Cortisol

Cortisol, often recognized as the primary stress hormone, is synthesized by the adrenal glands, which are triangular-shaped organs situated on top of each kidney. This vital hormone plays a crucial role in orchestrating a multitude of physiological processes within the human body. Among its diverse functions, cortisol is intricately involved in the regulation of metabolism, modulation of immune responses, and orchestration of the body's reaction to stressors.

Cortisol

Who would benefit from testing their cortisol levels?

Individuals experiencing chronic stress, fatigue, anxiety, or symptoms of adrenal dysfunction would benefit from cortisol testing. It’s also helpful for those with irregular sleep patterns, weight changes, or ongoing health issues linked to stress.

What are symptoms of low or high cortisol levels?

High Cortisol:

    • Weight gain, especially in the abdomen
    • Insomnia
    • Anxiety and depression
    • High blood pressure
    • Muscle weakness

Low Cortisol:

    • Chronic fatigue
    • Muscle weakness
    • Weight loss
    • Low blood pressure
    • Mood swings

What is the difference between cortisol in saliva and blood?

Saliva testing for cortisol measures free, active hormone levels, reflecting the body’s immediate response to stress. Blood tests measure total cortisol, including both bound and unbound cortisol, giving a broader view of adrenal function over time.

Why measure cortisol several times during a day?

Cortisol levels fluctuate throughout the day, peaking in the morning and gradually declining. Measuring several times captures this natural rhythm, providing a more accurate assessment of adrenal function and stress response.

Tests that measure cortisol

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