Cortisol Saliva Stress Test
    Cortisol Saliva Stress Test
    Cortisol Saliva Stress Test

Cortisol Saliva Stress Test


Our popular cortisol saliva test helps you understand your stress levels and adrenal function by testing your cortisol levels 4 times over the course of a day.

Results estimated in 3 working days

View 4 Biomarkers

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Is it for you?

Do you worry that your job or your day-to-day life is too stressful for good health? Do you think that chronic stress might be affecting your sleep, your food choices - even your energy levels and mood? Do you find it difficult to "switch off" at the end of the day? If so, find out whether your cortisol levels could be affecting your wellbeing with this simple saliva cortisol test you can do at home.

Biomarker table

Adrenal hormones

Cortisol - waking

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Cortisol levels should be highest in the morning, peaking 20-30 minutes after waking, and then declining gradually through the day until midnight.

Cortisol 1200

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By midday your cortisol should have declined significantly from its level on waking.

Cortisol - 16:00

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Cortisol - before bed

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Cortisol levels decline gradually throughout the day and should be at their lowest at bed time to ensure a good night's sleep.
Special instructions

How to prepare for your test

Prepare for your Cortisol Saliva Stress Test by following these instructions. Do not eat or drink for 60 minutes before your test. Do not brush your teeth for 30 minutes before your test. Corticosteroid medication can affect this test, ask your doctor whether to stop before testing. Do not take biotin supplements for two days before this test, discuss this with your doctor if it is prescribed. Hormonal contraception can affect the results of this test. Taking a break from this and waiting for your periods to restart before your blood test will give more accurate results.

Blood testing made easy

How it works

Your personalised, actionable health results are only a few clicks away. Order your test, take and post your sample, then view your results online with our doctors' comments.

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Track, improve, and monitor your health over time

MyMedichecks is your personal online dashboard where you can view your results, access clear and simple explanations about individual health markers, monitor changes in your health, and securely store information about your medical history, lifestyle, and vital statistics.


When should I take my cortisol saliva sample?

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.

What can I learn from the cortisol saliva test?

This test can tell you if you are experiencing excessive stress during the day and whether you need to be adjusting your lifestyle to introduce more relaxation and modify other lifestyle factors such as your sleep and your diet. 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.

What is cortisol?

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.


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