There are different types of cortisol tests that may be performed, including blood, saliva, and urine tests. The urine test is done over a period of 24 hours.
The cortisol urine test tends to be more comprehensive than the other types of cortisol tests. It measures the total amount of cortisol excreted into the urine over a 24-hour period. Blood tests or saliva tests, however, only measure cortisol levels at a particular time of day. Some people also find blood tests to be stressful, and since the body releases more cortisol during times of stress, the results may not be as precise. In some cases, your doctor may order both a cortisol urine test and another type of cortisol test to obtain more accurate results.
Cushing’s syndrome is a collection of symptoms associated with high cortisol levels. The most common symptoms include:
3.Fatty tissue deposits, especially in the midsection and upper back
4.Pink or purple stretch marks on the skin
8.Thinning skin that bruises easily
9.Women may have irregular periods and excess facial and chest hair. Children may show delayed physical or cognitive development.
The symptoms of low cortisol levels often emerge slowly. At first, they may only appear during times of extreme stress, but they’ll gradually increase in intensity over several months. Potential symptoms include:
When cortisol levels abruptly drop to life-threatening levels, an acute adrenal crisis may occur. The symptoms of an acute adrenal crisis include:
1.Darkening of the skin
7.Loss of appetite
8.Sudden onset of severe pain in the lower back, abdomen, or legs.