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Addison's Disease Message Board

Addison's Disease Board Index

Re: Getting Tested
May 26, 2008
I'm not sure how things are in Canada, but here I've found it difficult to have the ACTH stimulation test done if you don't have any brown spots, which they call hyperpigmentation. My son has been very sick since he was 6 (with many of the adrenal symtpoms) and I could not convince a doctor to order the test for the past 8 years. It wasn't util he got extremely sick that they agreed to do the test and then it was only because my mother was diagnosed with Addison's that they agreed to do the test. His ACTH stimulation test was positive and they later found out the problem is not his adrenal glands but the pituitary isn't producing ACTH. In this case a person will not have any excess browning of the skin.

Also the only accurate test for Addison's is the ACTH stimulation test and that has to be done in the morning as an out patient in the hospital. I'm not sure that having a random serum cortisol test would be accurate. My son had a blood cortisol done but since it was taken later in the day it was low and they said that was normal to be low in the afernoon so it did not prove he had Addison's, but led them to believe he did not have Addison's. That was 2 weeks prior to having the ACTH stim test. It was right after that he got very sick.


I have Crohn's disease and am on Humira which is really helping. But I have all of these other symptoms that seem to indicate adrenal insufficiency. It takes so long to get in to see the GP or the Gastroenterologist. I was wondering, if one went in to emergency do you think they would test for cortisole levels?


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