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Q. What does high level of ACTH and cortisol indicate?

Answered by
Dr. Rahul Ramakrishnan
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 30, 2020

Hello doctor,

My ACTH level is 43 and my cortisol level is 23.9. I am 25 years old and my weight is 237 lbs with a height of 5'4". What could be the problem? I am currently under Nuva ring 0.3 mg and vitamin D 50,000 units once a week.

Dr. Rahul Ramakrishnan

Internal Medicine Preventive Medicine


Welcome to

I have gone through your lab reports. (attachment removed to protect patient identity).

I need to know what was the reason and why these tests were done in the first place? What were your symptoms and complaints? And also why Nuva ring was started? Kindly get back with the answers so that I can make the best possible diagnosis for you.

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Thank you doctor,

I started getting sick last year (h.pylori, kidney infection, bladder infection, yeast infection, norovirus, etc.), and have been feeling tired (sleeping a lot), irritable with a significant amount of weight gain (180-237 lbs), body pain, lack of sex drive and hair loss. Doctor ran to see if there was something wrong with my hormones. I have been on birth control since I was 13 and the Nuva ring is my current method of birth control. I have never been sick in my life, I am a very healthy girl but as of last year all of these symptoms started happening.

Dr. Rahul Ramakrishnan

Internal Medicine Preventive Medicine


Welcome back to

As per your lab reports and hormone levels chart (attachment removed to protect patient identity), plus your height and weight., I am sure you will be having a big waist, all put together shows a picture of Cushing's syndrome. Since the complaints of tiredness and weight gain are recent I would like you to get these two tests done.

1. CT (computed tomography) scan of brain

2. Thyroid function tests TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), T3 and T4.

I do not think kidney and yeast infections are not related to this.

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Related Questions:
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I have gained weight and I have high cortisol level. Do I have Cushing's syndrome?

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