Cortisol Test

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Also known as: Serum Cortisol, Urine Cortisol, Urinary Free Cortisol, Salivary Cortisol
Formal name: Cortisol
Related tests: ACTH, Aldosterone, Synacthen stimulation test, Dexamethasone Suppression Test

At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To help diagnose Cushing’s syndrome or Addison’s disease (primary adrenal insufficiency) or secondary adrenal insufficiency.

When to Get Tested?

If your doctor suspects damage to the adrenal gland, or any condition that could result in the body producing too much cortisol

Sample Required?

A blood sample taken from a vein in the arm or a 24 hour urine sample. Occasionally a saliva sample may be tested.

Test Preparation Needed?

You may be required to rest before sample collection. For a salivary cortisol test, you may be instructed to refrain from eating, drinking or brushing your teeth for a period of time (often between 15 to 30 minutes) prior to the test. Please discuss the instructions given by your local laboratory with your doctor and ensure you follow any instructions given.