Cortisol Hormone & Function Cheat Sheet — Lab Me
Understand your stress levels by using one of our at-home blood tests containing the hormone cortisol. Get a clear picture of how stress could be affecting your health by measuring your cortisol hormone & function — your main stress hormone.
This cheat sheet covers the following key points:
What can I learn from a cortisol test? Cortisol hormone & function explained What Happens If It Gets Too High? What Happens If Cortisol Gets Too Low? Summary of cortisol hormone & function What Lab Me tests include cortisol?
What can I learn from a cortisol test?
Your cortisol levels naturally fluctuate throughout the day — they should be highest in the morning around 8 am and gradually drop so they reach their lowest point at night. We recommend you use any of Lab Me’s at-home test’s containing cortisol at 8 am.
Our at-home blood test can help you learn if things like sleep problems, low energy levels, low mood, getting sick often, and weight gain might be because your cortisol levels are too high.
Based on your results, you’ll get personalized advice that you can use with your MD on how to improve your levels.
Cortisol hormone & function explained
Cortisol is your primary stress hormone.
On top of helping you cope with stress, it helps regulate your blood sugar, regulates your blood pressure, & converts food to energy.
What happens if it gets too high?
If your cortisol hormone gets too high, many issues may arise.
A few things that can cause your cortisol to spike are chronic stress or certain medications.
High cortisol levels can cause a wide range of issues, including weight gain, tiredness, acne, thinning hair, low sex drive, anxiety, depression, irregular periods, and getting sick often.
This is why testing your cortisol hormone & function regularly is important, especially if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms.
What happens if Cortisol gets too low?
Weakness, fatigue, and low blood pressure.
You may have more symptoms if you have untreated Addison’s disease or damaged adrenal glands due to severe stress, such as from a car accident or an infection. These symptoms include sudden dizziness, vomiting, and even loss of consciousness.
Tracking this over time allows you to detect patterns in your cortisol levels and help you work with your healthcare provider. The earlier you start to test, the earlier you can avoid issues.
How to lower your Cortisol levels
Ask the scientists have a great article including ways to lower your cortisol levels. This is what they suggest:
- Prioritize exercise. This can be walking, swimming, gardening, or playing with your kids.
- Incorporate daily meditation. Take a few moments to tune out your stresses and tune into your body and mind.
- Focus on deep breathing. Full, deep breaths can reduce cortisol and help you calm down when you feel overwhelmed.
- Practice yoga. This form of stretching combines meditation and exercise, which adds up to relaxation.
- Find helpful distractions. Work on your favorite hobbies, serve someone in need, or complete a manageable task around your house. Being productive can turn your thoughts away from what is stressing you out.
- Get a restful night of sleep. Cortisol levels are cyclical. When you don’t sleep enough, cortisol stays elevated and can leave you feeling even more stressed.
- Eat a healthy meal. Fill your belly with a good meal made of whole, nutritious foods to fuel your body.
- Learn to say “no.” This one is hard. Don’t take on more responsibilities than you can handle. Avoid spreading yourself too thin and prioritize the most important tasks.
Summary of cortisol hormone & function
Cortisol is a hormone that is important throughout the body to maintain blood pressure, blood sugar, metabolism, and respond to infections and stress.
Testing it at exactly the same time (we suggest 8 am when it’s at its highest) you can develop a comprehensive picture of your cortisol level fluctuations over the course of the year.
What Lab Me tests include cortisol?
The following Lab Me tests can test the cortisol hormone & function.
Lab Me uses CLIA and CAP partner labs with FDA-approved, patented technology, and proprietary extraction techniques that are superior to dry blood spot card testing.
Safe, simple, and quick at-home sample collection makes collecting your blood sample and sending it to our labs quick and convenient.
Your results are then delivered to your dashboard for easy viewing on mobile or the web from anywhere in the world.
Your results are visualized & simple to understand — learn more about that here.
Originally published at https://www.labme.ai.