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Cortisol Stress Test

This test gives you a clear picture of how stress is affecting your health and future risk of illness. It works by assessing your cortisol levels over several months, using a tiny sample of hair.

No blood. No needles.

Quick and easy collection with fast results

FREE one-to-one virtual consultation

FREE UK postage

No need for repeated samples

Clinically proven with expert support

Cortisol Stress Test £149.00 £99.00

Why testing hair for cortisol levels is better than blood, saliva or urine...

Testing cortisol levels in hair is a better way to measure chronic cortisol levels over time compared to blood, saliva and urine. Here are a few reasons why:

Long-term measurement: Cortisol levels in blood, saliva and urine only provide a ‘snapshot’ of cortisol levels at the time of testing or over a 24-hour period, whereas cortisol levels in hair provide a measure of cortisol levels over a period of several months. This is because cortisol becomes incorporated into hair as it grows, providing a long-term record of cortisol exposure.

Less invasive: Testing for cortisol levels in blood can be uncomfortable or even painful for some people. Collecting a hair sample for testing is less invasive and completely painless.

Less susceptible to diurnal variation: Cortisol levels in blood vary throughout the day due to a natural diurnal rhythm, with levels peaking in the morning and decreasing throughout the day. Cortisol levels are also highly sensitive and ‘pulsatile’ changing quickly throughout the course of a day in relation to many lifestyle factors. Cortisol levels in hair are not subject to these diurnal variations, providing a more stable measure of cortisol exposure over time.

More accurate measure of chronic stress: Cortisol levels in hair have been shown to be a more accurate measure of chronic stress than cortisol levels in blood, saliva and urine. This is because cortisol levels in blood, saliva and urine can be influenced by a variety of factors, including acute stress, physical activity, and medications, whereas cortisol levels in hair reflect a more stable measure of long-term cortisol exposure.

Our Cortisol Over Time (COT) Test

This test gives you an indication of how your lifestyle is affecting your long-term inner health. It works by tracking levels of cortisol that have been circulating inside your body and brain over several months.

Sample method: Hair (minimum of 1cm)

A Cortisol Over Time (COT) test is a ‘screening test’ that can be used to detect underlying adrenal problems and the effects of chronic stress on health. It works by assessing your average cortisol levels over the last 3 months.

A sample of hair is used for this test because it avoids having to take daily repeated samples over several months and is more accurate than blood, saliva and urine for testing your cortisol levels over time.

You will need to provide a hair sample that is a minimum 1cm in length.

Our COT test can help you manage your levels of stress and reduce your risk of long-term health problems.

Symptoms of low and high cortisol

  • Recurrent illness
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Low energy
  • Skin problems
  • Difficulty conceiving
  • Memory problems
  • Weight loss and decreased appetite
  • Darkening of your skin (hyperpigmentation)
  • Low blood pressure, even fainting
  • Salt craving
  • Low blood sugar
  • Nausea, diarrhoea or vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle or joint pains
  • Irritability
  • Depression or other behavioural symptoms
  • Body hair loss or sexual dysfunction in women

Who should take the test

Our Cortisol Over Time (COT) test assesses your cortisol levels over three months indicating if levels are too high or too low.

Abnormal cortisol levels are a sign of underlying adrenal problems and can increase your risk of future health problems.

You should take this test if:

  • You are feeling stressed and run down
  • You are trying to conceive
  • You have recurrent infections and want to check immune function
  • You want to improve your brain health
  • You have symptoms of Cushing's syndrome
  • You have symptoms of Addison's disease

What this test can tell you

A COT test provides the most comprehensive assessment of cortisol levels and adrenal function. It can indicate whether chronic stress is affecting your health and future risk of illness and if you are likely to have an underlying endocrine health condition.

Abnormal cortisol levels can increase your risk of:

  • Stress related health conditions
  • Infectious diseases
  • Heart disease
  • Fertility problems
  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia
  • Endocrine diseases
  • Skin problems

How is this test different to other cortisol tests?

Unlike saliva, blood and urine cortisol tests which assess shortterm cortisol levels this test assesses cortisol levels over several months without the need for repeated tests. Providing a more accurate assessment of the effect of chronic stress on your health and future risk of illness.

How it works

We make finding out simple. No blood. No needles. All from home. We just need a small sample of your hair!

Buy your test

Step 1

Buy your test

Prepare your hair sample

Step 2

Prepare your hair sample

Send your sample to us

Step 3

Send your sample to us

Get your results

Step 4

Get your results

Frequently asked questions


How does the COT test track my inner health over time?

We use your 'lifestyle hormone' cortisol to see what's been happening inside your body over several months. Your cortisol levels accumulate in your hair as it grows - each 1cm of hair growth provides one month's worth of cortisol. This enables you to understand what's been going on inside your body over several months, and not just a snapshot.


What makes Cortigenix's technology unique?

Our unique COT test is the only test in the world developed by independent scientists to assess your cortisol levels over several months. By tracking your cortisol levels over 84 days our test provides up to 42x more insight in to your inner health compared to traditional blood and saliva tests - which can only assess cortisol levels over minutes to hours. Which means that traditional blood and saliva tests do not provide an accurate picture of how your cortisol levels are impacting your long term health.


How do I provide a sample?

Your hair sample is taken from the back of your head. You need a minimum of 1cm of hair in length (roughly half a pencil width in thickness) to provide a sample. Your COT test includes a test tube, a hair tie and a return envelope for you to return your sample to us.


How are my results delivered?

Your results will be delivered through your personalised portal within 7-10 working days. We will notify you via email when your results are ready.

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