Christie Clinic - Medicine for Your Life

Our website is currently having technical difficulties. To view the site, please click here

Health Encyclopedia

Health Encyclopedia

An invaluable resource of health information.

Cortisol - urine

A cortisol urine test measures the amount of the steroid hormone cortisol in the urine.

  • Alternative Names

    24-hour urinary free cortisol (UFC)

  • How the test is performed

    A 24-hour urine sample is needed. The health care provider will instruct you, if necessary, to stop taking drugs that may affect the test.

    • On day 1, urinate into the toilet when you get up in the morning. Afterwards, collect all urine in a special container for the next 24 hours. Keep the container in a cool place during the test period.
    • On day 2, urinate into the container when you get up in the morning.
    • Cap the container. Label the container with your name, the date, the time of completion, and return it as instructed. Keep it in the refrigerator or a cool place until you return it to the laboratory.

    FOR INFANTS

    Thoroughly wash the area around the urethra. Open a urine collection bag (a plastic bag with adhesive paper on one end), and place it on the infant. For boys, the entire penis can be placed in the bag and the adhesive attached to the skin. For girls, the bag is placed over the labia. Diaper as usual over the secured bag.

    This procedure may take a couple of attempts -- lively infants can displace the bag. Check the infant frequently and change the bag after the infant has urinated into the bag. Drain the urine into the container for transport to the laboratory.

    Deliver the urine to the laboratory or your health care provider as soon as possible.

  • How to prepare for the test

    No special preparation is necessary for this test. If you are taking the collection from an infant, you may need a couple of extra collection bags.

  • How the test will feel

    The test involves only normal urination, and there is no discomfort.

  • Why the test is performed

    Cortisol is a steroid hormone released from the adrenal gland in response to ACTH, a hormone from the anterior pituitary gland in the brain. Cortisol levels rise and fall during the day. Highest levels occur at about 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and lowest levels at about midnight.

    Cortisol affects many different body systems. It plays a role in:

    • Bone
    • Circulatory system
    • Immune system
    • Metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and protein
    • Nervous system
    • Stress responses

    The test is done to determine if you have increased or decreased cortisol production. Different diseases, such as Cushing's disease and Addison's disease, can lead to either too much or too little production of cortisol. Urine cortisol levels can help to diagnose these conditions.

  • Normal Values

    Normal range: 10 - 100 micrograms per 24 hours (mcg/24h)

    Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Normal results may sometimes be present in someone with mild Cushing syndrome. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

  • What abnormal results mean

    Increased levels of urine cortisol may indicate:

    Decreased levels of urine cortisol may indicate:

    The test may also be done in cases of exogenous Cushing syndrome.

  • Special considerations

    Factors that interfere with this test are:

    • Medications, including glucocorticoids, lithium, diuretics, ketoconazole, estrogens and tricyclic antidepressants
    • Severe emotional or physical stress

    Note: Due to these interfering factors, the urine cortisol is often tested on three or more separate occasions to get a more accurate picture of average cortisol production.

  • References

    Stewart PM. The adrenal cortex. In: Kronenberg HM, Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2008: chap 14.

    Melmed S, Kleinberg D. Anterior pituitary. In: Kronenberg HM, Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2008: chap 8.

Review Date: 11/23/2009

Reviewed By: Ari S. Eckman, MD, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2014 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic on University Photo Christie Clinic on University
101 West University Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 Main Phone: (217) 366-1200
Billing Services: (217) 366-1382
Toll Free: (888) 391-0412
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic on Windsor/Convenient Care Photo Christie Clinic on Windsor/Convenient Care
1801 West Windsor Road Champaign, IL 61822 (217) 366-8000
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic at Presence Covenant Photo Christie Clinic at Presence Covenant
1400 West Park Street Urbana, IL 61801 (217) 366-1200
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Rantoul Photo Christie Clinic in Rantoul
209 West Borman Drive Rantoul, IL 61866 (217) 892-9671
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Mahomet/Convenient Care Photo Christie Clinic in Mahomet/Convenient Care
1001 Commercial Drive Mahomet, IL 61853 (217) 586-6600 or (217)366-8130
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Danville on Vermilion/Convenient Care Photo Christie Clinic in Danville on Vermilion/Convenient Care
3545 North Vermilion Street Danville, IL 61832 (217) 442-8611
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Tuscola Photo Christie Clinic in Tuscola
300 North Main Street Tuscola, IL 61953 (217) 253-9258
Christie Clinic CU Sleep Photo CU Sleep
1207 South Mattis Avenue Champaign, IL 61821 (217) 355-1684
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic Cancer Center Photo Christie Clinic Cancer Center
109 West University Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 (217) 366-5180
Christie Clinic Convenient Care in County Market (Kirby & Duncan) Photo Convenient Care in County Market (Kirby & Duncan)
2901 West Kirby Avenue Champaign, IL 61821 (217) 366-8130
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Urbana/Convenient Care Photo Christie Clinic in Urbana/Convenient Care
1710 East Windsor Road Urbana, IL 61802 (217) 344-9440
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Danville on Logan Photo Christie Clinic in Danville on Logan
800 North Logan Avenue Danville, IL 61832 (217) 431-8930
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic on Fox Drive Photo Christie Clinic on Fox Drive
2110 Fox Drive, Suite B Champaign, IL 61820
Christie Clinic Kirby Medical Group Specialty Clinic in Monticello Photo Kirby Medical Group Specialty Clinic in Monticello
1109 A. North State Street Monticello, IL 61856 (217) 366-1304
Gibson Area Hospital
1120 N Melvin Gibson City, IL 60936 (217) 784-2240
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Mattoon Photo Christie Clinic in Mattoon
105 B Professional Plaza Mattoon, IL 61938 (217) 345-3000
Christie Clinic Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System Photo Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System
1000 Health Center Drive Mattoon, IL 61938 (217) 258-2588
Christie Clinic The Champaign SurgiCenter Photo The Champaign SurgiCenter
1702 S. Mattis Avenue Champaign, IL 61821 (217) 326-2030
Christie Clinic The Carle Foundation Hospital Photo The Carle Foundation Hospital
611 West Park Street Urbana, IL 61801 (217) 383-3311
Iroquois Memorial Hospital
200 E. Fairman Ave. Watseka, IL 60970 (815) 432-5841
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic at Savoy Photo Christie Clinic at Savoy
501 North Dunlap Avenue Savoy, IL 61874 Transformations: (217) 366-7460 Internal Medicine: (217) 366-5434 Ophthalmology: (217) 366-1250
Christie Clinic at 410 E. University
410 E. University Champaign, IL 61820
Christie Clinic on West Park Street
1405 West Park Street Urbana, IL 61801 217-366-1237
Christie Clinic in Monticello
107 West Main Street Monticello, IL 61856 217.762.3352