Cortisol Blood Test, AM
The Cortisol Blood Test, AM measures cortisol levels in a morning blood sample to help screen for health conditions that affect the adrenal glands.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Cortisol Blood Test, AM, to measure cortisol levels in a morning blood sample to help screen for health conditions that affect the adrenal glands. Cortisol is a hormone produced in the adrenal glands, which are located near the top of the kidney. Cortisol is essential to many body functions and affects the immune system, nervous system, and metabolism. In addition, cortisol also helps the body respond to stress. Therefore, it is commonly referred to as the "stress hormone." This Cortisol Blood Test, AM, is collected early in the morning because cortisol levels vary throughout the day, with the levels at their highest in the morning. This change in the levels throughout the day is a response to various stressors.
Individuals may order this Cortisol Blood Test, AM to help screen for conditions that affect the adrenal glands and cortisol levels, such as:
- Cushing's syndrome—a condition characterized by high levels of cortisol
- Cushing's disease—a type of Cushing's syndrome in which an excessive amount of a hormone called adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) causes the overproduction of cortisol
- Addison disease—a disorder in which the adrenal glands are not able to produce sufficient hormones like cortisol
When should I order this Cortisol Blood Test, AM?
Individuals may order this Cortisol Blood Test, AM, if they have experienced the symptoms associated with excess or insufficient cortisol levels.
Individuals with excess cortisol levels may experience symptoms associated with Cushing syndrome, such as:
- Increased weight
- Thin arms and legs
- A fuller face, increased fat around the neck or shoulder blades
- Bruising or large purple marks on the stomach, breasts, hips, and under the arms
- Muscle weakness
However, individuals with insufficient cortisol levels may experience symptoms related to Addison disease, like:
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
Individuals may also order this Cortisol Blood Test, AM, and other lab tests like the Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH) Blood Test to monitor cortisol levels and screen for adrenal-related disorders.
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