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What is cortisol?

ANSWER

Cortisol is a hormone your body releases when you’re under stress. Your doctor may want you to be tested to see if you have the right level of cortisol in your blood.

Cortisol is made by your adrenal glands -- two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys. Along with helping you respond to stress, it also plays a key role in other functions, including how your body breaks down carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins.

SOURCES:

American Association for Clinical Chemistry: “Cortisol Test.”

National Institutes of Health: “Adrenal Gland Disorders: Condition Information.”

University of Rochester Medical Center: “Cortisol (Blood),” “Cortisol (Urine).”

Cushing’s Support and Research Foundation: “Diagnostic Testing for Cushing’s Syndrome.”

PubMed: “Measurement of Salivary Cortisol in 2012 – Laboratory Techniques and Clinic Indications.”

Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy on December 13, 2020

SOURCES:

American Association for Clinical Chemistry: “Cortisol Test.”

National Institutes of Health: “Adrenal Gland Disorders: Condition Information.”

University of Rochester Medical Center: “Cortisol (Blood),” “Cortisol (Urine).”

Cushing’s Support and Research Foundation: “Diagnostic Testing for Cushing’s Syndrome.”

PubMed: “Measurement of Salivary Cortisol in 2012 – Laboratory Techniques and Clinic Indications.”

Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy on December 13, 2020

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What tests are done to measure cortisol?

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