothyroxine. .I just had a partial hysterectomy on 3.16.16 and already feeling crazier than usual. ..any suggestions on less in anxiety? ???

  • Jeri Parenteau says:

    Hi Dr. Lam. I have hashimoto’s and 8 months ago I was taking Tirosint 125mg and the doctor added 5mg of Cytomel. The doctor also upped my estrogen from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 mg.. I became very hyperthyroid and I believe toxic from the added estrogen.(CYP1B1 and CYP1A2 gene mutation) I had what I now know as Adrenal Crisis, many of them with many doctor’s including my endocrinologist unable to diagnose what was happening. I though I wouldn’t make it. I had severe headaches with visual disturbance, double and blurry vision, sweating, hypoglycemia, high blood pressure, palpitations, severe dehydration, unable to sleep, trouble breathing and swelling in my face and abdomen. After searching the internet for several weeks, I saved myself. I took myself off of the added Cytomel, cut my tirosint in half and stopped taking the estrogen. It’s been a long recovery. I found a new doctor and she told me I had adrenal insufficiency. I know take Iron, Vit C, Sea Salt, Vit D, Vit K, Iodine, Methyl B12(MTHFR Gene mut. tt), selenium, boron, omega-3 and RLC A-drenal. My question is, How long can I stay on the A-drenal. I’ve read that you shouldn’t stay on glandulars for too long. But everytime I try to go off I wake up every 2 hours and start sweating more and get more hypoglycemic again. Thanks

    • Dr.Lam says:

      You cannot get off without some severe problems because your body may be now dependent on such compound. Such experience you have is not new. we see this very often with people such as you that has been on a series of excitatory compounds , liking Vitamin C, iodone, thyroid, methyl B12 etc etc. So the problem is much much deeper than simply glandular, though it is alert you to the problem at the root. The answer to your question on how long is simple – as long as you need but not longer , but you need to talk to your doctor for an exit plan so you can get off , have a stable body, and no symptoms of crashes. Our telephone coaching program deal with this with people like you, so it can be overcome. Try not to self navigate because each time you have such negative symptoms , your body gets a bit weaker and more sensitive as well, with lower threshold for next episode. Also do not try to stop abrupted what you are taking cold turkey as you can trigger a crash.

      Dr Lam.

  • Kari says:

    I constantly feel anxious and hypoglycemic and crave salty sweet foods. But recent blood tests show I’m not diabetic. I am on Armour thyroid and have been for 3 years. I constantly feel drained. Don’t know what to check next.

    • Dr.Lam says:

      what you exhibited is quite common for those in adrenal fatigue. Conventional medicine has nothing to offer in terms of laboratory test other than the ACTH test to rule out Addidson’s Disease. Click Adrenal Exhaustion for more information.

      Dont put all your reliance on lab. They can be misleading. Click Laboratory Testing for more information.

      Dr Lam

  • Sandy Watson says:

    I had my left adrenal removed 3 Y ago due to a pheochromocytoma. Since I have felt off. My TSH is high normal around 4.0 + and my T3 & T4 are normal. I have been diagnosed with Hashimotos. Almost every night I wake up between 11:30 & 2:30 ish. Palpitations, energy levels swing from hyper to drained, digestion up & down, sinus congestion, varying body temps. I keep trying to increase my exercising but never know if I will feel better or drained. Also not sure what type of diet is best. I crave salty & sweet things and I feel so dry internally & externally I can’t stand to be where it’s cold & dry. I also can’t drink enough water but am not diabetic – blood sugar low. In fact my blood tests are all normal. But I don’t feel great. Any suggestions? Waking up every night and not always getting back to sleep leaves me exhausted.

  • carmel says:

    would love to hear from others with this dilema please, was told i have underactifve thyroid but still hvae various symptoms which i never had before, despite taking medication, now wondering if itis adrenal really. please write to me at ry ch hmo at a o l d o t c om without the spaces. thanks.

  • Shirley Sweatt says:

    I have had chronic fatigue for 9 years, since breast cancer and chemo. I used to be very active all the time and lots of physical strength. I want my life back desperately. I am 56 and feel 110. Please please help me. Please.

    • Dr.Lam says:

      There are multiple ways to help the body reclaim its energy. Starting with a healthy adrenal system can be very good start. Read Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome for more information. There are a lot of good diet tips there to help you get going. Bear in mind everyone is different. If you have more specific concerns , then you can call my office.

      Dr Lam

  • michael says:

    I quit using tobacco 2-3 weeks ago and my adrenal fatigue has worsened significantly to near crisis. Is this due to increased thyroid function while the adrenals are not strong enough to keep up?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      It could be due to a variety of reasons. Withdraw is common and when the adrenals are weak, the body decompensates and crashes can be triggered.

  • Ray says:

    Is physical throat pain or irritation indicative of thyroid issues?

  • Sula maye says:

    Ps my root trigger was my third laparotomy, I had a massive fibroid which caused two laparotomys,then once my uterus had to be removed as a matter of life or death I had a large ovarian cyst removed, this was the straw that broke the camels back. There’s not much I can do to change that, although it obviously indicates long term hormonal imbalances and endocrine struggle.

  • Sula maye says:

    Thank you for your prompt response. So in your experience what is the root cause of this binding problem, how do you reduce binding?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      there are too many variables involved to give any general conclusions. That is why a detailed history is critical by someone who is attentive and alert to the disruptions to put matters into perspective.

      Dr Lam.

  • Sula maye says:

    I have been hypo thyroid for over twenty years and hit the m.e wall nearly four years ago. My saliva stress test shows below range cortisol on every sample, but my blood test shows top of the range cortisol. I conclude that my cortisol is therefore bound. I am now on t3 only, but what can cause the cortisol to bind so and what would be your approach to resolving this? Could my liver be causing this? I am working with an m.e dietician and my diet has been no sugar, cows milk, gluten free for six months. We are currently working on methylation, but this cortisol issue puzzles me.

    • Dr.Lam says:

      your assumptions are somewhat correct but there are additional pathways not considered which may be relevant. Assuming you are correct, the way to allow more ‘free” cortisol to be made available is to reduce the binding proteins that is “holding on” to the cortisol. This starts from resolving the root trigger to start. a good diet is good, but not enough for long term healing mostly. Methylation is treating the symptom and not the underlying problem. People like you may feel ok or better for a short time and it will then be ineffective or you can get worse because the underlying issue is not resolved. This problem you presented is very common, but most people dont understand the physiology enough to go to the root and that is the danger and why most people end up jumping from one to another health care provider.

      Dr Lam.

  • Sarah Morris says:

    I have felt unwell for 3 years and no doctor could tell me what was wrong. Finally, I had tests one year ago showing very low adrenal (cortisol and DHEA levels) and low free T4 and high T4:T3 ratio. I am a teacher and find the job very stressful. I plan to leave my job in the next 9 months. I am a Type A personality and had unexplained health problems when I was at school (now I think the same issue – due to exam stress). I saw Dr. Peatfield (UK) but have been on Nutri Adrenal Extra (4-6 tab daily) for 1 year and T3 for 4 months. I feel more tired than ever. I just had thyroid tests today which came up with: very low TSH, normal T3 and free T3 and low T4 and free T4. I live in Kenya and don’t have access to good endocrinologists (that I know of), though I will be in the UK for 2 weeks in December. Would you have any advice on what I should be doing? I’d like to find a good endocrinologist to see in the UK if possible. I would appreciate your help as I have been self-medicating for the last few months (based on Dr. Peatfield’s book) and really don’t know what I am doing.

    • Dr. Lam says:

      When you feel more tired than ever with thyroid replacement, your body is telling you it does not like what you are doing. Seeing an endocrinologist is good, but do not expect them to really trace it to the root level. Most conventional endo will give you more thyroid to “force their way in” to the thyroid if you complaint more, as that is the standard protocol. You need to alert your endo of the adrenal component so he has a more comprehensive perspective. Print out my papers or let them read my book . Its not about good or not good endo because the training are all the same and most will be on the same track. Our worldwide telephone based nutritional coaching program deals with this type of issues. You can call my office for more information.

      Dr Lam.

  • Neset Fehmi Sezgin says:

    How about my wife Demet, she is turning 50 and having dry skin, dryness and gaining weight. I think she is being affected by low thyroid

    • Dr. Lam says:

      You need to see your doctor and have the thyroid checked as the first step. If there is an adrenal component to the problem, you need to alert the doctor. Do not be surprised if your doctor is not educated on this. Print out my article for your doc if needed to help the educational process. You may have to go through a few doctors to find someone who really knows.

      Dr Lam.

  • Julia says:

    I was diagnosed with medullary thyroid cancer in 2009. Since then my calcitonin levels have been always under 2 – classified undetectable. Recently I have become heat intolerant and my calcitonin is 2.5. My Tsh had swung from above normal range to below normal range with my T4 within normal range throughout. With a total thyroidectomy my throxine levels are supplemented with Levothyroxine. My daily dosage was increased in order to decrease the TSH as a result my TSH is not below normal range. My concern – until now all thyroid related hormones have been stable – they are now unstable with raised calcitonin and heat intolerable. My worry is that this situation is indicating a dysfunction within the pituitary hypothalamus axis and maybe due to metastatic disease. Am I on the right track or could there be another explanation? Thank you

    • Dr. Lam says:

      Something is going on that is unsettling the hormonal axis. I am not sure what it is from what you described, and a full workup will be needed. See your endocrinologist for that.

      Dr Lam

  • Clark Norile says:

    My wife has been diagnosed as hypothyroid, she has been on medicine for over 20yrs, slowly increasing the dosage. Her thyroid is still functioning. Is is still possible after all these years to try nourishing her foundation and weening off the meds slowly ?

    • Newsletter says:

      It is possible, if done slowly and properly under doctor supervision. Generally speaking, the longer you are on meds, the harder to wean off. But that is not the main issue. The key is first to find out why she is on it in the first place. if there is a primary thyroid issue, then weaning off is not a good idea . Many people have low thyroid symptoms that is mistakenly taken as hypothyroid, and over time, developed resistance, thus dosage have to be increased. Read Adrenal Fatigue versus Hypothyroidism for more information as it will give you the major difference that you can see.

      Dr Lam