A cortisol urine test is also known as urinary free cortisol test or UFC test. This test measures the amount of cortisol in your urine for 24 hours. Cortisol is a hormone produced by adrenal glands that are located on top of kidneys. The glands release this hormone in form of a reaction given by the body for physical and emotional stress. Cortisol levels rise 9•and fall naturally throughout the day. Usually the level of the hormone is highest during morning and lowest during midnight. This might vary from person to person. Cortisol urine test is performed to determine the reason of abnormal cortisol levels.
Before the test is conducted it is important to inform the doctor regarding prescribed drugs or ay over the counter medicines you are taking. There are certain medications that can affect the accuracy of the test. Your doctor may ask you to stop taking the medicines however it is not advised to stop the medicines without doctor’s consultation.
The doctor may advise you to take the 24 hour cortisol urine test if your body shows symptoms of a medical condition that causes the cortisol levels to rise and fall. Most common symptoms include increased urination, increased thirst, pink or purple sketch marks on skin, weight gain and muscle weakness. Women may experience irregular menstrual cycle and excess hair on face and chest. Children affected from any medical condition of this sort may show delayed physical and cognitive development. When cortisol levels drop significantly to life threatening levels, acute adrenaline crisis occurs in the body. Symptoms of acute adrenaline crisis are weight loss, fainting, loss of appetite and diarhea.
This test is involves ordinary urination and is a safe and painless procedure. The level of cortisol is measured in a urinary sample that is collected over a period of 24 hours. Separate containers are given by the doctor to collect urinary sample. Also the doctor gives a proper explanation regarding how to collect the sample properly. On the first day of collecting sample- Urinate into the toilet after waking up. Flush this first sample away. After the first sample, collect all the samples in special containers and store them in safe place. On the second day of collecting sample- Urinate into the container right after you wake up. This will the last sample for the test Return the containers to the respective person as soon as possible.
Cortisol 24 Hour Urine
All age groups
10 - 100 micrograms/24 hrs