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Addison's Disease Message Board

Addison's Disease Board Index

[QUOTE=SadFreek]the saliva test is the most effective way of knowing what your true cortisol levels are. Not the 24 hours urine tests. (although it is helpful)[/QUOTE]

Unfortunately the saliva test is not diagnostic for adrenal problems. Cortisol levels vary dramatically over short periods of time and day by day even in "normal" people. Low or high readings can't be interpreted and can't be used by doctors to establsh adrenal problems.

The 24 hour cortisol test is meant to show total cortisol output for one day. It is diagnostic for very low values or very high values but not for values in or near the normal range. This test can identify cushings and adrenal failure.

Only a provocative test which stimulates the pituitary or adrenals can be used to verify adrenal insufficiency. By its nature, adrenal insufficiency means that the adrenals might be working just fine for normal situations but in time of stress the adrenals fail to produced cortisol in sufficient quantity. As a result a saliva test and the 24 hour test will show normal results and are thus not useful diagnostic tools for this condition.

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