Cortisol, Blood and Urine

Alternate Names

  • Hydrocortisone
  • Serum Cortisol
  • Free Urinary Cortisol

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands (located on top of the kidneys) necessary for the normal use of carbohydrates, proteins and fats by the body. High blood or urine levels of cortisol are seen in people with Cushing's disease, an over-active thyroid gland, severe stress, or cancer; while low blood or urine levels are seen in people with Addison's disease, under-active thyroid or pituitary glands, liver disease, or an inherited condition of oversized adrenal glands. There is a normal variation in cortisol levels throughout the day, with higher blood levels seen in the morning. An early indication of adrenal gland dysfunction is when this daily cortisol variation is not present.


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