Thyroid UK

Short Synacthen Test results

Plowing my way through all my test results from GP and hospital and one thing keeps cropping up on here and other places is adrenals. I have had a short synacthen test done which state I am 'normal' but actually have the numbers. I wondered if anyone knows what they actually mean.

Short synacthen test basal 214 30 mins 5.9, 60 mins 633.

That is exactly how it is written, nothing else. I had this test done around 10.30am after an extremely stressful encounter with matron and nearly left (was told I could bring child, turned up with child, told I could not bring child). I had eaten before the test, it was not the first week of my cycle and I have a phobia of hospitals and found myself on a ward to have this test.

7 Replies

I had a short synacthen test at around mid-day, knowing that it would be a waste of time and money to be honest because this test (from what I have read) would only show up a problem when the person's adrenals were totally whacked and in that case they would be in hospital unable to move!

Someone explained it once that if a donkey was close to collapsing and it had one more kick to move then it would and this is what the short synachthen test is doing.

Saliva tests are much more accurate as they are taken at different times of the day.


Like the description Suze! I was reading an article which said pretty much everyone would pass this test other than those who had addisons so really it is a test for addisons only and not adrenal fatigue. I don't think I have an adrenal problem as I am starting to feel a bit better which I assume I wouldn't if my adrenals were fatigued.

Yet again another waste of money and time from the NHS, no wonder they are in so much trouble!!!


Hi Suze, I have been sent an appointment for a short synacthen test. I'm wondering whether this is going to be yet another test for test's sake. Should I be requesting a saliva test instead?


Hi debs, again a similar story!!! On the way to my synacthen test 60 miles away, I discovered I had the only set of car keys in my pocket, and irate partner on my mobile stranded unable to get to work!! Hardly conducive to a realistic result!

Anyway, my basal cortisol was 260nmol/litre, and after synacthen 674nmol/litre.

I'm not sure what the '5.9' in your results relates to.

So this is a 'normal' synacthen test result too.

However, I have also had 3 saliva tests, all with truly dreadful results. So, in my opinion, the synacthen test is just a test for addisson's rather than a test of adrenal health. A test that may be useful to have is a 24hour urine cortisol test, I'm going to ask my gp for one on monday. I had my recent adrenal saliva test back and disappointingly it was awful ( despite me feeling a bit better). After a lot of advice over the weekend from someone on this forum I am beginning to have doubts about the validity of the ASI...the test results always seem to be awful.

I am really pleased to hear you are feeling a little better. Kind regards, katey


Interesting, like we are twins! I am wondering if the 5.9 is a typo and could either be a 3 instead of the . on the keyboard or a 0. It would make more sense as they should have 3 results. basal, after 30 mins and after 60 mins. Would indicate that I didn't go up much after the 30 mins though, whatever that means!!

Maybe I should start studying to be a Dr!!! I feel I could do a lot better than the NHS endo.

My brain has started to de-fog and I am definately not like I was before and the joints are much, much better. Seems we may well be on the right lines finally. Good to see you a bit feeling better too.


Im glad you are feeling better with the T3. Best wishes Angie xxx


I found I could not walk for several hours after the test and needed to take diaolite to bring some life back into my legs..

The doctors take little notice of this reaction..


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