BioReference Laboratories
BioReference Laboratories
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About the Test

Ordering the Cortisol Test with BioReference Laboratories

Cortisol is the main hormone produced during stress and the fight, flight, or freeze response. This is a protective response to a perceived danger or threat.

Cortisol is a hormone that is made by the adrenal glands, and the pituitary gland tells your adrenal glands how much cortisol to make in response to:

  • Stress (cortisol is sometimes called the "stress hormone")
  • Inflammation
  • Regulating blood sugar and metabolism (how your body uses food for energy)
  • Controlling blood pressure

In a healthy individual, cortisol levels increase and decrease at different times of the day. It's usually higher in the morning and lower at night unless a person works during late hours or has changing shifts.

Other factors can affect cortisol levels, include:

  • Exercise
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Infection
  • Injury or disease
  • Medications such as hydrocortisone, prednisone or birth control pills, obesity, pregnancy
  • Physical or emotional stress

Which Patients is the Cortisol Test with BioReference Laboratories Best Used For?

The cortisol is done to check for increased or decreased cortisol production. A physician uses a cortisol test to diagnose or monitor:

  • Addison's disease
  • Cushing's syndrome
  • Tumors affecting the production of cortisol

Other conditions for which the cortisol test may be ordered include:

  • Acute adrenal crisis
  • Sepsis
  • Low blood pressure

Symptoms That May Lead A Practitioner to Order a Cortisol Test

Symptoms of too much cortisol may include:

  • Weight gain
  • Thin arms and legs
  • Round face
  • Increased fat around the base of the neck or between the shoulder blades
  • Easy bruising
  • Wide purple streaks on the stomach, breasts, hips, and under the arms
  • Muscle weakness

Symptoms of not enough cortisol may include:

  • Long-lasting fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal (belly) pain

About the Test

This is a single-marker test measuring cortisol. It can help you diagnose conditions such as adrenocortical insufficiency, Addison's disease, adrenocortical hypersecretion, and Cushing's syndrome.

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Test Preparation Starts
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1 day
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Lab Certifications
CLIA Certified
CAP Accredited
ISO 15189
COLA Accredited
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