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  • Basic Cortisol Profile - Saliva
  • Item Catalog Number: LC100047

This panel contains the following tests:

  • 4 saliva cortisol measurements

Healthy cortisol levels are generally highest in the morning, within the first thirty minutes after waking. As the day progresses, cortisol levels drop in a fairly constant rate with the lowest values in the late evening preparing you to sleep. This pattern is known as a healthy cortisol circadian rhythm.

Circadian Rythym of Cortisol

Cortisol is not the problem…chronic stress is!

Although cortisol gets a bad rap as your major “stress” hormone, it’s really not your enemy! The right amount of cortisol gets you out of bed in the morning and keeps you energized and clear headed as you move through your day and prepares you to sleep at night. So unless you want to push through your day tired, cranky and foggy headed, unable to sleep, you actually need cortisol to follow a healthy rhythm of highs and lows.

Cortisol is also a necessary hormone for many functions including regulating your immune system and reducing inflammation. This panel tests for disturbances in cortisol’s circadian rhythm which may be caused by a variety of “stressors” such as responsibilities you find impossible to manage, lack of sleep, or overloading on caffeine or sugary snacks. Hormonal imbalances or simply being overweight can also interfere with your cortisol rhythm. The source of stress doesn’t matter. Any time your cortisol curve departs from normal - you will feel it!

During the initial phase of stress response, cortisol production is increased. High levels of cortisol can cause multiple symptoms such as the following:

  • Sugar cravings and belly fat
  • Not sleeping well
  • Catching colds and infections easily
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches and backaches
  • Nausea, heartburn, or other digestive issues
  • Anxiety, irritability and/or depression

As your adrenals continue to respond to unrelenting stress, cortisol production begins to diminish. Over time cortisol will fall to low levels and you may experience the following:

  • Crushing mental and/or physical fatigue
  • Inability to handle stress – taking days to recover from something minor
  • Worsening allergies
  • Chronic pain
  • Obesity
  • Mood disorders
  • Lowered immune function

Does your curve follow a normal, healthy pattern? If you're tired all the time or just generally not feeling well, it’s important to make sure your cortisol rhythm has not been disturbed.


Fasting is not required. Take all medications as prescribed. The Basic Cortisol Profile comes conveniently packaged as a kit with all necessary components and a complete set of instructions for easy collection. Since this panel requires the collection of 4 saliva specimens throughout an entire day make sure you plan your collection day appropriately to fit your schedule. Shipments may be made Monday – Friday and shipped directly to the testing laboratory in the pre-paid FedEx Lab Pak. The lab is open to receive samples on Saturday.


Results take 4 weeks from when specimen is received. This test is not available in Pennsylvania and Maryland. The results for this test can only be received via mail, e-mail, or fax.

The laboratory services are for informational purposes only. It is not the intention of National Diagnostics, Inc and Life Extension to provide specific medical advice but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health. Specific medical advice including diagnosis and treatment will not be provided. Always seek the advice of a trained health professional for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Both the physician and the testing laboratory are independent contractors with whom National Diagnostics, Inc makes arrangements for your blood tests. Neither National Diagnostics, Inc or Life Extension will be liable for any acts or omissions of the physician, the testing laboratory, or their agents or employees.


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