top of page
adrenal hormone testing

Cortisol Hormone Testing

assessing adrenal dysfunction

The body's experience of stress is carefully mapped out by a series of hormone responses. Traditionally designed for a dangerous situation, the body releases bursts of the hormones cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline to prepare for a “fight or flight” response. High levels of cortisol free up stored energy to help the body physically resist or flee from physical danger. However, that is less commonly the cause in modern society.

Elevated Cortisol: 
In this day and age, everyday stress tends to be lower and of longer duration, leading to prolonged elevated cortisol, and symptoms like: 

  • feeling tired but wired

  • difficulty sleeping

  • anxiety

  • difficulty losing weight

  • storing weight around your midsection

  • elevated blood pressure

Excess cortisol also interferes with the action of other hormones (progesterone, testosterone and thyroid), creating more hormone imbalance and more symptoms.

Low Cortisol:
With continued stress, the adrenal glands may become depleted from producing too much cortisol or may reduce cortisol production significantly in response to the detrimental effects of high cortisol. Symptoms of low cortisol may include 

  • fatigue (particularly morning fatigue)

  • increased susceptibility to infection

  • decreased recovery from exercise

  • allergies

  • low blood sugar

  • depression 

  • and low sex drive


Other adrenal hormones can be affected, particularly aldosterone and DHEA. Low aldosterone may result in reduced sodium and potassium levels. Symptoms of low DHEA are not well defined, although low DHEA is often associated with chronic illness and premature aging.

Why get hormone testing?

While clinical symptoms provide some insight, hormone testing gives you and your Naturopath a detailed snapshot into what is going on with your endocrine system. Blood work provides a detailed analysis of not only adrenal activity, but also provides insight into other metabolic and endocrine organs that may be influenced by a change in cortisol levels. This ultimately provides information on excesses or deficiencies of stress hormones and shows how the body is managing/metabolizing this stress. The results allow for a tailored treatment plan specific to you and your needs, and treatments often work faster and more effectively. 

suspect this might be you?

let's explore the possibility that hormonal imbalances might be connected to your symptoms

Toronto Naturopath
bottom of page