Cortisol is the stress hormone. It plays a role in the metabolism of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates. It increased blood sugar levels and regulates your immune system and blood pressure.
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Determine the concentration of the stress hormone cortisol conveniently at home
Due to current lifestyles increasingly involving professional and personal stress, cortisol levels are often not within the normal range. In addition, various medical conditions and medication can lead to deviations in cortisol levels. Most of the cortisol in the blood is bound. Around 1-3% is in non-bound form. It is only this free cortisol which is the active form. It is emitted into the saliva, where it can be measured. Because cortisol values change due to stress, sampling saliva at home represents the least stressful way of obtaining this measurement.
Cortisol is particularly important for the body, as is shown by the fact that a breakdown in cortisol secretion can be life threatening. Cortisol is formed in the adrenal cortex and has a wide-ranging effect on the body. In the case of metabolism, it has a particularly significant effect on carbohydrate balance, fat metabolism and protein utilisation. It also has inflammation-reducing and immunosuppressive (insulating) effects.
What is the relationship between cortisol and stress?
Alongside noradrenalin and adrenalin – the so-called catecholamines – cortisol is the most important stress hormone. In stressful situations, a marked increase in cortisol production occurs. The cortisol system reacts sluggishly, in contrast to the catecholamine system, which reacts straight away but subsides again quickly. The catecholamine stress reaction can be noticed in the contraction of vessels of the skin and the intestine and in vascular dilation in the muscles. In addition, the redistribution of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood helps any possible muscular effort relating to evolutionary fight or flight responses. Catecholamine’s effects are only possible because of the role played by cortisol. Regulation of the hormone happens via the so-called endocrine stress axis, the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis. During this process, the hormone status is brought into balance again by an antagonist as soon as fluctuations occur. If this reaction mechanism is impaired in one of the organs involved or disturbed by long-term stress, control of the physiological cortisol level is lost. In the following, you will find an example of a daily saliva cortisol profile within the normal range. In the event of burnout syndrome, the cortisol level is below the normal range, whereas it is heightened in the event of acute and chronic stress. This is shown in Figure 2, in which an example of a daily cortisol rhythm is set out for various stress situations.
Please note that some drugs (e.g. hormone preparations) might influence the test result. For more information, please consult the FAQ.
Note: The referenced values in the report refer to adults.
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How the cortisol test works
2. Laboratory analysis
Send your sample to our laboratory in the enclosed return bag. Your sample will be examined in our laboratory.
3. Detailed results report
You can view your results report online in your secure “My cerascreen” area after a few days.
Certified laboratory and quality management
At cerascreen® , we have carefully selected trusted laboratory partners, such as DST Diagnostic Systems & Technologies, who have specialised in holistic human diagnostics for over 10 years and are located in Schwerin, Germany. The cerascreen concept is based on the long-standing experience of DST Diagnostic System & Technologies in human diagnostics along with the expertise and advice offered by experienced health specialists across various disciplines throughout Europe.
- DIN EN ISO 13485
- interlaboratory test
The stress hormone (cortisol) test kit consists of
- several pages of illustrated instructions, explaining step by step how a saliva sample is taken and how the test is performed
- activation card with test ID for registration
- 7 saliva test tubes, 7 straws, transport test tubes
- a return bag, which you can use to send your saliva sample free of charge by post to our laboratory