When compared to traditional blood testing of adrenal hormones, salivary assessment offers several advantages:
The Adrenocortex Stress Profile can help provide identification and targeted treatment of hormonal imbalances using customized hormone and/or nutritional therapies improves symptoms and enhances quality of life.
Genova offers other salivary hormone tests which include assessment of salivary cortisol, DHEA, and melatonin including:
What is the Adrenocortex Stress Profile?
The Adrenocortex Stress Profile is a convenient, noninvasive salivary assay that evaluates the bioactive levels and interrelationship of the body's important stress hormones, cortisol and DHEA. This profile serves as an insightful tool for uncovering biochemical imbalances that can be associated with anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, obesity, dysglycemia, and a host of other clinical conditions.
There is no ideal specimen type for measuring hormones since there are advantages to each, depending on clinical goals. In the case of stress hormones, the majority of circulating hormones are bound to proteins and are biologically inert. Salivary testing assesses unbound, biologically-active levels of the following hormones:
- Cortisol –
Cortisol is released in large amounts in response to physical, physiological, and/or psychological stressors. A glucocorticoid response that is elevated, extended, or inadequate can impair a person's adaptation to stress, increase or decrease HPA-axis activity and is considered a health risk. Due to the circadian pattern of cortisol release, sequential timed measurements of cortisol provide the best tracking of overall cortisol production.
- DHEA –
In contrast to cortisol, DHEA exerts mostly anabolic actions and balances the body's stress response. DHEA functions to provide substrate for the synthesis of sex hormones, guards against degenerative conditions associated with aging, influences immune function and energy production, and affects insulin sensitivity, thyroid function, and protein synthesis.
The report configuration provides for easy interpretation and clinically actionable results:
- Sequentially timed measurements of cortisol allows the clinician to assess the result of diurnal variations in the patient across a 24-hour period
- The timed cortisol graph allows quick-and-easy visualization of abnormal hormone values, as well as changes over the 24-hour test period
- Abnormal salivary adrenal hormone provide direction for therapeutic interventions
When should the Adrenocortex Stress Profile test be considered?
The Adrenocortex Stress Profile is designed to assist in identifying imbalances in the production of the adrenal hormones, cortisol and DHEA.
The Adrenocortex Stress Profile is useful in distinguishing between hormone-related symptoms that could be due to sex hormone imbalance or adrenal hormone imbalance. Adrenal hormones create potent metabolic effects in many tissues of the body and can adversely affect:
- Immune Defense
- Thyroid Function
- Weight Control
- Resistance to Stress
- Cardiovascular Health
In addition to assisting in patient management around hormone-dependent symptoms, the profile can help to provide some insight into daily lifestyle stressors that are negatively impacting hormone balance.
What advantage does the Adrenocortex Stress Profile test offer compared to other hormone tests?
Conventional serum analysis of cortisol is used routinely in clinical practice for the evaluation of adrenal insufficiency. This is usually performed as an adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation test which requires hospital admission and often creates moderate to severe side effects. In contrast, salivary hormone collection can be done in home and is a preferred low-stress alternative, showing excellent correlation with serum.
By analyzing four sequentially timed measurements of cortisol across a 24-hour period, the profile can provide insight into abnormal diurnal patterns of adrenal hormones in the patient.
What can clinicians and patients expect from Adrenocortex Stress Profile testing
Imbalances in adrenal hormones can have a wide range of negative consequences in the body, which can adversely impact the overall quality of life for the patient. Adrenocortex Stress Profile testing can reveal these imbalances and provide direction for clinical intervention with targeted therapeutic treatments. These include hormone therapy, nutrient and/or botanical support, as well as stress management and lifestyle interventions to improve the quality of life and potentially prevent future sequelae of dysfunctional hormone production.