Comprehensive Cortisol Testing with the DUTCH Test
21st January 2020
The concept of ‘adrenal fatigue’ has been taught for many years with an over-emphasis on how the glands themselves become so exhausted they don’t produce enough cortisol. Recent developments suggest that a patient’s dysfunctional stress response is rarely caused by a “fatigued” adrenal gland. While the symptoms are very real, dysfunction in Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal signaling appears to be a much more frequent cause of their abnormal cortisol levels. Our current understanding places more emphasis on how the HPA axis communicates as a system requiring comprehensive testing that evaluates more than free cortisol alone. The DUTCH test reports the free cortisol and free cortisol pattern but also looks at free cortisone, free cortisone pattern), metabolized cortisol, homovanillate (HVA), vanilmandelate (VMA) and melatonin for a complete picture. In this webinar, practitioners will have a better understanding of cortisol testing utilizing the DUTCH Test, including the intricacies of the cortisol awakening response. This will help Functional Medicine practitioners refine their ‘adrenal’ treatments even deeper for stubborn problems such as resistant fat loss, fatigue and autoimmune symptoms. Case examples and clinical pearls discussed throughout.
- Understand in an overview how the HPA axis communicates from endogenous and exogenous stressors
- Briefly review the role of cortisol in the body beyond just its ability to handle stress and how free cortisol differs from metabolized cortisol
- Discuss the DUTCH Test markers for HPA health – metabolized cortisol, free cortisol, free cortisone, melatonin, HVA and VMA.
- Review the cortisol awakening response and its importance in stress testing