I just had one about two months ago from diagnostechs. It showed up such low values they rounded to 0 at all times. Years ago I had the same test, and it showed hyper levels of cortisone at 8am, and depressed levels at 12:00am and 4:00pm. They told me I had a serious adrenal fatigue and it might be able to be helped with 10 mg of cortisol each day. The Dr. doing the prescribing was a holistic MD. He could prescribe cortisone, and he did. I also was prescribed a 4hr glucose tolerance test and it came in at 65, 180, 80, 43, 65. It was all over the board. He said I was on my way to total adrenal exhaustion, or Addison's disease and maybe the 10mg would allow the adrenals to still output, but at a reduced level allowing them to rest and repair. Twenty years later, it turns out he was right, and the diagnostechs saliva test was also correct. He did order an ACTH stimulus test, and a 24hr urine ACTH test (which is hardly ever used any more by the medical community, but if you think it through it is an excellent test for aldosterone, and cortisol levels because it averages several points over 24 hours).
Anyway, I understand your frustration. Years later I am needing to 'prove' to an endo (because I lost all my paper work in a divorce) that I have adrenal insufficiency very seriously. I have had several adrenal crisises where you have flu-like symptoms magnified 5 times (this is with 25mg of cortisol a day), you can't move your muscles because of the most intense pain, you don't feel like staying in once place because of the headaches and pain, yet you can't move because your body won't allow you to. Then you have to throw up several times, but have to just turn your head sideways because you can't lift it. Not to mention dehydration, low blood sugar, and low blood pressure. I know I have been close to death on this and they only thing that helps is 60mg of cortisone. After about 1.5 hours of taking it, the life slips back into me and I can at least sleep off the pain and begin recovering, with continued high doses of cortisone.
Bottom line, adrenal insufficiency is no joke, it can be very dangerous. Unfortunately, you need to go to an endo and have the ACTH stimulus test. The medical community will not recognize the saliva test most the time. Naturapaths, and Holistic MD's are normally not acknowledged by the normal medical community, although in my experience they are normally right on (you need both of them, they each have their place). Anyway, the endo's can definitely determine Addison's or adrenal fatigue. Get to understand the interpretation of the ACTH test and look at the results yourself. Even when your results are way under normal, you will often get "You don't have Addison's. Everything is OK!" Get to understand how the endocrine system works also and it will help you greatly in your diagnosis.
Originally Posted by flemmy
Has anyone with addisons had a saliva cortisol test? I'm wondering what full-blown addisons would look like in saliva tests. I realize that you need serum tests to confirm etc. I had a saliva test from Diagnostechs a few years ago and my total cortisol was 21 (23-42). They said I had "maladapted phase 2 adrenal fatigue." Wondering what this means, and how aggressively I should seek proper treatment. How low would this number be if I had addisons?
thanks a lot!