The AM cortisol test detects excess or deficient cortisol production in the morning when cortisol is at its peak. This blood test is often paired with the PM cortisol serum test and ACTH test to aid in the diagnosis of adrenal and pituitary gland-related conditions such as Cushing’s Syndrome, Addison’s Disease, Hypersecretion and Adrenocortical Insufficiency.
No fasting is required for Walk-In Lab’s AM cortisol serum test, but blood must be drawn in the morning. Results are delivered within one to two days. This lab test is a cost-effective, confidential and convenient option for patients without insurance or a doctor.
Cortisol is the major adrenal glucocorticoid steroid hormone. It is typically under feedback control by the pituitary ACTH and the hypothalamus. Low cortisol can be cause by a variety of factors including pituitary destruction or failure, with resultant loss of ACTH to stimulate the adrenal, and metabolic destruction or errors of the adrenal gland itself (histoplasmosis, adrenogenital syndromes, tuberculosis). Diagnosing hypoadrenalism usually requires confirmation with ACTH stimulation due to the circadian rhythms of cortisol and other factors. Increased cortisol may initially look like a simple loss of normal diurnal variation, but its causes can include production of ACTH by a tumor (notably oat cell cancers), pituitary overproduction of ACTH and adrenal adenomas.