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Any doc can test for adrenal fatigue. Like I said before, most will just do a one-time ACTH and cortisol blood test, which should be done prior to 8am. The saliva test, while giving a better overall picture, isn't always accepted by conventional medical practitioners, in spite of clinical studies that support its legitimacy.

The saliva test itself: Get a kit either from your dr or order one from an online lab. Pick a day to do the test. Some labs prefer that you do the test on a certain day of your menstrual cycle. You spit into the little tubes they give you - once when you wake up, at noon, at 4pm, and again right before you go to bed. Believe me, coming up with all that saliva isn't as easy as you'd think, but there are tricks. Send the kit in and 1-2 weeks later you get your results.

Now as to optimal levels - These are a general rule of thumb that I've gathered from various forums (I'm on about 8 of them, altogether). Your mileage may vary, as our bodies are all different. Many of the forums I'm on are run by patients who have had to resort to self-treatment due to inadequate care by conventional medical practitioners. These optimal results are from years of patients experimenting, finding out what works best for them, and compiling the results from there.

TSH - Close to 1, closer to 0 if dealing with an autoimmune thyroid disease. Now, a word about TSH. While this is the gold standard for most endos and conventional docs, its a [I]pituitary [/I]hormone, not a thyroid hormone. TSH levels can be affected by medications, illnesses, time of day the test was taken, and even the time the test was done during your menstrual cycle. Its not the end-all and be-all that most docs are making it out to be. Prior to the 3rd-generation TSH tests coming out in the 70s, docs actually had to [I]listen [/I]to their patients and diagnose by [I]symptoms[/I].

FT4 - This is the unbound T4 in the body that's available to be converted into T3. Optimal levels are generally the upper 1/3 of the range.

FT3 - This is the active unbound thyroid hormone your body actually uses. Optimal levels are generally in the upper 1/3 of the range.

Serum Cortisol - This should be at the upper end of the range (20-25).

ACTH (Adrenocorticotropic hormone)- This is a pituitary hormone that stimulates cortisol production. This should be double the serum cortisol level (40-55).

Saliva Cortisol - Optimal levels will vary, based on which lab you use, and most include a chart along with the test results. Ideally, it should be in the upper half of the range, with high levels in the morning, declining at noon, raising again in the afternoon, and then at its lowest level at night.

There are other tests that can be done, such as DHEA (a hormone precursor produced by the adrenals, which then converts into testosterone, estrogen and estridiol), aldosterone (a hormone produced by the adrenals which regulates sodium and potassium levels), and renin (which is really kinda complicated to explain, but impacts the aldosterone levels).

Hope this helps. :)

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