Can someone give me the normal cortisol and ACTh values for the day? Especially the afternoon. My doc keeps taking mine in the afternoon and as late as 5pm, but I dont know what it should be. Same with the ACTH levels. My last one was at 5 pm and it was ACTH 13, cortisol 3.58
Thanks for responding. I am not healthy, I have CFS, Fibromyalgia, IBS, vulvodynia, autonomic dysfunction all at 26 years old. I have been sick for 8 years. So that may have something to do with it. I had an ACTH stim done at 1:30 and it was cortisol 23, went to 40 after an hour. It was only 23 to begin with because the lady couldn't get the IV in my arm and had to stick me about 6 times. I also have some weird other imbalances with my hormones.
Progesterone is almost nonexistant
Testosterone is almost nonexistant
pregnelone is very very low
DHEA is triple what it should be
Aldosterone is high
I feel awful. I think I have an infection on top of everything else. I think it might be my pituatary but why are some of my hormones so high? For months my testosterone was high, now it is very low. What can be done about the pituatary and what can cause it? Everytime I have my ACTH checked it is 13...no matter what time of day it is. It's a big mess. Thank you for taking the time to read all of this.
Thanks again Chris. I know a lot of people with CFS have pituatary problems. Our whole HPA axis is messed up. I'm not sure if a virus gets to it or what. I have my stim test next week, I'll go from there. How did you feel before getting on medicine?
Don't pay much attention to those ranges for cortisol on the labs sheet as they are taken from sick people. Health people don't usually have their cortisol tested.
Where do you get this idea from?
As somebody working in medical research I have to disagree. The normal ranges are based on cortisol test results from healthy people!
Of course, healthy people normally do not get their cortisol levels tested but in order for a test to be approved by the FDA a study has to determine the range levels in healthy individuals (besides other things). Then a statistical analysis gives you the approximate range.
So the values are pretty much what you can expect in healthy people. BUT! rwk is right that a single draw does not necessarily mean much. It can basically only detect extremly high or low values ( I had basically 0 when I was tested first). Only an ACTH test can give definitve answers as to the functioning of the adrenal cortex (even I had one, although my initial levels were pretty clear).
I was also diagnosed with CFS/FM along with a host of other psuedo illnesses. In 2003 a microbiologist ran some endocrine tests on me in search for answers. My cortisol was less than 1, my ACTH was 7, my testosterone, progesterone, DHEA and aldertsterone were all low.
He wouldn't even give me antibiotics because he said my endocrine system wouldn't be able to handle it. I started taking ACTH shots every other day, which did bring my cortisol level up to minimal standards.
It is six of this and half dozen of the other......
That we have some kind of infection that is a constant assault to our endocrine system, like chinese water torture. This constant threat makes our adrenal work overtime. It takes a long time, but to have your immune system under fire constantly will eventually wear down the adrenals.
"Some say that information is the key, I say information is the only thing keeping me alive"