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Thyroid or adrenal deficiency?

By December 17, 2014 - 9:20pm
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I was on armour thyroid and levels were good but I felt terrible. Now my doctor wants me to try hydrocortisone for my adrenals. I have insomnia and have gained weight.

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He didn't do any if those tests. He does have me on progesterone and estrogen bio-identical hormones for menopause.

December 20, 2014 - 9:20pm

Hello Cleanqueen,

Welcome to the EmpowHER community. Thank you for coming to us with your health concern.

Did your doctor give you a diagnosis? Were any of the following blood tests ACTH stimulation test, CRH stimulation test, or antibody blood tests done ?

Based solely that your doctor is suggesting hydrocortisone, I am wondering if you have adrenal insufficiency.

Adrenal insufficiency is an endocrine, or hormonal, disorder that occurs when the adrenal glands do not produce enough of certain hormones. The adrenal glands are located just above the kidneys.

Adrenal hormones, such as cortisol and aldosterone, play key roles in the functioning of the human body, such as regulating blood pressure; metabolism, the way the body uses digested food for energy; and the body’s response to stress. In addition, the body uses the adrenal hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) to make androgens and estrogens, the male and female sex hormones.

Adrenal insufficiency can be primary or secondary. Addison’s disease, the common term for primary adrenal insufficiency, occurs when the adrenal glands are damaged and cannot produce enough of the adrenal hormone cortisol, and the adrenal hormone aldosterone may also be lacking.

Secondary adrenal insufficiency occurs when the pituitary gland—a pea-sized gland at the base of the brain—fails to produce enough adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), a hormone that stimulates the adrenal glands to produce the hormone cortisol. If ACTH output is too low, cortisol production drops. Eventually, the adrenal glands can shrink due to lack of ACTH stimulation. Secondary adrenal insufficiency is much more common than Addison’s disease.

The most common symptoms of adrenal insufficiency are chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss and abdominal pain. But, interestingly, you are experiencing weight gain.


December 18, 2014 - 9:04am
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