How do I take the Adrenal stress (DHEA) test?

Understand how to prepare and take the samples for your adrenal stress test.

Preparing for the test

avoid-food-01 Avoid chewing gum, smoking and all food and drink 30 minutes prior to collection
of each sample during the day. In case of doubt, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water 5 minutes prior to sample collection.
no-makeup-01 Avoid taking samples when wearing lip gloss or lipstick. If you’re wearing any, please wipe clean before collection.
no-toothpaste-01 Do not collect saliva samples within 15 minutes of brushing teeth or after using dental floss
no-contamination-01 Do not include samples with any blood contamination (reddish tinge) or discolouration, as these can’t be assessed properly.
timing-01 Take all five samples on the same day. If you forget to take a sample, don’t substitute it with one from the following day. Please get in touch with us to arrange another kit.
12-hrs-01 You’re advised to take your sample on a day which would most represent your usual
waking hours. If these vary or this isn’t possible, please take as described below on a day that’s convenient for you.
checklist-01 Check you have all the test kit contents:
  • 1 x test instructions sheet (this sheet)
  • 1 x sample collection pack
  • 5 x saliva collection tubes
  • 5 x sample ID stickers
  • 1 x prepaid return envelope
  • 1 x request form
free-post-01 If you have any questions or issues with taking your sample according to the instructions provided, it is important you contact us before you send your sample to the lab. Healthpath cannot guarantee to intercept your sample once it arrives at the lab, so it may still be processed.


Do NOT perform the test if:

  • you’re pregnant
  • you’re supplementing with DHEA
  • you're taking or have taken steroids, steroid asthma inhalers, steroid containing creams, pregnenolone, progesterone or are undergoing cancer therapy

Do NOT stop any medication without consulting your doctor.

Taking the test 



1. The day before you plan to collect your samples, fill in your personal information on the
request form and on all the labels, leaving the date and collection time blank. This is important! Failure to complete the labels correctly means your samples could be rejected.


2. Put one saliva collection tube next to your bed ready for when you wake up.
take-sample-01 3. Take your first sample (S1) as soon as you wake up, preferably while still in bed. Remove the sample container from the packaging. Gently drool/drip the saliva into the collection tube.


4. Fill the container at least halfway (or more if possible), excluding the foam from the measurement. If you’ve collected too much foam, then close the saliva collection tube and pop it in the freezer for 2–3 minutes. Remove, and then tap the container so that the foam separates itself from the saliva liquid.
clock-01 5. Using the correct label, in this case S1 for Sample 1, write the date and the time of collection on the label before sticking it to the collection tube. Please use the 24-hour clock so there’s no confusion over the time the sample was taken.
keep-cool-01 6. Store in the fridge in the plastic bag provided with your kit until all remaining samples have been collected.
repeat-01 7. Repeat steps 3-5 for each of the remaining four samples, collecting each sample at the times shown below.
Sample 2 30 minutes after waking Use label S2
Sample 3 1 hour after waking Use label S3
Sample 4  6–8 hours after waking Use label S4
Sample 5 Just before going to bed Use label S5

Having trouble getting your saliva flowing? 
Relaxing can help. You can also move your tongue around your mouth, and/or look at pictures of things you’d like to eat!

Posting your sample

  1. Once you’ve collected all the samples, place in the sample collection pack along with your filled-in request form.
  2. Return the pack to laboratory using the prepaid return envelope.

What happens next?

As soon as your results are ready, we'll send you an email and text notification. 

You can then log onto your Healthpath account to view your results and see personalised