Cortisol is a steroid hormone from the steroid family called glucocorticoids. It’s best known as the stress hormone because of the role it plays in your body’s response to stress, but it serves an even bigger role in your body. Cortisol is created in the adrenal glands, which are two small glands located on the top of the kidneys. A cortisol blood test measures the amount of cortisol hormone in your bloodstream and can help identify and diagnose any medical conditions that cause too little or too much cortisol in your body.
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