A cortisol test measures the cortisol level in the saliva, urine or blood to check if cortisol is within the normal range in your body. Cortisol is an important hormone in the body, affecting most tissues and organs. It aids the following:
The adrenal gland (the two small glands on the kidneys) produces cortisol. A gland in the pituitary gland of the brain produces a hormone that controls the amount of cortisol produced by the adrenal gland. If your cortisol level becomes too low or too high, you may have a disorder of the adrenal gland, a tumour that produces cortisol or a problem with the pituitary gland.
Elevated cortisol levels may also occur from prolonged intake of large doses of some steroid medicines such as prednisone. Low cortisol levels occur if you suddenly stop the medicine. Without treatment, elevated and extremely low levels of cortisol can be serious.
Other names of cortisol include free cortisol, salivary cortisol, blood cortisol, urinary cortisol and plasma cortisol.
A cortisol test helps the doctor determine if the adrenal glands are producing the right amount of the cortisol hormone. Cortisol measurement can help in diagnosing or monitoring certain health conditions.
Diagnostic testing aids in determining the cause of symptoms. It can help rule out or diagnose conditions responsible for abnormal cortisol levels, such as:
Monitoring tests are important to understand health changes over time. Cortisol testing monitors the effectiveness of treatment for people with unusually high or low cortisol levels.
You may need cortisol testing if you experience symptoms of a condition that affects your cortisol levels.
The symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome are;
The symptoms of Addison’s disease are:
Your healthcare provider may recommend getting a cortisol test if they think you have a condition that affects your cortisol levels. The doctor may order this test if you have a health problem that isn’t common for people in your age range, such as younger people with osteoporosis or hypertension.
Your doctor may also recommend the test if you have a severe health issue that affects cortisol levels or if they find an adrenal tumour during imaging tests for other health issues.
A recommendation for cortisol testing may also be based on your symptoms, particularly if you experience more than one symptom of high cortisol levels that worsens over time. These symptoms include:
Your doctor may also recommend cortisol testing if you experience symptoms of low cortisol or suspect acute adrenal crises, an emergency resulting from insufficient cortisol.
The symptoms of low cortisol include:
Conditions that cause low and high cortisol levels rarely occur, and other diseases usually cause most of these symptoms, so the doctor may recommend testing for other conditions before cortisol testing.
Cortisol testing can also serve as a monitoring test if you have had a previous high cortisol diagnosis and are taking medication to reduce your cortisol levels.
The cost of cortisol testing depends on several factors, such as:
The total cost for a cortisol test may include fees for blood draws, laboratory analysis and office visits. Health insurance may cover some or all of these charges, but you may pay out-of-pocket for copayments or deductibles.
Consult your doctor and insurance provider for more information on the cost of your cortisol test. If you have no health insurance, contact your hospital administration or doctor about the estimated cost of your cortisol testing and if any programs are available to reduce the cost of your test.
If you have too low or high cortisol symptoms or your doctor has ordered cortisol testing, visit Blood London today for your cortisol test. You can call us on 020 71830244 for more information on cortisol testing or to book an appointment.
Select the test that you would like to undergo
Go to the Harley Street clinic for your blood draw and pay for your test in person
As soon as the results are ready, the will be sent to you by your chosen method