Slight adrenal insufficiency but might be having adrenal "crashes"

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Could somebody weigh in on this? I've been told I have lower than normal range cortisol levels at midday and afternoon but normal in the evening and at the higher end of normal in the morning. 

I wake up quite anxious in my body, and the day seems mostly flat, sometimes I'm jittery and have the shakes, and recently I have felt I've been having adrenal crashes. What ever I'm experiencing feels awful. It comes on very sudden and I suddenly have to sit or lay down. It takes a couple hours to bounce back to my "normal" feeling. 

My naturopath has put me on gentle restorative herbs, 2.5ml each morning and I've been on it for two days. My body seems very sensitive in recent times, reacting to other adrenal products. I'm afraid it's reacting to these herbs because I had a small crash this morning after not doing much at all and right before breakfast. 

How do I navigate what I need for my adrenals to get back on top, if I'm easily stimulated, what path do I or my naturopath take? I want to understand this. My adrenals by my saliva test don't seem to be too bad at all but my "crashes" feel awful. 

I want to feel better sad

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi ruby05,

    I have actually just been diagnosed with Addison's Disease and was put on Hydrocortisone tablets immediately. I felt exactly the same as you described and I just didn't know what was wrong with me! It's like you can't put a finger on it but you know your own body and when something is wrong. I've been on 20mg of Hydrocortisone a day since and I've started to notice subtle differences already. I'm hoping to continue improving and I'm feeling really positive. I hope this can maybe help you in some way and I hope you start to feel better as I know how miserable it all is!

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    • Posted

      Hi there,

      Did you also have low cortisol levels? I think I've had a blood test for my adrenals and that came back fine, ruling out Addisons disease I thought. 

      Can you share anymore of your situation? What tests you had? 

      I also get low sugar levels where I have to eat regularly. 

      I'm 25 years old too, and have been under a lot of stress previous to now. 


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    • Posted

      Hello, yes I had a blood test done with my GP to check my cortisol levels. He did this blood test because I ticked all the other boxes of Addison's symptoms including dark pigmentation on my skin, severe tiredness, salt/sugar cravings. He said he didn't expect my blood test to come back showing anything as the proper test for Addison's is the Synacthen Stimulation Test, an injection of ACTH. Involves going into hospital for the morning:

      My GP blood test actually came back saying that my Cortisol levels were very low, so I was fast tracked to meeting my Endocrinologist and having the Synacthen test. Also put on Hydrocortisone and told to start taking it straight away. A normal blood test doesn't normally pick up Addison's because it has to be taken first thing in the morning when you wake up to show your true levels of cortisol and adrenal functions.

      Your low sugar levels can be a symptom. My Endocrinologist has told me it's important to listen to your body with Addison's and if you have a salt or sugar craving, you should go for it.

      I hope this info helps! You should push your GP for the proper test if you are still concerned. Do you have any of the other symptoms of Addison's?

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    • Posted


      I do have some of the symptoms but my saliva test and morning blood test showed I'm making cortisol, only that at lunch and mid afternoon it's just below normal range. My cortisol is normal high in the morning and normal low in the evening.

      It does still feel very unpleasant though and working out the right treatment isn't fun.

      I will keep an eye on my symptoms though, thanks. I hope your health journey is a good one and you're feeling much better.

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