Addison's Disease Testing
In patients suspected of having an addisonian crisis, the doctor must begin treatment with injections of salt, fluids, and glucocorticoid hormones immediately. A reliable diagnosis is not possible while the patient is being treated for the addisonian crisis. However, measurement of blood ACTH and cortisol during the crisis and before glucocorticoids are given is enough to make the Addison's disease diagnosis.
Once the addisonian crisis is controlled and medication has been stopped, the doctor will delay further Addison's disease testing for up to 1 month to obtain an accurate diagnosis.
Once a diagnosis of Addison's disease has been made, x-ray exams of the abdomen may be taken to see if the adrenals have any signs of calcium deposits. Calcium deposits may indicate tuberculosis (TB). A tuberculin skin test also may be used.