Cortisol is a hormone that is produced by the adrenal gland in response to stress. Cortisol has a wide range of functions in the body, including regulating blood sugar levels, controlling inflammation, and maintaining blood pressure. Measuring cortisol levels is essential in the diagnosis of various medical conditions. In this article, we will discuss the cortisol test, its procedure, and normal values.
What is a cortisol test?
A cortisol test is a blood test that measures the level of cortisol in the bloodstream. This test is usually done to diagnose disorders related to cortisol levels, such as Cushing’s syndrome and Addison’s disease. In addition, it can also be used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment for these conditions.
The procedure for the cortisol test is straightforward. A healthcare professional will draw a sample of blood from a vein in your arm. The sample will then be sent to a laboratory for analysis. There are different types of cortisol tests, such as a cortisol blood test, a 24-hour urine test, and a saliva test. The type of test recommended by your healthcare provider will depend on your symptoms and medical history.
Normal cortisol values
The normal cortisol values vary depending on the type of test. The following table shows the normal cortisol values for a morning cortisol blood test:
|Age||Normal cortisol level|
|Children (0-9)||10-100 micrograms/dL|
|Adults (18-60)||5-23 micrograms/dL|
|Older adults||5-21 micrograms/dL|
Why is cortisol important?
Cortisol is essential for regulating blood sugar levels, controlling inflammation, and maintaining blood pressure.
What are the symptoms of high cortisol levels?
The symptoms of high cortisol levels include weight gain, high blood pressure, and muscle weakness.
What are the symptoms of low cortisol levels?
The symptoms of low cortisol levels include fatigue, weight loss, and low blood pressure.
What is Cushing’s syndrome?
Cushing’s syndrome is a condition where the body produces too much cortisol.
What is Addison’s disease?
Addison’s disease is a condition where the body does not produce enough cortisol.