Looking for help with cortisol results please :-)


I have just had my cortisol results from Blue Horizon. Could some kind soul please give me some advice on what I should do next? Any recommendations gratefully received :-)

PS I'm guesssing the 'L' stands for low.

Many thanks.

Cortisol (Saliva) Waking L 12.06 (14.0 - 21.0 nmol/L)

Cortisol (Saliva) 12:00 L 3.52 (4 - 9 nmol/L


Cortisol (Saliva) 16:00 L 1.03 (2.5 - 7.0 nmol/L)

Cortisol (Saliva) Before Bed 1.21 (0.8 - 4.5 nmol/L



7 Replies

  • steviecat Have a look at Dr Myhill's article on interpreting saliva cortisol tests


    Links to further articles are further down the page.

  • Thank you, Sea :-) I'm guessing from the link that I need some kind of steroid treatment. Do you know much about adrenal supplementation - dessicated, I mean?

  • No sorry, I don't really know anything about adrenal supplementation. I wouldn't attempt to self treat adrenal problems with those results personally, I'd want some guidance.

    With 3 below range and 1 very low level then maybe you should be showing these results to your GP and asking for a referral to checkout Addisons. If he doesn't like the fact that you've gone and done a private test, then suggest he does his own (or refers you) because there is obviously something amiss.

    You haven't mentioned your DHEA level. Was that included? I always thought it was important to have a DHEA level. I did a couple of Genova tests over the last year or so and DHEA was also tested.

  • Sea. Many thanks - I had DHEA done a couple of months ago - it was OK 'normal'.

  • Dhea should be tested at the same time as salivary cortisol as it gives a fuller picture with cortisol to dhea ratio. Dr myhill's site is very good but you will need to see gp for further investigations. The NHS is only interested in serum cortisol levels, although in theory that is supposed to be changing with saliva levels being accepted, I imagine that will take a while for some dinosaurs to accept though. You will need a morning 8.30am blood test for cortisol. If that was low then he might refer you to an endo who would do an ACTH challenge to see how your adrenals respond to stress. I wouldn't recommend treating with hydrocortisone or adrenal glands yourself until you get a fuller picture as it could be a pituitary problem or an adrenal problem and although the treatment is the same for primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency it's always better to get a proper diagnosis from NHS or private endo. Messing with cortisol is not to be recommended. Just explain to your doctor that you have been struggling and the fact that you have spent money trying to get answers usually spurs most decent doctors on to helping. I know 2 of my doctors at the surgery were appalled that I had spent money on private doctors and tests.

  • steviecat

    Here is some really useful information from the Stop The Thyroid Madness website:



    My cortisol levels were completely the opposite to yours i.e high at all 4 readings for which there is a different course of treatment so I can't really offer my opinion.

    I also like this page about the seven stages of adrenal fatigue:


    I think the important take is to address low cortisol soon otherwise you may have problems raising your thyroid meds. Hope this helps.

  • Steeny and Seren. Many thanks indeed for your sound advice. It will help as I move forward to try and get to grips with the blessed problem. :-)

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