Short Synacthen Test Results


My daughter 9.00 am Cortisol level was 46.

She has now had the short synacthen test, the first blood was taken at 10.00am

The results - 1st blood test was low 200's - 2nd test 30 mins. later low 400's - 3rd test low 600's (sorry do not know exact numbers as endo showed us the lab report then he started saying this was a good result then he went on to give her pituitary results so we did not get chance to copy result down)

Can anyone offer any help regarding results.

Many thanks browny

19 Replies

  • Hi Browny, your daughter's starting results are very low. Mine for instance was 407 at 10.30. What the doctors seem to do is just look at how you respond to the injection, and your daughter's cortisol did go up significantly. So they think that's normal. No notice given of your daughter's cortisol being really low to begin with.

  • Hi Many thanks for your reply, that's exactly right, he said the adrenals are working because they responded to the injection. We asked why it was so low at original 9.00am test and he said it was maybe some meds. she is on. I said well she must have adrenal fatigue and he replied yes but we don't treat it. Complete waste of time and she paid to see him

  • Hi Browny, i've already done the adrenal stress profile and my total cortisol was only 15.3 ranges 22-41 ( I think)

    I am terrified of hospitals as i've had a lot of trauma in them and my question is this, if being stressed messes up the test, how could it ever be accurate for people like me? My cortisol was abnormally low until 4 pm, and I do believe this test is more accurate as I was relaxed at home. Then, as you have found, who then treats your low adrenal function anyway? I've told my gp's and the endo I saw once, my loss of armpit and pubic hair, fainting, nausea, shaking and nothing ever gets resolved.

    I'm so sorry this appointment didn't help your daughter.

  • Hi

    Are you self treating your adrenals?

  • I'm trying ginseng and vit B5 (when it arrives)

  • Yes I have read B5 is good for adrenals but did not know about ginseng, hope it works for you.

    Best wishes browny

  • Hi browny

    Is your daughter taking any benzodiazepines or antidepressant? They can mess HPA axis badly resulting in low cortisol levels. E x

  • Hi

    Yes she is on antidepresents, not sure of the name.

  • I am interested in your reply , I have taken ad's for 20 years and I am having issues , my first ever cortisol was 50!! 2 days later 10 am was only 198 at its highest only going to 450 .. I am looking at a pituitary tumour and I am terrified ..I have been given steroids but only to use if I am ill , well I am ill with worry .. if addisons is ruled out does this always mean a pituitary tumour? Thanks

  • Hi

    After my daughter saw the endo. and I posted the question on here, the endo actually rang her and said he wants her to have a MRI on her pituitary. She finally had the MRI two weeks ago (there had been a mix up about the appointment would you believe and this was with going private). We are now waiting for the result. She rang his secretary a few days ago and she said they had not got the result yet.

    I do not think if Addison's is rule out it means you have a tumour on the pituitary, there are other reasons for low cortisol.

    I joined another forum and they did say AD's can affect cortisol levels.

    It is a very good site, I will just check the details

    and send them to you, they offer really good advice about the adrenals.

    Sorry I cannot be more helpful, but as I said there are other reasons for low adrenal function.

    Are you on thyroid meds?

    Best Wishes browny

  • yes 100mcg thyroxine and ty for the reply

  • If you go to then click on Adrenals Yahoo! group it takes you to the forum to join. Hope this helps. Good Luck.

  • Hi I would not like to comment on those, as I do not know enough. However, my Endo says that the only cortisone ( Adrenal) test which is any good and reliable is a 24 hour urine collection, with a low dose of cortisone ( script) at midnight and then a blood test at 9 am. I hope that is some help. Personally, I feel , along with my Endo, that it is very important to be sure if it is needed before taking a cortisone.

    I hope that helps.

    Best wishes to you both ,


  • Many thanks Jackie for your reply, your advice is always greatly appreciated.

    My daughter paid to see this endo but we now feel it was a waste of time and money. I said she must have adrenal fatigue and he replied yes but we don't treat that. I mentioned the saliva test and he said yes you could pay to have it done if you can find where they do it but he then said I would not be able to help with it as I don't know how to read the results.

    We will now look into 24 hour urine collection as you advise but we won't hold our breath for this endo to do it.

    Hope you are keeping well.

    Best Wishes browny

  • Genova diagnostics do the saliva test. I would not settle for that explanation, she had low cortisol and if she has symptoms of adrenal

    Insufficiency this should not be disregarded. My endo has written a leaflet which states that any 9am cortisol test reading under 400 cannot rule out adrenal insufficiency, she may need hydricortisone as I do and my reading was 397. I am awaiting further testing.

  • The leaflet is on the Internet and is called Addison's disease a guide for GPs, it also covers adrenal insufficiency.

  • Hi Helen, Many thanks for your reply, I said to the endo, does this test just eliminate Addisons

    disease, he relied yes, I said yes but it shows she has adrenal fatigue, he said yes but we do not treat that.

    We even went privately to see him.

    A complete waste of time and money.

    We are looking into getting the saliva test done, but who then do we get to treat my daughter?

    I will look on the internet for the Addison's guide.

    Could you kindly PM me the name of your endo and the area he practises.

    Again many thanks for the info, I really appreciate it.

    Best wishes browny

  • Hi I had my Synacthen test yesterday got my results today

    1. 366

    2. 453


    Again I have no idea what this means im 6 ft 2" 89kg

    Underactive thyroid

    And loads of symptoms causing tiredness fatigue weakness in arms loads and loads of other things going wrong the newest addition is stomach cramps

    What do these results suggest ?


  • Hi

    I do not know how to read the results so it if you put this question in a new post then

    more members will see it and be able to reply.

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