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Why take this test?
Cortisol is a steroid hormone, produced by the adrenal glands. It is vital for survival given its role in various functions such as immunity, regulating blood pressure and releasing insulin for blood sugar maintenance. Cortisol has been termed 'the stress hormone' because it is secreted in higher quantities during the body's 'fight or flight' response to stress, and is responsible for several stress-related changes in the body.
Cortisol levels naturally fluctuate throughout the day but sometimes your levels might higher or lower than normal causing symptoms such as difficulty waking in the morning or going to sleep at night and craving sugary snacks especially late in the day. Cortisol levels should be highest just after waking in the morning and lowest at bedtime.This test establishes the levels of cortisol in the saliva at 4 different points in the day. Samples are taken after waking, 12 noon , 4pm and before going to sleep.
Stress-related fluctuations in cortisol can be helped by making some adjustments to your lifestyle. You can read more about what you can do to bring down your cortisol levels here.
This test can help identify Cushing's syndrome, which is caused by too much cortisol, or Addison's disease, which is caused by damage to the adrenal glands and is associated with too little cortisol. It is also used by some practitioners in the diagnosis of adrenal fatigue, a condition where elevated levels of stress are thought to impair adrenal function.
Please note that the lower detection limit for this test is 1.5 nmol/L.
This test is for anyone wanting a check their cortisol levels to assess adrenal function.
We send you an easy-to-use kit to collect your saliva sample.
Post your sample to our lab in the prepaid envelope provided.
View results securely in your own personal dashboard.
Our tests are not a substitute for seeing your doctor, especially if you are suffering symptoms. Our doctors will interpret your results based on the information you have provided, but will not diagnose, consult or provide any treatment. You will be advised to see your doctor for any necessary follow-up action.
Cortisol levels should be highest in the morning, peaking 20-30 minutes after waking, and then declining gradually through the day until midnight.
Low levels of cortisol on waking may indicate adrenal insufficiency or Addison's disease.
High cortisol may be caused by raised stress levels and anxiety. Elevated cortisol can also be caused by Cushing's syndrome.
By midday your cortisol should have declined significantly from its level on waking.
If it remains elevated you could be suffering from ongoing high stress levels (or more rarely Cushing's syndrome) while a level which is abnormally low could indicate adrenal insufficiency or Addison's disease - a condition where the adrenal glands fail to produce enough cortisol.
Some practitioners also believe that low levels of cortisol could indicate "adrenal fatigue", although such a condition is not widely recognised.
By 4pm your cortisol production should have continued to slow down in preparation for the evening ahead.
Continually elevated levels of cortisol can be due to chronic stress (or more rarely a condition called Cushing's syndrome).
Lower than normal levels of cortisol can be due to adrenal insufficiency or Addison's disease.
Some practitioners attribute chronically low levels of cortisol to a conditon referred to as "adrenal fatigue".
Cortisol levels decline gradually throughout the day and should be at their lowest at bed time to ensure a good night's sleep.
Raised cortisol at night can contribute to insomnia and restless sleep.
We will send you your Cortisol saliva tests (4) saliva sample collection kit which contains everything you need to take your saliva sample in the comfort of your own home.
Your Cortisol saliva tests (4) includes 1st class postage and packaging for you to send your saliva sample directly to our laboratory for analysis. If you live in an area where you cannot rely on the post or you simply want to ensure that your sample arrives at the laboratory the following day, you may wish to send your saliva sample guaranteed next day delivery for extra reassurance.
Your saliva sample will be analysed at one of our chosen laboratories. You can be assured of fast, accurate results from one of our accredited independent providers of clinical diagnostic tests.
Our medical team will comment on out-of-range saliva results and give you follow-up advice where necessary. If you need it, a PDF copy of your Cortisol saliva tests (4) results can be downloaded for your doctor.
Once you have placed your order you can visit my.medichecks.com where you can manage your account, track your orders and view your Cortisol saliva tests (4) results.
Stay motivated by filling in your online health and lifestyle questionnaire and seeing how improvements in your lifestyle can influence your results. Your medical and family history gives us vital information when interpreting your results.