Slightly high blood cortisol (a stress hormone) can cause weight gain, diabetes, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and more importantly cardiovascular disease.
There is a simple and effective blood test that identifies patients with slight cortisol elevation. The test, which is usually covered by insurance, involves a two-step process:
A. The patient receives a 1 mg oral dexamethasone pill precisely at 11 pm (any day of the week). A prescription needs to be provided.
B. Then the patient does blood work (cortisol) the very next day between 7-8 AM. The test is positive if morning blood cortisol is >1.8.
If you have any of the following conditions, you could qualify for the above test.
1. Difficult to control type 2 diabetes and being overweight.
a. Using 2 or more medications for diabetes.
b. Using insulin for type 2 diabetes.
2. Using 3 or more medications to control high blood pressure.
3. Overweight while having insulin resistance or prediabetes.
4. Unexplained osteoporosis or bone fractures.