Lab Tests for Sheehan’s Syndrome
Lab tests for Sheehan’s Syndrome (Hypopituitarism) can be extremely frustrating and expensive.
First, please note that health insurance does matter. I was extremely fortunate to have PPO insurance. My PPO insurance allowed me to see almost any specialist without a referral. I can honestly say that if I couldn’t afford out-of-pocket for doctor fees and I had to wait for insurance pre approvals, I would be dead.
If you suspect that you have Endocrine issues then complete lab work would be extremely beneficial.
I have found that many doctors will not run anything more than standard medical labs, ie. CBC panel.
Here are some of the additional lab test you may want to request:
- Cortisol Levels (drawn first thing in the morning)
- ACTH (drawn first thing in the morning)
- TSH ( thyroid)
- Free T4 (thyroid)
- Free T3 (thyroid)
- Hemoglobin A1C
- IGF-1 (insulin growth factor/growth hormone)
I have found medicine can be subjective and extremely expensive. Even with extensive lab work you can have normal results, be very ill and still have Sheehan’s Syndrome.
Almost all Endocrinologists and medical information state that the IGF-1 (growth hormone) is the first pituitary gland hormone to fail in Sheehan’s Syndrome. Yet, my standard IGF-1 was always within standard medical labs and was one of my last hormones to fail.
In order to make a positive diagnosis a ACTH Stimulation Test should be given to test cortisol output, an Arginine Stimulation Test should be given to test for IGF-1 and an MRI of the pituitary should be done to see if the pituitary has an Empty Sella.
Some people prefer to have their ACTH and IGF-1 tested with an ITT Stimulation Test. However, this test has more risk involved.
On a personal note, I was always within range on all my CBC lab tests for Sheehan’s Syndrome. I did fail both the stimulation test for ACTH and Growth Hormone.
Please be sure to ask for all copies of your labs. You are entitled to a copy of your labs results. You need to keep copies of all of your medical records.
If you are trying to interpret lab results than lab test online is an awesome resource tool.