Do you know someone who is defensive, paranoid and/or frequently anxietal??


Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 12.00.16 PM(This page was updated to the present day and time. Enjoy!)

It happens often–someone will join a patient group, and right off the bat, you notice they are one or more of the following (or you notice it in yourself):

  • very defensive about certain subjects
  • know-it-all
  • argumentative
  • hot-headed
  • condescendingly overbearing
  • paranoid
  • highly emotional
  • over-reactive

They may quickly fly off the handle. They might see implications in words that were never there. They can also be childish in their reactions, obsessive about certain topics or people, mistrustful of others, forgetful, combative, and/or jittery.

Even worse, combine someone with intelligence and a way with words along with all of the above, and you’ve got a royal pain in the butt. And the worst part? Most have no idea how badly they are manifesting the above.

It’s called adrenal fatigue, also known as adrenal insufficiency or hypocortisolism.

It starts out with excessively high cortisol, then falls to low cortisol with a basket full of consequences when it comes to coping and interacting with life and people. i.e. those with adrenal fatigue can have several of the above list or more. . And having a cortisol problem is unfortunately very common among thyroid patients thanks to being left undiagnosed due to the lousy TSH lab test, or being put on T4-only medications like Synthroid, levothyroxine, Extroxin, etc. Both situations cause the adrenals to work far too hard, then become sluggish.

It’s also unfortunately common for many doctors to deny the existence of low cortisol as we tend to have it, or be clueless on how to treat it.

And to get well, we have to become informed ourselves

Why? Because patient experiences and wisdom are far ahead of most doctors, and we have to be prepared to guide them. You can read about this condition here. Then the adrenal wisdom we’ve gain on treating adrenal issues. Some of the BEST details are in Chapters 5 and 6 in the Stop the Thyroid Madness book. The last Chapter in the STTM II book does a bangup job explains biologically how we end up with low cortisol in the first place. A must read.

There appear to be a huge body of thyroid patients with this condition–at least 50% or more–and it’s a topic that needs understanding and a condition that needs the right treatment.


In 2010, Janie was on two radio shows around the time this post was originally written (and is now updated). See if you can find their archives:

  • Michigan Talk Network’s “Health and Wellness Show” by Dr. John Wycoff, D.O., an educational & patient interactive call radio show.
  • Plus Just Ask Nish, a new TRN nationally syndicated radio show heard on 53 stations in 1400 cities. The host is Nisha Jackson, N.D. who has 18 years of experience in research and practice, as well as multiple T.V. appearances, motivational speaking, and two other radio shows (although this is her largest).

Have you Liked the STTM Facebook page? Great daily tips, inspiration and information!

Important notes: All the information on this website is copyrighted. STTM is an information-only site based on what many patients worldwide have reported in their treatment and wisdom over the years. This is not to be taken as personal medical advice, nor to replace a relationship with your doctor. By reading this information-only website, you take full responsibility for what you choose to do with this website's information or outcomes. See the Disclaimer and Terms of Use.

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23 Responses to “Do you know someone who is defensive, paranoid and/or frequently anxietal??”

  1. SLM582

    ” And having a cortisol problem is unfortunately very common among thyroid patients thanks to being left undiagnosed due to the lousy TSH lab test, or being put on T4-only medications like Synthroid, levothyroxine, Extroxin, etc. Both situations cause the adrenals to work far too hard, then become sluggish” My mother expected doctors to give here more when the doctors explained she really did not need it As a child she tried to get me to use it and all the doctors and their test proved it was not needed the doctors would give me pills that were fake – they told me not to tell here that secret. She told me it would be life or death if I did not take them and push doctors and pharmacists to comply with her – onward in to adulthood. She holds a grudge if I explained its not real – for example my birthday was coming and one day I explained its wrong – she snub me for awhile and skipped my birthday present she earlier explained.

  2. William

    Hi Janie. My blood level of cortisol has always been pretty solid – one time it was actually slightly high –
    but my blood test DHEA was low (like 15). On my saliva test both cortisol and dhea are low with my
    cortisol low in the am and mid afternoon. So how do my saliva and blood tests show the same result
    regarding DHEA but the exact opposite result for cortisol?

    And btw, I’m on NDT and it’s made me feel better. I take them only when i wake up.
    While I’m on the thyroid meds I tested them about 24 hours after I took them last- that is,
    I didn’t take them the morning of the test. Everything showed borderline normal with Ft3 in the lower third
    and TSH .02. Did I do this correctly?

  3. Bonnie

    I have been fighting with doctors for years trying to get to the bottom of my problem I suffered a severe back injury years ago and was receiving cortisone shots to help manage it till I had surgery well had first one and had second one whole time receiving cortisone shots wasn’t until after last back surgery I actually quit the steroid shots and doc had been checking me on a regular for thyroid disease due to unexplainable weight gain for five years prior to last back surgery well after that surgery I quit the steroid shots within a year my thyroid disease finally presented itself and I couldn’t understand how for five years being tested on a regular it was never detected well this past May I had pneumonia and was treated with steroids lol first time in five years I actually felt like a million. Bucks so today I went for a blood test to check cortisol levels and waiting for results I’m pretty sure I have adrenal fatigue and I can’t wait for my doc to call and say ahhhh you were right because I’m sorry but I didn’t have any of the issues I do now until I went off the steroids I felt good and could function when I was on the shots for my back but when I stopped ahhh yea it went to hell in a year

  4. Chrissy

    I have been diagnosed underactive (although initially told hashi, nothing in my notes to say this & endo says hard to tell now) for almost 10years. I think it was mistreated much longer (18yr old daughter born after 28 weeks – preclampsia & 4 miscarriages after). I started ndt in march after I posted my blood results in a forum & got admin advice. I’ve bought the book but confess I haven’t read more than a few pages, but seeing this post has made me realise I definitely have adrenal fatigue. I’m constantly tired but struggle to sleep more than 4-5 hours, also struggle to get out of bed, I usually lie with eyes closed for hours on end. I definitely relate to many of the symptoms you have listed and embarrassed to admit I can be a bit of a know it all, paranoid and I do worry a lot but keep that bit to myself. I’m also a massive sugar addict (bought how to quit sugar book, again only few pages in). What I want to ask is I’ve seen a previous post about sex hormones and wonder how to get these tested? I struggle to lose bodyfat (I don’t weigh myself) & I have switched from high cardio workouts to a mix of cardio and weight resistance exercise. My gp won’t/can’t do saliva cortisol test so reluctant to ask about a test for this, although I am going to read the STTM book and arm myself with tests I need as I was prescribed vitD by the endo but gp would not repeat as said it was summer so didn’t need! Apologies for long post……any advice welcome 😊

  5. Worried Sick

    Thank you so much for this. I am the person you describe!!
    I have been on the merrigoround of docs, tests, repeats, specialists for 10 years. Thyroid borderline, constantly freezing cold, hair loss, raised calcium, very low Vit D, low ferritin etc etc etc. family are demented with me. I have read all I can of your comments on NDT & also results from those taking it. I ordered some yesterday & it was dispatched the same day so I can’t wait for it to arrive. Of course I will take lowest dose to start & see how things go. There is one thing for sure, I couldn’t feel any worse. Will let you know how I get on.
    Many many thanks

  6. Veronica

    I am currently taking 200mg Levothyroxine, 1 gram Armour and 5mg Prednisone. I was feeling quite good for a while but now I am massively paranoid about nothing! I will find something and get ridiculously paranoid about it then eventually move onto the next thing. This week it is nasty diseases you can get (although I have no symptoms of these nasty diseases). Previously it has been thinking I have left a tap on so much so that I make myself sick. I know these fears are irrational and yet I cannot stop them. I will obsess about a comment I have made in the past so much so that it consumes me. It is getting ridiculous. Before I was completely normal and now I think I am borderline crazy. My heart feels like it is thumping out of my body, I have lost weight and I can see movements that I know are not there out of the corner of my eye. Any ideas?

  7. Chelsey

    My mom is very defensive, paranoid, mistrustful, takes things very personal, has high anxiety and shes loyal to certain products. How can I convince her to get tested or listen?

  8. Linda

    Janie, how risky for someone with “borderline” high glucose to use HC for adrenals? My last fasting glucose was 127, Dr was a bit concerned about this (I have Hashi’s) Dr rx’d HC for adrenals (did 4xday saliva test, tanked) and said keep an eye on “diabetic symptoms” such as excessive thirst etc. Just don’t want to spin myself off into diabetes land with this even though I need it, can’t increase thyroid w/out it, tried, went hyPER and it was awful, backed way down on NT. I guess the other question would be, would high glucose be reversible after coming off HC if it really started causing big problems? Concerned about all of this. Thanks in advance!

    From Janie: I would recommend joining NTH Adrenals for feedback with your question: )

  9. Jamie Rose

    Hello Janie, I would like to see some more info for those of us with secondary adrenal insufficiency who are also have hyperactive thyroidism. There is much out there for the hypos, but not much for the hypers. I would really like to see some info about helping with extremely slow metabolism too. I just can’t get this weight off, which I suspect is coming from the low adrenal functioning.

  10. Lisa Parlee-Carr

    This is my mother. After my own diagnoses of Hashi’s she was tested and is being treated with 25mg, Levoxyl of course. She still has symptoms and always has had symptoms of Adrenal fatigue. Her TSH is normal but she just won’t listen to me. I am as of today being switched to Armour after fighting, begging and trying to educate 5 different doctors who all just kept sending me to a psychiatrist. I am hoping and praying for a miracle and hope that after that miracle my mother will finally listen to me.

    (From Janie: if you get on Armour, you’ll need to either chew it up before swallowing, or mortar and pestle it and add a touch of sugar or honey. Without doing either, the cellulose in it prevents thyroid hormones from being absorbed. I hope your mom will listen to you.)

  11. L. Morgan

    Sometimes I wonder if thyroid treatment will ever get the same type of research and options as Diabetes.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have the option of receiving a shot (pending it was safe and effective)instead of having to ingest pills, it would be nice to have a way to test our Thyroid hormone levels and related levels at home, etc.

    Hopefully, one day there will be even more options…

  12. Elenor

    Oh Janie! Thank you so much! Talk about PERFECT timing. My beloved husband and I just half-an-hour ago finished a fraught discussion about my “exaggerated” (or are they realistic?) fear (of pickpockets in Barcelona, where we’re going next year). Plus, when I tried to address this with him, he got angry because I was sounding like “the universal expert,” which really offends him! We worked it out, and figured out what bothered him and how I can broach subjects without the combativeness (the word he used too!) I exhibited. And then your entry showed up in my box!

    I cannot tell you what a total HERO you are to me! (I have treated my adrenals successfully a couple years ago; have been on Armour, then Erfa for about 5 years under your excellent info, and am now on T3-only trying to kick out the rT3… (So, um, back to adrenal support beyond a couple of Isocort in the morning…)
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    • Susan

      You are right . Pick pockets and scam artist s are rife in Barcelona. We were targeted four times!! On a three day visit. Take care if in a hire car. Donot show maps, leave things on back seats. Lock doors. I know people who have had no problems but lots who have

  13. Andrea

    I have adrenal fatigue and also LOW male hormone levels. Low male hormone in females can make one more prone to stress and anxiety here as well as making it hell to lose the weight. Thanks Janie for the new doctor.

  14. debbie


    I am truely afraid I had what I think was DVT…I also a few days later had a sore spot on my head and I believe this occured because of DVT…at first I told my husband I didn’t know why my head hurt I didn’t remember hitting it. am I dying I am 47 years old.

    (From Janie: Debbie, check with your doctor about it. He or she will help you. )


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