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High Cortisol and DHEA?

Guest Kim


Hi all,

I'm new to this forum and could sure use some advice. I have had mildly high (high end of range to slightly over range) all 4 times of the day (using saliva testing) for about a year now. Never had it tested before then so I don't know what it would be. I got my 5th test result today and they are SUPER high now. I have these tests done because I have hypothyroidism and have not yet been able to reach the level of thyroid meds that I need to because of the high cortisol. The saliva test I have done also tests DHEA and it comes back high every time too. (I had DHEA tested just one other time before in my life, in 2007, for an unrelated condition and it came back WAY out range on the high end. I remember my doctor saying it was a good thing, a "longevity marker" she called it, so I never really thought about it again. After seeing todays results I started wondering about Cushings. I can't say I really have any of the symptoms like moon shape face and thinner arms and middle body fat, hump on back...etc. I do have mood swings and back pain, decreased libido and concentration and sometimes swollen ankles. These can all be symptoms of hypothyroidism too so I never really gave it another thought until today.


Here are my results from today

DHEA 17.5 (range 5-8 ng/ml for my age)

Cortisol morning 26.9 ng/ml (range 3.7-9.5)

Noon 9.8 ng/ml (range 1.2-3.0)

Evening 3.4 ng/ml (range 0.6-1.9)

Midnight 5.5 ng/ml (range 0.4-1.0)


I am having my ACTH tested on Friday...and will go from there. I guess I am just wondering.....from these test results and symptoms, is it likely I have Cushings?


Thank you all very much,


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You do seem to have a normal diurnal rhythm but your evening and midnight cortisol readings are very high and do indicate cushing's.


How is your blood pressure? Have you ever had your blood pressure or blood potassium levels tested? Been getting any recurrent infections lately? Those are some ways cushing's can manifest itself in people who don't gain a lot of weight.

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I also think you should have other androgens, and aldosterone and renin tested. You're high all the time, could be adrenal rather than pituitary if it is Cushing's. The multiple times normal on the tests you listed is highest at midnight, suggesting that you actually do have reversal of diurnal rhythm within consistently high results all day.

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