Cortisol Lab Test, Blood
What is Cortisol?
Before we get to what cortisol lab test is, we must know what cortisol is. Cortisol is a hormone that is secreted from the adrenal glands in a diurnal rhythm of secretion, meaning it levels peak around the same time in the morning and decreases as the day progresses. This hormone plays a big role in multiple important bodily functions, such as in the metabolism of lipids, carbohydrates and proteins, the regulation of blood glucose and blood pressure and well as maintenance and regulation of the immune system. Cortisol lab tests are used for the diagnosis of Cushing’s disease, which is too much cortisol, or Addison’s disease, which is too little cortisol. Cortisol can be tested in multiple ways. This is simply a random cortisol blood lab test that can be done at any time of the day, but time should be noted when sending the blood away.
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This blood test is performed in conditions such as:
• Hypertension (Cushing’s)
• High blood sugar
• Purple streaks on the abdomen
• Muscle wasting and weakness
• Weight loss
• Low blood pressure (Addisons)
• Abdominal pain
• Dark patches of skin
Also Known As: Compound F, Hydrocortisone
People ordering a cortisol lab test must acquire a specimen collection kit at the lab prior to making a collection.
Saliva should be collected at the time(s) recommended by your doctor. No food or fluids for 30 minutes prior to collection. Do not use any creams, lotions, or steroid inhalers immediately prior to collection. Avoid any activity that can cause your gums to bleed, including brushing and flossing your teeth. Consult with your doctor if this is a chronic problem. Do not use this kit on anyone with increased risk of swallowing or choking.
How can you prepare for a cortisol lab test? This test is a random test and can be done at any time of the day. However, because the level of cortisol in the body varies throughout the day, morning time is considered the best to gain accurate results. Unlike a diabetes test, a cortisol lab test does not require fasting. Nevertheless, there are some drugs which may impact cortisol levels in the body. Drugs that contain estrogen, pregnancy drugs, synthetic glucocorticoids, etc may spike the level of this hormone. Drugs like one’s containing androgens and phenytoin could bring it down. Factors like physical stress, emotional stress, and any sort of illness als have an impact on cortisol level.
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Estimated Time Taken
Turnaround time for the Cortisol blood test is typically 2-3 business days.