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Is there a difference in lab quality for saliva cortisol tests ordered directly by the individual?

Discussion in 'Diagnostic Guidelines and Laboratory Testing' started by Bluebell, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. Bluebell

    Bluebell Senior Member

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    I had just written a long post describing this question and linking to various references on the internet I'd found about this issue, when my computer froze, I.E. shut down all the windows, and I lost everything. It's late/early so I'll have to be more brief this time around!

    (I did search for this topic in the archives here, but didn't find anything about the specific labs that do these tests.)

    Basically: I am looking to order without a doctor's help a saliva cortisol test that covers at least 4 collections in a 24-hour period.

    I have seen where some practitioners online have said they trust some saliva-cortisol testing labs more than others. They said that the results from some of the labs appear to be pretty inaccurate.

    I'd like to choose a test/lab that seems to be reliable and that people have been pleased with.

    I have also noticed that there doesn't seem to be much competition in the marketplace for the saliva cortisol tests that a private individual can order without going through a medical practitioner.

    There seems to be ZRT labs, which uses various middlemen who sell the test at various prices (I'm not sure if ZRT sells direct to the customer - clicking on their site was what seized up my computer).

    Of the ZRT middleman prices, I noticed about $110 at Canary Club, $150 at another place, and a couple of prices on Amazon (until tonight, I had not realized that lab tests were for sale on Amazon!)

    One naturopath offered two ZRT saliva tests online for anyone to purchase, but not the 4-collection cortisol on its own.

    Then, there seems to be a lab that works with Stop the Thyroid Madness for this test, and I think it was $108 or so through that website. It may not be a ZRT test - before I lost my open windows, I did not manage to identify the actual processor of the results.

    I checked with privatemdlabs.com but they don't seem to have one.

    Directlabs didn't seem to have one, but their search feature is terrible so you never really know with them.

    The Drs. Shames (thyroid specialists) say on their site that Bio-Health in California offers this test to private individuals, but according to Bio-Health's own site, that does not seem to be an option.

    I wouldn't mind going through a doctor to buy the test, if it merely entailed buying the test from the doctor's online shop. I just don't want to pay to have an initial medical consultation and to pay extra for analysis of the results.

    So --

    --Any thoughts on the saliva cortisol (at least 4 measurements) test that has the best reputation and can be ordered without having had a consultation with a doctor?

    --Thoughts on where I would find the best price for this?

    Thank you!
  2. Symptomatic

    Symptomatic Senior Member

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    I can't speak to their pricing, but you may want to look into Labrix (not sure if you have to go through a doctor to use them though). I haven't had my cortisol tested by them, but have used them for salivary progesterone and estrogen testing.
  3. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    ZRT/Canary Club is the most popular option and I think their results are reliable.

    I also like Metametrix but this is not available (to my knowledge) without a doctor's order.

    I would stay away from Diagnostechs.

    Ema
  4. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    Midwest USA
  5. Bluebell

    Bluebell Senior Member

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    Thank you - that is what I had read on several naturopaths' sites.

    (They liked Bio-Health lab the best, but it seems to be available through practitioner's order only.)

    Thank you so much for checking that for me. :)

    I had not seen that option when I looked at DirectLabs, and I checked their clunky site about 3 different ways - they really should overhaul their search function -- they must be losing a lot of business!

    -----
    In case the info might help anyone thinking about doing this test, I revisited all the options last night and found that (I'm typing this from memory, but it "feels" that I'm remembering it accurately!):
    -the Amazon third-party seller's prices for the ZRT tests are expensive, so there is no reason to use that route
    -ZRT charges $138 to buy it directly from their site
    -there are no coupon codes for ZRT labs themselves on retailmenot.com
    -the coupon code that is on retailmenot for a ZRT test is for a third-party seller whose prices are higher than the Canary Club even with the 5% off coupon applied
    -the Stop the Thyroid Madness site uses a different lab for their $108 test which I have never seen mentioned before (but I'm new to all this, so it could be the most famous lab in the land, and the name wouldn't ring a bell with me! ha)
    -the STTM site's test does not have an option for including one measurement of DHEA-s, so it's just the 4x cortisol
    -Canary Club does offer 2 versions of the test, one with the DHEA-s one-time measurement ($125), and one without ($119). They do not make this entirely plain, at least the way I was reading their site, so you sort of have to search around to notice this option. I paid at least $50 just for my DHEA-s blood test alone, so an extra $5 for the DHEA-s saliva measurement from the same day you collect your cortisol sample seems like a good price.
    -ZRT Lab's website, when accessed directly, does NOT offer the version of the cortisol test that includes a DHEA-s one-time measurement, but when ZRT Lab's website is accesssed through Canary Club's website (when you are logged in as a member of Canary Club), they do offer that version of the test at $125 or the non-DHEA-s version at $119.
    -You need to join Canary Club to get their discount, but it's free and quick to join.
  6. Bluebell

    Bluebell Senior Member

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    An update -

    I ordered the Canary Club version of the ZRT test on Thursday evening and received it in the mail today (Monday), which was quick, since I'm a long way from Oregon.

    Note that the Stop the Thyroid Madness site mentions a number of things to abstain from before taking a saliva cortisol test, including some supplements (including zinc, I think it was) for 2 weeks prior to the test.

    I've deliberately been off any supplements for quite a while, so I can do this right away.

    By the way - not that it's interesting to anyone but me! :) - I'll post the results from this test (which should take a week or two to get) on my thread about my general test results of recent weeks (http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...-i-would-be-grateful-for-some-guidance.23975/).
    Valentijn likes this.
  7. rizlaur

    rizlaur

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    wow discovered this post on google when I was looking for a less expensive way to get my hormones and cortisol tested. I just joined Canary Club and can have the same testing at ZRT for $189 vs the $250 price I got from a pharmacy going thru ZRT. Thanks!!

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