Pituitary Disorders

Lab Tests for Pituitary Disorders and health information

Do you endure headaches, fatigue, or other symptoms that limit your activities? 

Our lab tests can detect irregularities in the levels of hormones produced by pituitary gland disorders that result in headaches, fatigue, or other symptoms that limit your activities? 

If so, you may be suffering from one of the many pituitary gland disorders. These conditions can cause problems with hormone production in the body and lead to serious health issues if left untreated. We offer comprehensive lab testing for pituitary gland disorders to help determine what is causing these symptoms in your body. 

Comprehensive lab testing can determine the presence of too much or too little hormones. These tests can also pinpoint specific pituitary gland disorders, their severity, and what type of treatment is best for the individual. With cases of inherited conditions, the risk of a pituitary disorder is seen across all ages and demands constant checkups.

It’s recommended to seek scheduled testing to compare hormonal measurements at different ages. This can help diagnose fluctuations in TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) along with additional hormones produced by the endocrine system such as Thyroxine (Thyroid Gland Hormone T4).

Tests can assess the following hormones:

Regular test results may include:

  • Constant TSH Levels
  • Varying Cortisol Levels
  • Cyclical LH and FSH Levels (Menstrual Cycle Only)
  • Increased Prolactin Production (During Breastfeeding for Women or Periods of Stress)

These variations in each test necessitate regular testing to pinpoint specific trends in the hormonal levels. This can help determine whether a person has excess or deficient hormones. It can also account for medicine-related suppression or production.

Click here to read more about testing for Pituitary Gland Disorders and the lab tests that can help you.


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Description: A cortisol test measures the amount of cortisol in the blood. These levels will start off high in the morning and throughout the say they become lower. At midnight they are typically at their lowest level. Someone who works a night shift or has an irregular sleep schedule may have a different pattern. This test can be used to determine Cushing's or Addison's Disease.

Also Known As: Cortisol Total Test, Cortisol 2 Specimen Test, 2 Specimen Cortisol Test, Cortisol Blood Test, Cortisol Serum Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Cortisol 2 Specimen test ordered?

When a person has symptoms that point to a high level of cortisol and Cushing syndrome, a cortisol test may be recommended.

Women with irregular menstrual periods and increased facial hair may be tested, and children with delayed development and small stature may also be tested.

When someone exhibits symptoms that point to a low cortisol level, adrenal insufficiency, or Addison disease, this test may be ordered.

What does a Cortisol 2 Specimen blood test check for?

Cortisol is a hormone that plays a function in protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism. It has an effect on blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and immune system regulation. Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced into the urine and found in the saliva. This test determines how much cortisol is present in the blood, urine, or saliva.

Cortisol levels in the blood usually rise and fall in a pattern known as "diurnal variation." It reaches its highest point early in the morning, then gradually decreases over the day, reaching its lowest point around midnight. When a person works irregular shifts and sleeps at different times of the day, this rhythm might fluctuate, and it can be disrupted when a disease or condition inhibits or stimulates cortisol production.

The adrenal glands, two triangle organs that sit on top of the kidneys, generate and emit cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Cushing syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms associated with an unusually high cortisol level. Cortisol production may be increased as a result of:

  • Large doses of glucocorticosteroid hormones are given to treat a range of ailments, including autoimmune illness and certain cancers.
  • Tumors that produce ACTH in the pituitary gland and/or other regions of the body.
  • Cortisol production by the adrenal glands is increased as a result of a tumor or abnormal expansion of adrenal tissues.

Rarely, CRH-producing malignancies in various regions of the body.

Cortisol production may be reduced as a result of:

  • Secondary adrenal insufficiency is caused by an underactive pituitary gland or a pituitary gland tumor that prevents ACTH production.
  • Primary adrenal insufficiency, often known as Addison disease, is characterized by underactive or injured adrenal glands that limit cortisol production.

After quitting glucocorticosteroid hormone medication, especially if it was abruptly stopped after a long time of use.

Lab tests often ordered with a Cortisol 2 Specimen test:

  • Cortisol Saliva
  • ACTH
  • Aldosterone
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone
  • Growth Hormone

Conditions where a Cortisol 2 Specimen test is recommended:

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Endocrine Syndromes
  • Hypertension
  • Pituitary Disorders

How does my health care provider use a Cortisol 2 Specimen test?

A cortisol test can be used to detect Cushing syndrome, which is characterized by an excess of cortisol, as well as adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease, which are characterized by a deficiency of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that regulates protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism, among other functions. Cortisol levels in the blood normally increase and fall in a "diurnal variation" pattern, rising early in the morning, dropping during the day, and reaching their lowest point around midnight.

The adrenal glands generate and excrete cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Blood cortisol testing assesses both protein-bound and free cortisol, but urine and saliva cortisol testing assesses only free cortisol, which should be in line with blood cortisol levels. Multiple blood and/or saliva cortisol levels collected at various times, such as 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., can be used to assess cortisol levels and diurnal variation. A 24-hour urine cortisol sample will not reveal diurnal variations; instead, it will assess the total quantity of unbound cortisol voided over the course of 24 hours.

If an elevated amount of cortisol is found, a health professional will conduct additional tests to confirm the results and discover the cause.

If a person's blood cortisol level is abnormally high, a doctor may order additional tests to be sure the high cortisol is indeed abnormal. Additional testing could involve monitoring 24-hour urinary cortisol, doing an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, and/or obtaining a salivary sample before sleep to detect cortisol at its lowest level. Urinary cortisol testing necessitates collecting urine over a set length of time, usually 24 hours. Because ACTH is released in pulses by the pituitary gland, this test can assist evaluate whether a raised blood cortisol level is a true rise.

An ACTH stimulation test may be ordered if a health practitioner feels that the adrenal glands are not releasing enough cortisol or if initial blood tests reveal insufficient cortisol production.

ACTH stimulation is a test that measures the amount of cortisol in a person's blood before and after a synthetic ACTH injection. Cortisol levels will rise in response to ACTH stimulation if the adrenal glands are functioning normally. Cortisol levels will be low if they are damaged or not working properly. To distinguish between adrenal and pituitary insufficiency, a lengthier variant of this test can be used.

What do my Cortisol Total test results mean?

Cortisol levels are typically lowest before bedtime and highest shortly after awakening, though this pattern can be disrupted if a person works rotating shifts and sleeps at various times on separate days.

Excess cortisol and Cushing syndrome are indicated by an increased or normal cortisol level shortly after awakening, as well as a level that does not diminish by bedtime. If the excess cortisol is not suppressed after an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, the 24-hour urine cortisol is elevated, or the late-night salivary cortisol level is elevated, the excess cortisol is likely due to abnormal increased ACTH production by the pituitary or a tumor outside of the pituitary, or abnormal production by the adrenal glands. Additional tests will aid in determining the root of the problem.

If the person examined responds to an ACTH stimulation test and has insufficient cortisol, the problem is most likely due to insufficient ACTH production by the pituitary. If the person does not respond to the ACTH stimulation test, the problem is most likely to be with the adrenal glands. Secondary adrenal insufficiency occurs when the adrenal glands are underactive as a result of pituitary dysfunction and/or insufficient ACTH synthesis. Adrenal injury causes decreased cortisol production, which is referred to as primary adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease.

Once an irregularity has been found and linked to the pituitary gland, adrenal glands, or another source, the health practitioner may utilize additional testing, such as a CT scan, to determine the extent of any gland damage.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A cortisol test measures the amount of cortisol in the blood. These levels will start off high in the morning and throughout the say they become lower. At midnight they are typically at their lowest level. Someone who works a night shift or has an irregular sleep schedule may have a different pattern. This test can be used to determine Cushing's or Addison's Disease.

Also Known As: Cortisol Total Test, Cortisol 3 Specimen Test, 3 Specimen Cortisol Test, Cortisol Blood Test, Cortisol Serum Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Cortisol 3 Specimen test ordered?

When a person has symptoms that point to a high level of cortisol and Cushing syndrome, a cortisol test may be recommended.

Women with irregular menstrual periods and increased facial hair may be tested, and children with delayed development and small stature may also be tested.

When someone exhibits symptoms that point to a low cortisol level, adrenal insufficiency, or Addison disease, this test may be ordered.

What does a Cortisol 3 Specimen blood test check for?

Cortisol is a hormone that plays a function in protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism. It has an effect on blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and immune system regulation. Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced into the urine and found in the saliva. This test determines how much cortisol is present in the blood, urine, or saliva.

Cortisol levels in the blood usually rise and fall in a pattern known as "diurnal variation." It reaches its highest point early in the morning, then gradually decreases over the day, reaching its lowest point around midnight. When a person works irregular shifts and sleeps at different times of the day, this rhythm might fluctuate, and it can be disrupted when a disease or condition inhibits or stimulates cortisol production.

The adrenal glands, two triangle organs that sit on top of the kidneys, generate and emit cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Cushing syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms associated with an unusually high cortisol level. Cortisol production may be increased as a result of:

  • Large doses of glucocorticosteroid hormones are given to treat a range of ailments, including autoimmune illness and certain cancers.
  • Tumors that produce ACTH in the pituitary gland and/or other regions of the body.
  • Cortisol production by the adrenal glands is increased as a result of a tumor or abnormal expansion of adrenal tissues.

Rarely, CRH-producing malignancies in various regions of the body.

Cortisol production may be reduced as a result of:

  • Secondary adrenal insufficiency is caused by an underactive pituitary gland or a pituitary gland tumor that prevents ACTH production.
  • Primary adrenal insufficiency, often known as Addison disease, is characterized by underactive or injured adrenal glands that limit cortisol production.

After quitting glucocorticosteroid hormone medication, especially if it was abruptly stopped after a long time of use.

Lab tests often ordered with a Cortisol 3 Specimen test:

  • Cortisol Saliva
  • ACTH
  • Aldosterone
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone
  • Growth Hormone

Conditions where a Cortisol 3 Specimen test is recommended :

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Endocrine Syndromes
  • Hypertension
  • Pituitary Disorders

How does my health care provider use a Cortisol 3 Specimen test?

A cortisol test can be used to detect Cushing syndrome, which is characterized by an excess of cortisol, as well as adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease, which are characterized by a deficiency of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that regulates protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism, among other functions. Cortisol levels in the blood normally increase and fall in a "diurnal variation" pattern, rising early in the morning, dropping during the day, and reaching their lowest point around midnight.

The adrenal glands generate and excrete cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Blood cortisol testing assesses both protein-bound and free cortisol, but urine and saliva cortisol testing assesses only free cortisol, which should be in line with blood cortisol levels. Multiple blood and/or saliva cortisol levels collected at various times, such as 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., can be used to assess cortisol levels and diurnal variation. A 24-hour urine cortisol sample will not reveal diurnal variations; instead, it will assess the total quantity of unbound cortisol voided over the course of 24 hours.

If an elevated amount of cortisol is found, a health professional will conduct additional tests to confirm the results and discover the cause.

If a person's blood cortisol level is abnormally high, a doctor may order additional tests to be sure the high cortisol is indeed abnormal. Additional testing could involve monitoring 24-hour urinary cortisol, doing an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, and/or obtaining a salivary sample before sleep to detect cortisol at its lowest level. Urinary cortisol testing necessitates collecting urine over a set length of time, usually 24 hours. Because ACTH is released in pulses by the pituitary gland, this test can assist evaluate whether a raised blood cortisol level is a true rise.

An ACTH stimulation test may be ordered if a health practitioner feels that the adrenal glands are not releasing enough cortisol or if initial blood tests reveal insufficient cortisol production.

ACTH stimulation is a test that measures the amount of cortisol in a person's blood before and after a synthetic ACTH injection. Cortisol levels will rise in response to ACTH stimulation if the adrenal glands are functioning normally. Cortisol levels will be low if they are damaged or not working properly. To distinguish between adrenal and pituitary insufficiency, a lengthier variant of this test can be used.

What do my Cortisol Total test results mean?

Cortisol levels are typically lowest before bedtime and highest shortly after awakening, though this pattern can be disrupted if a person works rotating shifts and sleeps at various times on separate days.

Excess cortisol and Cushing syndrome are indicated by an increased or normal cortisol level shortly after awakening, as well as a level that does not diminish by bedtime. If the excess cortisol is not suppressed after an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, the 24-hour urine cortisol is elevated, or the late-night salivary cortisol level is elevated, the excess cortisol is likely due to abnormal increased ACTH production by the pituitary or a tumor outside of the pituitary, or abnormal production by the adrenal glands. Additional tests will aid in determining the root of the problem.

If the person examined responds to an ACTH stimulation test and has insufficient cortisol, the problem is most likely due to insufficient ACTH production by the pituitary. If the person does not respond to the ACTH stimulation test, the problem is most likely to be with the adrenal glands. Secondary adrenal insufficiency occurs when the adrenal glands are underactive as a result of pituitary dysfunction and/or insufficient ACTH synthesis. Adrenal injury causes decreased cortisol production, which is referred to as primary adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease.

Once an irregularity has been found and linked to the pituitary gland, adrenal glands, or another source, the health practitioner may utilize additional testing, such as a CT scan, to determine the extent of any gland damage.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Cortisol is increased in Cushing's disease and decreased in Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency)

This is a 4 specimen blood test


Description: A cortisol test measures the amount of cortisol in the blood. These levels will start off high in the morning and throughout the say they become lower. At midnight they are typically at their lowest level. Someone who works a night shift or has an irregular sleep schedule may have a different pattern. This test can be used to determine Cushing's or Addison's Disease.

Also Known As: Cortisol Total Test, Cortisol 5 Specimen Test, 5 Specimen Cortisol Test, Cortisol Blood Test, Cortisol Serum Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Cortisol 5 Specimen test ordered?

When a person has symptoms that point to a high level of cortisol and Cushing syndrome, a cortisol test may be recommended.

Women with irregular menstrual periods and increased facial hair may be tested, and children with delayed development and small stature may also be tested.

When someone exhibits symptoms that point to a low cortisol level, adrenal insufficiency, or Addison disease, this test may be ordered.

What does a Cortisol 5 Specimen blood test check for?

Cortisol is a hormone that plays a function in protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism. It has an effect on blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and immune system regulation. Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced into the urine and found in the saliva. This test determines how much cortisol is present in the blood, urine, or saliva.

Cortisol levels in the blood usually rise and fall in a pattern known as "diurnal variation." It reaches its highest point early in the morning, then gradually decreases over the day, reaching its lowest point around midnight. When a person works irregular shifts and sleeps at different times of the day, this rhythm might fluctuate, and it can be disrupted when a disease or condition inhibits or stimulates cortisol production.

The adrenal glands, two triangle organs that sit on top of the kidneys, generate and emit cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Cushing syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms associated with an unusually high cortisol level. Cortisol production may be increased as a result of:

  • Large doses of glucocorticosteroid hormones are given to treat a range of ailments, including autoimmune illness and certain cancers.
  • Tumors that produce ACTH in the pituitary gland and/or other regions of the body.
  • Cortisol production by the adrenal glands is increased as a result of a tumor or abnormal expansion of adrenal tissues.

Rarely, CRH-producing malignancies in various regions of the body.

Cortisol production may be reduced as a result of:

  • Secondary adrenal insufficiency is caused by an underactive pituitary gland or a pituitary gland tumor that prevents ACTH production.
  • Primary adrenal insufficiency, often known as Addison disease, is characterized by underactive or injured adrenal glands that limit cortisol production.

After quitting glucocorticosteroid hormone medication, especially if it was abruptly stopped after a long time of use.

Lab tests often ordered with a Cortisol 5 Specimen test:

  • Cortisol Saliva
  • ACTH
  • Aldosterone
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone
  • Growth Hormone

Conditions where a Cortisol 5 Specimen test is recommended:

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Endocrine Syndromes
  • Hypertension
  • Pituitary Disorders

How does my health care provider use a Cortisol 5 Specimen test?

A cortisol test can be used to detect Cushing syndrome, which is characterized by an excess of cortisol, as well as adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease, which are characterized by a deficiency of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that regulates protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism, among other functions. Cortisol levels in the blood normally increase and fall in a "diurnal variation" pattern, rising early in the morning, dropping during the day, and reaching their lowest point around midnight.

The adrenal glands generate and excrete cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Blood cortisol testing assesses both protein-bound and free cortisol, but urine and saliva cortisol testing assesses only free cortisol, which should be in line with blood cortisol levels. Multiple blood and/or saliva cortisol levels collected at various times, such as 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., can be used to assess cortisol levels and diurnal variation. A 24-hour urine cortisol sample will not reveal diurnal variations; instead, it will assess the total quantity of unbound cortisol voided over the course of 24 hours.

If an elevated amount of cortisol is found, a health professional will conduct additional tests to confirm the results and discover the cause.

If a person's blood cortisol level is abnormally high, a doctor may order additional tests to be sure the high cortisol is indeed abnormal. Additional testing could involve monitoring 24-hour urinary cortisol, doing an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, and/or obtaining a salivary sample before sleep to detect cortisol at its lowest level. Urinary cortisol testing necessitates collecting urine over a set length of time, usually 24 hours. Because ACTH is released in pulses by the pituitary gland, this test can assist evaluate whether a raised blood cortisol level is a true rise.

An ACTH stimulation test may be ordered if a health practitioner feels that the adrenal glands are not releasing enough cortisol or if initial blood tests reveal insufficient cortisol production.

ACTH stimulation is a test that measures the amount of cortisol in a person's blood before and after a synthetic ACTH injection. Cortisol levels will rise in response to ACTH stimulation if the adrenal glands are functioning normally. Cortisol levels will be low if they are damaged or not working properly. To distinguish between adrenal and pituitary insufficiency, a lengthier variant of this test can be used.

What do my Cortisol Total test results mean?

Cortisol levels are typically lowest before bedtime and highest shortly after awakening, though this pattern can be disrupted if a person works rotating shifts and sleeps at various times on separate days.

Excess cortisol and Cushing syndrome are indicated by an increased or normal cortisol level shortly after awakening, as well as a level that does not diminish by bedtime. If the excess cortisol is not suppressed after an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, the 24-hour urine cortisol is elevated, or the late-night salivary cortisol level is elevated, the excess cortisol is likely due to abnormal increased ACTH production by the pituitary or a tumor outside of the pituitary, or abnormal production by the adrenal glands. Additional tests will aid in determining the root of the problem.

If the person examined responds to an ACTH stimulation test and has insufficient cortisol, the problem is most likely due to insufficient ACTH production by the pituitary. If the person does not respond to the ACTH stimulation test, the problem is most likely to be with the adrenal glands. Secondary adrenal insufficiency occurs when the adrenal glands are underactive as a result of pituitary dysfunction and/or insufficient ACTH synthesis. Adrenal injury causes decreased cortisol production, which is referred to as primary adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease.

Once an irregularity has been found and linked to the pituitary gland, adrenal glands, or another source, the health practitioner may utilize additional testing, such as a CT scan, to determine the extent of any gland damage.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A cortisol test measures the amount of cortisol in the blood. These levels will start off high in the morning and throughout the say they become lower. At midnight they are typically at their lowest level. Someone who works a night shift or has an irregular sleep schedule may have a different pattern. This test can be used to determine Cushing's or Addison's Disease.

Also Known As: Cortisol Total Test, Cortisol 6 Specimen Test, 6 Specimen Cortisol Test, Cortisol Blood Test, Cortisol Serum Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Cortisol 6 Specimen test ordered?

When a person has symptoms that point to a high level of cortisol and Cushing syndrome, a cortisol test may be recommended.

Women with irregular menstrual periods and increased facial hair may be tested, and children with delayed development and small stature may also be tested.

When someone exhibits symptoms that point to a low cortisol level, adrenal insufficiency, or Addison disease, this test may be ordered.

What does a Cortisol 6 Specimen blood test check for?

Cortisol is a hormone that plays a function in protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism. It has an effect on blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and immune system regulation. Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced into the urine and found in the saliva. This test determines how much cortisol is present in the blood, urine, or saliva.

Cortisol levels in the blood usually rise and fall in a pattern known as "diurnal variation." It reaches its highest point early in the morning, then gradually decreases over the day, reaching its lowest point around midnight. When a person works irregular shifts and sleeps at different times of the day, this rhythm might fluctuate, and it can be disrupted when a disease or condition inhibits or stimulates cortisol production.

The adrenal glands, two triangle organs that sit on top of the kidneys, generate and emit cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Cushing syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms associated with an unusually high cortisol level. Cortisol production may be increased as a result of:

  • Large doses of glucocorticosteroid hormones are given to treat a range of ailments, including autoimmune illness and certain cancers.
  • Tumors that produce ACTH in the pituitary gland and/or other regions of the body.
  • Cortisol production by the adrenal glands is increased as a result of a tumor or abnormal expansion of adrenal tissues.

Rarely, CRH-producing malignancies in various regions of the body.

Cortisol production may be reduced as a result of:

  • Secondary adrenal insufficiency is caused by an underactive pituitary gland or a pituitary gland tumor that prevents ACTH production.
  • Primary adrenal insufficiency, often known as Addison disease, is characterized by underactive or injured adrenal glands that limit cortisol production.

After quitting glucocorticosteroid hormone medication, especially if it was abruptly stopped after a long time of use.

Lab tests often ordered with a a Cortisol 6 Specimen test:

  • Cortisol Saliva
  • ACTH
  • Aldosterone
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone
  • Growth Hormone

Conditions where a Cortisol 6 Specimen test is recommended:

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Endocrine Syndromes
  • Hypertension
  • Pituitary Disorders

How does my health care provider use a Cortisol 6 Specimen test?

A cortisol test can be used to detect Cushing syndrome, which is characterized by an excess of cortisol, as well as adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease, which are characterized by a deficiency of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that regulates protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism, among other functions. Cortisol levels in the blood normally increase and fall in a "diurnal variation" pattern, rising early in the morning, dropping during the day, and reaching their lowest point around midnight.

The adrenal glands generate and excrete cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Blood cortisol testing assesses both protein-bound and free cortisol, but urine and saliva cortisol testing assesses only free cortisol, which should be in line with blood cortisol levels. Multiple blood and/or saliva cortisol levels collected at various times, such as 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., can be used to assess cortisol levels and diurnal variation. A 24-hour urine cortisol sample will not reveal diurnal variations; instead, it will assess the total quantity of unbound cortisol voided over the course of 24 hours.

If an elevated amount of cortisol is found, a health professional will conduct additional tests to confirm the results and discover the cause.

If a person's blood cortisol level is abnormally high, a doctor may order additional tests to be sure the high cortisol is indeed abnormal. Additional testing could involve monitoring 24-hour urinary cortisol, doing an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, and/or obtaining a salivary sample before sleep to detect cortisol at its lowest level. Urinary cortisol testing necessitates collecting urine over a set length of time, usually 24 hours. Because ACTH is released in pulses by the pituitary gland, this test can assist evaluate whether a raised blood cortisol level is a true rise.

An ACTH stimulation test may be ordered if a health practitioner feels that the adrenal glands are not releasing enough cortisol or if initial blood tests reveal insufficient cortisol production.

ACTH stimulation is a test that measures the amount of cortisol in a person's blood before and after a synthetic ACTH injection. Cortisol levels will rise in response to ACTH stimulation if the adrenal glands are functioning normally. Cortisol levels will be low if they are damaged or not working properly. To distinguish between adrenal and pituitary insufficiency, a lengthier variant of this test can be used.

What do my Cortisol Total test results mean?

Cortisol levels are typically lowest before bedtime and highest shortly after awakening, though this pattern can be disrupted if a person works rotating shifts and sleeps at various times on separate days.

Excess cortisol and Cushing syndrome are indicated by an increased or normal cortisol level shortly after awakening, as well as a level that does not diminish by bedtime. If the excess cortisol is not suppressed after an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, the 24-hour urine cortisol is elevated, or the late-night salivary cortisol level is elevated, the excess cortisol is likely due to abnormal increased ACTH production by the pituitary or a tumor outside of the pituitary, or abnormal production by the adrenal glands. Additional tests will aid in determining the root of the problem.

If the person examined responds to an ACTH stimulation test and has insufficient cortisol, the problem is most likely due to insufficient ACTH production by the pituitary. If the person does not respond to the ACTH stimulation test, the problem is most likely to be with the adrenal glands. Secondary adrenal insufficiency occurs when the adrenal glands are underactive as a result of pituitary dysfunction and/or insufficient ACTH synthesis. Adrenal injury causes decreased cortisol production, which is referred to as primary adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease.

Once an irregularity has been found and linked to the pituitary gland, adrenal glands, or another source, the health practitioner may utilize additional testing, such as a CT scan, to determine the extent of any gland damage.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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Description: A cortisol test measures the amount of cortisol in the blood. These levels will start off high in the morning and throughout the say they become lower. At midnight they are typically at their lowest level. Someone who works a night shift or has an irregular sleep schedule may have a different pattern. This test can be used to determine Cushing's or Addison's Disease.

Also Known As: Cortisol AM Test, Cortisol Total Test, Cortisol Test, Cortisol Blood Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Specimen must be drawn between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. Test is not recommended for patients receiving prednisone/prednisolone therapy due to cross reactivity with the antibody used in this test.

When is a Cortisol AM test ordered?

When a person has symptoms that point to a high level of cortisol and Cushing syndrome, a cortisol test may be recommended.

Women with irregular menstrual periods and increased facial hair may be tested, and children with delayed development and small stature may also be tested.

When someone exhibits symptoms that point to a low cortisol level, adrenal insufficiency, or Addison disease, this test may be ordered.

What does a Cortisol AM blood test check for?

Cortisol is a hormone that plays a function in protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism. It has an effect on blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and immune system regulation. Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced into the urine and found in the saliva. This test determines how much cortisol is present in the blood, urine, or saliva.

Cortisol levels in the blood usually rise and fall in a pattern known as "diurnal variation." It reaches its highest point early in the morning, then gradually decreases over the day, reaching its lowest point around midnight. When a person works irregular shifts and sleeps at different times of the day, this rhythm might fluctuate, and it can be disrupted when a disease or condition inhibits or stimulates cortisol production.

The adrenal glands, two triangle organs that sit on top of the kidneys, generate and emit cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. A certain amount of cortisol must be produced for normal adrenal, pituitary gland, and brain function.

Cushing syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms associated with an unusually high cortisol level. Cortisol production may be increased as a result of:

  • Large doses of glucocorticosteroid hormones are given to treat a range of ailments, including autoimmune illness and certain cancers.
  • Tumors that produce ACTH in the pituitary gland and/or other regions of the body.
  • Cortisol production by the adrenal glands is increased as a result of a tumor or abnormal expansion of adrenal tissues.

Rarely, CRH-producing malignancies in various regions of the body.

Cortisol production may be reduced as a result of:

  • Secondary adrenal insufficiency is caused by an underactive pituitary gland or a pituitary gland tumor that prevents ACTH production.
  • Primary adrenal insufficiency, often known as Addison disease, is characterized by underactive or injured adrenal glands that limit cortisol production.

After quitting glucocorticosteroid hormone medication, especially if it was abruptly stopped after a long time of use.

Lab tests often ordered with a Cortisol AM test:

  • Cortisol PM
  • ACTH
  • Aldosterone
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone
  • Growth Hormone

Conditions where a Cortisol AM test is recommended:

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Endocrine Syndromes
  • Hypertension
  • Pituitary Disorders

How does my health care provider use a Cortisol AM test?

A cortisol test can be used to detect Cushing syndrome, which is characterized by an excess of cortisol, as well as adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease, which are characterized by a deficiency of cortisol. Among other things, the hormone cortisol controls how proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates are metabolized. Cortisol levels in the blood normally increase and fall in a "diurnal variation" pattern, rising early in the morning, dropping during the day, and reaching their lowest point around midnight.

The adrenal glands generate and excrete cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. Cortisol production and release are triggered by ACTH in the adrenal glands. A certain amount of cortisol must be produced for normal brain, pituitary, and adrenal gland function.

Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Blood cortisol testing assesses both protein-bound and free cortisol, but urine and saliva cortisol testing assesses only free cortisol, which should be in line with blood cortisol levels. Multiple blood and/or saliva cortisol levels collected at various times, such as 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., can be used to assess cortisol levels and diurnal variation. A 24-hour urine cortisol sample will not reveal diurnal variations; instead, it will assess the total quantity of unbound cortisol voided over the course of 24 hours.

If an elevated amount of cortisol is found, a health professional will conduct additional tests to confirm the results and discover the cause.

If a person's blood cortisol level is abnormally high, a doctor may order additional tests to be sure the high cortisol is indeed abnormal. Additional testing could involve monitoring 24-hour urinary cortisol, doing an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, and/or obtaining a salivary sample before sleep to detect cortisol at its lowest level. Urinary cortisol testing necessitates collecting urine over a set length of time, usually 24 hours. Because ACTH is released in pulses by the pituitary gland, this test can assist evaluate whether a raised blood cortisol level is a true rise.

An ACTH stimulation test may be ordered if a health practitioner feels that the adrenal glands are not releasing enough cortisol or if initial blood tests reveal insufficient cortisol production.

The purpose of ACTH stimulation is to compare the levels of cortisol in a person's blood before and after receiving an injection of synthetic ACTH. If the adrenal glands are healthy, the reaction to ACTH stimulation will be an increase in cortisol levels. Low amounts of cortisol will result if they are broken or not functioning properly. To distinguish between adrenal and pituitary insufficiency, a lengthier variant of this test can be used.

What do my Cortisol AM test results mean?

Cortisol levels are typically lowest before bedtime and highest shortly after awakening, though this pattern can be disrupted if a person works rotating shifts and sleeps at various times on separate days.

Excess cortisol and Cushing syndrome are indicated by an increased or normal cortisol level shortly after awakening, as well as a level that does not diminish by bedtime. If the excess cortisol is not suppressed after an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, the 24-hour urine cortisol is elevated, or the late-night salivary cortisol level is elevated, the excess cortisol is likely due to abnormal increased ACTH production by the pituitary or a tumor outside of the pituitary, or abnormal production by the adrenal glands. Additional tests will aid in determining the root of the problem.

If the subject of the examination reacts to an ACTH stimulation test and has insufficient cortisol levels, the issue is most likely brought on by the pituitary's insufficient production of ACTH. The adrenal glands are most likely the source of the issue if the subject does not react to the ACTH stimulation test.

 

An additional test, like as a CT scan, may be used by the medical professional to evaluate the degree of any gland damage once an irregularity has been identified and related to the pituitary gland, the adrenal glands, or another cause.

Important: Patient needs to have the specimen collected between 7 a.m.-9 a.m.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Urinary Free Cortisol is useful in the detection of patients with Cushing's syndrome for whom Free Cortisol concentrations are elevated.

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Description: A cortisol test measures the amount of cortisol in the blood. These levels will start off high in the morning and throughout the say they become lower. At midnight they are typically at their lowest level. Someone who works a night shift or has an irregular sleep schedule may have a different pattern. This test can be used to determine Cushing's or Addison's Disease.

Also Known As: Cortisol PM Test, Cortisol Total Test, Cortisol Test, Cortisol Blood Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Must be drawn between 3 and 5 p.m.

When is Cortisol PM test ordered?

When a person has symptoms that point to a high level of cortisol and Cushing syndrome, a cortisol test may be recommended.

Women with irregular menstrual periods and increased facial hair may be tested, and children with delayed development and small stature may also be tested.

When someone exhibits symptoms that point to a low cortisol level, adrenal insufficiency, or Addison disease, this test may be ordered.

What does a Cortisol PM blood test check for?

Cortisol is a hormone that plays a function in protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism. It has an effect on blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and immune system regulation. Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced into the urine and found in the saliva. This test determines how much cortisol is present in the blood, urine, or saliva.

Cortisol levels in the blood usually rise and fall in a pattern known as "diurnal variation." It reaches its highest point early in the morning, then gradually decreases over the day, reaching its lowest point around midnight. When a person works irregular shifts and sleeps at different times of the day, this rhythm might fluctuate, and it can be disrupted when a disease or condition inhibits or stimulates cortisol production.

The adrenal glands, two triangle organs that sit on top of the kidneys, generate and emit cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Cushing syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms associated with an unusually high cortisol level. Cortisol production may be increased as a result of:

  • Large doses of glucocorticosteroid hormones are given to treat a range of ailments, including autoimmune illness and certain cancers.
  • Tumors that produce ACTH in the pituitary gland and/or other regions of the body.
  • Cortisol production by the adrenal glands is increased as a result of a tumor or abnormal expansion of adrenal tissues.

Rarely, CRH-producing malignancies in various regions of the body.

Cortisol production may be reduced as a result of:

  • Secondary adrenal insufficiency is caused by an underactive pituitary gland or a pituitary gland tumor that prevents ACTH production.
  • Primary adrenal insufficiency, often known as Addison disease, is characterized by underactive or injured adrenal glands that limit cortisol production.

After quitting glucocorticosteroid hormone medication, especially if it was abruptly stopped after a long time of use.

Lab tests often ordered with a Cortisol PM test:

  • Cortisol Total
  • Cortisol AM
  • Cortisol Saliva
  • ACTH
  • Aldosterone
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone
  • Growth Hormone

Conditions where a Cortisol PM test is recommended:

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Endocrine Syndromes
  • Hypertension
  • Pituitary Disorders

How does my health care provider use a Cortisol PM test?

A cortisol test can be used to detect Cushing syndrome, which is characterized by an excess of cortisol, as well as adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease, which are characterized by a deficiency of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that regulates protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism, among other functions. Cortisol levels in the blood normally increase and fall in a "diurnal variation" pattern, rising early in the morning, dropping during the day, and reaching their lowest point around midnight.

The adrenal glands generate and excrete cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Blood cortisol testing assesses both protein-bound and free cortisol, but urine and saliva cortisol testing assesses only free cortisol, which should be in line with blood cortisol levels. Multiple blood and/or saliva cortisol levels collected at various times, such as 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., can be used to assess cortisol levels and diurnal variation. A 24-hour urine cortisol sample will not reveal diurnal variations; instead, it will assess the total quantity of unbound cortisol voided over the course of 24 hours.

If an elevated amount of cortisol is found, a health professional will conduct additional tests to confirm the results and discover the cause.

If a person's blood cortisol level is abnormally high, a doctor may order additional tests to be sure the high cortisol is indeed abnormal. Additional testing could involve monitoring 24-hour urinary cortisol, doing an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, and/or obtaining a salivary sample before sleep to detect cortisol at its lowest level. Urinary cortisol testing necessitates collecting urine over a set length of time, usually 24 hours. Because ACTH is released in pulses by the pituitary gland, this test can assist evaluate whether a raised blood cortisol level is a true rise.

An ACTH stimulation test may be ordered if a health practitioner feels that the adrenal glands are not releasing enough cortisol or if initial blood tests reveal insufficient cortisol production.

ACTH stimulation is a test that measures the amount of cortisol in a person's blood before and after a synthetic ACTH injection. Cortisol levels will rise in response to ACTH stimulation if the adrenal glands are functioning normally. Cortisol levels will be low if they are damaged or not working properly. To distinguish between adrenal and pituitary insufficiency, a lengthier variant of this test can be used.

What do my Cortisol PM test results mean?

Cortisol levels are typically lowest before bedtime and highest shortly after awakening, though this pattern can be disrupted if a person works rotating shifts and sleeps at various times on separate days.

Excess cortisol and Cushing syndrome are indicated by an increased or normal cortisol level shortly after awakening, as well as a level that does not diminish by bedtime. If the excess cortisol is not suppressed after an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, the 24-hour urine cortisol is elevated, or the late-night salivary cortisol level is elevated, the excess cortisol is likely due to abnormal increased ACTH production by the pituitary or a tumor outside of the pituitary, or abnormal production by the adrenal glands. Additional tests will aid in determining the root of the problem.

If the person examined responds to an ACTH stimulation test and has insufficient cortisol, the problem is most likely due to insufficient ACTH production by the pituitary. If the person does not respond to the ACTH stimulation test, the problem is most likely to be with the adrenal glands. Secondary adrenal insufficiency occurs when the adrenal glands are underactive as a result of pituitary dysfunction and/or insufficient ACTH synthesis. Adrenal injury causes decreased cortisol production, which is referred to as primary adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease.

Once an irregularity has been found and linked to the pituitary gland, adrenal glands, or another source, the health practitioner may utilize additional testing, such as a CT scan, to determine the extent of any gland damage.

Patient needs to have the specimen collected between 3 p.m - 5 p.m.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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Description: A cortisol test measures the amount of cortisol in the blood. These levels will start off high in the morning and throughout the say they become lower. At midnight they are typically at their lowest level. Someone who works a night shift or has an irregular sleep schedule may have a different pattern. This test can be used to determine Cushing's or Addison's Disease.

Also Known As: Cortisol Total Test, Cortisol Test, Cortisol Blood Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Test not recommended when patient is on prednisone/prednisolone therapy due to cross reactivity with the antibody used in this test

When is a Cortisol Total test ordered?

When a person has symptoms that point to a high level of cortisol and Cushing syndrome, a cortisol test may be recommended.

Women with irregular menstrual periods and increased facial hair may be tested, and children with delayed development and small stature may also be tested.

When someone exhibits symptoms that point to a low cortisol level, adrenal insufficiency, or Addison disease, this test may be ordered.

What does a Cortisol Total blood test check for?

Cortisol is a hormone that plays a function in protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism. It has an effect on blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and immune system regulation. Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced into the urine and found in the saliva. This test determines how much cortisol is present in the blood, urine, or saliva.

Cortisol levels in the blood usually rise and fall in a pattern known as "diurnal variation." It reaches its highest point early in the morning, then gradually decreases over the day, reaching its lowest point around midnight. When a person works irregular shifts and sleeps at different times of the day, this rhythm might fluctuate, and it can be disrupted when a disease or condition inhibits or stimulates cortisol production.

The adrenal glands, two triangle organs that sit on top of the kidneys, generate and emit cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Cushing syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms associated with an unusually high cortisol level. Cortisol production may be increased as a result of:

  • Large doses of glucocorticosteroid hormones are given to treat a range of ailments, including autoimmune illness and certain cancers.
  • Tumors that produce ACTH in the pituitary gland and/or other regions of the body.
  • Cortisol production by the adrenal glands is increased as a result of a tumor or abnormal expansion of adrenal tissues.

Rarely, CRH-producing malignancies in various regions of the body.

Cortisol production may be reduced as a result of:

  • Secondary adrenal insufficiency is caused by an underactive pituitary gland or a pituitary gland tumor that prevents ACTH production.
  • Primary adrenal insufficiency, often known as Addison disease, is characterized by underactive or injured adrenal glands that limit cortisol production.

After quitting glucocorticosteroid hormone medication, especially if it was abruptly stopped after a long time of use.

Lab tests often ordered with a Cortisol Total test:

  • Cortisol PM
  • Cortisol AM
  • Cortisol Saliva
  • ACTH
  • Aldosterone
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone
  • Growth Hormone

Conditions where a Cortisol Test is recommended:

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Endocrine Syndromes
  • Hypertension
  • Pituitary Disorders

How does my health care provider use a Cortisol Total test?

A cortisol test can be used to detect Cushing syndrome, which is characterized by an excess of cortisol, as well as adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease, which are characterized by a deficiency of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that regulates protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism, among other functions. Cortisol levels in the blood normally increase and fall in a "diurnal variation" pattern, rising early in the morning, dropping during the day, and reaching their lowest point around midnight.

The adrenal glands generate and excrete cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Blood cortisol testing assesses both protein-bound and free cortisol, but urine and saliva cortisol testing assesses only free cortisol, which should be in line with blood cortisol levels. Multiple blood and/or saliva cortisol levels collected at various times, such as 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., can be used to assess cortisol levels and diurnal variation. A 24-hour urine cortisol sample will not reveal diurnal variations; instead, it will assess the total quantity of unbound cortisol voided over the course of 24 hours.

If an elevated amount of cortisol is found, a health professional will conduct additional tests to confirm the results and discover the cause.

If a person's blood cortisol level is abnormally high, a doctor may order additional tests to be sure the high cortisol is indeed abnormal. Additional testing could involve monitoring 24-hour urinary cortisol, doing an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, and/or obtaining a salivary sample before sleep to detect cortisol at its lowest level. Urinary cortisol testing necessitates collecting urine over a set length of time, usually 24 hours. Because ACTH is released in pulses by the pituitary gland, this test can assist evaluate whether a raised blood cortisol level is a true rise.

An ACTH stimulation test may be ordered if a health practitioner feels that the adrenal glands are not releasing enough cortisol or if initial blood tests reveal insufficient cortisol production.

ACTH stimulation is a test that measures the amount of cortisol in a person's blood before and after a synthetic ACTH injection. Cortisol levels will rise in response to ACTH stimulation if the adrenal glands are functioning normally. Cortisol levels will be low if they are damaged or not working properly. To distinguish between adrenal and pituitary insufficiency, a lengthier variant of this test can be used.

What do my Cortisol Total test results mean?

Cortisol levels are typically lowest before bedtime and highest shortly after awakening, though this pattern can be disrupted if a person works rotating shifts and sleeps at various times on separate days.

Excess cortisol and Cushing syndrome are indicated by an increased or normal cortisol level shortly after awakening, as well as a level that does not diminish by bedtime. If the excess cortisol is not suppressed after an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, the 24-hour urine cortisol is elevated, or the late-night salivary cortisol level is elevated, the excess cortisol is likely due to abnormal increased ACTH production by the pituitary or a tumor outside of the pituitary, or abnormal production by the adrenal glands. Additional tests will aid in determining the root of the problem.

If the person examined responds to an ACTH stimulation test and has insufficient cortisol, the problem is most likely due to insufficient ACTH production by the pituitary. If the person does not respond to the ACTH stimulation test, the problem is most likely to be with the adrenal glands. Secondary adrenal insufficiency occurs when the adrenal glands are underactive as a result of pituitary dysfunction and/or insufficient ACTH synthesis. Adrenal injury causes decreased cortisol production, which is referred to as primary adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease.

Once an irregularity has been found and linked to the pituitary gland, adrenal glands, or another source, the health practitioner may utilize additional testing, such as a CT scan, to determine the extent of any gland damage.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Most Popular

Description: Estradiol is a blood test that is used to measure the levels of Estradiol in the blood's serum. Estradiol is one of the Estrogen hormones in the body.  Estradiol, Ultrasensitive LC/MS/MS #30289 is a more appropriate test for children that have not yet started a menstrual cycle.

Also Known As: E2 Test, Estrogen 2 Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Estradiol test ordered?

Tests for estradiol for women may be ordered if:

  • After menopause, a woman may experience symptoms such as abnormal vaginal bleeding or irregular or absent menstrual cycles.
  • When a woman is unable to conceive, a series of estradiol readings taken over the course of her menstrual cycle may be used to track follicle development before using in vitro fertilization procedures
  • A woman is experiencing menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleeplessness, and/or irregular or absent menstrual cycles.
  • If a menopausal woman is on hormone replacement therapy, her doctor may order estrone levels on a regular basis to check her progress.

Men and young boys may be subjected to estradiol testing if:

  • A boy's puberty is delayed, as evidenced by slow or delayed growth of testicles and penis, as well as a lack of deepening of voice or growth of body hair.
  • Signs of feminization, such as larger breasts.

What does an Estradiol blood test check for?

Estradiol, or E2, is a component of Estrogen that is present in the blood. For women, Estradiol is something that should be produced naturally, and the body produces larger amounts of Estradiol during puberty and it fluctuates throughout the menstrual cycle. Estradiol is most prominent in women of reproductive age. Low levels are common in girls who have not yet had their first menstrual cycle and in women after their reproductive age.

Lab tests often ordered with an Estradiol test:

  • Estrogen, Total, Serum
  • Estriol
  • Estrone
  • Testosterone Free and Total
  • Sex Hormone Binding Globulin
  • FSH
  • LH
  • Progesterone

Conditions where an Estradiol test is recommended:

  • Infertility
  • Menopause
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Hormone Imbalance
  • Premature, delayed, or abnormal development of sex organs

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use an Estradiol test?

Estrogen tests are used to detect a deficit or excess of estrogen in a woman, as well as to aid in the diagnosis of a range of illnesses linked to this imbalance. They may also be ordered to monitor the health of the growing fetus and placenta during pregnancy, as well as to help predict the timing of a woman's ovulation. Estrogen testing can be used to detect a hormone excess and its origin in men.

In the case of girls and women

Estradiol testing may be requested for the following reasons:

  • Diagnose early-onset puberty, which occurs when a girl develops secondary sex traits much earlier than anticipated, or late puberty, which occurs when a female develops secondary sex characteristics or begins menstruation later than predicted.
  • Examine menstrual irregularities such as the absence of menstrual periods, infertility, and unusual vaginal bleeding.
  • Evaluate ovary function and look for signs of ovarian failure.
  • Serial measurements of estradiol can be used to track follicle development in the ovary in the days leading up to in vitro fertilization.
  • Keep track of any hormone replacement therapy you're getting to help with your fertility.
  • Keep track of menopausal hormone replacement medication, which is used to treat symptoms caused by estrogen insufficiency.
  • Identify cancers that produce estrogen.
  • As with breast cancer, keep an eye on anti-estrogen therapy.

Boys and men may be subjected to estradiol testing in order to:

  • Assist in the diagnosis of delayed puberty
  • Assist in determining the cause of larger breasts or other feminization indications.
  • Detect an excess of relative estrogen due to a testosterone or androgen deficit.
  • Identify cancers that produce estrogen.

What do my Estradiol test results mean?

Estradiol is one of the three Estrogens that have a large impact on the women's body throughout the menstrual cycle. When these hormones are too high or too low, it could cause irregular bleeding, infertility, complications with menopause, and delayed or premature puberty. Out of range levels can also be indicative of an ovarian condition such as PCOS. It is important to note that these values will fluctuate throughout a woman's cycle. The Estrogen hormones work together and if one is out of range, the others may also be out of range. It is recommended to follow up with a licensed healthcare professional to determine the best treatment if need.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

IMPORTANT - Note this Estradiol test is not for children that have yet to start their menstrual cycle.  If this test is ordered for a child that has yet to begin their menstrual cycle Quest Diagnostics labs will substitute in Estradiol, Ultrasensitive LC/MS/MS - #30289 at an additional charge of $34


Much of Estradiol is bound to proteins. The unbound portion and Estradiol bound to proteins with low affinity reflect the Free concentration. The Free Estradiol may better correlate with medical conditions than the Total Estradiol concentrations.


Description: Estradiol Ultrasensitive is a blood test that is used to measure the levels of Estradiol in the blood's serum. Estradiol is one of three Estrogen hormones in the body.

Also Known As: E2 Test, Estrogen 2 Test, Estradiol Ultrasensitive Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Estradiol Ultrasensitive test ordered?

Tests for estradiol for women and young girls may be ordered if:

  • The development of a girl's sex organs might occur sooner or later than predicted.
  • After menopause, a woman may experience symptoms such as abnormal vaginal bleeding or irregular or absent menstrual cycles.
  • When a woman is unable to conceive, a series of estradiol readings taken over the course of her menstrual cycle may be used to track follicle development before using in vitro fertilization procedures
  • A woman is experiencing menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleeplessness, and/or irregular or absent menstrual cycles.
  • If a menopausal woman is on hormone replacement therapy, her doctor may order estrone levels on a regular basis to check her progress.

Men and young boys may be subjected to estradiol testing if:

  • A boy's puberty is delayed, as evidenced by slow or delayed growth of testicles and penis, as well as a lack of deepening of voice or growth of body hair.
  • Signs of feminization, such as larger breasts.

What does an Estradiol Ultrasensitive blood test check for?

Estradiol, or E2, is a component of Estrogen that is present in the blood. For women, Estradiol is something that should be produced naturally, and the body produces larger amounts of Estradiol during puberty and it fluctuates throughout the menstrual cycle. Estradiol is most prominent in women of reproductive age. Low levels are common in girls who have not yet had their first menstrual cycle and in women after their reproductive age.

Lab tests often ordered with an Estradiol Ultrasensitive test:

  • Estrogen, Total, Serum
  • Estriol
  • Estrone
  • Testosterone Free and Total
  • Sex Hormone Binding Globulin
  • FSH
  • LH
  • Progesterone

Conditions where an Estradiol Ultrasensitive test is recommended:

  • Infertility
  • Menopause
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Hormone Imbalance
  • Premature, delayed, or abnormal development of sex organs

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use an Estradiol Ultrasensitive test?

Estrogen tests are used to detect a deficit or excess of estrogen in a woman, as well as to aid in the diagnosis of a range of illnesses linked to this imbalance. They may also be ordered to monitor the health of the growing fetus and placenta during pregnancy, as well as to help predict the timing of a woman's ovulation. Estrogen testing can be used to detect a hormone excess and its origin in men.

In the case of girls and women

Estradiol testing may be requested for the following reasons:

  • Diagnose early-onset puberty, which occurs when a girl develops secondary sex traits much earlier than anticipated, or late puberty, which occurs when a female develops secondary sex characteristics or begins menstruation later than predicted.
  • Examine menstrual irregularities such as the absence of menstrual periods, infertility, and unusual vaginal bleeding.
  • Evaluate ovary function and look for signs of ovarian failure.
  • Serial measurements of estradiol can be used to track follicle development in the ovary in the days leading up to in vitro fertilization.
  • Keep track of any hormone replacement therapy you're getting to help with your fertility.
  • Keep track of menopausal hormone replacement medication, which is used to treat symptoms caused by estrogen insufficiency.
  • Identify cancers that produce estrogen.
  • As with breast cancer, keep an eye on anti-estrogen therapy.

Boys and men may be subjected to estradiol testing in order to:

  • Assist in the diagnosis of delayed puberty
  • Assist in determining the cause of larger breasts or other feminization indications.
  • Detect an excess of relative estrogen due to a testosterone or androgen deficit.
  • Identify cancers that produce estrogen.

What do my Estradiol test results mean?

Estradiol is one of the three Estrogens that have a large impact on the women's body throughout the menstrual cycle. When these hormones are too high or too low, it could cause irregular bleeding, infertility, complications with menopause, and delayed or premature puberty. Out of range levels can also be indicative of an ovarian condition such as PCOS. It is important to note that these values will fluctuate throughout a woman's cycle. The Estrogen hormones work together and if one is out of range, the others may also be out of range. It is recommended to follow up with a licensed healthcare professional to determine the best treatment if need.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Estrogens are a group of steroids that regulate the menstrual cycle and function as the main female sex hormones. The most common forms of estrogens tested are estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3). Estrogens are responsible for the development of female sex organs and secondary sex characteristics and are tied to the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. They are considered the main sex hormones in women and are present in small quantities in men. E1 and E2 are the two main estrogens in non-pregnant females.Estrone (E1) is derived from metabolites from the adrenal gland and is often made in adipose tissue (fat). Estrone can be converted into estrdiol or estriol when needed. Estrone is present in small amounts in children prior to puberty and then increases slightly at puberty for both males and females. While levels remain constant in adult males, it will increase and fluctuate for females during the menstrual cycle. After menopause, it becomes the major estrogen, with E2 and E3 levels diminishing greatly.Estradiol (E2) is the predominant form and is produced primarily in the ovaries with additional amounts produced by the adrenal glands in women and in the testes and adrenal glands in men. In menstruating women, levels vary throughout the month, rising and falling in concert with FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), LH (luteinizing hormone), and progesterone as follicles are stimulated in the ovaries, an egg is released, and the uterus prepares for a potential pregnancy. The level is lowest at the beginning of the menstrual cycle and rise to their highest level just before the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation). Normal levels of estradiol provide for proper ovulation, fertilization of the egg (conception), and pregnancy, in addition to promoting healthy bone structure and regulating cholesterol levels.


Most Popular

Description: Estrogen is a blood test that will measure the amount of estrogen in the blood's serum. It is used in fertility treatment, hormone treatment, and can be used to help diagnose a problem with the endocrine system.

Also Known As: Estrogen Estrogenic Hormones Test, Estrogen Test, Total Estrogen Test, Estrogen Serum Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Estrogen Total test ordered?

Testing for estrogen for girls and women may be ordered if:

  • The development of a girl's sex organs occurs sooner or later than predicted.
  • After menopause, a woman may experience symptoms such as abnormal vaginal bleeding or irregular or absent menstrual cycles.
  • When a woman is unable to conceive, a series of estradiol readings taken over the course of her menstrual cycle may be used to track follicle development before using in vitro fertilization procedures.
  • A woman is experiencing menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleeplessness, and/or irregular or absent menstrual cycles.
  • If a menopausal woman is on hormone replacement therapy, her doctor may order estrone levels on a regular basis to check her progress.

Boys and men may be subjected to estrogen testing if:

  • A boy's puberty is delayed, as evidenced by slow or delayed growth of testicles and penis, as well as a lack of deepening of voice or growth of body hair.
  • Signs of feminization, such as larger breasts, can be seen in a guy.

What does an Estrogen Total blood test check for?

Estrogens are a class of steroids that have a role in the development and operation of female reproductive organs, as well as the generation of secondary sex characteristics. They help regulate the menstrual cycle, are essential in the growth of breasts and the uterus, and aid in the maintenance of a healthy pregnancy, together with another hormone, progesterone. Though they are primarily associated with women, they are also prevalent in men and play a role in bone metabolism and growth in both genders.

The amount of estrogen in a man's blood varies, but it does so much less over time and is much lower than in a woman's.

Lab tests often ordered with an Estrogen Total test:

  • Estradiol
  • Estriol
  • Estrone
  • Testosterone Free and Total
  • Sex Hormone Binding Globulin
  • FSH
  • LH
  • Progesterone

Conditions where an Estrogen Total test is recommended:

  • Infertility
  • Menopause
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Hormone Imbalance
  • Premature, delayed, or abnormal development of sex organs

How does my health care provider use an Estrogen Total test?

Estrogen tests are used to detect a deficit or excess of estrogen in a woman, as well as to aid in the diagnosis of a range of illnesses linked to this imbalance. They may also be ordered to monitor the health of the growing fetus and placenta during pregnancy, as well as to help predict the timing of a woman's ovulation. Estrogen testing can be used to detect a hormone excess and its origin in men.

What do my Estrogen test results mean?

The sex and age of the person being tested determine the normal estrogen levels. It also depends on a woman's menstrual cycle or whether she is pregnant. The normal values indicated and the units used in reference ranges will differ slightly between laboratories.

Estrogen levels can be elevated or lowered in a variety of metabolic disorders. Because the levels of estrone, estradiol, and estriol change from day to day and throughout a woman's menstrual cycle, care must be used when interpreting the results.

Rather than examining single numbers, a health practitioner monitoring a woman's hormones will look at trends in the levels, rising or falling over time in connection with the menstrual cycle or pregnancy.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A Follicle Stimulating Hormone, or FSH, test is a blood test that measures the levels of FSH in the blood. This can be used to diagnose conditions related to the sex organs, early or late puberty, or a condition affecting the pituitary or hypothalamus. It is also used to predict ovulation, evaluate infertility and monitor during infertility treatment. Levels that are out of range can help, along with several other hormone test, to evaluate the cause of irregular menstrual cycles.

Also Known As: Follicle Stimulating Hormone Test, Follitropin Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a FSH test ordered?

An FSH test may be recommended for a woman if she is having trouble conceiving or has irregular or absent menstrual periods.

When a woman's menstrual cycle has ended or grown erratic, FSH may be ordered to see if she has entered menopause.

When a man's spouse is unable to conceive, when he has a low sperm count, or when he has low muscle mass or diminished sex drive, for example, the test may be ordered.

When a health care provider detects a pituitary issue in a woman or a man, testing may be ordered. Because a pituitary problem can disrupt the production of a variety of hormones, other signs and symptoms may appear in addition to those described above. Fatigue, weakness, unexpected weight loss, and decreased appetite are just a few examples.

When a boy or girl does not seem to be entering puberty at the proper age, FSH and LH may be prescribed. Puberty symptoms include:

  • Breast enlargement in young women
  • Pubic hair development
  • In boys, the testicles and penis grow.
  • In girls, menstruation begins.

What does a FSH blood test check for?

FSH is a hormone linked to production and the development of eggs and sperm in both men and women. FSH is measured in the blood.

The pituitary gland, a grape-sized structure near the base of the brain, produces FSH. The hypothalamus in the brain, the pituitary gland, and hormones generated by the ovaries or testicles all work together to control FSH production. The hypothalamus secretes gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which causes the pituitary to secrete FSH and luteinizing hormone, a hormone that is closely related to FSH and is also important in reproduction.

During the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, FSH increases the growth and maturation of eggs in the ovaries in women. The menstrual cycle is divided into two phases: follicular and luteal, each lasting approximately 14 days. During this follicular phase, FSH triggers the follicle's synthesis of estradiol, and the two hormones collaborate to help the egg follicle develop further. A surge of FSH and luteinizing hormone occurs near the end of the follicular period. Shortly after this burst of hormones, the egg is released from the ovary. The hormones inhibin, estradiol, and progesterone all help the pituitary gland regulate the quantity of FSH released. FSH also improves the ovary's ability to respond to LH.

Ovarian function declines and eventually quits as a woman matures and approaches menopause. FSH and LH levels rise as a result of this.

FSH induces the development of mature sperm in men's testicles, as well as the production of androgen binding proteins. After adolescence, men's FSH levels remain rather steady.

FSH levels rise early after birth in infants and children, then fall to very low levels by 6 months in boys and 1-2 years in girls. Prior to the onset of puberty and the development of secondary sexual characteristics, concentrations begin to rise again.

The production of too much or too little FSH can be caused by disorders affecting the brain, pituitary, ovaries, or testicles, resulting in infertility, irregular menstrual cycles, or early or delayed sexual development.

Lab tests often ordered with a FSH test:

  • Estrogen
  • Estradiol
  • LH
  • Testosterone
  • Progesterone
  • Androstenedione
  • Sperm Analysis
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone
  • Prolactin
  • Sex Hormone Binding Globulin

Conditions where a FSH test is recommended:

  • Infertility
  • Menopause
  • Pituitary Disorders
  • Endocrine Syndromes
  • PCOS

How does my health care provider use a FSH test?

There are various applications for the follicle-stimulating hormone test, which is a hormone linked to reproduction and the development of eggs in women and sperm in men.

The test can be used with additional hormone assays including luteinizing hormone, testosterone, estradiol, and/or progesterone in both women and men to help:

  • Find out what's causing infertility.
  • Diagnose conditions involving ovarian or testicular dysfunction.
  • Aid in the diagnosis of diseases of the pituitary or hypothalamus, which can impact FSH production.

FSH levels are also relevant in women for:

  • Menstrual irregularities are being investigated.
  • Menopause start or confirmation prediction

FSH levels in males are used to determine the cause of a low sperm count.

FSH and LH are used to diagnose delayed or precocious puberty in children. Puberty timing irregularities could indicate a more significant disease involving the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, ovaries, testicles, or other systems. LH and FSH levels can help distinguish between benign symptoms and real disease. Once it's been determined that the symptoms are due to an actual condition, more testing can be done to figure out what's causing them.

What do my FSH test results mean?

FSH test findings are frequently combined with those from other hormone testing, such as LH, estrogens, and/or testosterone.

A high or low FSH level as part of an infertility workup is not diagnostic, but it does provide some insight into the cause. A hormone imbalance, for example, can influence a woman's menstrual cycle and/or ovulation. To make a diagnosis, a doctor will take into account all of the information gathered during the examination.

Women's Health

FSH and LH levels can assist distinguish between primary ovarian failure and secondary ovarian failure.

Primary ovarian failure is associated with high levels of FSH and LH.

Low FSH and LH levels are indicative of secondary ovarian failure caused by a pituitary or hypothalamic issue. Low FSH levels in the blood have been linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Men's Health

Primary testicular failure causes high FSH levels. As shown below, this can be the result of developmental problems in testicular growth or testicular damage.

Low levels are indicative of pituitary or hypothalamic dysfunction.

Children's Health

Precocious puberty is defined by high levels of FSH and LH, as well as the development of secondary sexual traits at an extremely young age. This occurs far more frequently in girls than in boys. This abnormal development is usually caused by a problem with the central nervous system, which can have a variety of causes.

Normal prepubescent LH and FSH levels in children who are showing signs of pubertal alterations could suggest a syndrome known as "precocious pseudopuberty." Elevated levels of the hormones estrogen or testosterone cause the signs and symptoms.

LH and FSH levels can be normal or below what is expected for a child of this age range in delayed puberty.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Most Popular

Description: A Follicle Stimulating Hormone, or FSH, test is a blood test that measures the levels of FSH in the blood. This can be used to diagnose conditions related to the sex organs, early or late puberty, or a condition affecting the pituitary or hypothalamus. It is also used to predict ovulation, evaluate infertility and monitor during infertility treatment. Levels that are out of range can help, along with several other hormone test, to evaluate the cause of irregular menstrual cycles.

A Luteinizing Hormone, or LH, Test is a test that measures the level of the LH in the blood. It is used to predict ovulation, evaluate infertility and monitor during infertility treatment, or identify a pituitary disorder. It can also help along with several other hormone test to evaluate the cause of irregular menstrual cycles.

Also Known As: Follicle Stimulating Hormone test, Follitropin Test, Luteinizing Hormone Test, Lutropin Test, Interstitial Cell Stimulating Hormone Test, ICSH Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a FSH and LH test ordered?

An FSH and LH test may be recommended for a woman if she is having trouble conceiving or has irregular or absent menstrual periods.

When a woman's menstrual cycle has ended or grown erratic, FSH and LH may be ordered to see if she has entered menopause.

When a man's spouse is unable to conceive, when he has a low sperm count, or when he has low muscle mass or diminished sex drive, for example, the test may be ordered.

When a health care provider detects a pituitary issue in a woman or a man, testing may be ordered. Because a pituitary problem can disrupt the production of a variety of hormones, other signs and symptoms may appear in addition to those described above. Fatigue, weakness, unexpected weight loss, and decreased appetite are just a few examples.

What does a FSH and LH blood test check for?

FSH and LH are hormones linked to production and the development of eggs and sperm in both men and women. FSH and LH is measured in the blood.

The pituitary gland produces FSH and LH. The hypothalamus in the brain, the pituitary gland, and hormones generated by the ovaries or testicles all work together to control FSH and LH production. The hypothalamus secretes gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which causes the pituitary to secrete FSH and luteinizing hormone.

During the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, FSH and LH increases the growth and maturation of eggs in the ovaries in women. The menstrual cycle is divided into two phases: follicular and luteal, each lasting approximately 14 days. During this follicular phase, FSH triggers the follicle's synthesis of estradiol, and the two hormones collaborate to help the egg follicle develop further. A surge of FSH and luteinizing hormone occurs near the end of the follicular period. Shortly after this burst of hormones, the egg is released from the ovary. The hormones inhibin, estradiol, and progesterone all help the pituitary gland regulate the quantity of FSH released. FSH also improves the ovary's ability to respond to LH.

Ovarian function declines and eventually quits as a woman matures and approaches menopause. FSH and LH levels rise as a result of this.

FSH induces the development of mature sperm in men's testicles, as well as the production of androgen binding proteins. After adolescence, men's FSH levels remain rather steady.

FSH levels rise early after birth in infants and children, and then quickly fall to low levels by 6 months of age in boys and  around 1 and half years of age in girls. Before puberty and the development of secondary sexual characteristics, FSH levels begin to rise again.

The production of too much or too little FSH and LH can be caused by disorders affecting the brain, pituitary, ovaries, or testicles, resulting in infertility, irregular menstrual cycles, or early or delayed sexual development.

Lab tests often ordered with a FSH and LH test:

  • Estrogen
  • Estradiol
  • Testosterone
  • Progesterone
  • Androstenedione
  • Sperm Analysis
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone
  • Prolactin
  • Sex Hormone Binding Globulin

Conditions where a FSH and LH test is recommended:

  • Infertility
  • Menopause
  • Pituitary Disorders
  • Endocrine Syndromes
  • PCOS

How does my health care provider use a FSH and LH test?

There are various applications for the follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone test, which are hormones linked to reproduction and the development of eggs in women and sperm in men.

The test can be used with additional hormone assays including luteinizing hormone, testosterone, estradiol, and/or progesterone in both women and men to help:

  • Find out what's causing infertility.
  • Diagnose conditions involving ovarian or testicular dysfunction.
  • Aid in the diagnosis of diseases of the pituitary or hypothalamus, which can impact FSH production.

FSH and LH levels are also relevant in women for:

  • Menstrual irregularities are being investigated.
  • Menopause start or confirmation prediction

FSH and LH levels in males are used to determine the cause of a low sperm count.

FSH and LH are used to identify delayed or early puberty in children. Puberty timing irregularities could indicate a more significant disease involving the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, ovaries, testicles, or other systems. LH and FSH levels can help distinguish between benign symptoms and real disease. Once it's been determined that the symptoms are due to an actual condition, more testing can be done to figure out what's causing them.

What do my FSH and LH test results mean?

FSH and LH test findings are frequently combined with those from other hormone testing estrogens, and/or testosterone.

A high or low FSH level as part of an infertility workup is not diagnostic, but it does provide some insight into the cause. A hormone imbalance, for example, can influence a woman's menstrual cycle and/or ovulation. To make a diagnosis, a doctor will take into account all of the information gathered during the examination.

Women's Health

  • FSH and LH levels can assist distinguish between primary ovarian failure and secondary ovarian failure.
  • Primary ovarian failure is associated with high levels of FSH and LH.
  • Low FSH and LH levels are indicative of secondary ovarian failure caused by a pituitary or hypothalamic issue. Low FSH levels in the blood have been linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Men's Health

  • Primary testicular failure causes high FSH levels. As shown below, this can be the result of developmental problems in testicular growth or testicular damage.
  • Low levels are indicative of pituitary or hypothalamic dysfunction.

Children's Health

  • Precocious puberty is defined by high levels of FSH and LH, as well as the development of secondary sexual traits at an extremely young age. This occurs far more frequently in girls than in boys. This abnormal development is usually caused by a problem with the central nervous system, which can have a variety of causes.
  • Normal prepubescent LH and FSH levels in children who are showing signs of pubertal alterations could suggest a syndrome known as "precocious pseudopuberty."
  • For children with delayed puberty, LH and FSH levels can be normal or below what is expected for children of their age.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Most Popular

Description: A Glucose test is a blood test used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor conditions that affect glucose levels such as prediabetes, diabetes, hyperglycemia, and hypoglycemia.

Also Known As: Fasting Blood Glucose Test, FBG Test, Fasting Blood Sugar Test, FBS Test, Fasting Glucose Test, FG Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Fasting required

When is a Glucose test ordered?

Diabetes screening is recommended by several health groups, including the American Diabetes Association and the United States Preventive Services Task Force, when a person is 45 years old or has risk factors.

The ADA recommends retesting within three years if the screening test result is within normal limits, but the USPSTF recommends testing once a year. Annual testing may be used to monitor people with prediabetes.

When someone exhibits signs and symptoms of high blood glucose, a blood glucose test may be conducted.

Diabetics are frequently asked to self-check their glucose levels multiple times a day in order to monitor glucose levels and choose treatment alternatives as suggested by their doctor. Blood glucose levels may be ordered on a regular basis, along with other tests such as A1c, to track glucose control over time.

Unless they show early symptoms or have had gestational diabetes in a prior pregnancy, pregnant women are routinely screened for gestational diabetes between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. If a woman is at risk of type 2 diabetes, she may be tested early in her pregnancy, according to the American Diabetes Association. When a woman has type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes, her health care provider will normally order glucose levels to monitor her condition throughout the duration of her pregnancy and after delivery.

What does a Glucose blood test check for?

A fasting glucose test measures glucose. Glucose is the major energy source for the body's cells and the brain and nervous system's only source of energy. A consistent supply must be provided, and a somewhat constant level of glucose in the blood must be maintained. The glucose level in the blood can be measured using a variety of methods. 

Fruits, vegetables, breads, and other carbohydrate-rich foods are broken down into glucose during digestion, which is absorbed by the small intestine and circulated throughout the body. Insulin, a hormone generated by the pancreas, is required for the use of glucose for energy production. Insulin promotes glucose transport into cells and instructs the liver to store surplus energy as glycogen for short-term storage or triglycerides in adipose cells.

Normally, blood glucose rises slightly after you eat or drink, and the pancreas responds by releasing insulin into the blood, the amount of which is proportional to the size and substance of the meal. The level of glucose in the blood declines as glucose enters the cells and is digested, and the pancreas responds by delaying, then ceasing the secretion of insulin.

When blood glucose levels fall too low, such as between meals or after a strong activity, glucagon is released, which causes the liver to convert some glycogen back into glucose, so boosting blood glucose levels. The level of glucose in the blood remains pretty steady if the glucose/insulin feedback loop is working appropriately. When the balance is upset and the blood glucose level rises, the body strives to restore it by boosting insulin production and removing excess glucose through the urine.

Several diseases can cause the equilibrium between glucose and pancreatic hormones to be disrupted, resulting in high or low blood glucose. Diabetes is the most common cause. Diabetes is a collection of illnesses characterized by inadequate insulin production and/or insulin resistance. Untreated diabetes impairs a person's ability to digest and utilize glucose normally. Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed when the body is unable to produce any or enough insulin. People with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes are insulin resistant and may or may not be able to produce enough of the hormone.

Organ failure, brain damage, coma, and, in extreme situations, death can result from severe, sudden fluctuations in blood glucose, either high or low. Chronically high blood glucose levels can harm body organs like the kidneys, eyes, heart, blood vessels, and nerves over time. Hypoglycemia can harm the brain and nerves over time.

Gestational diabetes, or hyperglycemia that exclusively arises during pregnancy, can affect some women. If left untreated, this can result in large babies with low glucose levels being born to these mothers. Women with gestational diabetes may or may not acquire diabetes later in life.

Lab tests often ordered with a Glucose test:

  • Complete Blood Count
  • Iron Total and Total Iron binding capacity
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Lipid Panel
  • Urinalysis Complete
  • TSH
  • CMP
  • Insulin
  • Microalbumin
  • Fructosamine
  • C-Peptide

Conditions where a Glucose test is recommended:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Pancreatic Diseases
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Hypoglycemia

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use a Glucose test?

The blood glucose test can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Detect hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia
  • Screen for diabetes in those who are at risk before symptoms appear; there may be no early indications or symptoms of diabetes in some circumstances. As a result, screening can aid in detecting it and allowing treatment to begin before the illness worsens or complications emerge.
  • Aid in the detection of diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes.
  • Monitor your blood sugar levels and manage your diabetes

Glucose levels should be monitored in those who have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy, glucose blood tests are performed to assess pregnant women for gestational diabetes. Pregnant women who have never been diagnosed with diabetes should be screened and diagnosed using either a one-step or two-step strategy, according to the American Diabetes Association and the US Preventive Services Task Force.

Other tests, including diabetic autoantibodies, insulin, and C-peptide, may be used in conjunction with glucose to assist in detecting the reason of elevated glucose levels, differentiate between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and assess insulin production.

What does my glucose test result mean?

High blood glucose levels are most commonly associated with diabetes, but they can also be caused by a variety of other diseases and ailments.

Hypoglycemia is defined by a drop in blood glucose to a level that triggers nervous system symptoms before affecting the brain. The Whipple triad is a set of three criteria for diagnosing hypoglycemia.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A Glucose tolerance test is a blood test used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor conditions that affect glucose levels such as prediabetes, diabetes, hyperglycemia, and hypoglycemia.

Also Known As: Fasting Blood Glucose Test, FBG Test, Blood Sugar Test, Fasting Blood Sugar Test, FBS Test, Fasting Glucose Test, FG Test, Glucose Tolerance Test, GTT Test, Glucose 2 Specimen Test, Glucose 1 Hour Test, Glucose half hour Test, 2 Specimen Glucose Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Fasting required

When is a 2 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test ordered?

Diabetes screening is recommended by several health groups, including the American Diabetes Association and the United States Preventive Services Task Force, when a person is 45 years old or has risk factors.

The ADA recommends retesting within three years if the screening test result is within normal limits, but the USPSTF recommends testing once a year. Annual testing may be used to monitor people with prediabetes.

When someone exhibits signs and symptoms of high blood glucose, a blood glucose test may be conducted.

Diabetics are frequently asked to self-check their glucose levels multiple times a day in order to monitor glucose levels and choose treatment alternatives as suggested by their doctor. Blood glucose levels may be ordered on a regular basis, along with other tests such as A1c, to track glucose control over time.

Unless they show early symptoms or have had gestational diabetes in a prior pregnancy, pregnant women are routinely screened for gestational diabetes between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. If a woman is at risk of type 2 diabetes, she may be tested early in her pregnancy, according to the American Diabetes Association. When a woman has type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes, her health care provider will normally order glucose levels to monitor her condition throughout the duration of her pregnancy and after delivery.

What does a 2 Specimen Glucose Tolerance blood test check for?

A Glucose Tolerance test measures glucose levels in your blood over a period of time through multiple specimen. Glucose is the major energy source for the body's cells and the brain and nervous system's only source of energy. A consistent supply must be provided, and a somewhat constant level of glucose in the blood must be maintained. The glucose level in the blood can be measured using a variety of methods. 

Fruits, vegetables, breads, and other carbohydrate-rich foods are broken down into glucose during digestion, which is absorbed by the small intestine and circulated throughout the body. Insulin, a hormone generated by the pancreas, is required for the use of glucose for energy production. Insulin promotes glucose transport into cells and instructs the liver to store surplus energy as glycogen for short-term storage or triglycerides in adipose cells.

Normally, blood glucose rises slightly after you eat or drink, and the pancreas responds by releasing insulin into the blood, the amount of which is proportional to the size and substance of the meal. The level of glucose in the blood declines as glucose enters the cells and is digested, and the pancreas responds by delaying, then ceasing the secretion of insulin.

When blood glucose levels fall too low, such as between meals or after a strong activity, glucagon is released, which causes the liver to convert some glycogen back into glucose, so boosting blood glucose levels. The level of glucose in the blood remains pretty steady if the glucose/insulin feedback loop is working appropriately. When the balance is upset and the blood glucose level rises, the body strives to restore it by boosting insulin production and removing excess glucose through the urine.

Several diseases can cause the equilibrium between glucose and pancreatic hormones to be disrupted, resulting in high or low blood glucose. Diabetes is the most common cause. Diabetes is a collection of illnesses characterized by inadequate insulin production and/or insulin resistance. Untreated diabetes impairs a person's ability to digest and utilize glucose normally. Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed when the body is unable to produce any or enough insulin. People with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes are insulin resistant and may or may not be able to produce enough of the hormone.

Organ failure, brain damage, coma, and, in extreme situations, death can result from severe, sudden fluctuations in blood glucose, either high or low. Chronically high blood glucose levels can harm body organs like the kidneys, eyes, heart, blood vessels, and nerves over time. Hypoglycemia can harm the brain and nerves over time.

Gestational diabetes, or hyperglycemia that exclusively arises during pregnancy, can affect some women. If left untreated, this can result in large babies with low glucose levels being born to these mothers. Women with gestational diabetes may or may not acquire diabetes later in life.

Lab tests often ordered with a 2 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test:

  • Complete Blood Count
  • Iron Total and Total Iron binding capacity
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Lipid Panel
  • Urinalysis Complete
  • TSH
  • CMP
  • Insulin
  • Microalbumin
  • Fructosamine
  • C-Peptide

Conditions where a 2 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test is recommended:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Pancreatic Diseases
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Hypoglycemia

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use a 2 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test?

A blood glucose test can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Detect hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia
  • Screen for diabetes in those who are at risk before symptoms appear; there may be no early indications or symptoms of diabetes in some circumstances. As a result, screening can aid in detecting it and allowing treatment to begin before the illness worsens or complications emerge.
  • Aid in the detection of diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes.
  • Monitor your blood sugar levels and manage your diabetes

Glucose levels should be monitored in those who have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy, glucose blood tests are performed to assess pregnant women for gestational diabetes. Pregnant women who have never been diagnosed with diabetes should be screened and diagnosed using either a one-step or two-step strategy, according to the American Diabetes Association and the US Preventive Services Task Force.

Other tests, including diabetic autoantibodies, insulin, and C-peptide, may be used in conjunction with glucose to assist in detecting the reason of elevated glucose levels, differentiate between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and assess insulin production.

What do my glucose test results mean?

High blood glucose levels are most commonly associated with diabetes, but they can also be caused by a variety of other diseases and ailments.

Hypoglycemia is defined by a drop in blood glucose to a level that triggers nervous system symptoms before affecting the brain.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A Glucose tolerance test is a blood test used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor conditions that affect glucose levels such as prediabetes, diabetes, hyperglycemia, and hypoglycemia.

Also Known As: Fasting Blood Glucose Test, FBG Test, Blood Sugar Test, Fasting Blood Sugar Test, FBS Test, Fasting Glucose Test, FG Test, Glucose Tolerance Test, GTT Test, Glucose 3 Specimen Test, Glucose 2 Hour Test, Glucose 1 hour Test, 3 Specimen Glucose Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Fasting required

When is a 3 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test ordered?

Diabetes screening is recommended by several health groups, including the American Diabetes Association and the United States Preventive Services Task Force, when a person is 45 years old or has risk factors.

The ADA recommends retesting within three years if the screening test result is within normal limits, but the USPSTF recommends testing once a year. Annual testing may be used to monitor people with prediabetes.

When someone exhibits signs and symptoms of high blood glucose, a blood glucose test may be conducted.

Diabetics are frequently asked to self-check their glucose levels multiple times a day in order to monitor glucose levels and choose treatment alternatives as suggested by their doctor. Blood glucose levels may be ordered on a regular basis, along with other tests such as A1c, to track glucose control over time.

Unless they show early symptoms or have had gestational diabetes in a prior pregnancy, pregnant women are routinely screened for gestational diabetes between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. If a woman is at risk of type 2 diabetes, she may be tested early in her pregnancy, according to the American Diabetes Association. When a woman has type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes, her health care provider will normally order glucose levels to monitor her condition throughout the duration of her pregnancy and after delivery.

What does a 3 Specimen Glucose Tolerance blood test check for?

A Glucose Tolerance test measures glucose levels in your blood over a period of time through multiple specimen. Glucose is the major energy source for the body's cells and the brain and nervous system's only source of energy. A consistent supply must be provided, and a somewhat constant level of glucose in the blood must be maintained. The glucose level in the blood can be measured using a variety of methods. 

Fruits, vegetables, breads, and other carbohydrate-rich foods are broken down into glucose during digestion, which is absorbed by the small intestine and circulated throughout the body. Insulin, a hormone generated by the pancreas, is required for the use of glucose for energy production. Insulin promotes glucose transport into cells and instructs the liver to store surplus energy as glycogen for short-term storage or triglycerides in adipose cells.

Normally, blood glucose rises slightly after you eat or drink, and the pancreas responds by releasing insulin into the blood, the amount of which is proportional to the size and substance of the meal. The level of glucose in the blood declines as glucose enters the cells and is digested, and the pancreas responds by delaying, then ceasing the secretion of insulin.

When blood glucose levels fall too low, such as between meals or after a strong activity, glucagon is released, which causes the liver to convert some glycogen back into glucose, so boosting blood glucose levels. The level of glucose in the blood remains pretty steady if the glucose/insulin feedback loop is working appropriately. When the balance is upset and the blood glucose level rises, the body strives to restore it by boosting insulin production and removing excess glucose through the urine.

Several diseases can cause the equilibrium between glucose and pancreatic hormones to be disrupted, resulting in high or low blood glucose. Diabetes is the most common cause. Diabetes is a collection of illnesses characterized by inadequate insulin production and/or insulin resistance. Untreated diabetes impairs a person's ability to digest and utilize glucose normally. Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed when the body is unable to produce any or enough insulin. People with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes are insulin resistant and may or may not be able to produce enough of the hormone.

Organ failure, brain damage, coma, and, in extreme situations, death can result from severe, sudden fluctuations in blood glucose, either high or low. Chronically high blood glucose levels can harm body organs like the kidneys, eyes, heart, blood vessels, and nerves over time. Hypoglycemia can harm the brain and nerves over time.

Gestational diabetes, or hyperglycemia that exclusively arises during pregnancy, can affect some women. If left untreated, this can result in large babies with low glucose levels being born to these mothers. Women with gestational diabetes may or may not acquire diabetes later in life.

Lab tests often ordered with a 3 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test:

  • Complete Blood Count
  • Iron Total and Total Iron binding capacity
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Lipid Panel
  • Urinalysis Complete
  • TSH
  • CMP
  • Insulin
  • Microalbumin
  • Fructosamine
  • C-Peptide

Conditions where a 3 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test is recommended:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Pancreatic Diseases
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Hypoglycemia

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use a 3 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test?

A blood glucose test can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Detect hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia
  • Screen for diabetes in those who are at risk before symptoms appear; there may be no early indications or symptoms of diabetes in some circumstances. As a result, screening can aid in detecting it and allowing treatment to begin before the illness worsens or complications emerge.
  • Aid in the detection of diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes.
  • Monitor your blood sugar levels and manage your diabetes

Glucose levels should be monitored in those who have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy, glucose blood tests are performed to assess pregnant women for gestational diabetes. Pregnant women who have never been diagnosed with diabetes should be screened and diagnosed using either a one-step or two-step strategy, according to the American Diabetes Association and the US Preventive Services Task Force.

Other tests, including diabetic autoantibodies, insulin, and C-peptide, may be used in conjunction with glucose to assist in detecting the reason of elevated glucose levels, differentiate between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and assess insulin production.

What do my glucose test results mean?

High blood glucose levels are most commonly associated with diabetes, but they can also be caused by a variety of other diseases and ailments.

Hypoglycemia is defined by a drop in blood glucose to a level that triggers nervous system symptoms before affecting the brain.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A Glucose tolerance test is a blood test used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor conditions that affect glucose levels such as prediabetes, diabetes, hyperglycemia, and hypoglycemia.

Also Known As: Fasting Blood Glucose Test, FBG Test, Blood Sugar Test, Fasting Blood Sugar Test, FBS Test, Fasting Glucose Test, FG Test, Glucose Tolerance Test, GTT Test, Glucose 4 Specimen Test, Glucose 3 Hour Test, Glucose 1 and half hour Test, 4 Specimen Glucose Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Fasting required

When is a 4 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test ordered?

Diabetes screening is recommended by several health groups, including the American Diabetes Association and the United States Preventive Services Task Force, when a person is 45 years old or has risk factors.

The ADA recommends retesting within three years if the screening test result is within normal limits, but the USPSTF recommends testing once a year. Annual testing may be used to monitor people with prediabetes.

When someone exhibits signs and symptoms of high blood glucose, a blood glucose test may be conducted.

Diabetics are frequently asked to self-check their glucose levels multiple times a day in order to monitor glucose levels and choose treatment alternatives as suggested by their doctor. Blood glucose levels may be ordered on a regular basis, along with other tests such as A1c, to track glucose control over time.

Unless they show early symptoms or have had gestational diabetes in a prior pregnancy, pregnant women are routinely screened for gestational diabetes between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. If a woman is at risk of type 2 diabetes, she may be tested early in her pregnancy, according to the American Diabetes Association. When a woman has type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes, her health care provider will normally order glucose levels to monitor her condition throughout the duration of her pregnancy and after delivery.

What does a 4 Specimen Glucose Tolerance blood test check for?

A Glucose Tolerance test measures glucose levels in your blood over a period of time through multiple specimen. Glucose is the major energy source for the body's cells and the brain and nervous system's only source of energy. A consistent supply must be provided, and a somewhat constant level of glucose in the blood must be maintained. The glucose level in the blood can be measured using a variety of methods. 

Fruits, vegetables, breads, and other carbohydrate-rich foods are broken down into glucose during digestion, which is absorbed by the small intestine and circulated throughout the body. Insulin, a hormone generated by the pancreas, is required for the use of glucose for energy production. Insulin promotes glucose transport into cells and instructs the liver to store surplus energy as glycogen for short-term storage or triglycerides in adipose cells.

Normally, blood glucose rises slightly after you eat or drink, and the pancreas responds by releasing insulin into the blood, the amount of which is proportional to the size and substance of the meal. The level of glucose in the blood declines as glucose enters the cells and is digested, and the pancreas responds by delaying, then ceasing the secretion of insulin.

When blood glucose levels fall too low, such as between meals or after a strong activity, glucagon is released, which causes the liver to convert some glycogen back into glucose, so boosting blood glucose levels. The level of glucose in the blood remains pretty steady if the glucose/insulin feedback loop is working appropriately. When the balance is upset and the blood glucose level rises, the body strives to restore it by boosting insulin production and removing excess glucose through the urine.

Several diseases can cause the equilibrium between glucose and pancreatic hormones to be disrupted, resulting in high or low blood glucose. Diabetes is the most common cause. Diabetes is a collection of illnesses characterized by inadequate insulin production and/or insulin resistance. Untreated diabetes impairs a person's ability to digest and utilize glucose normally. Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed when the body is unable to produce any or enough insulin. People with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes are insulin resistant and may or may not be able to produce enough of the hormone.

Organ failure, brain damage, coma, and, in extreme situations, death can result from severe, sudden fluctuations in blood glucose, either high or low. Chronically high blood glucose levels can harm body organs like the kidneys, eyes, heart, blood vessels, and nerves over time. Hypoglycemia can harm the brain and nerves over time.

Gestational diabetes, or hyperglycemia that exclusively arises during pregnancy, can affect some women. If left untreated, this can result in large babies with low glucose levels being born to these mothers. Women with gestational diabetes may or may not acquire diabetes later in life.

Lab tests often ordered with a 4 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test:

  • Complete Blood Count
  • Iron Total and Total Iron binding capacity
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Lipid Panel
  • Urinalysis Complete
  • TSH
  • CMP
  • Insulin
  • Microalbumin
  • Fructosamine
  • C-Peptide

Conditions where a 4 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test is recommended:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Pancreatic Diseases
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Hypoglycemia

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use a 4 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test?

A blood glucose test can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Detect hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia
  • Screen for diabetes in those who are at risk before symptoms appear; there may be no early indications or symptoms of diabetes in some circumstances. As a result, screening can aid in detecting it and allowing treatment to begin before the illness worsens or complications emerge.
  • Aid in the detection of diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes.
  • Monitor your blood sugar levels and manage your diabetes

Glucose levels should be monitored in those who have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy, glucose blood tests are performed to assess pregnant women for gestational diabetes. Pregnant women who have never been diagnosed with diabetes should be screened and diagnosed using either a one-step or two-step strategy, according to the American Diabetes Association and the US Preventive Services Task Force.

Other tests, including diabetic autoantibodies, insulin, and C-peptide, may be used in conjunction with glucose to assist in detecting the reason of elevated glucose levels, differentiate between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and assess insulin production.

What do my glucose test results mean?

High blood glucose levels are most commonly associated with diabetes, but they can also be caused by a variety of other diseases and ailments.

Hypoglycemia is defined by a drop in blood glucose to a level that triggers nervous system symptoms before affecting the brain.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A Glucose tolerance test is a blood test used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor conditions that affect glucose levels such as prediabetes, diabetes, hyperglycemia, and hypoglycemia.

Also Known As: Fasting Blood Glucose Test, FBG Test, Blood Sugar Test, Fasting Blood Sugar Test, FBS Test, Fasting Glucose Test, FG Test, Glucose Tolerance Test, GTT Test, Glucose 5 Specimen Test, Glucose 4 Hour Test, Glucose 2 hour Test, 5 Specimen Glucose Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Fasting required

When is a 5 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test ordered?

Diabetes screening is recommended by several health groups, including the American Diabetes Association and the United States Preventive Services Task Force, when a person is 45 years old or has risk factors.

The ADA recommends retesting within three years if the screening test result is within normal limits, but the USPSTF recommends testing once a year. Annual testing may be used to monitor people with prediabetes.

When someone exhibits signs and symptoms of high blood glucose, a blood glucose test may be conducted.

Diabetics are frequently asked to self-check their glucose levels multiple times a day in order to monitor glucose levels and choose treatment alternatives as suggested by their doctor. Blood glucose levels may be ordered on a regular basis, along with other tests such as A1c, to track glucose control over time.

Unless they show early symptoms or have had gestational diabetes in a prior pregnancy, pregnant women are routinely screened for gestational diabetes between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. If a woman is at risk of type 2 diabetes, she may be tested early in her pregnancy, according to the American Diabetes Association. When a woman has type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes, her health care provider will normally order glucose levels to monitor her condition throughout the duration of her pregnancy and after delivery.

What does a 5 Specimen Glucose Tolerance blood test check for?

A Glucose Tolerance test measures glucose levels in your blood over a period of time through multiple specimen. Glucose is the major energy source for the body's cells and the brain and nervous system's only source of energy. A consistent supply must be provided, and a somewhat constant level of glucose in the blood must be maintained. The glucose level in the blood can be measured using a variety of methods. 

Fruits, vegetables, breads, and other carbohydrate-rich foods are broken down into glucose during digestion, which is absorbed by the small intestine and circulated throughout the body. Insulin, a hormone generated by the pancreas, is required for the use of glucose for energy production. Insulin promotes glucose transport into cells and instructs the liver to store surplus energy as glycogen for short-term storage or triglycerides in adipose cells.

Normally, blood glucose rises slightly after you eat or drink, and the pancreas responds by releasing insulin into the blood, the amount of which is proportional to the size and substance of the meal. The level of glucose in the blood declines as glucose enters the cells and is digested, and the pancreas responds by delaying, then ceasing the secretion of insulin.

When blood glucose levels fall too low, such as between meals or after a strong activity, glucagon is released, which causes the liver to convert some glycogen back into glucose, so boosting blood glucose levels. The level of glucose in the blood remains pretty steady if the glucose/insulin feedback loop is working appropriately. When the balance is upset and the blood glucose level rises, the body strives to restore it by boosting insulin production and removing excess glucose through the urine.

Several diseases can cause the equilibrium between glucose and pancreatic hormones to be disrupted, resulting in high or low blood glucose. Diabetes is the most common cause. Diabetes is a collection of illnesses characterized by inadequate insulin production and/or insulin resistance. Untreated diabetes impairs a person's ability to digest and utilize glucose normally. Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed when the body is unable to produce any or enough insulin. People with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes are insulin resistant and may or may not be able to produce enough of the hormone.

Organ failure, brain damage, coma, and, in extreme situations, death can result from severe, sudden fluctuations in blood glucose, either high or low. Chronically high blood glucose levels can harm body organs like the kidneys, eyes, heart, blood vessels, and nerves over time. Hypoglycemia can harm the brain and nerves over time.

Gestational diabetes, or hyperglycemia that exclusively arises during pregnancy, can affect some women. If left untreated, this can result in large babies with low glucose levels being born to these mothers. Women with gestational diabetes may or may not acquire diabetes later in life.

Lab tests often ordered with a 5 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test:

  • Complete Blood Count
  • Iron Total and Total Iron binding capacity
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Lipid Panel
  • Urinalysis Complete
  • TSH
  • CMP
  • Insulin
  • Microalbumin
  • Fructosamine
  • C-Peptide

Conditions where a 5 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test is recommended:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Pancreatic Diseases
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Hypoglycemia

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use a 5 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test?

A blood glucose test can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Detect hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia
  • Screen for diabetes in those who are at risk before symptoms appear; there may be no early indications or symptoms of diabetes in some circumstances. As a result, screening can aid in detecting it and allowing treatment to begin before the illness worsens or complications emerge.
  • Aid in the detection of diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes.
  • Monitor your blood sugar levels and manage your diabetes

Glucose levels should be monitored in those who have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy, glucose blood tests are performed to assess pregnant women for gestational diabetes. Pregnant women who have never been diagnosed with diabetes should be screened and diagnosed using either a one-step or two-step strategy, according to the American Diabetes Association and the US Preventive Services Task Force.

Other tests, including diabetic autoantibodies, insulin, and C-peptide, may be used in conjunction with glucose to assist in detecting the reason of elevated glucose levels, differentiate between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and assess insulin production.

What do my glucose test results mean?

High blood glucose levels are most commonly associated with diabetes, but they can also be caused by a variety of other diseases and ailments.

Hypoglycemia is defined by a drop in blood glucose to a level that triggers nervous system symptoms before affecting the brain.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A Glucose tolerance test is a blood test used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor conditions that affect glucose levels such as prediabetes, diabetes, hyperglycemia, and hypoglycemia.

Also Known As: Fasting Blood Glucose Test, FBG Test, Blood Sugar Test, Fasting Blood Sugar Test, FBS Test, Fasting Glucose Test, FG Test, Glucose Tolerance Test, GTT Test, Glucose 6 Specimen Test, Glucose 5 Hour Test, Glucose 2 and half hour Test, 6 Specimen Glucose Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Fasting required

When is a 6 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test ordered?

Diabetes screening is recommended by several health groups, including the American Diabetes Association and the United States Preventive Services Task Force, when a person is 45 years old or has risk factors.

The ADA recommends retesting within three years if the screening test result is within normal limits, but the USPSTF recommends testing once a year. Annual testing may be used to monitor people with prediabetes.

When someone exhibits signs and symptoms of high blood glucose, a blood glucose test may be conducted.

Diabetics are frequently asked to self-check their glucose levels multiple times a day in order to monitor glucose levels and choose treatment alternatives as suggested by their doctor. Blood glucose levels may be ordered on a regular basis, along with other tests such as A1c, to track glucose control over time.

Unless they show early symptoms or have had gestational diabetes in a prior pregnancy, pregnant women are routinely screened for gestational diabetes between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. If a woman is at risk of type 2 diabetes, she may be tested early in her pregnancy, according to the American Diabetes Association. When a woman has type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes, her health care provider will normally order glucose levels to monitor her condition throughout the duration of her pregnancy and after delivery.

What does a 6 Specimen Glucose Tolerance blood test check for?

A Glucose Tolerance test measures glucose levels in your blood over a period of time through multiple specimen. Glucose is the major energy source for the body's cells and the brain and nervous system's only source of energy. A consistent supply must be provided, and a somewhat constant level of glucose in the blood must be maintained. The glucose level in the blood can be measured using a variety of methods. 

Fruits, vegetables, breads, and other carbohydrate-rich foods are broken down into glucose during digestion, which is absorbed by the small intestine and circulated throughout the body. Insulin, a hormone generated by the pancreas, is required for the use of glucose for energy production. Insulin promotes glucose transport into cells and instructs the liver to store surplus energy as glycogen for short-term storage or triglycerides in adipose cells.

Normally, blood glucose rises slightly after you eat or drink, and the pancreas responds by releasing insulin into the blood, the amount of which is proportional to the size and substance of the meal. The level of glucose in the blood declines as glucose enters the cells and is digested, and the pancreas responds by delaying, then ceasing the secretion of insulin.

When blood glucose levels fall too low, such as between meals or after a strong activity, glucagon is released, which causes the liver to convert some glycogen back into glucose, so boosting blood glucose levels. The level of glucose in the blood remains pretty steady if the glucose/insulin feedback loop is working appropriately. When the balance is upset and the blood glucose level rises, the body strives to restore it by boosting insulin production and removing excess glucose through the urine.

Several diseases can cause the equilibrium between glucose and pancreatic hormones to be disrupted, resulting in high or low blood glucose. Diabetes is the most common cause. Diabetes is a collection of illnesses characterized by inadequate insulin production and/or insulin resistance. Untreated diabetes impairs a person's ability to digest and utilize glucose normally. Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed when the body is unable to produce any or enough insulin. People with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes are insulin resistant and may or may not be able to produce enough of the hormone.

Organ failure, brain damage, coma, and, in extreme situations, death can result from severe, sudden fluctuations in blood glucose, either high or low. Chronically high blood glucose levels can harm body organs like the kidneys, eyes, heart, blood vessels, and nerves over time. Hypoglycemia can harm the brain and nerves over time.

Gestational diabetes, or hyperglycemia that exclusively arises during pregnancy, can affect some women. If left untreated, this can result in large babies with low glucose levels being born to these mothers. Women with gestational diabetes may or may not acquire diabetes later in life.

Lab tests often ordered with a 6 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test:

  • Complete Blood Count
  • Iron Total and Total Iron binding capacity
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Lipid Panel
  • Urinalysis Complete
  • TSH
  • CMP
  • Insulin
  • Microalbumin
  • Fructosamine
  • C-Peptide

Conditions where a 6 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test is recommended:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Pancreatic Diseases
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Hypoglycemia

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use a 6 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test?

A blood glucose test can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Detect hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia
  • Screen for diabetes in those who are at risk before symptoms appear; there may be no early indications or symptoms of diabetes in some circumstances. As a result, screening can aid in detecting it and allowing treatment to begin before the illness worsens or complications emerge.
  • Aid in the detection of diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes.
  • Monitor your blood sugar levels and manage your diabetes

Glucose levels should be monitored in those who have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy, glucose blood tests are performed to assess pregnant women for gestational diabetes. Pregnant women who have never been diagnosed with diabetes should be screened and diagnosed using either a one-step or two-step strategy, according to the American Diabetes Association and the US Preventive Services Task Force.

Other tests, including diabetic autoantibodies, insulin, and C-peptide, may be used in conjunction with glucose to assist in detecting the reason of elevated glucose levels, differentiate between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and assess insulin production.

What do my glucose test results mean?

High blood glucose levels are most commonly associated with diabetes, but they can also be caused by a variety of other diseases and ailments.

Hypoglycemia is defined by a drop in blood glucose to a level that triggers nervous system symptoms before affecting the brain.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A Glucose tolerance test is a blood test used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor conditions that affect glucose levels such as prediabetes, diabetes, hyperglycemia, and hypoglycemia.

Also Known As: Fasting Blood Glucose Test, FBG Test, Blood Sugar Test, Fasting Blood Sugar Test, FBS Test, Fasting Glucose Test, FG Test, Glucose Tolerance Test, GTT Test, Glucose 7 Specimen Test, Glucose 6 Hour Test, Glucose 3 hour Test, 7 Specimen Glucose Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Fasting required

When is a 7 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test ordered?

Diabetes screening is recommended by several health groups, including the American Diabetes Association and the United States Preventive Services Task Force, when a person is 45 years old or has risk factors.

The ADA recommends retesting within three years if the screening test result is within normal limits, but the USPSTF recommends testing once a year. Annual testing may be used to monitor people with prediabetes.

When someone exhibits signs and symptoms of high blood glucose, a blood glucose test may be conducted.

Diabetics are frequently asked to self-check their glucose levels multiple times a day in order to monitor glucose levels and choose treatment alternatives as suggested by their doctor. Blood glucose levels may be ordered on a regular basis, along with other tests such as A1c, to track glucose control over time.

Unless they show early symptoms or have had gestational diabetes in a prior pregnancy, pregnant women are routinely screened for gestational diabetes between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. If a woman is at risk of type 2 diabetes, she may be tested early in her pregnancy, according to the American Diabetes Association. When a woman has type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes, her health care provider will normally order glucose levels to monitor her condition throughout the duration of her pregnancy and after delivery.

What does a 7 Specimen Glucose Tolerance blood test check for?

A Glucose Tolerance test measures glucose levels in your blood over a period of time through multiple specimen. Glucose is the major energy source for the body's cells and the brain and nervous system's only source of energy. A consistent supply must be provided, and a somewhat constant level of glucose in the blood must be maintained. The glucose level in the blood can be measured using a variety of methods. 

Fruits, vegetables, breads, and other carbohydrate-rich foods are broken down into glucose during digestion, which is absorbed by the small intestine and circulated throughout the body. Insulin, a hormone generated by the pancreas, is required for the use of glucose for energy production. Insulin promotes glucose transport into cells and instructs the liver to store surplus energy as glycogen for short-term storage or triglycerides in adipose cells.

Normally, blood glucose rises slightly after you eat or drink, and the pancreas responds by releasing insulin into the blood, the amount of which is proportional to the size and substance of the meal. The level of glucose in the blood declines as glucose enters the cells and is digested, and the pancreas responds by delaying, then ceasing the secretion of insulin.

When blood glucose levels fall too low, such as between meals or after a strong activity, glucagon is released, which causes the liver to convert some glycogen back into glucose, so boosting blood glucose levels. The level of glucose in the blood remains pretty steady if the glucose/insulin feedback loop is working appropriately. When the balance is upset and the blood glucose level rises, the body strives to restore it by boosting insulin production and removing excess glucose through the urine.

Several diseases can cause the equilibrium between glucose and pancreatic hormones to be disrupted, resulting in high or low blood glucose. Diabetes is the most common cause. Diabetes is a collection of illnesses characterized by inadequate insulin production and/or insulin resistance. Untreated diabetes impairs a person's ability to digest and utilize glucose normally. Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed when the body is unable to produce any or enough insulin. People with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes are insulin resistant and may or may not be able to produce enough of the hormone.

Organ failure, brain damage, coma, and, in extreme situations, death can result from severe, sudden fluctuations in blood glucose, either high or low. Chronically high blood glucose levels can harm body organs like the kidneys, eyes, heart, blood vessels, and nerves over time. Hypoglycemia can harm the brain and nerves over time.

Gestational diabetes, or hyperglycemia that exclusively arises during pregnancy, can affect some women. If left untreated, this can result in large babies with low glucose levels being born to these mothers. Women with gestational diabetes may or may not acquire diabetes later in life.

Lab tests often ordered with a 7 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test:

  • Complete Blood Count
  • Iron Total and Total Iron binding capacity
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Lipid Panel
  • Urinalysis Complete
  • TSH
  • CMP
  • Insulin
  • Microalbumin
  • Fructosamine
  • C-Peptide

Conditions where a 7 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test is recommended:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Pancreatic Diseases
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Hypoglycemia

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use a 7 Specimen Glucose Tolerance test?

A blood glucose test can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Detect hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia
  • Screen for diabetes in those who are at risk before symptoms appear; there may be no early indications or symptoms of diabetes in some circumstances. As a result, screening can aid in detecting it and allowing treatment to begin before the illness worsens or complications emerge.
  • Aid in the detection of diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes.
  • Monitor your blood sugar levels and manage your diabetes

Glucose levels should be monitored in those who have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy, glucose blood tests are performed to assess pregnant women for gestational diabetes. Pregnant women who have never been diagnosed with diabetes should be screened and diagnosed using either a one-step or two-step strategy, according to the American Diabetes Association and the US Preventive Services Task Force.

Other tests, including diabetic autoantibodies, insulin, and C-peptide, may be used in conjunction with glucose to assist in detecting the reason of elevated glucose levels, differentiate between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and assess insulin production.

What do my glucose test results mean?

High blood glucose levels are most commonly associated with diabetes, but they can also be caused by a variety of other diseases and ailments.

Hypoglycemia is defined by a drop in blood glucose to a level that triggers nervous system symptoms before affecting the brain.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Most Popular

Description: A growth hormone test is going to measure the amount of growth hormone in the body. It is used to determine if a person is deficient in growth hormone causing slowed growth. Less commonly, it can be used to determine if there is too much growth hormone causing gigantism or acromegaly.

Also Known As: GH Test, Growth Hormone GH, HGH Test, Human Growth Hormone (hGH), Somatotropin, Growth Hormone Stimulation Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Patients should be fasting and have rested for at least 30 minutes prior to collection.

When is a Growth Hormone test ordered?

When a kid exhibits the following signs and symptoms of growth hormone insufficiency, GH testing is recommended.

  • A child's growth rate is slowed in early life
  • Delay in puberty compared to other children of the same chronological age
  • Bone growth is delayed 

Stimulation testing may be requested for an adult when there are symptoms of GHD and/or hypopituitarism, such as:

  • Bone density has decreased
  • Fatigue
  • Deficiencies in lipids, such as excessive cholesterol
  • Exercise tolerance is reduced

Other hormone testing, such as thyroid testing, is usually done first to rule out other causes of comparable symptoms. In both children and adults, GH deficiency is uncommon. If GH deficiency was detected in childhood or there is a history of hypothalamic or pituitary illness, it is conceivable in adults.

What does a Growth Hormone blood test check for?

Growth hormone is a hormone that is necessary for children's appropriate growth and development. From birth to adolescence, it promotes correct linear bone growth. Growth hormone regulates the rate at which the body produces energy from meals as well as lipids, proteins, and glucose in both children and adults. It also aids in the regulation of red blood cell formation and muscle mass.

The pituitary gland, a grape-sized gland behind the bridge of the nose at the base of the brain, produces growth hormone. It's released into the bloodstream in pulses throughout the day and night, with maxima occurring largely at night. As a result, a single measurement of GH in blood is difficult to interpret and is rarely relevant in clinical practice. If the sample is collected during a pulse, the value will be higher; if it is taken between pulses, the value will be lower. As a result, GH stimulation and suppression tests are frequently employed to detect GH anomalies.

GH insufficiency is a condition in which the body does not produce enough of

Insufficient GH production causes children to grow more slowly and to be smaller for their age. Some children are born with GH shortage, but others may develop a shortfall later in life as a result of a brain injury or tumor. These disorders can damage the pituitary gland, resulting in a reduction in pituitary function and decreased pituitary hormone production. The cause of a deficit is sometimes unknown.

Growth hormone is involved in the regulation of bone density, muscular mass, and glucose and lipid metabolism in adults. It can also have an impact on the heart and kidneys. Deficiencies might start in childhood or emerge later in life. Damage to the pituitary gland from a head injury, a brain tumor, surgery, or radiation treatment, for example, might create a deficit. Pituitary hormones may be reduced as a result of this. A GH deficit can cause a loss of bone density, muscle mass, and lipid levels to change. Adults with decreased bone density and/or muscle strength, as well as elevated lipids, are not routinely tested for GH insufficiency. These illnesses are caused by GH deficiency, which is a fairly unusual cause.

Excess GH

A GH-secreting pituitary tumor is the most common cause of excessive GH. Surgically removing the pituitary tumor that is producing the excess and/or treating it with medicines or radiation are frequently options. In most situations, GH and IGF-1 levels will revert to normal or near normal levels as a result of this.

In youngsters, too much GH can cause their long bones to continue to develop past puberty, culminating in gigantism, a rare disorder characterized by heights of 7 feet or more. Excess GH can cause face thickness, general weakness, delayed puberty, and headaches in those who have it.

Excess GH in adults can cause acromegaly, an uncommon disorder characterised by bone thickening rather than bone lengthening. Increased GH levels can lead to bigger hands and feet, expanded facial bones, carpal tunnel syndrome, and abnormally enlarged internal organs, despite symptoms like skin thickening, sweating, weariness, headaches, and joint discomfort being modest at first. Skin tags and intestinal polyps can also be caused by too much GH.

If neglected, acromegaly and gigantism can result in type 2 diabetes, a higher risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and, generally, a shorter lifespan.

Lab tests often ordered with a Growth Hormone test:

  • IGF-1
  • Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone
  • TSH
  • Free T3
  • Free T4
  • Cortisol
  • Glucose
  • Prolactin
  • IGF BP-3

Conditions where a Growth Hormone test is recommended:

  • Pituitary Disorders
  • Thyroid Disorders
  • Endocrine Syndromes

How does my health care provider use a Growth Hormone test?

Growth hormone testing is frequently done as a follow-up to other aberrant pituitary hormone test results in order to diagnose growth hormone insufficiency and evaluate pituitary gland function.

GH testing is also used to detect excess GH and to diagnose and track acromegaly and gigantism treatment.

Growth hormone is required for appropriate development and growth in children, as well as for the regulation of metabolism in both children and adults. GH is produced by the pituitary gland and released into the blood in pulses throughout the day.

Because growth hormone is released in pulses, a single blood level measurement is rarely useful in clinical practice. As a result, it's common to do tests to see if the pituitary is suppressing or stimulating growth hormone secretion.

GH stimulation tests are used to identify hypopituitarism and GH insufficiency. A sample of blood is collected after 10-12 hours of fasting for a stimulation test. The person is then given an intravenous solution of a chemical that generally stimulates the production of GH from the pituitary under under medical supervision. Blood is obtained at regular intervals and GH levels are measured to evaluate if the pituitary gland was stimulated to produce the desired levels of GH. The most common stimulant is arginine, but clonidine and glucagon are also utilized. Vigorous exercise, which generally induces an increase in GH, could be employed as a GH release stimulant.

GH suppression tests aid in the detection of GH excess. A blood sample is drawn after 10-12 hours of fasting for a suppression test. A standard glucose solution is then given to the person to drink. Blood samples are taken at regular intervals and examined for GH to evaluate if the glucose dose has suppressed the pituitary gland adequately.

Insulin-like growth factor-1 is produced in response to growth hormone. IGF-1 is a hormone that helps promote appropriate bone and tissue growth and development by mediating the effects of GH. Unlike GH, however, its blood level remains constant throughout the day. As a result, IGF-1 is a good indication of average GH levels, and the IGF-1 test is frequently used to diagnose GH shortage or excess.

A GH suppression test and IGF testing can also be used to track how well a GH-producing pituitary tumor is responding to treatment. If a tumor is found, the levels of GH and IGF-1 can be evaluated after it is removed to see if the tumor was completely eliminated. For years following, tests may be required at regular intervals to monitor GH production and detect tumor recurrence.

Prolactin, free T4, TSH, cortisol, FSH, LH, and testosterone are some of the other blood tests that can be used to assess pituitary gland function. These tests are routinely done before GH testing to ensure that they are normal and/or under control with medication before GH testing. Hypothyroidism, for example, must be treated before GH deficiency testing in children; otherwise, a falsely low GH result may be seen.

What do my growth hormone test results mean?

If the person has signs and symptoms of GHD and their GH levels are not significantly stimulated after a GH stimulation test, it is likely that they have a GH deficiency that the health practitioner can treat.

Thyroid issues can induce symptoms similar to GHD, therefore if the person's TSH and/or T4 levels are abnormal, it will likely be addressed first. Hypopituitarism and/or a general decline in pituitary function are also possible. GH deficiency tests should not be done until a person's thyroid function has been assessed. If a child has hypothyroidism, the condition should be addressed and the child's growth rate assessed before GH testing is considered.

If a person engages in rigorous exercise but does not see a rise in GH levels, they may have a GH deficiency. This discovery would need to be followed up with more testing.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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Description: Insulin-like growth factor is a test that is testing for the amount of IGF in the blood. It is used to determine if there is a lack of IGF, causing growth to be slow and underdeveloped for the age, or less likely and excesses causing too much growth for the age. It can also be used to monitor growth hormone treatments.

Also Known As: Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 Test, Somatomedin-C Test, IGF1 Test, IGF-I Test, IGF Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a IGF-1 test ordered?

IGF-1 testing is ordered in conjunction with a GH stimulation test when:

  • A youngster has GH deficient signs such as delayed growth and reduced stature.
  • Impaired bone density, weariness, undesirable changes in cholesterol levels, and reduced exercise tolerance are among the symptoms that a health practitioner suspects are caused by a GH deficit in adults. However, in adults with these symptoms, testing for IGF-1 insufficiency is not standard; GH and IGF-1 deficiency are both extremely rare causes of these illnesses.

When a doctor suspects someone has an underactive pituitary gland, an IGF-1 test may be requested, as well as at regular intervals to monitor individuals on GH medication.

When a child develops symptoms of gigantism or an adult shows evidence of acromegaly, IGF-1 testing may be requested along with a GH suppression test.

When a GH-producing pituitary tumor is discovered, GH and IGF-1 tests are performed after the tumor has been surgically removed to see if all of the tumor has been eliminated. When someone is enduring the medication and/or radiation therapy that usually follows tumor resection, IGF-1 is also ordered at regular intervals.

IGF-1 levels can be tested at regular intervals for many years to track a person's GH production and look for recurrence of a pituitary tumor.

What does a a IGF-1 blood test check for?

Insulin-like growth factor-1 is a hormone that, together with growth hormone, aids in the normal growth and development of bones and tissues. The test determines how much IGF-1 is present in the blood.

In response to GH stimulation, the liver and skeletal muscle, as well as many other tissues, create IGF-1. Many of GH's activities are mediated by IGF-1, which promotes the growth of bones and other tissues as well as the synthesis of lean muscle mass. It's difficult to interpret the findings of a single GH test because GH is released into the blood in pulses throughout the day. IGF-1 levels are similar to GH excesses and deficiencies, however unlike GH, they are steady throughout the day. As a result, IGF-1 can be used to estimate average GH levels. As a result, the IGF-1 test is frequently used to determine if a person has GH deficit or excess.

IGF-1 levels, like GH, start low in early childhood, progressively rise throughout childhood, peak at puberty, and then fall in adulthood. A malfunctioning pituitary gland with diminished pituitary hormones or the presence of a non-GH-producing pituitary tumor that destroys hormone-producing cells can induce GH and IGF-1 deficiencies. Where there is a lack of response to GH, IGF-1 deficiencies can also emerge. Conditions such as starvation, hypothyroidism, sex hormone insufficiency, and chronic disorders can cause this insensitivity. Genetic GH insensitivity is quite uncommon.

Early-life IGF-1 deficit, which is usually caused by GH shortage, can stifle bone growth and development, resulting in a child who is shorter than average in stature. Reduced production in adults can result in a loss of bone density, muscular mass, and lipid levels. Adults with lower bone density and/or muscle strength, as well as elevated lipids, are not routinely tested for IGF-1 deficiency, or GH deficit. A extremely rare cause of these illnesses is GH deficit, which leads to IGF-1 deficiency.

Excess GH and IGF-1 can induce acromegaly and gigantism, two rare disorders characterized by abnormal skeleton growth and other signs and symptoms. Gigantism causes bones to grow longer in children, resulting in a person who is unusually tall and has huge feet and hands. Acromegaly is a condition that causes bones to thicken and soft tissues, such as the nose, to enlarge in adults. Both disorders can cause organ enlargement, such as the heart, as well as additional problems like type 2 diabetes, a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, and a shorter lifespan.

A GH-producing pituitary tumor is the most common cause of excessive GH secretion in the pituitary. Surgical removal of the tumor and/or treatment with medicines or radiation are frequently options. In most situations, GH and IGF-1 levels will revert to normal or near normal levels as a result of this.

Lab tests often ordered with a IGF-1 test:

  • Growth Hormone
  • Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone
  • Glucose
  • Glucose Tolerance Tests
  • Total T4
  • Free T4
  • IGFBP-3

Conditions where a IGF-1 test is recommended:

  • Pituitary Disorders
  • Endocrine Syndromes
  • PCOS

How does my health care provider use a IGF-1 test?

An insulin-like growth factor-1 test may be used to:

  • It may be ordered in conjunction with GH stimulation testing to provide extra information a s a follow-up to abnormal hormone test findings
  • Examine the function of the pituitary gland.

IGF-1 tests are less usually used to detect excess growth hormone and to diagnose and monitor the therapy of acromegaly and gigantism, two rare diseases.

IGF-1 is a hormone that, along with growth hormone, aids in the normal growth and development of bone and tissue. Along with GH, an IGF-1 test is frequently requested. IGF-1 reflects GH excesses and deficiencies, but its blood level remains constant throughout the day, making it a good measure of typical GH levels.

IGF-1 may be ordered in conjunction with other pituitary hormone assays, such as prolactin, FSH, and LH, to aid in the diagnosis of pituitary gland malfunction and low pituitary hormone levels.

A GH-producing pituitary tumor can be detected and treated using IGF-1 testing and a GH suppression test. Imaging scans that help identify and pinpoint the tumor are usually used to confirm an anterior pituitary tumor. If surgery is required, GH and IGF-1 levels are evaluated after the tumor has been removed to see if the tumor was completely eliminated. To try to reduce GH production and bring IGF-1 to a normal or near-normal concentration, drug and/or radiation therapy may be used in addition to, or sometimes instead of, surgery. IGF-1 may be ordered at regular intervals for years following treatment to monitor GH production and detect tumor recurrence and to monitor the success of this therapy.

The measurement of GH and IGF-1 levels can also provide information about GH insensitivity. If the IGF-1 level is found to be normal for age and sex before completing definitive GH testing, GH insufficiency is ruled out and conclusive testing is not required.

What do my IGF-1 test results mean?

A normal IGF-1 level must be viewed in context. Even if a person has a GH shortage, their IGF-1 level can be normal.

If the IGF-1 level is low, it's likely that you have a GH deficiency or a GH insensitivity. If this occurs in a child, the GH shortage may already have resulted in low height and delayed development, which can be corrected with GH supplementation. Adults will see a decline in production as they get older, but lower than normal levels could indicate a GH deficiency or insensitivity.

If a drop in IGF-1 is thought to be the result of a more general loss in pituitary function, multiple other endocrine glands and their pituitary-regulating chemicals will need to be assessed before treatment can be determined. Reduced pituitary function can occur as a result of genetic abnormalities or as a result of pituitary injury caused by trauma, infections, or inflammation.

Nutritional deficits, chronic kidney or liver disease, inactive/ineffective forms of GH, and excessive estrogen dosages can all cause IGF-1 levels to drop.

Greater IGF-1 levels usually imply increased GH synthesis. IGF-1 levels are a representation of average GH production, not the actual quantity of GH in the blood at the time the sample for the IGF-1 measurement was obtained, because GH levels vary throughout the day. This is correct up until the liver's capacity for IGF-1 production is achieved. The IGF-1 level will stabilize at an enhanced maximal level with drastically increased GH production.

Increased GH and IGF-1 levels are typical throughout puberty and pregnancy, although pituitary tumors are the most common cause.

If IGF-1 levels remain elevated after a pituitary tumor has been surgically removed, the surgery may not have been completely successful. The treatment is reducing GH production if IGF-1 levels decrease with successive medication and/or radiation therapies. If IGF-1 levels return to "normal," the person is no longer making excessive amounts of GH. An increase in IGF-1 levels may suggest a return of the pituitary tumor when someone is being monitored for a long time.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.



The pituitary gland is responsible for regulating hormonal production in the human body. When the gland begins to secrete too much or too little, it often leads to a set of symptoms associated with pituitary disorders. In some cases, the condition involves the presence of a pituitary tumor, which presses against nearby tissues.

The endocrine system is composed of multiple functional and well-integrated parts, including the pituitary gland. Several glands within the human body are interlinked via the endocrine system. These glands produce a variety of hormones to help balance and regulate the body’s natural processes.

This gland is located at the bottom of the brain and behind the sinus cavity. It also sits below the hypothalamus, which is responsible for sending important messages to other parts of the nervous system while regulating the body’s processes. This includes sending hormones designed to start and/or stop the pituitary gland. Once initiated, the pituitary gland begins to release its hormones to other glands, which increases the production of other hormones throughout the endocrine system.

In its basic layout, the pituitary is composed of two parts – the front (anterior) and the back (posterior). Both parts are responsible for different hormones.

  • Anterior (Front): With the anterior pituitary, it’s responsible for secreting GH (growth hormone), TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), ACTH (Adrenocorticotrophic hormone), FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), Prolactin, and LH (luteinizing hormone). These hormones offer a long list of organic benefits, including increased muscle mass, stress regulation, blood sugar levels, bone growth, metabolic rate, sexual characteristics, and fertility. This includes targeting specific tissues in the human body, such as the ovaries for women, testicles for men, thyroid glands, and adrenal glands.
  • Posterior (Back): With the posterior pituitary, it’s responsible for storing ADH (antidiuretic hormone) and oxytocin from the hypothalamus. The antidiuretic hormone helps regulate the kidney’s water output to ensure the body’s water levels remain balanced while oxytocin is responsible for regulating the uterus and its contractions during the birthing process for women while also playing a role during breastfeeding (releasing milk).

It’s important to note that pituitary disorders encompass several different hormones leading to a unique set of symptoms for everyone.

Causes of Pituitary Disorders

When a tumor begins to grow in the area, this can bring along with several medical concerns. The average tumor is diagnosed as a pituitary adenoma (benign), but this can still lead to significant hormonal production by the pituitary gland when it’s active. As a result, this hampers other glands in the endocrine system while restricting blood flow to the surrounding tissues. Optic nerves and/or blood vessels near the tumor can become compromised due to their positioning. Once the tumor begins to press against the surrounding tissues, it will lead to symptoms such as vision problems (loss of vision), headaches, weakness, seizures, fatigue, and other relevant symptoms associated with hormone production.

Additional causes can include:

  • Head Trauma
  • Genetic Conditions (From Birth)
  • Genetic Mutations
  • A Malignant Tumor
  • Reduced Blood Supply to the Pituitary Gland
  • Radiation Treatment
  • Excess Iron (i.e., Blood Transfusions/Hemochromatosis)
  • Unknown Health Condition

Examples of Pituitary Disorders

Pituitary Tumors

This type of tumor can cause a variety of symptoms, including too much or too little hormone production. In most cases, the tumor will be benign but can cause symptoms such as headaches, visual problems, and other similar problems as it grows. Due to the added growth, this gland can press against surrounding tissues leading to increased hormone production in some areas and reduced hormone production in others.

Growth Hormone Deficiency

This is seen in children and can lead to issues involving delayed growth. For adults, the symptoms can include general fatigue, muscular weakness, obesity, and/or reduced bone mass.

Hypopituitarism

This can include trauma, tumors, infections, sarcoidosis, autoimmune concerns, decreased pituitary blood supply, radiation, side effects of pituitary surgery, or the removal of a pituitary gland. Due to these reasons, the body doesn’t gain access to enough pituitary hormone production to stay healthy.

Hyperprolactinemia

In this case, the pituitary tumor begins to release prolactin and/or suppresses the secretion of prolactin. This can lead to symptoms involving a lack of breast milk for feeding mothers, too much breast milk (outside pregnancy), low libido, lack of menstrual periods, and erectile dysfunction.

Empty Sella Syndrome

This involves the sella, which is a small part of the skull (hollow) where the pituitary is situated. It includes a specialized membrane called the sellae located on top of the pituitary as protection. If something causes this membrane to burst or open, it can lead to a unique MRI scan where the socket appears empty through imaging. Therefore, the condition is called Empty Sella Syndrome by medical experts and can often be associated with radiation therapy or tumors.

Craniopharyngioma

This is often seen in young children and teenagers but can also show up in adults over the age of 50. In general, the condition is benign but can press against the pituitary leading to headaches, delayed growth, hypopituitarism, and vision issues.

Rare Pituitary Disorders

Acromegaly and Gigantism

This is when the growth hormone production skyrockets because of adenoma (benign tumor). The condition usually occurs in childhood and is linked with gigantism (excessive bone growth), causing children to grow taller than the average adult. This is known as acromegaly as the bone thickens, leading to larger hands, coarsened facial features, headaches, larger feet, sleep apnea, fatigue, sweating, hypertension, colon cancer, and/or diabetes mellitus.

Adrenal Insufficiency

This is a rare disorder triggered by pituitary dysfunction. When the hormone ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) depletes, it can often be a sign of adrenal insufficiency. ACTH is responsible for acting as a pituitary messenger. This includes sending messages to the adrenal cortex for it to release cortisol. When the ACTH level drops, it can often be linked to pituitary damage or a pituitary tumor. This leads to a drop in cortisol production, which reduces the amount of aldosterone and cortisone in the body. These hormones are responsible for regulating the body’s blood pressure and metabolism.

Cushing Disease

This disorder encompasses specific symptoms associated with excess ACTH caused by the pituitary tumor. When there’s excess ACTH, this leads to hyperactive adrenal glands releasing too much cortisol. Due to the additional cortisol, it can lead to a long list of symptoms including a larger face, obesity (torso), thinner arms, thinner legs, muscular weaknesses, high blood sugar, pink streaks (Abdomen), osteoporosis, and high blood pressure.

Diabetes insipidus

This includes a reduction in ADH production via the hypothalamus. The kidneys don’t retain enough water causing the individual to feel thirsty while having to frequent the bathroom often (dilute urination).

Nelson Syndrome

This disorder occurs when the adrenal glands have been removed from the human body as a treatment option. The tumor begins to actively produce ACTH while hampering the pituitary hormones. This can lead to symptoms involving skin darkening as the MSH (melanocyte-stimulating hormone) levels rise.

Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1 (MEN1)

This genetic mutation can increase the likelihood of developing tumors close to the pituitary and other similar endocrine glands.

Kallman Syndrome

This is a genetic condition due to a deficiency in GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone). This can create a reduction in LH and FSH production while halting a child’s puberty and hampering their ability to smell.

Pituitary Infarction

This is often cited as a leading cause of bleeding near a benign pituitary tumor. It occurs once the surrounding tissues have been damaged (hypopituitarism).

Sheehan Syndrome

This is a rare condition that occurs after childbirth. It takes place due to excessive bleeding during birth, causing the pituitary gland to lose function. This is noted as a pituitary infarction.

Tests

Comprehensive lab testing can determine the presence of too much or too little hormones. These tests can also pinpoint specific pituitary disorders, their severity, and what type of treatment is best for the individual. With cases of inherited conditions, the risk of a pituitary disorder is seen across all ages and demands constant checkups.

It’s recommended to seek scheduled testing to compare hormonal measurements at different ages. This can help diagnose fluctuations in TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) along with additional hormones produced by the endocrine system such as Thyroxine (Thyroid Gland Hormone T4).

Tests can assess the following hormones:

LH and FSH

Prolactin Cortisol and ACTH

Free T4 (Thyroxine) and TSH IGF-1 and GH

Regular test results may include:

  • Constant TSH Levels
  • Varying Cortisol Levels
  • Cyclical LH and FSH Levels (Menstrual Cycle Only)
  • Increased Prolactin Production (During Breastfeeding for Women or Periods of Stress)

These variations in each test necessitate regular testing to pinpoint specific trends in the hormonal levels. This can help determine whether a person has excess or deficient hormones. It can also account for medicine-related suppression or production.