Cortisol levels are tested to see how you are handling stress. Elevated levels of cortisol have a profound effect on an individuals energy levels; disease resistance and general sense of well-being. Chronic stress interferes with healthy levels of cortisol, weight control and more importantly, normal sleep patterns. When cortisol is elevated, the immune system is taxed and one’s sense of well-being is compromised. One of the biggest threats of elevated cortisol levels is the disruption of healthy sleep patterns. When stress levels increase and remain elevated over time, the combination of increased cortisol levels and disruptive sleep patterns may be the most threatening combination for increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s diseases. According to the American Stress Institute, stress is America’s number one health crisis, straining the economy more than $300 billion annually. Normal cortisol levels rise and fall during the day. This is called a diurnal variation. Functional levels of this hormone are the highest between 6-8 A.M. and they drop to their lowest levels around midnight. If someone wakes up groggy and feels unrested, their cortisol levels may be opposite, meaning there is an imbalance between the adrenal glands and the brain and the natural production of all hormones may be affected. As we age, so do levels of cortisol. As cortisol increases, weight increases as well.
Test Preparation For Optimal Results:
Levels should be drawn at 8 A.M. & 4 P.M. Biotin should be held for at least 8 hours prior to obtaining this lab.Disclaimer: Your health care provider should evaluate a deviation from normal ranges.