Saliva Cortisol Testing
Stress is one of the leading causes of illness and even death. A saliva cortisol test helps to evaluate the adrenal rhythm. The body secretes hormones throughout the day on a cycle. The highest levels are in the morning and the lowest at night. Abnormal adrenal rhythm can result in a myriad of health issues such as.
Low Energy – One of the most common problems with an abnormal adrenal rhythm is low energy. The cells in the body may not be able to produce energy effectively. This can result in poor blood sugar regulation and lifestyle changes. Those suffering with adrenal stress may have difficulty waking up and rising in the morning or functioning properly throughout the day.
Diminished Muscle Tissue and Bone Health - This can be caused when the adrenal functions are out of rhythm. Additionally, reduced muscle mass and thinning bones can occur resulting in chronic pain. Osteoporosis is more likely to occur in those with increase cortisol levels.
Decreased Immunity – Cortisol can also negatively affect the body’s production of white blood cells. Patients who have high cortisol levels may experience allergies and decreased immunity. Additionally, a patient with adrenal problems may experience a host of autoimmune disorders.
Sleep Disorders – High stress hormones can result in sleep disorders. Patients may experience depression, fatigue and a decrease in memory.
Skin Issues – During the night, skin cells are formed. When nightly cortisol levels are increased, a decrease occurs in skin regeneration.
Hypothyroidism – Cortisol controls the amount of thyroid hormone produced in the body. When cortisol levels are high, hypothyroidism can occur.
Chronic Fatigue – Many patients with abnormal adrenal functions have chronic fatigue syndrome. Chronic fatigue causes unrelenting fatigue that is not diminished with rest.
Glycemic Dysregulation – Cortisol levels can negatively affect the body by causing insulin resistance. This can result in hypoglycemia and diabetes. Symptoms of glycemic dysregulation include weight gain, emotional distress, diabetes and increased blood lipids.
Saliva cortisol testing can be used to evaluate stress, the glycemic control and adrenal capacity in a patient. This noninvasive clinical test helps to evaluate a patient for adrenal issues, including cortisol abnormalities.
Decreased levels of cortisol can lead to Addison’s disease, attention deficit hyperactivity and depression. Likewise, increased levels of cortisol can be seen in patients who have Cushing’s disease. Therefore, a patient suffering from any of the problems described above may benefit from saliva cortisol testing.
As the name suggests, saliva cortisol test uses saliva and is a noninvasive laboratory test. Unlike blood tests that only check once, saliva is collected throughout the day. By taking samples throughout the day, physicians are better able to determine the changes in hormone levels.
Each test tube is labeled to ensure the patient. After samples are collected, the patient simply returns the collections to the clinic where the test will be done. Most results are available within a week after the clinic receives the patient’s the samples. Once the test has been performed, the results will be sent to the patient’s physician for further evaluation.