The stress hormone, cortisol, plays a key role in metabolism, weight gain, and fat distribution. It is important for muscle strength and affects energy levels, anxiety, and mood swings. Cortisol levels vary throughout the day, but are highest in the morning.
Using simple, easy-to-collect saliva samples, this 24-hour cortisol test will measure your levels over a day, to assess the natural 24-hour diurnal rhythm.
Our 24-Hour Cortisol Levels home test is easy, fast, reliable, and requires just a few steps:
Order Your 24-Hour Cortisol Test Online.
Receive Your 24-Hour Cortisol Home Test Kit and Collect Sample at Home.
Ship It Back For FREE To Our World-Class CLIA Labs (US only).
Receive Secure, Confidential, & Easy-To-Understand Report Within Days For Your Comprehensive Diurnal Cortisol Test.
Cortisol is one of the stress hormones produced in the adrenal glands. It plays important role in metabolism by breaking down carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. A well defined 24 hour circadian rhythm is an important characteristic of cortisol. The levels peak around 30 minutes after waking up and then gradually drop throughout the day.
Change in the normal cortisol circadian rhythm can be caused by many issues including chronic stress, adrenal fatigue, burnout, or problems with the adrenal glands. Chronically high levels are especially bad as they may result in increased appetite and weight gain. Excessive levels cause muscle loss, immune suppression, water retention, and bloating. Low levels are also bad since deficiency can result in fatigue, sluggishness, and low energy.
Using a diurnal cortisol test to check your cortisol levels can help identify potential problems with the adrenal glands. Very high levels are indication of Cushing syndrome and unusually low levels indicate Addison's disease. Therefore, diurnal cortisol test assessing the circadian rhythm profile is crucial to diagnose issues related to the HPA (hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands) hormone balance.
An easy, low-cost method to measure your levels is to use at-home cortisol test. Simply buy this 24-hour saliva cortisol test, collect the sample at home, ship it to our world class CLIA-certified labs, and find out your levels within days. Unlike a blood test, a 24-hour saliva cortisol test is stress-free option for those with a fear of needles.
We also offer a cortisol am test and cortisol pm test as an alternative. The Cortisol AM-PM Saliva Test Kit measures levels in the morning and evening.
For a detailed discussion about symptoms of low and high cortisol levels, a comparison of cortisol blood test versus saliva test cortisol, main reasons to get tested, the convenience of an at-home diurnal cortisol test, the important role it plays in weight gain, adrenal fatigue, muscle loss, and more, please read: All About Cortisol.
You can also read an overview of stress hormone test at MedLinePlus.gov and at WebMD. ZRT lab has an excellent discussion and plots of diurnal cortisol curves for healthy individuals as well as patients with chronic stress, chronic fatigue, and burnout symptoms. Finally, you can learn more about the intricate details of a salivary testing cortisol levels for Cushing Syndrome from the experts at Mayo Clinic.
The adrenal glands are a pair of glands on top of each kidney. They produce five key hormones:
Three steroid hormones: DHEA, and aldosterone
Two non-steroid hormones: adrenaline and noradrenaline
Adrenaline hormones have a classic 4-ring backbone structure derived from cholesterol (examples are testosterone, estrogen, progesterone).
There are two types of steroid hormones:
Anabolic hormones: they build muscle tissue and promote fat loss; testosterone is good example
Catabolic hormones: they act as a balance to anabolic hormones by accumulating fat and helping raise blood sugar by breaking down muscles and bones; cortisol is a good example
The circadian rhythm of free cortisol in pregnant women starts to change around 20th week of pregnancy. Although the diurnal rhythm remains, mean levels increase 1.5-2-times and morning levels increase several times higher than normal levels. Another important observation is that the peak levels lag behind approximately 90 minutes likely due to delayed activation of the HPA axis. The external stimulation of CRH does not increase ACTH as well as salivary cortisol levels support this observation. The levels return back to normal after 5-7 days of delivery. Original publication: Psychoneuroendocronology, Vol. 19, No. 4, 1999 (page 317)
A: Except New York and New Jersey our tests are available in all 48 states. State regulations in NY, NJ do not allow us to ship the tests to their residents.
A: The kit contains four tubes for sample collection, instructions on how to collect the samples, and a form requesting basic information including date and time of collection. The directions are straight forward and easy to follow.
A: You will receive the kit within 3-5 business days with a prepaid return envelope. After you ship the sample and it is received by our lab, you get the results within 5 business days.
A: The report with your test results will be easy to understand and will have all the necessary details. It will mark your cortisol levels on a healthy range for the time of the day and will specify what are the expected low and high ranges. It will briefly discuss what your numbers mean and next steps you should take to maintain healthy levels.
A: You can use HSA (or FSA/MSA/HRA) accounts to pay for the tests since these are prescription tests (for further confirmation, please check the IRS publication#969). However, please ensure you are not going outside your specified max and min deductible limits. We do not have the capability to process the insurance claim. Since insurance plans vary for individuals we can not guarantee your HSA payment will always be processed by your plan. We suggest talking to your insurance provider if you have any questions.
A: Measuring cortisol levels using saliva is a well researched and thoroughly documented procedure. If fact, it is reliably accurate and one of the best way to testing cortisol levels.
The variations in results are mainly from two sources: the way samples are collected and the variation from lab-to-lab. Levels are highest in the morning, when we are most energetic, and then drop during the day.
To minimize this variation, you should collect the sample within 30-45 minutes of waking up, without eating, brushing or putting anything else in your mouth that might contaminate the sample.
To minimize the variation from labs, we have partnered with CLIA-certified labs that are regulated by the states, as well as Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Majority of the tests from these labs are FDA approved to ensure they meet the proper regulatory requirements. Additionally, the College of American Pathologists (CAP) requires inter-laboratory tests to ensure the ranges established by each lab do not drift or are not out of acceptable ranges. This is done by regularly testing reference samples between different labs. Finally, the labs test thousands of samples for different age groups and health conditions, and have well established reference data to compare your results against this large pool.
A: Unfortunately, no. As a lab test provider we can only test and report out data from your sample. We are not authorized to provide any medical recommendations. But we strongly encourage you to discuss the results with your doctor for next steps.
No lab visits or doctor appointments
Saliva test of cortisol (no blood needed)
World class CLIA-certified labs
Physician reviewed results
Fast, secure, and confidential reports
Qualifies for payment using HSA/FSA
Still wondering how do you test cortisol levels?