Genova private testing - how do you know the results are accurate?

I don't know if it's just me worrying about it, but I wonder how accurate the results actually are? The reason I'm questioning it, is because my cortisol levels don't really match the results that I had taken at my doctors. Is that normal? I know the saliva test checks cortisol throughout the day, and the one I had done at the doctors was blood and tested early in the morning, but the blood result came back a normal level (just slightly above the highest range actually), and Genova showed much lower ranges. I just don't get it.

Also - my DHEA was/is also low. Can I ask my doctor to check this, to compare with the Genova results??

11 Replies

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  • Genova is a fully CPA accredited lab, just like all the NHS ones have to be (I work in one) so there is no doubt they are as capable as any other. Different labs use different test methods and of course blood levels change all the time. But I don't think you need to worry that they are inaccurate.

  • Thanks for that HarryE - I wonder if the blood result was higher because I was anxious being at the doctors in the first place?!

  • This is an excerpt which I hope may be helpful:-

    Normally, cortisol levels rise during the early morning hours and are highest about 7 a.m. They drop very low in the evening and during the early phase of sleep. But if you sleep during the day and are up at night, this pattern may be reversed. If you do not have this daily change (diurnal rhythm) in cortisol levels, you may have overactive adrenal glands. This condition is called Cushing's syndrome.

    The timing of the cortisol test is very important because of the way cortisol levels vary throughout a day. If your doctor thinks you might make too much cortisol, the test will probably be done late in the day. If your doctor thinks you may not be making enough, a test is usually done in the morning.

    webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/cor...

  • Thanks for that :)

  • bjbms.org/archives/2008-2/1...

    I tried to cut and paste the conclusions from this research but my iPad wasn't playing ball! Basically, if I'm reading it correctly, timing of cortisol testing can impact on levels measured, so it may have been that your blood test was carried out at a time in the day which gave the result you had whereas if tested at another time, the result might have better matched the saliva testing.

  • Genova is highly respected by good private healthcare professionals. Both my private gp and another private speciliast

  • That's reassuring. Perhaps I was hoping the test results were wrong, as the one from my doctors looked so much better than my saliva one! :D

  • Does anybody know if my GP can check DHEA?

  • Hi My docs only like Blue Horizon. As Harry says with different labs ,it is the ranges that matter, differ as different assays.

    Jackie

  • Sip,

    You can't compare blood tests with saliva tests. I believe saliva testing is thought to give a more accurate results for cortisol. No idea if GPs can order saliva testing, i'm afraid.

  • Okie dokie - least I know they are accurate :)

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