Why this test?
For the diagnosis of Itsenko-Cushing's syndrome or disease and Addison's disease - serious endocrinological diseases. To evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment of the syndrome or Itsenko-Cushing's disease and Addison's disease.
In what cases is it prescribed?
In case of suspicion of Itsenko-Cushing syndrome (symptoms: increased blood pressure, obesity, muscle dystrophy, stretch marks on the abdomen) or Addison's disease (symptoms: weakness, fatigue, low blood pressure, skin pigmentation).
In cases of ineffectiveness of attempts to normalize elevated blood pressure. At intervals when the patient is being treated for Itsenko-Cushing's syndrome/disease or Addison's disease.
Cortisol is a hormone that is produced in the cortex of the adrenal glands.
It protects the body from stress, regulates the level of blood pressure, participates in the exchange of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
The release of cortisol is regulated by adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which is produced in the pituitary gland. The concentrations of ACTH and cortisol in the blood are regulated by the feedback method.
A decrease in the concentration of cortisol increases the production of ACTH, as a result of which the production of this hormone is stimulated until it returns to normal. An increase in the concentration of cortisol in the blood, on the contrary, leads to a decrease in the production of ACTH.
Therefore, the concentration of cortisol in the blood can change with an increase or decrease in the secretion of both cortisol itself in the adrenal glands and ACTH in the pituitary gland, for example, in the case of a pituitary tumor that secretes ACTH.
Decreased cortisol production may be accompanied by nonspecific symptoms: weight loss, weakness, fatigue, decreased blood pressure, abdominal pain. With the combination of reduced cortisol production and severe stress, sometimes an adrenal crisis develops, which requires emergency medical assistance. Excess cortisol leads to increased blood pressure and blood sugar levels, obesity, thinning of the skin, and the appearance of purple stretch marks on the sides of the abdomen.