Adrenal fatigue test such as the saliva hormone test and the 24 hour urinary cortisol test are examples of tests that can be used for detecting adrenal fatigue. None of the standard laboratory tests typically used by most doctors are designed to detect adrenal fatigue because of its varying degrees of severity.
It is common to use standard blood and urine tests to look at indications of hypoadrenia, but their interpretations aren't exact. Standard blood and urine tests aren't as useful because the normal range (the range of severity) of adrenal health malfunction is from Addison's disease (extremely low) to Cushing's Syndrome (extreme high). This range is too wide for data to be useful.
The saliva hormone test is a newer lab test that accurately measures several hormones. The saliva hormone test measures the amounts of various hormones in your saliva instead of in your blood or urine.
This adrenal fatigue test is especially useful for measuring several of the adrenal hormones and is probably the best single lab test available for detecting adrenal fatigue. The saliva hormone test has several advantages over other lab tests in determining adrenal hormone levels.
Although blood and urine hormone tests have their uses, neither of them correlates with the hormone levels inside cells where the hormone reactions take place.
The level of a hormone circulating in the blood or excreted in the urine doesn't necessarily reveal how much hormone is getting into the cells.
Saliva tests are simple and reliable. Many studies have confirmed their accuracy as an indicator of hormone levels in cells.
Saliva tests have the advantage of being non-invasive. All you do is spit into a small vial. You don't even have to go to a lab to complete them.
Saliva tests are also less expensive than blood tests for hypoadrenia. You can also obtain a saliva kit by mail and then send it back to the lab from anywhere in the United States. However, unless you know how to interpret a hormone test, you're likely better off having a health care professional familiar with saliva testing and adrenal fatigue do the interpretation for you.
Natural progesterone cream is an example of a transdermal replacement hormone. When using transdermal replacement hormones, the saliva values for those particular hormones frequently rise out of the testing range. These hormone levels will remain abnormally high on saliva tests until a few months after you stop applying them.
Blood tests won't reflect tissue levels of the transdermally applied hormone creams because the hormones from the creams are transported through the lymph to the cells rather than through the blood. So if you are using transdermal hormones, neither blood nor saliva test results are accurate indicators of your tissue levels.
If this is the case, your symptoms rather than lab tests are more accurate indicators of hormone output.
24 Hour Urinary Cortisol Test
The urinary cortisol test measures the hormones excreted in your urine over a 24 hour period. This lab test can be used as an adrenal fatigue test to help indicate output of several adrenal steroid hormones including corticosteriods, aldosterone, and the sex hormones. The interpreted value of this test is limited because all the urine for a 24 hour period is pooled in one container.
This adrenal fatigue test may not be accurate because hormone levels rise or drop depending on the time of day. To obtain specific information about your cortisol levels at particular times of day, do a saliva test.
Some blood tests can measure circulating levels of adrenal hormones aldosterone and cortisol. This adrenal fatigue test can measure sex hormones related to adrenal function. Blood tests only reveal the levels of the hormones circulating in the blood and not the hormones inside the tissues.
Together with your clinical presentation and medical history, blood and urine tests are interpreted by a trained practitioner who knows what to look for, piecing together your adrenal function.
A type of blood test called, ACTH challenge test, helps evaluate adrenal glands reserves and responsiveness and thus can help detect adrenal fatigue.
In this adrenal fatigue test, baseline levels of circulating cortisol are first measured. A substance (ACTH) is rejected and then circulating cortisol is re-measured to see how well the adrenals were able to respond to the stimulation.
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