The Comprehensive Adrenal Stress with CAR assesses the HPA axis/adrenal function and the cortisol awakening response (CAR) along with salivary secretory IgA (sIgA).
CAR is the expected maximum rise in cortisol levels observed at 30 minutes post awakening, approximately 35-60% above the waking value, followed by an expected decline sixty minutes after waking. Monitoring the CAR is critical to understand the HPA axis’ physiologic responsiveness and is a key indicator of HPA axis adaptability and reactivity.
SIgA is the predominant antibody found on mucosal membranes and represents the body’s first line of defence. SigA levels change in response to stress. Elevated levels of sIgA are associated with an upregulated, active immune or inflammatory response and may be reflective of aute psychological and/or physical stressors. Decreased levels of sIgA are commonly seen in individuals with low immune system functioning, and are a sign of chronic, ongoing psychological and/or physical stress (HPA axis dysfunction) to the body which has depleted sIgA reserves.
This test includes 6 cortisol levels collected over the course of the day (on waking, 30 minutes post waking, 60 minutes post waking, at noon, in the evening and before bed), plus DHEA and salivary secretory IgA.
Enzyme Immunoassay Antibody (EIA)
When should I use
A lower CAR is often seen in individuals with:
Seasonal affective disorder
Short sleep cycles
Lack of morning sunlight exposure
Hippocampal damage or atrophy
Factors associated with an elevated CAR include:
Ongoing job-related and perceived stress
Immediate access to light upon awakening
Ovulation phase of the menstrual cycle
Another option is Diurnal Cortisol CAR Profile (code LRX03) which examines the cortisol awakening response but without DHEA and sIgA, so ideal for pre-pubescent children.