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Date of last update: 10/17/2017.

Forum Name: Endocrinology Topics

Question: Adrenal Deficiency

 AnneMarie Brienza - Sun Mar 09, 2003 12:16 pm

I have lots of questions about my adrenals, I cant get anyone to agree and things are getting worse my symptoms are right but my basic blood tests were normal :?:
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Tue Mar 11, 2003 1:24 am

User avatar Dear AnneMarie,

Thank you very much for using our website.

Please, feel free to post any questions or concerns.

Usually, the basic cortisone blood test is not used to diagnose adrenal insufficiency and you have to be subjected to a stimulation test where you are given a certain hormone and then the response of your adrenal gland is measured and if does not reach a certain value then you have adrenal insufficiency. This is called the Acth stimulation test.

Once more, thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped and waiting for your questions.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.
 mcmarsha - Sun Jul 27, 2003 11:26 am

You had mentioned that the ACTH is used to stimulate the adrenals and then the cortisol levels are checked to see if they increase. First, could you tell me if the ACTH is ever used to see if any of the enzymes used by the adrenals increases and if so, would this mean that the adrenals as a whole are fine and cortisol levels don't have to be checked? Second, how much of an increase of cortisol would there have to be for the adrenals to be considered fine? I had my 17 OHProgest checked before and after the administering of ACTH to see if there was a chance for LOCAH, but never had my cortisol level checked after the administration of the ACTH. As for the 17 OHProgest, there was a substantial increase...nearly doubled after 30 minutes post ACTH administration. What if someone's cortisol levels respond nicely to ACTH administration, but their baseline cortisol levels are normally "low normal" whereas their symptoms are consistant with low levels and perhaps there is a hypothalamus problem going on? What can be done to determine that? (I'm not sure if I asked this precise question in my other recent post.) It's just that there has got to be a way to determine if there is a hypothalamus problem despite the fact that a person's numbers are still within range. 10 in a range of 5 to 23 might be normal for some folks, but perhaps it is not MY normal. I want to determine if the 10 in the normal range that I have is perhaps not my normal...mine might be 15 or 20. Fluctuations as an explanation for my lowering cortisol results over time just doesn't cut it to me because they never seem to show a upward fluctuation........hmmmm and then there is that little matter of my having experienced extreme stress over many years and being symptomatic.

 amelia - Thu Sep 01, 2005 5:44 am

I have had a lack of appetite all summer and was wondering if I needed to get my adrenal levels checked (I hve been insufficient for 16 years).

I try to eat to be healthy- but most of the time I just don't want to eat. I noticed lack of appetite was listed under SYMPTOMS- so I was just wondering

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