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Addison's Disease Message Board

Addison's Disease Board Index

Yes. ACTH is the hormone secreted by the pituitary that tells the adrenal gland to release cortisol. When the pituitary senses there is enough cortisol, then it stops secreting ACTH. ACTH comes out in pulses - so if there is a high stress situation and you need the stress hormone (cortisol), the pit will release a lot of ACTH to stimulate the adrenals. It is a feedback loop.

Abnormalities happen when ACTH is secreted when there is no stress and then cortisol is raging around all the time which then leads to damage. Sometimes the Cortisol will just secrete all by itself - so if cortisol is high and ACTH is low, odds are issue is adrenal, not pit. If ACTH is high, issue is pit, generally, or ectopic if super high. This is not always true however as I had normal ACTH and my issue was pituitary.

The two should be tested together, don't you think?

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