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Need help with tests for thyroid and adrenal fatigue

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  • Need help with tests for thyroid and adrenal fatigue

    I need to get tests done for my thyroid and adrenal fatigue. I'm going to be ordering them myself, from labs online but I'm not sure exactly what it is that I need to get first. I've been looking around and different people suggest different tests, and the tests that I see available have so many different options. I don't want to overpay for stuff that I don't need. I don't have insurance, I'm a college student living on student loans. I need to get whatever is going on with me worked out though or else I'm not going to be able to be a student much longer.

    Does anyone who's dealt with the test process know which tests I should get first? The ones that are the most important? Once I get those back, I'll go from there in terms of what other tests might need to be done, and whether or not I need to find a health care practitioner to help me.

    Thanks for any help. Sorry if I asked this question before. I just recently got my disbursement and my memory has been absolutely shot lately.

  • #2
    I don't really know what is available. I just want to give you some support because I have the same adrenal and thyroid issues.

    I had a saliva cortisol test awile back through Diagnos-techs or something like that. I had it done through my doctor's office, though ($79).


    • #3
      Tough one. I did the cortisol test in the mail through ZRT. I believe it's $120 if you pay for it yourself.

      As for thyroid tests, I'd recommend TSH, T4, T3, Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3 and antibodies testing. Honestly I don't know how much that costs.

      Here are a couple of articles about testing without a doctor:
      They link a few sources, depending on the test, but seems to have a couple of decent panel choices (one without TPO - antibodies testing) and one with. I'd say if it's super tight, don't do the antibodies just yet, but the Free T3 and Free T4 are important.

      The articles should help a little.
      Last edited by Minxxa; 09-24-2010, 11:03 AM.
      sigpic "Boy I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals" - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid


      • #4
        They used to offer a discount with the code 12345. I don't know if they still do.

        Also, depending on your symptoms you might want to test ferritin, hemoglobin, hemocrit, vitamin D and blood sugar. Problems with these things can mimic thyroid symptoms.


        • #5
          Highly suggest getting a copy of Dr. K's book-


          • #6
            I just wanted to fourth? what everyone else said.

            Most doctors will only order TSH and T4 which is not a good diagnostic tool. You need the fulll thyroid panel for sure!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Primallady View Post
              Highly suggest getting a copy of Dr. K's book-

              Yes- get that book for sure! You can also email them for a list of practitioners- some of whom will work with you long distance.
              You really need someone who knows what tests you need and how to interpret them. It will save you $$$ in the long run. Get in touch with one of them first. I know that this guy will work distance.

              You can, however, go ahead and order a 24 hour saliva cortisol test:
              You could also order a vitamin D test, since you will need that anyway.


              • #8
                Thank you all so much for all the great information as well as the support. I will definitely be using all your links to research in the next few days. I really am so grateful for this place. So many kind and knowledgeable people!

                @marcadav, thank you especially for the additional recommendations. I'm going to start with the adrenal/thyroid stuff first because recent traumatic life experiences seem to coincide with a lot of my symptoms, in addition to a previously diagnosed abnormality with some of my thyroid numbers (but that was a long time ago and it wasn't "bad" enough to be treated). However, I've been a little nervous about getting the tests done because I honestly didn't know what I'd do if they came back normal. At this point, I just want something to actually be seriously wrong because the way I've been feeling...I'm barely functioning at this point. Now at least I know that I have other avenues to explore if for some reason they come back normal.


                • #9
                  I would add, if you're feeling tired, to test for Mono virus. I don't know what the test would be called. If you've ever had Mono, it stays in your body and can become active again, causing Chronic Fatigue. If you suspect low thyroid, the supplement from Enzymatic Therapy (make sure whatever you try has actual thyroid gland in it, not just herbs) helped me immensely before I got to the point that I needed prescription-strength. Hope you feel better!


                  • #10
                    i just wanted to add...

                    a- your young i am guessing with being in college, what are you stats?
                    b- i am going to suggest you may simply be undernourished/malnutrition because your in college
                    c- what is you typical days food like
                    d- do you exercise

                    lots,,,,,,i mean lots LOTS of people like to read and self diagose themselves without giviing a year of good nutiriton a chance. hows your fat intake? hows your organ intake? butter/tallow? bone broth?
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                    • #11
                      @LizaJane, I've never had mono, but I'll keep it on the list of maybes.

                      Actually, I haven't ruled that out as a major possibility, or at the very least a huge contributer. I couldn't even tell you what my ratios are right now because between a few different issues, I know I'm not eating enough of what I'm supposed to. I'm working hard at trying to correct that. I'm not eating the bad stuff, but between a digestive issue and a busy schedule, I know I'm not getting enough protein and I think my carbs are too low on a pretty consistent basis. It's also a huge catch 22 for me...eating primally obviously requires more forethought and more prep than simply tossing some pizza bites into the toaster oven...there are days that I'm so tired I can't bare the thought of having to go in there to wash the dishes to cook myself something to eat or stand at the stove long enough to cook something.

                      I've suspected low adrenal function for a few years now, even before I started school. I was in a seriously abusive relationship for about 4 1/2 years that significantly affected my health.

                      The thing is, malnutrition (caused by my digestive issues) and low adrenal function can go hand in hand because one can cause the other and the other way round. I mainly just want to be able to get my diet on track, and get some additional support for my adrenals and see where my thyroid is. I've heard that thyroid issues can be caused by low adrenals and that many people's have improved once they healed their adrenals. I also see a kenisiologist who's seen some specific signs that point towards my adrenals and my thyroid. I've done the temperature test, they were all low (thyroid). When I get up in the morning, my feet hurt (adrenals), I did the iodine test, it was gone in under 5 hours (thyroid). My adrenal alarm points are always sore, and when he tests them, they always test, tests...just to see what's going on.


                      • #12
                        If you are not eating enough it can create Non-thyroidal Illness Syndrome (Euthyroid Sick Syndrome). You can learn about it here:
                        scroll down to nutrition


                        • #13
                          From an insurance standpoint, if you are in the US you might look at getting a low cost plan. You might look into getting a 'high deductible' plan from a carrier like Blue Cross/Anthem, United, Aetna, Kaiser, or a local HMO. If you are in your early 20's with no major pre-existing conditions (on record) the cost is really low.......even if you got the leanest plan out there (a high deductible, high out of pocket, no RX coverage, no pregnancy coverage, etc).....the benefit will be that you get a network discount on your labwork and doctor services. Downside would be that you have to get a doc to prescribe your labs and then you need to pay monthly insurance fees (although you could do it just for a few months while you get a full work up). But consider this, if you will need an RX after you get your labs, you will need to see a doc anyways. And the cost of the labs at a discounted level might be upwards of 75-85% so it might end up paying for the insurance.

                          Hard to describe in a short post...but something to consider, plus you would have emergency coverage for the large unexpected.
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                          • #14
                            For your thyroid, you can probably get away with 3 tests: TSH, free T3, free T4


                            • #15
                              You want adrenal stuff too.

                              I would start with the basics:
                              Free T3
                              Free T4
                              AM cortisol (fasting, before 9 am)
                              Serum ACTH (fasting, before 9 AM)
                              Vitamin D
                              Anti TPO
                              Anti TBG
                              Chem Panel or specifically- Sodium & Potassium

                              The last four-do a 24 salt fast meaning abstain from any ADDED salt for 24 hours, and have the draw done on day 3 of your cycle. The orders will likely say you need to be reclining, but unless you are able to recline for more than an hour, just do it standing/sitting. Consistency is more importannt than anything else.

                              The rest, just do fasting, and before 9 AM.

                              TSH is not really that important. It drives production of NIS as well as thyroid hormone, so it is dependant on iodine intake and sodium levels as well. Isn't terribly helpful for thyroid levels, regardless of what Dr. CW would like you to believe.
                     is a good place, as is labcorp. I have only anecdotal experience from folks I know with labcorp, but have never used them.

                              The Euthyroid Sick mentioned above is quite often simply RT3 overabundance. Low caloric intake begets high RT3, which affects the T3 receptors available to use the T3, which causes pooling, which causes the T4 to be converted to RT3 to avoid thyrotoxicosis, which increases RT3 levels, and so on. It can be eliminated by using a dosage of T3 only medication sufficient to suppress ALL t4 production, at which point the RT3 will begin to clear. Some people can clear it on their own, but most cannot, hence the 'lowered metabolism you get after you diet'.
                              Last edited by Eklecktika; 09-27-2010, 05:32 PM.
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