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Adrenal Tests and Confused?

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Old 03-03-2005, 03:00 PM   #1
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jennyVee HB UserjennyVee HB User
Adrenal Tests and Confused?

hello I had a question I have Hypothyroid, and developed myxedma coma form it last year, anyway my tsh went down from 56 to 4 using both armour/synthroid, but I am still soo very tired, and with horrible leg pains
I think its my adrenals, my doctor sent me to get some tests
DHEA, ACTH stimulation test, also


anyway I am wondering if these tests will show if I have an adrenal problem, I have heard that sometimes it doesnt show up, can anyone tell me if with these tests the adrenal issue will show up? also doc sent me for some cortisol urine test,

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Old 03-04-2005, 12:42 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 69
sadie-mae HB User
Re: Adrenal Tests and Confused?

Hi Jenny,

How frightening...I have read about myxedema coma and it must have been very scary. I am glad they figured out what was wrong and were able to get your TSH down. It sounds like it hasn't helped you feel any better, though. I get muscle pain like you describe and I hate it...nothing relieves it.

Your doctor is checking for both primary adrenal failure (an adrenal problem directly) and also checking your pituitary function. The LH/FSH and IGF-1 (for growth hormone) will evaluate your pituitary. The DHEA (made by the adrenals) and ACTH stim test evaluate your adrenal function.

What may be most helpful since your doc is running these tests is to run everything at once. Because every hormone in the body depends on another hormone, it's good to be able to see the big picture. So, for example, LH and FSH evaluate pit function but they are responsible for estradiol production. Measuring E2 at the same time is a good idea. A low ACTH in the face of adrenal failure suggests a pit problem, while high ACTH suggests a direct failure of the adrenal would be good to know your ACTH value at the same time the baseline cortisol is measured during your stim test.

All of this can help pinpoint the problem. You've probably read here, too...that people with pituitary based Addison's or only partial adrenal insufficiency often stim normally or borderline normal with the standard 250mcg ACTH stimulation test but then with other testing can be found to be cortisol deficient. So, if after some reading and thinking about your test results and symptoms, you are still suspicious it is your problem-don't give up. Have your doc consider running additional tests (like a more sensitive low dose ACTH stimulation test that uses only 1mcg of ACTH or insulin tolerance test...)

I do hope you are able to find out what is wrong easily and get on the medications that you need. Good Luck finding answers,

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