Cortisol Blood Test, PM
A Cortisol Blood Test measures the level of the hormone cortisol in the blood.
A PM cortisol serum test detects deficient or excess cortisol production. Often combined with an AM cortisol serum test and an ACTH test, this blood test is helpful in diagnosing conditions related to the adrenal and pituitary glands. Walk-In Lab's PM cortisol serum test is often used to help diagnose Addison's Disease, Cushing's Syndrome, Adrenocortical Insufficiency and Hypersecretion.
Blood must be drawn in the late afternoon for the PM cortisol test, and no fasting is required when preparing. Lab results are delivered within one to two days. For people without insurance or without a doctor's order, this blood test is a confidential, convenient and cheap lab test option.
Cortisol is produced in the adrenal gland and is known as the major adrenal glucocorticoid steroid hormone. It is normally under feedback control by pituitary ACTH and the hypothalamus. Balanced cortisol levels are important for helping maintain healthy stress levels, immune responses, glucose levels and blood pressure. There are many causes of low cortisol including pituitary destruction or failure, with resultant loss of ACTH to stimulate the adrenal, and metabolic errors or destruction of the adrenal gland itself (histoplasmosis, tuberculosis, adrenogenital syndromes). Diagnosing hypoadrenalism usually requires confirmation with ACTH stimulation due to the circadian rhythms of cortisol and other various factors. High cortisol levels often look like a loss of normal diurnal variation at first, but typical causes include adrenal adenomas, pituitary overproduction of ACTH and production of ACTH by a tumor (notably oat cell cancers).
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