short synacthen test

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I am in a lot of aches and pains and frankly completely devoid of energy most days.

My doctor has been, frankly, pretty useless - actually almsot uninterested.

My consultant has arranged for a short synacthen test which I am having done on Thurs.

I think I am not producing enough cortisol/steroid on my own which could account for some of my symptoms has anyone else had the test and otucome?


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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Do you have a diagnosis of PMR? What dose of pred are you on?

    There are a couple of people who contribute here at times who have had the synacthen test to assess adrenal function. One is on 5mg for life as there is inadequate function and is currently being assessed to see if she needs a slightly higher dose as she is much better on 7.5mg. The other had normal function and was able to stop pred altogether some time later.

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    • Posted

      Sorry Jeff - I missed seeing what forum I was in, I thought it was a different one which is why Imentioned PMR! Not awake yet!

      However - the rest of the post applies! If the synacthen test shows low production of cortisol - you are put on a dose of pred or hydrocortisone as a replacement therapy, like people have to take thyroxine when their thyroid doesn't work. And then life goes on much the same!

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    • Posted

      Hi Eileen

      Thanks for that - consultant did say I had a low measure in previous blood test of whatever produces Cortisol.

      I wake up every mornign feeling like I have been kicked in all muscles and am absolutely knackered - like I have never experienced before.

      This sucks :-(

      Hoping the test shows up soemthing which explains it and some treatment begins - I did get pred before a year or two ago and it made a difference.

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    • Posted

      That certainly sounds suspiciously similar to adrenal insufficiency. In a way I hope it is as it is then fairly easy to remedy. Just pop this pill sir...
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    • Posted


      and I was hoping that a diagnosis might explain why I feel so bad every day but it seems my results do not reveal a problem

      Before level:  409

      After:  652

      Am I back to square one trying to find out what is wrong with me :-(

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    • Posted

      No - the results just show your adrenal glands are CAPABLE of producing cortisol - it doesn't mean they are actually doing so properly yet. It isn't just the adrenal glands that are involved, there is a very complex feedback system of other substances and organs (hypothalamus, thyroid, pituitary...) that are involved and sometimes it all wobbles a bit until it finds a balance. Patience is the order of the day - as long as it doesn't get worse, then you need to think about it. It is possible you'd feel better on a slightly higher dose - i.e. just slow down the reduction both in time and size each step.

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