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Addison's Disease Message Board

Addison's Disease Board Index

Hi Lucky Charms,
I was recently diagnosed with Addison's. I have been looking for a diagnosis for a long time and finally ended up going to the University hospital near me - dr's there were great! Anyway, They did several tests, including 2 ACTH stim tests. (like Orion mentioned) The second ACTH test was more sensitive - my understanding is that they give you a lower level of ACTH and see how your adrenals react by measuring cortisol levels. My test came back positive i.e. my cortisol level was too low.

Also, my mom has Addison's and has found a great support group. She told me about another test. It tests for the anti-body that destroys your adrenal glands in the case of primary auto-immune Addison's. This anti-body is called 21-hydroxylase. I don't know if you have heard of Hashimoto's? - a similar disease where anti-bodies are produced because of auto-immune thyroid disease. The good thing about this test is if you have the anti-bodies, my understanding is that you are likely to get full-blown Addison's at some point, but at least can be aware and pro-active in monitoring symptoms and treatment.

Anyway, to sum it up, the tests that helped me get a definitive diagnosis were ACTH stim test (both normal and sensitive), 21-hydroxlyase level, plasma-renin level, aldosterone level.

I hope this helps. It seems to me that the problem is that this disease is so rare that it's hard to find dr's who really know about it. I am so fortunate to have my mom as a resource. I'm also so glad to have found this website - I just joined but am learning so much.

Best of luck in finding some answers!

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