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This test includes graphical representation of the cortisol awakening response from 5 x free cortisol and 5 x free cortisone samples. The CAR provides an excellent snapshot of HPA axis function and can be used as a ‘mini stress test.’  

Thirty minutes after waking cortisol levels increase by an average of 50%. By 60 minutes they will have peaked and started to decline. The rise and fall of the CAR can be measured using salivary swabs upon waking and at 30 and 60 minutes after waking.


A low CAR can be a result of an underactive HPA axis, psychological burnout, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sleep issues, PTSD, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, hypertension, gastrointestinal issues, post-natal depression or autoimmune disease.


An elevated CAR can be the result of an overactive HPA axis, excessive stress, glycaemic dysregulation, pain or depression.


Assessing the CAR is useful where underactive or overactive HPA Axis function is suspected, for example:

  • Excessive psychological burnout
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Insomnia
  • Poor sleep in general
  • PTSD
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Glycemic dysregulation
  • Pain (i.e. waking with painful joints or a migraine).



  • Cortisol 
  • Cortisone 

Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR) Test

  • All ordered tests will be mediated by our Naturopath, Lekita Davies. Once test results have been returned to us, Lekita will call the client to deliver the results and discuss anything appropriate for the case. After the phone call, results will be emailed to the client alongside any suggestions. Please note that we cannot deliver results without a phone call.

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