12-Hour Saliva Cortisol Testing

Have you taken a 12-hour or 24-hour saliva cortisol test, and what were the results?

  • Yes, but my results were normal

    Votes: 1 16.7%
  • Yes, my results were lower than normal at some point during the test

    Votes: 1 16.7%
  • Yes, my results were consistently lower throughout the day

    Votes: 1 16.7%
  • Yes, my results were higher than normal at some point during the test

    Votes: 2 33.3%
  • Yes, my results were consistently higher throughout the day

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I haven't done saliva cortisol testing

    Votes: 1 16.7%

  • Total voters
    6
Messages
56
Cortisol_Curve1.png

reference_range2.png

I took the plunge and tested my saliva cortisol levels. I know 12-hour salivary cortisol levels don't say much but I wanted to get a grip around if my cortisol is high or low or normal or whatever the results would show. I've always suspected my cortisol was low due to my ME/CFS symptoms and because I've tested borderline low when measuring morning cortisol in serum, but after looking long and hard at my clinical picture I felt that perhaps my symptoms and signs more so align with elevated cortisol levels.

Either way, I decided to order a 12-hour salivary cortisol test just to get some idea and these were the results. I was pretty surprised to learn that I actually have elevated levels of cortisol in the afternoon.

Is there anyone here who's good at decoding a cortisol curve? Should these results instigate a suspicion of anything or are they likely normal/insignificant?

6 am: 6.76 (ref range. 1.8 - 14.5 ng/m)
8 am: 2.95 (ref range. 1.3 - 10.3 ng/m)
11 am: 7.12* (ref range. 0.7 - 5.7 ng/m)
3 pm: 5.52* (ref range. 0.6 - 4.7 ng/m)
6 pm: 4.31* (ref range. 0.3 - 3.3 ng/ml)

I also created a poll to learn more about other's experiences of doing saliva cortisol testing!
 

BrightCandle

Senior Member
Messages
984
All of mine came out normal. I did a blood test for a morning capture which was on the high end of normal and also a 5 point saliva test that also came back all normal. Never found anything cortisol related early in my condition.

Found it:
morning value4,1 ng/mlref range 1,8 - 14,5 ng/mlNormal value
after 2 hours3,1 ng/mlref range 1,3 - 10,3 ng/mlNormal value
after 5 hours2,3 ng/mlref range 0,7 - 5,7 ng/mlNormal value
after 8 hours< 2 ng/mlref range 0,6 - 4,7 ng/mlNormal value
after 12 hours< 2 ng/mlref range 0,3 - 3,3 ng/mlNormal value

The morning blood test also came out as 4.1 ng/ml.

The results I got this in suggested your shape is associated with chronic stress.
 
Last edited:
Messages
56
Tysm @BrightCandle for digging out your old test results! It's interesting to see what results others got. I'm sorry it didn't provide any insight for you though. I'm not sure it did for me either, other than the indication that I'm high more so than low as I previously suspected.

I knew there weren't a lot of information out there to help with the interpretation of the results (even though my place offers free phone consultations for a couple of minutes, but I'm thinking they'll just try to sell me some inefficient supplement of which I'm not interested - I've already tried most of them at this point), but knowing the results are a bit off it would have been helpful to have a little something to go by.

I also found one source claiming chronic stress for that pattern. I wasn't stressed the day of the test at least, I was extremely sedentary that day. But being ill is always stressful so I can't deny having some stress in my life. Yeah ... it's difficult to know what to make of these results! It was however somewhat enlightening to try it out.
 

BrightCandle

Senior Member
Messages
984
I also found one source claiming chronic stress for that pattern. I wasn't stressed the day of the test at least, I was extremely sedentary that day. But being ill is always stressful so I can't deny having some stress in my life. Yeah ... it's difficult to know what to make of these results! It was however somewhat enlightening to try it out.
I don't think they know what stress is, they certainly from papers don't seem to account for it well. My guess is really stress is meaning your ill and your results show something that we don't understand yet.
 

Tammy

Senior Member
Messages
2,056
Location
New Mexico
When I first started checking my cortisol levels I would have normal/high values. Skip ahead to years later it eventually went to normal/low values. I think my poor adrenals just pooped out. Bottom line is poor adrenal health (from my research anyway) It's been a long time since I've tested cortisol levels but I would be curious as to the results in present time since I'm feeling better now over how I felt back then.