What does my 9AM Cortisol result mean?

Hello everyone,

If you read my previous posts, you would know that i have been suffering chronic fatigue for a long time with some additional problems but fatigue is the main thing (I am 22 male). I had so many blood tests and everything came back normal. So after a thorough research and spending so many hours on computer, i saw someone suggesting the fatigue could be related to adrenal insufficiency and to do a 9AM cortisol test. I did the test privately and got my result the same day today (455 nmol/L). I would really appreciate if anyone can interpret the result for me please? I will put whatever is writter on the result paper, down here.

"Cortisol - 455 nmol/L

Please note new reference range from 24/9/15 using the Roche Gen II assay

Results of >200 nmol/L average 26% lower than previous method

Reference range only applies to samples taken between 0600 - 1000 am only

Reference range: 172 - 497 nmol/L"

The above written is what's on the result paper. Any help is appreciated.


10 Replies

  • RemoTheBoss,

    Apologies sent re previous reply... I didn't realise you weren't medicating and am sorry to hear you are still suffering. Is this a blood test?

    The result is high within range so a doctor would assume you have a good supply of cortisol. However, blood tests measure the active and inactive cortisol.

    Cortisol follows a circadian pattern so has big variations over the course of a 24 hour period and your blood test only gives you a morning reading.! !..

    The Genova Saliva Stress Test measures only the active (available for use) cortisol, in four readings at strategic times of the day so giving an informative overall pattern.

    It also measures DHEA which when balanced with cortisol will help to give optimal adrenal health.

    Results will not only identify any highs and lows but help you decide what supplements will be beneficial. However, the test is generally unrecognised by GP's or endo's.

    The cost is £77.00 which is a discounted price for ThyroidUK when code A42AQ is used.

    If you do this test post results for members to comment.

    You were deficient in Vit D and folate. Are you supplementing as these could cause thyroid dysfunction and adrenal stress.

    Also have you had thyroglobulin antibodies tested ? ?. (TGAb)


    Saliva Stress Test (test ref END01)



    Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.


  • Hello Flower,

    Thank you so much for your response. Yes, I was severely deficient in Vitamin D and also low folate around end of May and was given high dose Vitamin D3 tablet for a week and also 1 month supply of folate tablet, after a month and some time in July i had another blood test and it showed by Vitamin D and folate to be increased and in normal range. However, its been more than 6 months now and i have not been taking both of these tablet as my gp said i wouldn't need them, so now after 6 months, i feel lethargic and same as before so I asked my GP for another blood test to check my Vitamin D, B12 and folate level and I am expecting my results next week. Who knows if my levels have dropped back? Do you think i need constant vitamin D3 and folate to maintain my levels?

  • Yes (probably ! ! .) . . until the root cause of your condition is identified.

    Post your results complete with ranges (numbers in brackets) for members to comment.


  • Ok sure. Thanks

  • Sorry, I may have mentioned 9am cortisol. NHS only uses blood tests, but if using NHS blood tests, it must be done at 9am (NHS reference ranges based on 9am result as levels change throughout day).

    My daughter had an abnormal result but as the test was done at 10.15am, she had to go back for test to be repeated at 9am. Hope this makes sense.

  • Have you tried a trial of gluten and dairy free diet? May be worth a try to see if your symptoms improve.

  • Hi Josiesmum,

    No, i have never tried it but when i had my private cortisol blood test, the doctor there suggested me, i could have celiac disease and told me to maybe try a gluten-free diet, but i didn't take it seriously as i did not know a simple diet change could have any effect on my body but i have done so much research on this disease and it lists all the symptoms i have (fatigue, memory loss, brain fog, anxiety, hairloss, mouth ulcers etc). I am someone who eats a lot of gluten through various food, so i can't completely ignore your suggestion. I am going to go on a gluten-free diet and see if any change occurs. Thanks for your response!

  • Remotheboss, Adrenals are always a tricky area, because the NHS guidelines do not acknowledge the existence of adrenal fatigue. The test you've taken is really only to check for the very extreme condition of Addison's disease. This is where your adrenals have pretty much stopped working and quickly leads to coma. Only a handful of people on this forum have ever had a positive test for it, and it is a condition you can be treated for in the NHS.

    When people talk about exhausted adrenals or adrenal fatigue, this is something not acknowledged by the NHS, so you must self treat or find a private doctor who will perform it. This is tested with the 24-hour saliva test. Stop the Thyroid Madness website is a good place to start to read about the test and how to interpret it.

    Personally, I had a slightly high out of range result from the blood test, but with the 24 hour test it turned out I had a very high morning result, but was very very low the whole rest of the day. So the single result was quite misleading.

  • How do you treat high cortisol levels?

  • I don't rely know, because I've only had low. I took adrenal extract (nutri adrenal) and a few other things to help with it. There is lots on the forums about treating adrenals, though. You can either do a search or start your own thread and people will give you a lot of info.

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