Thyroid UK

Reposting Question About Adrenals

Is there an adrenals test - ACTH or something similar - as I don't see that in any of my blood test results although would have to double check. Is that another one of those that you have to do privately?

I spent a long time writing a post about high cortisol and with all my ranges and it didn't appear and I hadn't the energy to write it all out again. Then I wrote another post similar to this and bumped it twice but I didn't get any replies.

Basically I have high Cortisol outside the range on three successive occasions. My TSH is low but within range. My T3 and T4 both quite low but within range (and up from last time when no action was taken). I have been thinking along the lines of my pituitary and comments on these boards have confirmed that this is where to look. My GP said he would have a word with the endo about cortisol and then he'd either get back to me or I'd get a letter from the endo. I also have high blood sugar and have done a fasting test and am waiting for the results. Last time I did a fasting one after an initial high result it came back normal.

My main symptoms are fatigue, migraines/headaches and feeling cold (plus cold sweats) amongst many other things. There are other confounding issues eg being perimenopausal and being on anti-depressants (low dose).

4 Replies

Foggy, there is an ACTH blood test but I've not read members posting they've had this. If a cortisol blood test is low then a short synacthen test may be done in a hospital outpatient setting.


Thanks Clutter. I did read it...I seem to have a mixture of the symptoms, some consistent with low cortisol and some consistent with high - i have high cortisol, but I have no word from my GP that they're going to take it any further.


Hello FoggyMoggy,

The ACTH Stimulatory will not tell you how much cortisol you are producing but only how much stimulation your adrenals are getting. It can be used to help determine a pituitary dysfunction or adrenal problem such as Addisons (low cortisol output) or Cushings (high cortisol output).

Cortisol problems can effect how thyroid meds work and cause hypoglycaemia, and so should be treated.



Thanks Flower. I'm not taken any thyroid meds as I've not been diagnosed with anything amiss with my thyroid or pituitary, my diagnosis is fibromyalgia. My Cortisol levels has been around the 650 mark (top end of lab range is 600) so not considered to be that high. It's only ever been taken mid to late morning although I am often sluggish and tired in the morning though would be more alert by the time I've walked down to the surgery.


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