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Low urine cortisol, high blood cortisol? It doesn't make sense.

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Old 10-31-2011, 05:03 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: California
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paisleyowl HB User
Low urine cortisol, high blood cortisol? It doesn't make sense.

Hi all,

For more than a year, I've been having several of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue/Addison's disease, including unexplained weight loss, extreme fatigue, severe joint pain, abdominal pain, heart palpitations/high heart rate,frequent UTIs, sinusitis, stomach upsets, salt/sugar cravings, no menstruation, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, hypoglycemia and the like. I did the 24-hour urine collection more than a month ago, and that test showed low or borderline low levels in cortisol and my other stress hormones. I had an MRI done a couple of months ago that discovered a 5 mm tumor on my pituitary gland.

Last week, I had the ACTH stimulation test done, and after receiving my results today, I discovered that my baseline cortisol levels were high (23.5 ug/dl) and 36.5 ug/dl after the injection. I'm terribly confused, as I thought for sure the cortisol levels in my test would be at least on the lower end of the range. I should note that I had started taking birth control pills for a couple of days the week before (stopped because I read they can impact the test results) and had some menstrual spotting the day of the test. The doctor said that wouldn't make a difference, but does it?

Has anyone else had these results? I'm left confused and frustrated. I'm not even sure the hospital did the test right, as it's military healthcare, which is always subpar. I'm so frustrated and at the end of my rope. Any help you can provide is much appreciated.

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