Cortisol urine test

What Is Cortisol Urine Test

A Cortisol Urine Test measures the amount of cortisol in urine, which is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Cortisol helps regulate metabolism, cardiovascular activity, and vascular tone. It also affects the body’s response to stress.

High levels of cortisol can Lead to increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, increased blood glucose, and increased blood fat (triglyceride) levels. These are all associated with an increased risk of high cholesterol, heart disease, and obesity.

Preparation for a Cortisol Urine Test

There is no need to restrict food or fluids before a cortisol urine test. However, you should let your doctor or nurse know if you are on any medications, including over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and vitamins.

Cortisol Urine Test Procedure

The procedure for a cortisol urine test is simple. First, you will be asked to provide a sample of your urine. The sample will then be analyzed to measure the amount of cortisol in it.

Types of Cortisol Urine Tests

There are several types of cortisol urine tests. The most common type is the 24-hour cortisol urine test, during which you will collect all your urine over a 24-hour period. This test is used to determine whether a person has an abnormal level of cortisol in their urine.

  • Random cortisol urine tests: This type of test is done on a single urine sample, and is used to detect changes in cortisol levels from hour to hour.
  • Urine cortisol/creatinine ratio tests: This test measures the amount of cortisol relative to a substance called creatinine in the urine, which helps to interpret the results accurately.
  • 24-hour free cortisol tests: These tests measure the amount of free cortisol in the urine over a 24-hour period.
  • More advanced cortisol tests such as the high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) or mass spectrometry (MS) tests: These tests can be used to detect smaller amounts of cortisol in the urine.

Risks of a Cortisol Urine Test

There are no risks associated with cortisol urine tests. However, if you are pregnant or nursing, it is important to let your doctor or nurse know before the test begins.

Why is a Cortisol Urine Test Done?

A cortisol urine test is often done to determine if someone has an overactive or underactive adrenal glands. The test can also be used to diagnose Cushing's syndrome, an endocrine disorder that can cause symptoms such as weight gain, muscle weakness, and abdominal bloating.

When is a Cortisol Urine Test Needed?

A cortisol urine test is typically ordered when someone has symptoms of an endocrine disorder, such as unexplained weight gain or fatigue. It can also be ordered when someone has an infection or if their doctor suspects they may have Cushing’s syndrome.