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Cortisol, 24 Hour

Cortisol, 24 Hour

Cortisol is the major adrenal steroid hormone and is controlled by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. The body’s stress response increases cortisol in order to mobilize energy to manage and resolve the stressor. Cortisol levels rise and fall during the day. The highest levels typically occur at about 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and the lowest levels at about midnight.

How to collect a 24 hour urine specimen:

  • Do not urinate directly into the container. Urine should be collected in another clean container and then carefully poured into the 24 hour collection container.
  • Empty bladder completely on awakening in the morning and discard this urine specimen. Record date and time under “start” and begin the test. (i.e. 6/22/14 @ 7:00 a.m.)
  • All urine passed during the rest of the day and night for the next 24 hours must be poured into the container.
  • Make final collection the next morning at the exact time recorded under start below. Record the date and time under “finish”. (i.e. 6/23/14 @ 7:00 a.m.)
  • Take the 24 hour specimen to the physician’s office or laboratory as soon as possible.

Fasting is not required for this test. Take all medications as prescribed.