What is a normal Cortisol level for a female

Posted , 2 users are following.

I had a test and mine came back at a level of 202 which I told was very low. Due to the COVID 19 I am not sure when I will get called back but I hope that it is not to long as I am constantly tired, bad concentration, brain fogs and headaches just to mention a few of the symptoms. I do have a very good consultant who actually listens to you and explains everything well and is happy to answer any questions that you have and never appears to hurry you.

0 likes, 6 replies

Report / Delete

6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Cab, according to a table published by the (UK) Pituitary Foundation [patients association], the reference range for 9am Cortisol is 180 to 620, gender independent. So you are bouncing along the bottom.

    In the circumstances, you might be able to persuade your GP/PCP to prescribe hydrocortisone (synthetic cortisol) tablets to tide you over until normal service is resumed This is what you would be given anyway if you were diagnosed with primary or secondary Addison's Disease‡ Your figure is so low that it won't do you any harm (overdose causes Cushing's Disease, so don't be surprised if your GP is reluctant but 5 or 10 mg a day may be negotiable. [20mg/day is for people like me who flat-line without it]. ) The effect is astonishing.

    Have you had a synacthen test?

    ‡ Addison's Disease (more accurately, syndrome) is the consequence of your adrenal glands failing to produce adequate cortisol. It could be because they have a problem ("primary") or because your pituitary is not bothering to ask ("secondary"). Your symptoms are typical. An MRI is needed to verify: the synacthen test tells them which bit of you to look at. Cushing's Disease is caused by overproduction.

    Please don't be hoodwinked by snake-oil salesmen offering cures for 'adrenal exhaustion'. It is a con.

    Best wishes


    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Roddy999

      Thank you for your reply. I am awaiting an appointment to have the synacthen test but not sure when that will be. It can't come soon enough as I am fed up with constantly feeling tired and unwell for no known reason. I was diagnosed with ME several years ago and more recently PoTS but am now wondering now if these are misdiagnosis.

      Best wishes


      Report / Delete Reply
    • Edited

      To be fair to the medics about misdiagnoses, they are trained to diagnose the simplest condition that explains the symptoms (see "Occam's razor"): the problem is when they don't see, don't ask, or blind themselves by assumption (like we all do) to other symptoms that don't match the initial diagnosis.

      Primary Addison's is rare, secondary Addison's is very rare and neither have obvious symptoms until they get quite bad. [You were lucky, my cortisol was down to 50 before it was spotted. "Stiff upper lip" can be fatal!]. Your Doc might see no more than one or two cases in a career and so it is certainly not the first thing they would (or even should) think of.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      This is very true. I only got referred about six months ago due to constantly feeling like I was going to pass out. The first tests they did were 24hr blood pressure and heart monitors, then a tilt test (I passed out during this) then blood tests. I was meant to be going for a synacthen test but have to wait until things are back up and running again. I am sure that it will all get sorted in the end but the waiting is not easy

      I have read about adrenal crisis and that scares me as they say that it can be fatal but when I read the symptoms it is things that I and many other people suffer from each day so how do you actually know when you are having one? I doubt/hope that I will never have one but the thought of not recognising it is scary.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Your C level is not great but good enough that you aren't really likely to have one in any normal circumstances. It would take a significant trauma like a car accident and I doubt there is much chance of that for the next few months. It might be no harm, all the same, to keep a card in your wallet with your name, NHS number, name of your consultant and their hospital if not local, and "suspected Addison's", and tell your nearest and dearest about it. That way if you do end up in A&E, they get a head start.

      At any other time I would say that if you pass out again, take yourself to A&E and they will probably jump you up the queue for a synacthen, but right now you want to stay well clear! Seriously, you should regard yourself as a higher risk for CV19 and minimise contact as much as is sensible. You are not in the "compromised immune system" category, just if you do get it you maybe don't have a full tank to fight it off as the average Jane Doe. But you aren't running on empty either.

      Fingers crossed that at least endocrinology departments will be back in normal operation in a month or so. Just a big backlog to clear!

      Report / Delete Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up