ACTH is a pituitary hormone that stimulates the production of cortisol from the adrenal glands. Cortisol levels are usually highest between 6 and 8 a.m. and at the lowest around 11 p.m.
Cortisol is the hormone that is released during stress. It essentially revs up your body so you can handle the stress you are encountering. One of the types of stress you can experience is physiological stress, or negative things that are happening within your metabolism such as low blood sugar or high blood sugar.
ACTH levels vary during the day. If it’s too high or too low, you may be diagnosed with Cushing’s syndrome. If it’s too high, you may have Addison disease, or if too low, you may have a low functioning pituitary.
Normal Ranges for ACTH in pg/mL:
- Adults/children: 7.2-63 pg/mL
- Females 5-27 pg/mL Males 7-50 pg/mL
- Prepuberty: 7-28 pg/mL
- Postpuberty: 2-49 pg/mL
These values are for morning draws, not evening draws.
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