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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Testing adrenals
Posted by: Meg Brown
Date: July 9, 2001 6:53 AM

What tests are needed to check for adrenal insuffiency that could be done through a Doctor or lab ? Would it be harmful if I treated myself with adrenal extract based on symptoms alone with no testing done and I really didn't have an adrenal problem after all ?

RE: Testing adrenals
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: July 13, 2001 4:40 AM

The 24 hour urine collection for adrenal and sex steroids is by far the best test available. This measures the total output of hormones in a 24 hour period. Unfortunately, even board certified endocrinologists rely on blood tests and blood test are are totally inadequate as they reveal only a snapshot of where blood levels were at the time of the test. Since blood levels go up and down through a 24 hour cycle, a snapshot should not be used when what is needed is the entire movie. I would not advise anyone to take adrenal steroids or their precursors without a diagnosis first although using small doses of adrenal extract would proably cause no harm.



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