Thyroid UK

Understanding cortisol results - help please

I've recently undertaken a private saliva cortisol rest (24 hour test) and need help understanding the results please

Results are:

Sample 1 (post awakening) - 15.6 (range 12-22)

Sample 2 (+4-5 hrs) - 5.4 (5.0-9.0)

Sample 3 (+4-5 hrs) - 4.3 (3.0-7.0)

Sample 4 (prior to sleep) - 0.5 (1.0-3.0) - outside of range

The commentary reads - overall this is a normal adaptation however there is some variation in the individual timed readings. A low midnight cortisol may be suggestive of suboptimal adrenal functioning where low cortisol levels are present at other times. In context, it can indicate either good coping/adaptation methods or represent hormone levels "dropping through" normal ranges on the way to be depleted

Does this mean that I need medication or not? I've got my Endo appt on the 19th but want to go in armed with information and be sure I'm asking for the right thing

Thanks for any help/advice anyone can give

Thanks xxx

8 Replies

The "ideal" results for a saliva cortisol test can be found described here near the top of the page :

Your results are all a bit low. Nevertheless, I doubt very much you would find an endocrinologist or doctor who would treat with your levels. But there is a lot you can do to help yourself with adrenal supplements, minerals and vitamins . I can't help with low cortisol (mine is always high), but please read up as much as you can about adrenals on the STTM site (use the Site Map, it's the easiest way to find stuff).

Another very useful site is this one :

Hope this helps.


Thanks very much, will have a look at the attached websites. Will try anything at the moment x


Found this post interesting, am about to do same.

Question,if the levels were lower, what might the treatment have been?


They can give you cortisol supplements - will try and see if I can get a low dose supplement to see if it makes me feel any better.


good luck, hope you feel better soon


does it need a lot of spit?

I have Sjorgrens and my mouth is very dry


Oh, one last question,,is the test very expensive?


It was about £87 for the kit and the testing and you need to do 4 samples throughout the day, I found it quite a lot of spit to be honest but worth it if you can do it as they wont routinely test for it on the NHS


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