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Addison's Disease Message Board

Addison's Disease Board Index

Dear Meredith,

I would ask for a morning cortisol blood test or a 24 hr. urine cortisol test (if your particular doctor does this one). What you'd see with adrenal insufficiency would be LOW cortisol. High cortisol would indicate something called Cushings most of the time. But you could have a benign tumor on a gland that would cause sporadic highs and lows. And ACTH stim test is a great test to request. It challenges the adrenal glands to do their job. The test is painless except for a couple of needle pricks. They test your morning (8:00 am) cortisol, then give you some cortisol stimulating hormone through an injection. An hour later they will check to see if your adrenal glands responded adequately to the cortisol stimulating drug by making more cortisol. Your cortisol should be at it's highest in the morning, which is why this test should be done in the morning for accuracy. You should also ask to have your aldosterone, ACTH and renin tested. Also, ask for a blood test for potassium and sodium levels, though these are not always off when you have a problem. But if they ARE out of range, it will provide another clue. My son was putting out a lot of salt through his urine. He also had almost no aldosterone (the salt regulating hormone produced in the adrenal glands). These two things indicated he needed to take Florinef to replace his almost nonexistent Aldosterone. You could also do a test at home, if you have a blood pressure cuff. Lie down for at least 5-10 minutes. Take your BP and pulse. Then stand and take those measurements again. Stand for 5 min. and redo the tests again, loosening the BP cuff between tests. If your BP goes down quite a bit and pulse goes up quite a bit upon standing, you might have yourself another clue (postural hypotension) of adrenal problems or POTS.
Hope this helps. I noticed no one answered your post! ~ :wave: Tracy

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