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Addison's Disease Message Board
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Old 07-19-2006, 03:14 PM   #1
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Munkin~Pie HB User
Reasons for high ACTH

Hi! I am 31 years old and have had Addison's since I was 18. I recently went for my normal endo visit and had all of my blood tested. One concern of mine was that I have darkened areas on my cheeks--like I did when I was first diagnosed. Well all blood work came back normal except my ACTH which was high. My endo ordered a MRI on my head. I'm kind of freaking out here! Anyone have this experience?

 
Old 07-22-2006, 08:25 AM   #2
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Re: Reasons for high ACTH

I was diagnosed in 1998 with Addisons and one of the most conclusive tests they ran on me was the ACTH. It is the signal your brain sends down to your adrenals to put out a certain amount of cortisol. If it senses that there isn't enough, it will put out more ACTH to get the adrenals to send out more cortisol. As you know with Addisons, we don't have properly functioning adrenals so if the ACTH is high, it is trying to get the adrenals to send out more cortisol which doesn't work,so it tries even harder. I had a very high ACTH in the hospital when I was diagnosed and they did an MRI on my brain, and a CAT scan on my adrenals. It seems scary but if I were you I would get it done and if you are like me, you will adjust your medicine according to what the dr says as there was nothing wrong on the MRI. It is just a precaution by your dr and tells you that he is just making sure everything is all right. Hope this info helps.

 
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