A Comprehensive Tool to Assess the HPA Axis — Stress Response and Resiliency
The Adrenocortex Stress Profile (ASP) provides an assessment of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis using carefully timed salivary samples of the hormones cortisol and DHEA. Salivary testing is an easy, non-invasive option to measure unbound, biologically active parent hormone levels. The report offers an easy-to-interpret graphic which plots the results of the natural diurnal rhythm.
Four salivary samples measured throughout the day give insight into the natural circadian diurnal cortisol rhythm, and help clinicians address specific daily stressors. DHEA is measured once in the 7:00 AM – 9:00 AM sample and a ratio of DHEA to cortisol is calculated to provide insight into anabolic/catabolic balance.
Daily hassles, chronic pain, blood sugar dysregulation, work stressors, and poor relationship quality can alter the HPA axis. Imbalances in adrenal hormones can have a wide range of negative consequences that can adversely impact a patient’s overall quality of life. The symptoms of HPA axis dysfunction can be vague and are highly variable but may include: fatigue, insomnia, weight gain, depression, GI complaints, and chronic pain. HPA axis dysfunction is associated with many conditions including:
- cardiovascular disease
- gastrointestinal and immune dysregulation
- diabetes and metabolic syndrome
- chronic fatigue
- persistent pain
- neurodegenerative disease and cognitive decline
Adrenocortex Stress Profile testing can reveal these HPA axis imbalances and provide direction for clinical intervention with targeted therapeutic treatments such as nutrient support and/or adaptogens, stress management, behavioral modification and lifestyle interventions.
•Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR)
- Two awakening samples to evaluate CAR
- CAR is a transient, immediate rise in cortisol upon awakening and is distinct from the diurnal rhythm. CAR reflects a person’s ability to cope with anticipated challenges and their perception of control around chronic stress, providing insight into HPA axis resiliency.