Cortisol, Free and Total, LC/MS
The Cortisol, Free and Total, LC/MS measures cortisol levels in the blood to help screen for adrenal gland disorders.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Cortisol, Free and Total LC/MS to measure cortisol levels in the blood 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."
Individuals may order this Cortisol, Free and Total, LC/MS, 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, Free and Total, LC/MS Serum Test?
Individuals may order this test 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 significant purple marks on the stomach, breasts, hips, and under the arms
- Muscle weakness
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar
- Irregular menstrual cycle
However, individuals with insufficient cortisol levels may experience symptoms related to Addison's disease, like:
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
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