Thyroid UK
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Help with Cortisol Saliva Test Results

Here are my cortisol saliva test results from Blue Horizon, could you please advise. Think they are too high.

Waking 21.53 Range 14 - 21

12 noon 15.38 Range 4 - 9

14.00 hrs 9.18 Range 3 - 8

16.00 hrs 27.59 Range 2.5 - 7

18.00 hrs 6.55 Range 2.5 - 7

Before Bed 3.48 Range 0.8 - 4.5

Also had cortisol blood test through GP which came back at 418 at 9am in morning. Gp said falls in mid range

Comments please

2 Replies


Anxiety and stress causes poor adrenal function, whether it is physical, emotional, psychological, environmental or illness.

Healthy cortisol levels flutuate throughout a 24 hour period and a usual circadian pattern would peak in the am and reach its lowest at night. Most of your results are elevated.

Sample one shows post awakening & peak adrenal function. Sample two shows the adrenals adaptive response to the demands of the first few hours of the day and sample three shows adrenal fatigue in relation to glycemic control (so many hours after eating). Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) commonly occurs with adrenal fatigue when low adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol are combined with the high insulin levels of stress. Sample four is prior to sleep and indicates the baseline adrenal gland function (which should be the lowest of the day).

Low/high cortisol will interfere with the thyroid gland decreasing TSH, lowering thyroid production, inhibiting T4-T3 conversion & increasing T4-RT3 conversion.

Adrenal function can be improved with optimal levels of thyroid hormone, nutrients, iron and lots of Vit C. Also adaptogens which are compounds that help normalise the HPA axis. I have only used Liquorice Root, and 5-HTP and GABA which helped me to sleep.

Diet is massive as adrenal hormones imbalances can cause a failure to raise blood glucose enough to meet demand. When the cells do not receive glucose (and other nutrients) required, you will feel tired, shaky and crave sugar. Eat regular meals with low GI carbs, healthy fats and protein at every meal (even breakfast). I used to snack on milk shakes//smoothies mixed with pea or whey protein in between meals but don't need any of this now..

If you wake constantly between 2-4 am this could be caused by the liver lacking glycogen reserves that are required for conversion by the adrenals to keep blood glucose levels high throughout the night, and snacking on a gluten free whole grain cracker/bread & peanut butter before bed (or during the night) may help.

The medical profession does not recognise high//low cortisol as a serious problem unless it can be diagnosed as Cushings or Addisons disease but balanced adrenals hormones are needed and often high or low in people with thyroid issues..

If you have previously supplemented any glandulars or adrenal boosting sups, these will skew your results.


Thank you, really informative. x


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