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Acth Stimulation Test?


Nikki
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I recently was given an endocinology-like evaluation from a family doctor and he is sending me to have something called an ACTH stimulation test done. He said sometimes with blood pressure fluctuations, something might not be right with your adrenal glands or cortisol levels..From my understanding they take blood once, inject something into you and then take blood in 30 minutes, and again 30 minutes after that. I was just wondering if anyone else has ever had this done. Is there anything else I should be prepared for? I'm not that worried about it..Just a little nervous since I'd never even heard of this test before.

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I felt great after mine, next day too!

Ha! Me too! Guess my body liked actually having the ACTH for once!

Make sure the place administering the test knows what they're doing. Many places don't, I have discovered. It's critical that you are doing it at a specific time of the day(time depends on what your doc wants to look at), as cortisol levels fluctuate, with the peak in the morning. Basically, what he's concerned about is the function of a specific stress pathway in your body, the hypothalamic (ie starting in the brain)-pituitary-adrenal axis, which when activated, results ultimately in the increase in circulating cortisol levels. There can be dysfunction at any of these levels. For this reason, baseline levels of ACTH and cortisol, at minimum, should be assessed. Then, the ACTH (or mimic) is injected in order to see if your adrenal is CAPABLE of responding (30 and/or 60 min later) by measuring cortisol (and aldosterone, in my case).

I get shaky when I get hungry, and I was waiting so long for the hospital to get set up to do this test that I started feeling shaky. A little after the ACTH injection... felt SOOO much better! Good luck :)

(hey, what a great idea to research-the ACTHpen! Just a little jab and then, ahhhh)

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Thanks for the replies! Yes, I have to go for my test at 7:15 am at the hospital here in town. The hospital called yesterday to give me more information (when my mom asked more questions they eventually said didn't even have my script for the injection, so they didn't even know what the doctor wanted exactly! They said I probably wouldn't have been able to get the test done anymore that day cause it probably would've taken too long to get all this figured out day of. So we had to run back to the doctor cause the staff didn't know what to do either.) *sigh* It makes me nervous to get tests done when all these people seem confused by the simple things..but I'm just hoping it goes smoothly and quickly!

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