Crazy high saliva cortisol results: I just got my... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

129,573 members152,379 posts

Crazy high saliva cortisol results

mjinder profile image
14 Replies

I just got my saliva cortisol test results, and I'm surprised to say the least....I was expecting to see low cortisol, as last time I was tested I was super low (admittedly that was 3 years ago!)

But I am well above the range at all 4 times! I'm off the top of the chart for the 2 morning readings.

Could this be a faulty result? All I was taking at the time was B12, and my thyroid meds. I stopped zinc 3 days before, I'd only just started taking it 4 or 5 days before then. I didn't have any coffee the day of testing or the day before..I froze the samples, and shipped them overnight (and it was a cold day in London that day!) They were delivered 7.30am the next day.

My results are

7-9am 12.66 (2.68-9.30)

11am-1pm 10.15 (0.75-2.93)

3-5pm 3.7 (0.36-1.88)

10pm-12am 2.90 (<=0.94)

14 Replies

Your cortisol results are high, both the contraceptive pill & HRT will give a false high & it is suggested that you stop these for 6 weeks prior to testing. High cortisol can be due long term steroid use, a benign pituitary & adrenal tumour, or severe depression or alcoholism. Cushing's is the result of high cortisol, I hope you don't have it as it's not a nice condition to have. I've had it due to a pituitary tumour so know a lot about it. You need to see your GP & ask him to do an early morning blood cortisol done between 8-9am, he can also do a 24 hr urine test. Have a look at the Pituitary Foundation website as there is a lot of information on there site. If you are on Facebook I run a UK site called Cushing's UK where you will get help & support.

mjinder profile image
mjinder in reply to

Oh yikes I hope it's not that. I'm not on any birth control or HRT, no steroid use. While I've had depression on and off, I'd not call it severe. And I do enjoy a wine occasionally, but not an alcoholic.

I'm seeing a functional Dr in a week to go over all my current test results, so no doubt we will do more testing around this.

Thank you for your input!

in reply to mjinder

While I respect that a functional doctor may be able to help you with some aspects of health I would also suggest that you see your GP if you are in the UK to do some further testing with them. Cushing's is a serious condition & while I really hope that you do not have it, it needs to be ruled out.

mjinder profile image
mjinder in reply to

Thanks, I'm not, I'm in France... I was back in London for a week when I did the cortisol test. I can pretty much walk into a lab off the street and pay cash for tests here, so will do that when we know exactly what else I need to look at

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to mjinder

If you have 'depression' on and off. I'd get a Free T4 and Free T3 blood test. Your FT3 may be on the low side.

mjinder profile image
mjinder in reply to shaws

I had all that checked also, as I have Hashimotos. They are both still a bit low, but improving with NDT

in reply to

This is interesting! I had no idea HRT would screw results up...I recently got my 24 h saliva test back and it showed slightly elevated cortisol levels at 7.30, noon, 5 pm, and midnight. Now, I wonder if HRT (estrogel and micronized progesterone) could explain this...?

And where exactly do you draw the line between highish cortisol caused by stress and Cushing's syndrom...or do out-of-range cortisol levels always equal Cushing's...?

in reply to

There are further tests that are done to show that it is Cushing's or not, it can take some time to diagnose.

SeasideSusie profile image

Who did you do the test with?

mjinder profile image
mjinder in reply to SeasideSusie

It was Genova, from everything I read they seemed the best option in the UK

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to mjinder

Yes, Regenerus and Genova are both good, I just didn't recognise the ranges (I use Regenerus) :)

Dr Myhill's website has a page on interpreting adrenal test results :

humanbean profile image

Is there any chance that you have bleeding gums?

If your saliva samples got tainted with even a tiny, tiny particle of blood it will increase the cortisol results massively. Blood has huge amounts more cortisol in it than saliva.

mjinder profile image

Hmm I actually had noticed a tiny amount of blood when brushing a week or so back. I don't know if it was the same week though....I wouldn't have cleaned my teeth before doing the first sample though

humanbean profile image
humanbean in reply to mjinder

This may not work for everyone, but I have found that taking vitamin C supplements for a few days will reduce the risk of bleeding from my gums.

I just take 1000mcg (1 gram) per day. I think I'm rather unusual in finding vitamin C hard to tolerate so I can't keep it up for very long, but even just taking it for three days will have an impact.

You may also like...