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Slightly elevated cortisol and acth level, Dr now wants an MRI?
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Slightly elevated cortisol and acth level, Dr now wants an MRI?

Hi,
I have suffered for years with GAD, anxiety/panic disorder/medical phobia and PTSD. Have been taking xanax 2 mg a day for the past few years. Have been on xanax for many years and this is the highest dose I have ever been on.
My problem is this: I can't take what is going on right now after this past week.
Have been under a lot of stress went to my internal medicine dr which of course causes me high anxiety. Gave him a list of what was going on in my life and my symptoms. He said that it was all stress related as I suffer from IBS also.
Had my yearly blood work done which included checking my hormone level being I am on ERT due to a hysterectomy almost 30 yrs ago. I made the "mistake" of asking for a cortisol test he said sure.
When I went for the blood work I am not a morning person but of course had to be there fasting, they said that they could not take the cortisol one being it had to be done by 10am. Went back the next day. Drs office called a week later and said all was good with my thyroid, hormones  and that he wanted me to go for an acth test being my cortisol level was 24.3 and the range is .4-22. I went for the acth test a week later and it was elevated above normal limits 2 points. I was having anxiety and felt as tho I was going to vomit being stuck again with needle etc...I don't do medical at all well due to past experiences.

My dr always goes over the lab results with us in person, this time he had his nurse call and say he wants me to go for an MRI on my pitutary sp? gland to look for tumors benign or cancerous. I HAVE FREAKED OUT. I can't function and have gone to the bottom of the pit, hubby called to talk to the nurse to tell her that we want an appt to see the dr before doing this test. Did not receive a call back. I have read so much on cortisol levels and anxiety, and to put it plain in simple I am so scared to the point of them finding something or even going for the test that I can't function...now I know that I am OCD also. I have NO other signs of cushings which I know he is looking for,,,and I was the one that asked for the test out of curiosity,,I should of known better...any help out there for me.
I am having severe panic attacks,,,depression, and IBS symptoms. I know without a shadow of a doubt that if I had NEVER asked for this test, and he said all was fine that I would not be like this....HELP please~does anxiety cause cortisol and atch levels to rise?
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Actually stress can cause your cortisol levels to fluctuate, BUT......I am kind of surprised he is jumping to the MRI before more testing is done. There is a supression test that should be done first. You take a pill (a type of adrenal steriod) and then the next morning you get the lab draw done. It is a type of test that should supress your levels properly if you do not have cushings. There is a protocol that endo's will follow when you have an abnormal cortisol test. In fact my endo re ran the cortisol test before going further with the other blood labs. My AM cortisol has a tendency to run a little bit high, but I passed the other tests without any problems. He also ran a 24 hr urine catch to find out what my cortisol levels are doing over a period of time.
My personal opinion is that there are other tests that need to be run first.
Did you know that hormone issues can cause extreme anxiety and panic attacks? Are you a thyroid patient as well?
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