Advice on cortisol saliva test: Hello, I got the... - Thyroid UK

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Advice on cortisol saliva test

Kitten44 profile image


I got the above kit and I'd like some hints and tips on how to use it. E.g. Should I leave some time without taking supplements, does it matter if I have levo, any foods to avoid, etc.?


6 Replies
SeasideSusie profile image


Is it a Regenerus test? This is the one I am familiar with and they give you an instruction leaflet. On the back of the leaflet it tells you that for an adrenal function test the following applies

Topical Hormones (eg progesterone cream) - Do not apply any throught the entire day of saliva collection, it will contaminate your sample and compromise the result.

Sublingual Hormones - as Topical Hormones.

Oral Hormones (eg the Pill) Use as prescribed on day of collection.

Hormone injections, patches, pellets - collect saliva samples mid cycle of dosage interval.

Cortisol/Glucocorticoid Supplements - Consult with your provider if you are taking a cortisol supplement for adrenal support or any other glucocorticoid for medical reasons. Certain medications, including hydrocortisone creams and asthma inhalers, containing cortisol. To evaluate your natural cortisol production, it is recommended to stop using cortisol-containing products 5 days prior to sample. Consult with your provider prior to stopping cortisol containing medications.

It doesn't mention any other medications or supplements. It doesn't specifically mention vitamins and minerals and I'm sure it would say if they made a difference to your test.

However, when I did mine I asked

on the form it asks how much hormone is being taken. Does this

include prescribed synthetic thyroid hormone for an underactive thyroid

ie Levothyroxine and Liothyronine?

and the reply was

The items you mentioned will not affect the results.

Your samples will record your current levels of Cortisol and DHEA as they stand with any supplementation you are taking.

There is a section on the form you return to list what hormones you take. It also asks you list any medication used in the last two months.

If yours is not a Regenerus test, then I would follow these general guidelines. I would avoid spicy food on the day that is all. Also, make sure you rinse mouth out before doing your sample so no food contaminates the saliva sample.

I am due to retest in a few weeks as I am using an adrenal supplement, but I will continue with it right up to the day before the test as I want a result which tells me if my dose of supplement is working and whether it needs increasing or decreasing.

Thanks, it is a Medichecks test. I shall follow the instructions you kindly shared. I've been taking adaptogens, but I've stopped all supplements since last week as I'm also doing a blood test, so will try to get them all done tomorrow. Will be a bit awkward at work, but I hope I can do it all ok.

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Kitten44


Is there no instructions with the Medichecks kit?

You do know that Medichecks is cortisol only, they don't test DHEA.

How are you going to freeze the samples if you're doing it at work? They are supposed to be frozen immediately after doing them.

Personally, I would continue with the adaptogens because then you will see how they have affected your levels and whether you should change your dose. That's how I found out that adaptogens had the effect of lowering my levels way too much and now I need to raise them.

Frozen? The medichecks instructions do not say anything about that! In fact they don't say anything at all other than the times it needs to be taken, that food should be avoided for 30 mins prior to the sample being taken and that's it (well, there's info on how to take the swab out and to chew it for a couple of minutes).

The lab it goes to is County Pathology, is that the same as the Regenerous you mention?

I've never had my cortisol tested before, so I thought I should have a "clean" measurement (supplement free) to get a baseline. I'm taking adaptogens on the advice of a nutritionist, but I want to know if I really do need them.

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Kitten44


Ah, OK so Medichecks use a different method. Regenerus you collect saliva into a tube, so that's why it needs to be frozen, not chew on a swab. So you'll need to go by Medichecks instructions. I thought they were all saliva in a tube now. I did the chew on a swab ones about 20 years ago, I thought it had all progressed.

Regenerus samples are sent on to the Labrix laboratory in the US, Genova tests go to the US as well.

The fact that you have been taking adaptogens for a while might mean just leaving them off for a week wont give you a proper baseline. The test really should have been done before starting any supplements.

Anyway, Medichecks asks for information that will help with interpreting your tests, I think when you log on to say you've sent your sample. I would put all information there at the time.

Oh, I didn't think adaptogens would hang on in the body for so long. Oh well, I'll add a note as you suggest and see how it goes. I do have some of the classic symptoms, like sore legs after climbing up stairs. But I'd like to know if it is really my adrenals or I'm just getting old!

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