Cortisol

650
4.7
NABL, NABH, ISO
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Overview
Interpretations
FAQ's

Overview of Cortisol

What is Cortisol?

Cortisol is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands that play vital roles in nutrient metabolism, maintenance of blood glucose and water balance, and healthy immune system. Most cortisol in blood remains bound to proteins, and only a small portion remains free and biologically active. The Blood Cortisol Test measures the total amount of cortisol hormone in blood.

Sample Type

The sample type collected for Cortisol is: Blood

Preparation for Cortisol

  • No special preparation required

Why Get Tested for Cortisol?


The Blood Cortisol Test is performed:

·         To diagnose Cushing’s syndrome caused due to high cortisol levels

·         To diagnose Addison’s disease

·

        

To detect and diagnose conditions of the adrenal glands or the pituitary glands



Understand more about Cortisol


Cortisol is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands that helps in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It also plays a regulatory role in maintaining the blood sugar levels, water balance of the body, and is also essential in the maintenance of a healthy immune system. Most cortisol in the body is found bound to proteins, and only a small portion remains free and metabolically active.

Level of cortisol hormone rises and falls during the course of a day following a diurnal pattern. Cortisol levels are highest in the early morning, drops slowly throughout the day reaching its lowest around midnight, and again increases slowly through the night to reach its highest early next morning. This diurnal pattern of cortisol secretion is maintained by the hypothalamus in the brain and pituitary gland located just below the below the brain. Fall in the blood cortisol levels stimulates the production of Corticotropin Releasing Hormone (CRH) from the hypothalamus. CRH stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete the Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH), which in turn stimulates the production of cortisol from the adrenal glands to increase cortisol levels in blood. Cortisol levels are regulated by a feedback mechanism. When cortisol levels rise to the required levels, CRH secretion from hypothalamus is stopped, which in turn stops ACTH secretion from pituitary, thereby stopping cortisol secretion from the adrenal glands. Symptoms associated with increased or decreased levels of cortisol hormone appear when this feedback mechanism is disturbed due to diseases or lifestyle.




What Results of Cortisol mean?

Interpretations


Normal cortisol levels may vary among individuals. Increased or decreased cortisol levels can be assessed only if cortisol level in blood does not follow the diurnal pattern as it should.

Cortisol levels may fall outside the normal range for the time of day due to diseases or due to lifestyle factors such as irregular sleeping times.


Causes of increased cortisol levels:

·    Long term treatment with glucocorticosteroid hormones like prednisone, dexamethasone, etc.

·       Pituitary tumors that increase ACTH production

·       ACTH producing tumors in other parts of the body

·       Adrenal tumors that increase cortisol secretion

·      Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, a disease which causes excessive growth of adrenal gland cells

·    Recent surgery, illness, injury, or sepsis

·        CRH producing tumors in rare cases

Causes of decreased cortisol levels:

·         Reduced cortisol production due to damage or diseases of the adrenal gland (primary adrenal insufficiency) like Addison’s disease

·         Reduced ACTH production due to reduced activity of pituitary gland or pituitary tumors (secondary adrenal insufficiency)





Patient Concerns about Cortisol

Frequently Asked Questions about Cortisol

Q. How is this test performed?
This test is performed on a blood sample. A syringe with a fine needle attached is used to withdraw blood sample from a blood vessel in your arm generally from the inner side of the elbow area. The doctor, nurse or the phlebotomist will tie an elastic band around your arm which will help the blood vessels to swell with blood and hence makes it easier to withdraw blood. You may be asked to tightly clench your fist. Once the veins are clearly visible, the area is cleaned with an antiseptic solution and then the needle is inserted into the blood vessel to collect the sample. You may feel a tiny pinprick during the procedure. Blood sample once collected is then sent to the laboratory.
Q. Is there any risk associated with this test?
There is no risk associated with the test. However, as this test involves a needle prick to withdraw the blood sample, rarely, a patient may experience increased bleeding, hematoma (blood collection under the skin) formation, bruising or infection at the site of needle prick.
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NABL

NABH

ISO

Max Lab runs 11 NABL accredited, 24×7 operational laboratories in Delhi NCR, Punjab and Uttaranchal. Our labs are equipped with fully automated state-of-art technology and infrastructure to achieve the highest level of excellence and quality results. With over 500 highly trained staff and over 70 doctors who are trained in various sub-specialities at the best institutes in India and overseas, Max Lab boasts of having highly qualified haematologists, histopathologists, biochemists and microbiologists. We evaluate over 50, 00,000 samples every year with access to sample quantities not readily available to most institutions. This depth of experience directly benefits us in catering to the patient with complex or rare cases and in interpreting unusual results. At the core of our expertise is the ability to provide our patients with an extensive and ever-growing portfolio of cutting-edge and routine testing for a broad range of disease states. Our capability enables us to quickly and easily move from a sound diagnostic course of action to confident decision making for improved patient care. Max Healthcare, a leading name in the healthcare industry, brings its medical expertise and hospital-quality healthcare in the comfort of your home through Max@Home. With a special purpose to help people lead a life with independence and dignity, we deliver our services with compassion, excellence and reliability. To help you help you recover faster and lead a comfortable life, we provide nursing care attendants, physiotherapists and doctors for home visits. We also arrange for home sample collection and facilitate medical equipment on rent.

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