Adrenal Insufficiency Community
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Adrenal insufficency versus Addisons.

I am a fifty year old male and I am presently treating for heavy metal toxicity (mercury and lead), which I have been doing for some eight months. I believe the heavy metals wreaked havoc with my endocrine system.
I am finally starting to feel somewhat normal, after over one year of being thyroid deficient. My adrenals seem to have taken a hit, also, and it is my guess that they were the first to aile me, leading to my present thyroid issue.
My pcp has decided that I should undergo an ACTH stim test, and I agreed. My wife suggested that I get a low dose ACTH test, as it is less likely to cause side effects(?) and might be more accurate. Is this in fact true of the low dose test? I really feel like I am coming down the stretch on this long illness, so I want to be sure that I have the best information. That would be from you guys! Thanks in advance! My recent cortisol test was at 1.6 ug/dl, almost ten times lower than my measure in May of this year! Even if I were to adjust for my bedtime hours (going to bed early in the morning, getting up early afternoon), this seems very low.

3 Responses
Avatar universal
If you have a milder form of adrenal insuficiency, the full dose ACTH stim test will completely miss it as it was designed to test for Addison's disease only. The low dose is much more accurate for people who do not have full blown Addison's disease.
Avatar universal
Thanks Narcochick :*) My wife says go for the low dose, also.
Avatar universal
I had an ACTH stim test that picked up secondary adrenal insufficiency.  I don't know for sure--but I think it was probably the low dose test.   I could look at my medical records for sure to tell you---but I'm not sure if it says it on the paperwork I have.
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