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Methods for Conducting an at-Home Cortisol Test

A cortisol test determines the amount of cortisol in your body. Cortisol, sometimes known as the stress hormone, is essential for many biological activities. Cortisol testing necessitates a blood sample, urine, saliva, or a mix of these, and the test is frequently repeated. A deviation from the usual range might suggest Cushing’s syndrome, Addison’s illness, or a tumor.

A cortisol test determines the amount of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is a hormone that your adrenal glands produce. The test detects if you have an excess or deficiency of the hormone.

There are several methods for conducting the best at-home cortisol test. These include using LC-MS/MS, immunoassays, and dry urine tests. However, there are some crucial points to remember when deciding which method to choose.


Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) has become the standard technique for steroid quantification. The advantages of LC-MS/MS over traditional methods include faster and more accurate results, improved analytical specificity, and the ability to measure multiple steroids in one measurement process. This method has also been used in clinical applications, such as diagnosing adrenal disorders.

LC-MS/MS is a susceptible and accurate method, and several studies have demonstrated its clinical utility. Its ability to quantify a range of steroid hormones in human serum is beneficial for identifying steroid-related disorders. In addition, LC-MS/MS has been used in research to study the spatial distribution of cortisol in the human adrenal glands.

The primary purpose of this study is to develop a sensitive UHPLC-MS/MS method that can accurately separate and quantify a panel of steroid hormones in the plasma of patients with chronic adrenal insufficiency (CAH). A panel of steroid hormones can provide more excellent diagnostic information than single steroid levels. Moreover, LC-MS/MS can be applied to various matrices, such as blood and urine.

LC-MS/MS methods are characterized by their sensitivity, selectivity, and linearity. LC-MS/MS can be highly efficient since it uses less solvent than solid-phase extraction and can be operated easily. However, the method is subject to ion suppression, severely compromising its sensitivity.

LC-MS/MS can be used to analyze a variety of matrices, including blood, saliva, and urine. Among the analyses that can be quantified by this method are estradiol, testosterone, and cortisol.


Using an immunoassay to measure serum cortisol has its drawbacks. It may not be able to detect hypoadrenalism, for example, and it is often contaminated by topical corticosteroids, which can affect the accuracy of the test.

The best method to perform an at-home cortisol test is to use an automated serum chemistry analyzer to measure both the free and total cortisol concentrations. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) has superior analytical specificity and can be used to quantify the presence of structurally related steroids in the sample. In addition, a recent case report showed that metyrapone therapy impacted the serum cortisol assay, which may result in falsely elevated results. A literature review suggests that metyrapone therapy patients are not the only group whose serum cortisol is affected by the drug.

In a recent prospective, single-center study of preterm infants, researchers tested the hypothesis that saliva cortisol concentrations are related to plasma cortisol levels. They measured the relative concentrations of saliva cortisol and the respective plasma cortisol levels of 16 healthy subjects and five patients with ectopic ACTH syndrome. 

Although their studies did not compare the two groups, they found that the serum cortisol of the two groups was within the same range. This study is the first to demonstrate a link between plasma cortisol and saliva cortisol and an association between a person’s age and the relative concentrations of the two hormones.

Treatment of elevated cortisol

If you suspect your cortisol level is out of control, you may wonder what to do about it. There are various ways to measure the amount of cortisol your body produces. The best method is to use a saliva or blood test. However, you can also conduct a home cortisol test to determine your levels.

You can be at risk for several adverse health effects when you have a high cortisol level. It is why it is essential to know your cortisol level and treat it if necessary.

The adrenal glands regulate cortisol levels. You may need to take cortisol replacement medications if your cortisol level is too high. You can discuss the side effects with your healthcare provider.

It would be best if you talked with your doctor about the possible causes of your cortisol level imbalance. Your doctor can help you find the proper treatment.

Some causes of high cortisol include emotional, physical, or mental stress. Fortunately, cortisol is a hormone that can help you fight off inflammation and increase your energy. It is released by the adrenal glands when you are under pressure.

When undergoing a cortisol test, it is essential to follow the instructions carefully. Aside from following the directions, you should only adjust your medication with the guidance of your physician.

Alex Carey
Alex Carey is working as a Content Marketing Specialist at The Technoverts. He loves to write and share content related to the latest technical research. He is also a soccer lover.

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