Saliva testing while on HC? Maybe…if your doc understands what to look for…plus more!

For years, thyroid patients have shied away from using saliva testing while on HC, concerned about the false highs and false lows of cortisol levels that occur with exogenous use of medications like hydrocortisone (HC) i.e. that which you give yourself externally vs the natural release. Or, there might be an issue with the HC still left in your mouth, and the saliva results would reflect this.

But thyroid patient and author Paul Robinson, as explained in his blog post, has recently been in touch with Dr. Henry Lindner who has found a way to use saliva with his patients on HC. Also, to avoid the residue of HC in one’s saliva, he instructs his patients to swallow their HC quickly with water.

For example, Lindner can tell if one isn’t on enough HC by looking at the saliva result done two hours after a patient took HC. i.e. the reading might still look “normal” when in fact, it should be much higher due to the high peak after taking HC exogenously. It would only be “normal” (or low normal) looking four hours after one takes HC, not two hours after. Conversely, if saliva is done right before the next dose of HC is due, which is often in four hours, it should be low normal, since exogenous use of HC should result in a fall after the peak. Thus, it can mean one’s HC dose before that was too much.

You can read Dr. Lindner’s own words on his website here. I can’t guarantee this will work for you. In fact, we don’t recommend doing it this way at all. And your doctor probably won’t understand it yet. So in the meantime, patients have been assessing their HC use with Daily Average Temps (DATS) and it’s still viable as well. It can be a way to avoid the cost of additional saliva testing. To understand how to do your DATS, see Discovery Step Two, number four, here. This is also explained in the revised STTM book in Chapter 5, which also has more details.

Want to order your own saliva test? Go here. Both My Med Lab and Healthcheck USA use ZRT, and Direct Labs uses a six times a day saliva testing if you’re curious about your nighttime levels.


In one of STTM’s Facebook groups, I saw a posting about this article, and it broke my heart.

I cannot say one way or the other about this particular case, where his young wife had Hashimotos. But in the ten years I’ve been a Thyroid Patient Activist, I’ve seen SO many thyroid patients on T4-only, or those who haven’t received a correct diagnosis due to the lousy TSH lab test, suffer from depression, whether from continued thyroid problems or the effects of adrenal fatigue and low cortisol–the latter which a large body of thyroid patients can fall into. The brain and the adrenals NEED T3, we have learned personally, over and over.

My own mother was a classic example, having endured Electric Shock Treatment in the 1960’s for her poorly-treated, thyroid-induced depression, then needing to be on an anti-depressant her entire life from being on T4-only. That anti-depressant made her emotions flat.

You can see the article here.


I do. For me, it’s magnesium. It’s like my body has a “magnesium hole” and I can never seem to keep my levels optimal without supplementing daily. And I am very optimally treated for my hypothyroidism, and use Apple Cider Vinegar daily in a large glas of flavored water for a more acidic stomach environment. For others, it’s a “B12 hole”, and they have to inject or take supplements daily. Others might have an “iron hole” and need the maintain that.

What about you? What supplements do you have to take daily to keep your levels optimal??


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4 Responses to “Saliva testing while on HC? Maybe…if your doc understands what to look for…plus more!”

  1. dlm

    Supplements: what if you need, but cannot digest, iron and magnesium and HCL and cider vinegar? I wish they all came in a patch or skin gel, to avoid GI distress (which started with severe systemic Candida, migraines, weight gain, menopause, severe chronic depression, type 2 diabetes, severe chills, severe sweats, hypothyroid, hypoadrenal etc etc etc which all respond somewhat to low carb/low sugar/low starch:: these all seem somewhat related but no-one can solve)

  2. Mary Garito

    I feel sad for the first poster here. I too suffered from Candida for years. I did every imaginable thing to rid myself of it, including a 3 yr long Candida diet which excluded sugar, wheat, alcohol, caffeine and cow dairy. It was the hardest thing I have ever done and it is ridiculous that we have to go through that. Doctors also looked at me like I was crazy when I wxplained that I had a systemic yeast infection. One doctor said I should “stop worrying so much and it woud probably go away.” It was pretty frustrating.

    Finally I found a doctor who thought perhaps I had a low thyroid issue. That began my 7 year long research into hypothyroidism. Thank god I found the SSTM website. Once I started taking Armour my Candida slowly went away. It was like a miracle and is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I feel terrible this hasn’t been the case for the first person who commented here. I wish him all the luck. I know now that low thyroid leads to low body temps adn that can lead to fungal overgrowth. Perhaps his thyroid meds aren’t getting into his cells for some reason?

    Mary G in Philly

  3. Diana

    After reading about the tragic suicide of the woman with Hashimoto’s, I noticed that the article only mentioned “high thyroid antibodies”. Which means–of course–that the TSH was probably in the normal range. And that is probably why she was ignored. Some doctors will run whole thyroid panels, and test for thyroid antibodies; however, if the TSH is normal, other abnormal lab results will be ignored, discarded, and labeled “a mistake”.

  4. Rick Falbo

    Hydrocortisone is a corticosteroid( I know you already know this). The problem is that corticosteroids are TERRIBLE for people with candida and they can lead to candida as well! Your recent Stop The Thyroid Madness book did mention a little on candida. If you ever revise it again, please include more info on candida for thyroid patients if you can. Millions of people suffer with it and have no idea what the hell it is. The symptoms are identical to low thyroid. You are then guessing…”is this symptom from my low thyroid? the candida? or both??” It is VERY frustrating and discouraging.

    I have been dealing with this hell for over 3 years now. I have been on straight T3 for 15 months, excellent levels of cortisol, no reverse T3, all vitamins/minerals are optimal, etc. The darn sugar and yeast are killers and keep making this condition worse. Almost everything you eat has sugar or will convert to sugar. The yeast feeds on the sugar. I have Hashimoto’s. Anybody with an auto-immune issue is open and fertile soil for candida to occur. Once the immune system is compromised due to stress or an auto-immune attack…they are in trouble. Candida interfers with thyroid hormones just like androgens interfere with thyroid hormones! It does not matter how great the desiccated thyroid or straight T3 is….the candida does not allow it to absorb properly or get into the tissues.

    Yeast is natural… is in the intestines and on the skin. When it over grows…you are in trouble. It goes to the fungal stage and the symptoms are miserable. People mistakingly think their thyroid is messed up or their thyroid medication is not working. When all along it is the candida colinizing in the intestines and getting into the blood stream. The good intestinal flora is being killed and the bad bacteria is taking over. This is why the over use of antibiotics is the number one cause of candida. Antibiotics kill off the good intestinal bacteria and NOT just the bad bacteria! I have often avoided sugar and yeast…then magically my hair starts growing back thick, my libido becomes normal, and my skin gets thick again. I did NOT change my thyroid medication or my dose at all…I just avoided sugar/yeast. Clearly the same thyroid hormones were not able to absorb properly and get into the cells when the candida is out of control. It was when I took the darn hydrocortisone in late 10/2010 that all of this increased hell with the candida started getting bad for me. Anybody with candida should avoid Hydrocortisone like the plague.

    We thyroid patients know the frustration in trying to find an open minded integrative doctor to try and understand and treat our condition without the TSH and T4 only meds. I got more bad news for you. If you are struggling and suffering with candida…you will discover that finding a thyroid doctor who knows how to treat reverse T3 is much easier than finding a doctor who knows how to treat your candida issue! That is INSANE!!! The problem is that conventional/orthodox willfully ignorant doctors only believe candida exists as a problem in one’s vagina or their mouth(oral thrush). If you happen to explain to them that your yeast/fungal over growth is in the intestines or blood stream, you will be looked at as a lunatic and a nut job!

    Please be careful with Pregnenelone, Progesterone, and DHEA if are suffering with candida. They will spread your candida like a wild fire. Hair loss and acne is common if used daily for prolonged periods. They can also convert to androgens and adrogens interfere with thyroid hormones and prevent them from getting into the cells. I just wanted to share this. Rick Falbo


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