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Genova Diagnostics

Comprehensive Adrenal Stress Profile

Our adrenal hormones regulate our sleep and wake cycles.  The Comprehensive Adrenal Stress Profile assesses levels of cortisol, our main stress hormone the hormone DHEA (which negates the negative aspects of cortisol and is an important anti-ageing hormone).  It also measures Secretory IgA (SIgA) which gives an indication of the impact that long term stress may have had on the immune system.   Imbalances of cortisol, DHEA and SIgA can lead to the most common health complaints of the 21st century. Both excesses and deficiencies of DHEA and cortisol have been implicated in the aetiology of various illnesses and immune suppression.

Price: £107


The adrenals are two small glands that sit on top of the kidneys. Their job is to produce key hormones that run the sleep-wake cycle and allow us to respond to stress.

In a healthy body, the main adrenal hormones cortisol and DHEA are produced in balance, and in a regular pattern through the day. The levels of these hormones should be high in the morning when you wake up and gradually decrease through the day to reaching their lowest point at bedtime.

Cortisol is the main stress hormone produced by the adrenals. It helps us to wake up in the morning and to respond to challenging situations. It is also a potent anti-inflammatory hormone. However, cortisol can suppress immune function, raise blood sugar and inhibit thyroid function if levels are too high for too long.

DHEA helps to protect the body from the negative effects of cortisol. It is a very powerful anti-ageing hormone. Low levels of DHEA are associated with a higher risk of many chronic diseases. Since cortisol and DHEA have opposing effects, they should be viewed together.

In short term stress, cortisol and DHEA are produced in balance so there is only a little negative impact on health. In medium-term stress, DHEA production can become compromised leaving cortisol running riot. This is called adrenal dysfunction and can lead to poor immune function, inflammation, central weight gain, blood sugar problems, poor detoxification, reduced bone density, memory problems and hormone imbalances.

Stress can also result in cortisol being produced in a disordered pattern. This can lead to disturbances in the sleep-wake cycle such as morning exhaustion, nighttime alertness, and difficulty sleeping.

If stress persists long term it’s possible that the body becomes unable to output sufficient levels of cortisol or DHEA. This is sometimes referred to as adrenal exhaustion and results in extreme fatigue, trouble getting to sleep and waking up, cravings for salt and sugar, reliance on caffeine and stimulants, and complete lack of energy and motivation.

The best way to test cortisol and DHEA is through the saliva. Blood levels of adrenal hormones are less accurate because these hormones are bound to proteins in the blood. Saliva testing is preferred over blood because it allows us to measure the levels of free hormones. These are the ones that will actually have an action on receptors.

This test is recommended for people who:

  • Have had a lot of stress in their lives
  • Who are currently under a lot of stress
  • Have symptoms of depleted adrenal function
  • Who have sleep issues
  • Have persistent fatigue with no known cause

Diagnostic tests as unique as you are

No-one is the same. Yet we often use standardised tests that assumes we are. We can be given a diagnosis on symptoms alone, yet the cause for those symptoms may not be the diagnosis