ACTH is expanded as Adrenocorticotropic Hormone, ACTH test is done to evaluate the ACTH hormone levels in your blood. ACTH hormone is a vital component that is secreted by the pituitary gland located at the base of your brain. It controls the production of another hormone made by the glands located above the kidney (adrenal glands) called cortisol hormone.
In order for the proper functioning of your body functions that are controlled by cortisol, normal levels should be maintained. This blood test helps in detecting and diagnosing medical conditions caused by abnormal ACTH and cortisol levels in your blood.
The following article explains all the significant topics asked on the ACTH Hormone test, including why is the ACTH test done, procedure and preparations for the ACTH Hormone test, uric acid test normal levels, and what does high/low uric acid levels mean, and more.
- ACTH Hormone Blood Test Cost
- What is ACTH Hormone & Why is it Important?
- What is ACTH Hormone in Blood Test?
- How is the ACTH Blood test performed?
- Is there any Preparation Required before the Test?
- Are there any risks in the ACTH test?
- What does the ACTH Test Result Mean?
- ACTH Hormone Blood test high
- ACTH Hormone blood test low
- Providers Locations
For our readers, who are very much interested in knowing the ACTH Hormone Blood test cost beforehand, we would like to begin with that section.
ACTH Hormone Blood Test Cost
The cost of the ACTH Hormone test ranges between $49 and $149 in different labs and facilities across the U.S. No prior appointment is required. Compare the price, order your test online and visit the nearest lab during lab business hours. Complete the procedure and get the results in your email in 2 to 3 business days. Doctor consultation is also available for further treatment or for any kind of medical advice.
The following table shows the ACTH Hormone blood test cost at one of our partner laboratories (CLIA – Certified) network located across the U.S.
Name of our Partner Labs
Cost of ACTH Hormone test cost with insurance
Many health insurance policies in the U.S. do not cover the cost of the ACTH Hormone test. However, the coverage offered by private health insurance policies and national health insurance programs varies widely. So we recommend you to check with your insurance company.
Our ACTH Hormone testing providers do not accept any health insurance. But, on request, they can provide you with a receipt containing all the details like the name and code of the test, and CPT code which is necessary for insurance reimbursement purposes.
What is ACTH Hormone & Why is it Important?
Adrenocorticotropic hormone is abbreviated as ACTH hormone. ACTH is produced by the pituitary gland located below the brain in the center of the head. The pituitary gland is a conjunction of glands that produce hormones to regulate the organ and tissue function in human anatomy.
This hormone is responsible for stimulating the secretion of the cortisol hormone. Cortisol hormone is an important steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands located above the kidneys that regulate lipid metabolism, glucose levels, protein, maintaining blood pressure, and suppressing the immune system’s response.
ACTH blood test is prescribed to measure the Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels in your blood.
An ACTH blood test measures the levels of both ACTH and cortisol in your blood and helps your physician to detect and diagnose diseases that are associated with elevated or low cortisol in the body. Health complications caused by these diseases include:
- A pituitary and/or adrenal malfunction
- Tumor in the pituitary gland
- An adrenal tumor
- Lung tumor
What is the ACTH Hormone Blood Test?
If your cortisol levels are highly elevated or not produced at the required quantity, your physician will request an ACTH blood test. Symptoms of high and low cortisol levels are mentioned below, however, the signs and symptoms vary from individual to individual, following are the most commonly seen symptoms of abnormal cortisol levels –
If you have a high cortisol level, you may have signs and symptoms that include:
- Rounded face
- An increased amount of body hair
- Fragile, thin skin
- High blood pressure
- Low potassium levels
- High bicarbonate level
- High glucose levels
- Purple lines on the abdomen
- Weak muscles
If your body produces low cortisol levels then, the following are the symptoms of low cortisol in blood:
- A loss of appetite
- Increased skin pigmentation in areas not exposed to the sun
- Low blood pressure
- Low blood glucose levels
- Low sodium levels
- High potassium levels
- High calcium levels
- Weak muscles
- Weight loss
How is the ACTH Blood test performed?
As the name suggests, the ACTH Hormone Blood test is a simple blood test. During this test, a lab technician or a phlebotomist will cleanse the skin with an antiseptic and place an elastic band around the upper arm so that the vein becomes visible and swells with blood. He/she then injects a needle and draws a sample of blood in a test tube. After the blood is drawn, he covers the injected area with a band-aid to stop bleeding. The typical blood specimen is then sent to the lab for analysis.
It takes less than 10 minutes to perform this test.
Is there any Preparation Required before the Test?
Following are some prerequisites before your ACTH blood test.
- Avoid eating and drinking after midnight.
- Get a good deep sleep the previous night.
- Don’t exercise before the 12 hours of the test.
- Avoid being emotionally stressed before the 12 hours of the test.
Following are other things to consider which can influence the ACTH test results, thus keeping a check on these can help ascertain the right test results for better diagnosis:
- Sleep well the night before the test
- Don’t be stressed – Anxiety can affect your results
- Being conceived or on your menstrual period
- Consuming drugs like insulin, or steroids (avoid taking any steroids 48 hours before the test)
- Encountered a recent trauma
- Depression, especially if you are an elderly person
Other than this no other special preparations required before the test. Before giving your blood specimen, make sure your doctor knows about any prescription or nonprescription medications, supplements, vitamins, herbs, and recreational or illicit drugs that you’re consuming.
Are there any risks in the ACTH test?
There is no possible risk or complication in taking the ACTH Hormone blood test. You might have slight pain or bruise in the injected area for a very little period.
What does the ACTH Test Result Mean?
ACTH levels and cortisol levels are related to each other where ACTH levels increase when cortisol is low and fall when cortisol is high. To secrete the appropriate amounts of cortisol hormone, the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands must be functioning perfectly.
Medical conditions that affect the function of the hypothalamus, pituitary, or adrenal glands can influence ACTH and cortisol production, the conditions include – Cushing’s disease, adrenal insufficiency (Addison disease), and hypopituitarism. In some cases, tumors located outside the pituitary such as the lungs can also increase cortisol production affecting the ACTH hormone levels.
Results of your ACTH hormone test are often compared with the cortisol test results. The following infographic explains some possible conditions and their causes of abnormal levels:
ACTH Hormone Blood test Normal
Normal ACTH levels in a healthy human should stand between 9 to 52 picograms per milliliter. Generally, normal values of the ACTH hormone test may vary slightly between laboratories. Your physician will analyze your test results accordingly and prescribe the treatment methods in case your ACTH stands at abnormal levels.
If your test results show abnormal levels, then it may indicate certain medical conditions that need to be treated to fic the ACTH to normal levels. Diagnosing ACTH diseases can be highly complex, depending on various factors and your doctor may order further blood tests and ask you to disclose your medical history to have a clear picture of your health condition.
ACTH Hormone Blood test high
If your blood test shows more than 52 picograms per milliliter, then your ACTH levels in your blood are highly elevated. Following are some of the causes of high ACTH levels in the blood:
- Addison’s disease – A rare disorder where adrenal glands don’t produce enough hormones. The disease is characterized by low blood pressure, & fatigue
- Adrenal hyperplasia
- Cushing’s disease
- An ectopic tumor that produces ACTH
- Nelson’s syndrome, which is very rare
ACTH Hormone blood test low
If your blood test shows less than 9 picograms per milliliter, then your ACTH levels in your blood are low. Following are some of the causes of low ACTH levels in the blood:
- Tumor in the adrenal gland
- Exogenous Cushing’s syndrome – A condition that occurs from exposure to high cortisol levels for a long time symptomized by weight gain, stretch marks, and round face
- Hypopituitarism – A rare disorder where one or more hormones by the pituitary gland are not secreted
- Steroid medications
The ACTH Hormone test can be done in any of the following locations across the U.S. by visiting the nearest lab. To know the ACTH Hormone test cost, refer to the first section of the article.
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Frequently Asked Questions
Will insurance cover my testing cost?
No, insurance will not be covered in the billing. However, they will provide you a receipt for insurance reimbursement purposes.
How should I book my appointment?
You can choose the most suitable provider from above and make an appointment by following the instructions mentioned by them.
Can I cancel my lab test order?
Yes, you can cancel your lab test order anytime before your testing. A refund will be initiated after deducting the cancellation fee. However, cancellation is at the discretion of the provider.
Do the providers offer result interpretations?
Yes, a few providers may provide doctor consultation who will take you through the results and provide clarification if needed.
How do I receive my report?
To ensure your privacy, the test report will be mailed to you by the provider.
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