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Measuring Cortisol Levels Cortisol Level or Serum Cortisol

Measuring Cortisol Levels Cortisol Level or Serum Cortisol

 Cortisol, a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal gland, is usually measured by cortisol level blood test.  It is done by drawing out blood from the patient’s vein, usually on the back of the hand or from the inside of the elbow. For young children and infants, lancets are used to puncture the skin. The blood is then placed on a test strip, a slide or collected via pipette.

Precautions before the Test

Before the cortisol level test is done, the doctor will ask you to stop taking medicines that may affect the result of the test. This includes synthetic glucocorticoids (prednisolone and prednisone) and estrogen as these can increase the cortisol measurement. Androgens and phenytoin on the other hand, are drugs that can decrease cortisol measurement.

This neurotransmitter is affected by Calm PRT and AdreCor

Reasons for Performing the Test

Cortisol levels are assessed to determine whether there is an increase or decrease in cortisol production. The hormone is produced in the adrenal glands and is stimulated by ACTH, a hormone produced from pituitary gland in the brain.

The hormone itself affects various body systems. Examples of which are the following:

  • §  Circulator system
  • §  Bone
  • §  Immune system
  • §  Nervous system
  • §  Metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein
  • §  Response to stress

Various diseases such as Addison’s disease and Cushing’s syndrome can lead to either an increase or decrease production of cortisol. Its concentration is often a measurement to help diagnose such conditions and help evaluate the condition of both the adrenal and pituitary glands.

Other conditions in which this test can be done are ectopic Cushing’s syndrome and acute adrenal crisis. 

Abnormal Cortisol Level Results

  • §  Higher than the normal concentration of cortisol level may indicate Cushing’s syndrome, adrenal tumors or ectopic ACTH-producing tumors.
  • §  Decreased level may signify hypopituitarism or Addison’s disease.

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