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Cortisol Saliva Test - 4 Specimens in Ashburn, VA

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This test provides measurements of cortisol levels across four saliva samples.

What is this test?

This test measures cortisol levels in your saliva. Cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, affects almost every organ and tissue in your body. Proper cortisol levels are important in helping the body respond to stress, fight infection, regulate blood sugar, maintain blood pressure, and regulate metabolism.

You must get a specimen collection kit from the lab to take this test. This allows you to make the sample collections where and when it is convenient for you, without having to return to the lab to collect each of the four samples. 

What is a Cortisol Saliva Test?

The Cortisol Saliva Test works by collecting 4 samples of saliva and measuring the amounts of cortisol in each sample. If your cortisol levels are too high or too low, it may mean you have an adrenal gland disorder. These disorders can be serious if not treated.

Why would my doctor order a Cortisol Saliva Test?

Your provider may order a saliva test for cortisol to diagnose certain adrenal and pituitary gland conditions, such as Cushing’s syndrome, Addison’s disease, and adrenocortical insufficiency or hypersecretion.

When should I order a Cortisol Saliva Test?

Your provider may wish to order a Cortisol Saliva Test if you’ve exhibited the following symptoms:  

  • Abnormally high or low blood pressure
  • Sudden weight gain or loss
  • Purple abdominal streaks 
  • Fatigue 
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark patches on the skin. 

How do I read the results of the test?

Once you receive the results of your saliva test for cortisol, you will need to consult with your provider. Only a medical professional can advise you on the results of your cortisol levels and help you develop a treatment plan if necessary. 

Do my results change with age?

A Cortisol Saliva Test will show slight fluctuations over time. Changes in your sleep schedule may also make your cortisol levels fluctuate. However, significant changes in cortisol levels are often due to adrenal or pituitary gland issues. 

What should I expect at my appointment?

You will have to get a Cortisol Saliva Test kit from the lab, and follow collection instructions. Your provider will tell you when you should collect your saliva specimens, and will likely tell you not to eat or drink for 30 minutes prior to collection, and may ask you to refrain from consuming alcohol for 24 hours before the test.

These tests are typically only administered 3 times a week, so how long you'll have to wait for Cortisol Saliva Test results can differ. They generally take 4-9 business days to process. 

How much does a test cost?

The cost of a Cortisol Saliva Test listed on Tripment Health is transparent and final — you will never be asked to pay additional fees at the testing facility, or receive a surprise bill down the road. 

Where can I find an affordable Cortisol Saliva Test near me?

Tripment Health has partnered with nearly 7,000 lab test facilities across 48 states. Finding a Cortisol Saliva Test, current procedural technology (cpt) code 18921, is easier than ever. Add the lab tests you need to your cart, then select a testing facility conveniently close to you. 

FAQs

What's the difference between a Cortisol Saliva Test and a Cortisol Blood Test? 

Cortisol saliva tests allow you to collect 4 samples of cortisol throughout the day, whereas blood tests only collect a single sample at one time. Since cortisol levels fluctuate throughout the day, the Cortisol Saliva Test is considered to be more accurate. 

Does alcohol consumption affect the Cortisol Saliva Test? 

Alcohol has been found to increase levels of cortisol, both while consuming alcohol, and while withdrawing from the effects of alcohol. 


$183

+$15 service fee

Price does not include the Physician Service Fee ($6) and the Lab Collection Fee ($9). These non-refundable fees cover the ordering and oversight of lab tests and follow-up services when appropriate.

Next availability

Provided by Quest Diagnostics

Quest test codes:
18921

How does it work?

  • 1. Select a test

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  • 2. Pay online

    Pay online with a credit or debit card — no insurance needed

  • 3. Go to the lab

    Visit the lab of your choice

  • 4. Get fast results online

    We will email you when results are ready, in 1–3 business days

Frequently asked questions

Your provider may order this test to diagnose disorders of the adrenal and pituitary glands. These include Cushing’s syndrome, Addison’s disease, Adrenocortical Insufficiency, or Hypersecretion.

Your provider may wish to order a Cortisol Saliva Test if you’ve exhibited symptoms related to irregular cortisol production, such as: 

  • unexplained weight loss or gain
  • anxiety
  • chronic fatigue
  • muscle weakness
  • abdominal pain
  • skin that bruises easily
  • very high or low blood pressure 

You must follow the collection kit directions very closely to take the Cortisol Saliva Test at home. 

Once you receive the results of your test, you will need to consult with your provider. Only a medical professional can advise you on the healthy ranges of cortisol in your body and help you develop a treatment plan if necessary. You can get an online consultation with a vetted, highly rated doctor through Tripment Health. 

Normal aging is associated with cortisol changes, including changes in the structure and function of the adrenal gland. Infection, stress, pregnancy, birth control pills, and other medicines can also affect cortisol levels.


To prepare for a Cortisol Saliva Test, your provider will issue a specimen container and specific collection instructions. They may ask you to not eat, drink, or brush your teeth 30 minutes prior to collection. Because cortisol levels change throughout the day, your provider will likely recommend that your test be conducted at a specific time when cortisol levels are lower. Cortisol Saliva Tests are considered to be highly accurate, though they may be used in conjunction with additional blood, urine, or imaging tests, such as CT scans and MRIs, for an even deeper analysis. Cortisol Saliva Test results typically take 4-9 business days to process. 

The cost of a Cortisol Saliva Test listed on Tripment Health is transparent and final – you will never be asked to pay additional fees at the testing facility, or receive a surprise bill down the road. 

Tripment Health has partnered with nearly 7,000 lab test facilities across 48 states. Finding a Cortisol Saliva Test, current procedural technology (cpt) code 18921, is easier than ever. Add the lab tests you need to your cart, then select a testing facility conveniently close to you.