The Pill And Your Thyroid
Its important to note that the pill’s role in elevating TBG, Sex Hormone Binding Globulin & Cortisol Binding Globulin is well recognized. In fact, it is how researchers can verify who is & isn’t actually taking the pill in clinical trials.
It’s also listed in prescriber handbooks as a change we expect to see in labs. When TBG goes up, total thyroid hormone levels go up and free thyroid levels can go down.
Now, if you thought that total thyroid hormone was what the body utilized & that is all you measured then you might think, thyroid function is improved on birth control. However, FREE thyroid hormone is what you use, and not bound thyroid hormone .
This is why I test thyroid hormones in my patients before they start the pill and we continue to monitor symptoms & labs to ensure it is working best for them. Yes, some of my patients decide to use the pill for birth control or other reasons and I support them in doing that.
From the research, it appears progesterone, progestin, & topical estrogen do NOT elevate TBG. It is oral estrogen that influences the increase in binding proteins.
If you want a deep dive into the Birth Control-Thyroid Connection, then you can read all about it in this article.
How To Check Hormone Levels Easily
The Everlywell at-home Women’s Health test is the most comprehensive panel for a complete look at all the hormones that are critical to a women’s well-being. This hormone imbalance test checks your female hormone levels so you can discover if your levels are too high or low compared to reference ranges.
Our Womenâs Health test is taken in your own home, and results are provided by an experienced, CLIA-certified laboratory. At a low price for all of these tests, this is the perfect starting point for those wanting to take a first step in assessing their own hormone levels before turning to more expensive, difficult, or complex alternatives.
What Are Endocrine Disorders
Endocrine disorders are a category of diseases that relate to the endocrine system. They can be caused when a gland produces an improper amount of an endocrine hormone, or by the development of lesions or tumors in the endocrine system. Infection or injury of an endocrine gland can also contribute to the development of endocrine disorders.
Some endocrine disorders are genetic, meaning patients are more likely to develop the disorder if a close family member has it.
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What Do I Test If I Dont Have A Period
If your period has stopped showing up , this is what is called amenorrhea.
- Primary amenorrhea is when you havent gotten your period by age 15 or 16.
- Secondary amenorrhea is when you have had a period, but now its gone.
If your regular period is missing for three or more months, or your irregular period is missing for six or more months, this is considered secondary amenorrhea.
Often, doctors will try to prescribe the birth control pill as a means of treating amenorrhea. If you begin birth control you will not be able to test FSH, LH, estradiol or progesterone accurately.
The Endocrine Society guidelines clearly advocate against the use of the pill in women with functional hypothalamic amenorrhea solely to restore a period or even improve bone mass. They also recommend educating patients who are currently using the pill that it may mask these issues.
When To Talk With A Doctor
There are several conditions or complications that can develop as the result of a hormone imbalance. If youre suddenly losing or gaining weight without trying, have join pains, severe fatigue, or abdominal pain that doesnt go away, schedule an appointment to talk with your doctor.
You may also want to see a doctor if youre trying to get pregnant and are unable to for some time, or if youre experiencing other reproductive issues.
- Coverage: flexible savings account and health savings account accepted
- Whats tested: TSH, fT4, and cortisol
- Pros: Tests for key metabolic hormones
- Cons: Multiple kits must be purchased to test other types of hormones
LetsGetChecked has an average 4.3-star rating, with over 8,000 reviews on Trustpilot. Customers praise LetsGetCheckeds customer service, easy instructions, and fast results.
The company carries a variety of tests for hormones, sexually transmitted infections, and overall wellness. Of the options, LetsGetChecked offers two thyroid tests that target a variety of biomarkers.
The basic Thyroid Test tests for biomarkers like TSH, fT4, and fT3 three core components to look at when evaluating the function of the thyroid. The biomarkers can help diagnose conditions, like hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
Results are typically received in 2 to 5 days, and nurses are available to discuss results and answer questions 24/7.
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Common Symptoms Of A Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal imbalances can cause many different symptoms. Some common issues to look out for include:
- A bulge in the neck
- Puffy face
Many symptoms of a hormonal imbalance can be misleading. For example, both weight gain and weight loss can be symptomatic of a hormonal imbalance. So, it’s really difficult to just rely on symptoms to understand which specific hormone is the root of the problem. This is when getting tested becomes handy.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, you may have low progesterone levels that are usually in charge of helping you fall asleep. On the other hand, high progesterone levels could be problematic as well, as these will make you feel sleepy even if you’re getting enough rest.
Low melatonin gives your body a signal that it’s time to rest. Low estrogen can give you night sweats that can be unbearable for many.
If you’re struggling with any symptom of a possible hormone imbalance, you need to get tested. Your hormone levels will depict the root cause of the symptoms you are experiencing and, you will be able to target them properly.
When Is The Best Time To Test Hormone Levels
If youre struggling with a hormone imbalance, testing your sex hormones can help you understand where the issue is rooted. Evaluating estrogen, progesterone and testosterone can be helpful in understanding which hormones are driving your symptoms.
Hormone levels arent static throughout the monthand this is why so many women get within range blood test results.
There You Have It A Breakdown Of Three Popular Types Of Hormone Testing But Which Test Should You Do
While I am a huge fan of the DUTCH test, I recognize that its not accessible to many people because of the cost and the fact that the results have to be reviewed and interpreted by a trained practitioner.
So Id suggest some of the tests below from Lets Get Checked, a company Ive partnered with to bring you at-home testing thats easy and reliable. Whats even better is that a nurse practitioner calls you with your test results and will review them with you.
Keep in mind that for any test you do, youll want to make sure youre comparing your results to the functional reference ranges Ive provided below. These slightly differ from standard reference ranges because rather than being based on results from people who are already sick, the functional ranges are based on what your ideal numbers should be when not sick! See below each test for the functional reference ranges.
Best Time Of The Month To Test Hormone Levels
Your cycle begins on the first day of your period and lasts until the first day of your next period. There are four main phases Menstruation, Follicular, Ovulation, and Luteal.
During these phases, three main hormones Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone rise and fall, causing fluctuations in your mood, energy level, your cravings for food, your libido, and more. If you are well-aware of these peaks and valleys, you can make your appointments for womens health check-ups and other events on your top priority list.
Make your schedule to get the test during the first week of your cycle. As per the experts, this is the time when estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest, and your breasts will be a little less tender. It will be more comfortable for the doctor to examine you when they are compressed.
Breast density strongly affects mammography performance. Your breast tissue is also a little less dense during the first few days of your menstrual period to spot abnormalities.
If we consider the best time of day for a hormone blood test, a blood sample must be collected in the morning.
Please keep in mind that any hormones you are taking for contraception or HRT will influence the result. Take this test at least 12 weeks after stopping any hormone replacement or contraceptive pill, implant or hormone IUD unless your doctor suggests waiting until your periods have re-established a regular cycle and is considered the best time of the month to test hormone levels.
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What Happens During An Estrogen Test
Estrogens can be tested in blood, urine, or saliva. Blood or urine is usually tested in doctor’s office or lab. Saliva tests can be done at home.
For a blood test:
A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle.
After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
For a urine test:
Your health care provider may ask you to collect all urine passed in a 24-hour period. This is called a 24-hour urine sample test. For this test, your health care provider or a laboratory professional will give you a container to collect your urine and instructions on how to collect and store your samples. A 24-hour urine sample test generally includes the following steps:
- Empty your bladder in the morning and flush that urine down. Do not collect this urine. Record the time.
- For the next 24 hours, save all your urine passed in the container provided.
- Store your urine container in the refrigerator or a cooler with ice.
- Return the sample container to your health provider’s office or the laboratory as instructed.
For an at-home saliva test, talk your health care provider. He or she can tell you which kit to use and how to prepare and collect your sample.
Blood Tests For Hormone Levels Q& A
Here at the Marion Gluck Clinic, we place a focus on giving you the very best experience and precise, personalised care. We are often asked questions about the blood tests that are required for treatment at the clinic. We sat down with Dr Ghazala Aziz-Scott, one of our hormone doctors, to help answer your most frequently asked questions about blood tests for hormone levels and hormone balancing therapy.
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What Is Hormonal Imbalance
Hormones are produced by the endocrine glands, which create hormones to travel throughout the body to tell your organs what to do. These are responsible for many of the vital functions of your body, including your metabolism and reproduction. If the levels are too high or too low, this leads to significant negative effects on the body.
Various tests can be used to test your hormone levels, which can offer excellent insight as to what may be causing your problems. Then you can begin the right treatment to help you get back to feeling like yourself.
How To Prepare For The Test
To prepare for the IGF-1 testing that we do:
- You may be asked to refrain from taking supplements of Biotin, for 72 hrs prior to taking the test.
Certain medicines can affect your growth hormone test results, such as corticosteroids and estrogen . You may be asked to stop taking these medications prior to the HGH testing.
Drugs that can increase HGH levels include the following:
Drugs that can decrease HGH levels include the following:
- Phenothiazines which can inhibit dopamine
Certain medicines can affect your growth hormone test results, such as corticosteroids and estrogen .
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How Does A Hormone Balance Test Work
Hormone levels are typically measured through small samples of blood, urine, and/or saliva. Depending on what symptoms you experience, these samples will be evaluated by a lab to measure a variety of hormones, including:
The lab results will show a snapshot of your current hormone levels at the time the samples were taken. Many of these hormones fluctuate over the course of a day, or throughout the month, so you may need to fast prior to testing, get tested at certain points in your menstrual cycle, and/or get multiple tests to get an accurate picture of your hormonal health.
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What Do The Results Mean
If your estradiol or estrone levels are higher than normal, it may be due to:
- Early puberty in girls delayed puberty in boys
If your estradiol or estrone levels are lower than normal, it may be due to:
- Primary ovarian insufficiency, a condition that causes a woman’s ovaries to stop working before she is 40 years old
- Turner syndrome, a condition in which a woman’s sexual characteristics don’t develop properly
- An eating disorder, such as anorexia nervosa
- Polycystic ovary syndrome, a common hormone disorder affecting childbearing women. It is one of the leading causes of female infertility.
If you are pregnant and your estriol levels are lower than normal, it may mean your pregnancy is failing or that there is a chance your baby might have a birth defect. If the test shows a possible birth defect, you will need more testing before a diagnosis can be made.
Higher levels of estriol may mean you will be going into labor soon. Normally, estriol levels go up about four weeks before you start labor.
If you have questions about your results, talk to your health care provider.
Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.
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Why Cortisol Testing Is Important
Cortisol testing is important because that system does not always function in the normal, healthy manner outlined above. Sometimes cortisone levels can stay too high for too long, which can have far-reaching effects on your health, such as:
- Problems with memory and/or concentration
Issues That Can Cause Abnormally High Cortisol Levels include:
1- Chronic stress: The bodys natural fight-or-flight stress response system is set up to manage short-term stress situations. Stress in todays world is often a longer-term health issue. Rather than being stressed by a sudden encounter with a predator, a situation that can be resolved quickly by running away, we are more likely to face ongoing problems that cause stress, like job pressures, for instance, or financial ones. This can cause long-term activation of the stress response system, leading to chronically high levels of cortisol.
2- Problems with the pituitary gland: Tumors on the pituitary gland or excess growth of the gland can cause it to release too much ACTH, increasing cortisol levels.
3- Problems with adrenal glands: Tumors on the adrenal glands can cause overproduction of cortisol.
4- Other tumors: Growths in other areas of the body can increase cortisol production.
5- Medications: Overuse of corticosteroid medications or long-term use of them can lead to abnormally high cortisol levels.
How Does Menopause Affect Hormone Levels
Menopause is not just about one moment when women do not have a period anymore. During this natural occurrence, there are three main stages. The first one is called perimenopause which lasts approximately 3-5 years. The symptoms of it, are irregular menstruation bleeding, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and psycho-emotional disorders such as irritability, aggression, and even panic. Here the hormone levels start fluctuating.
The second stage is called menopause. It means there are no more periods, and a lady cannot give birth to children. Also, this stage is diagnosed only with a doctor after she was 12 months straight without menstrual bleeding. Here thelevels are decreased. And, the symptoms are the same, however, a woman can also experience memory problems, and decreased libido.
Finally, the last stage is the postmenopause. And, it lasts for the rest of your life. Nevertheless, all the stages are critical for ladies. Because hormonelevels during menopause are not stable, and they do not provoke symptoms only but may affect the development of a disease. For instance, nodes and polyps can occur in the uterus, benign fibroids in malignancies, and also, hormone levels in menopause may bring some discomfort in your intimate zone, such as vaginism.
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Get Hormones Tested Near You
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Can You Tell If I Have Fertility Problems From My Hormone Values
Hormone analysis provides a lot of information to study fertility. It is advisable to look at the ovarian reserve in women over 35 years of age, or those with irregular menstrual cycles, previous ovarian surgery, oncology patients, etc.
In addition, the analysis of FSH, LH, estradiol, prolactin and progesterone provides valuable information for the study of fertility.
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Order Lab Panels Offer For The Hormones Balance Community
Magdalena W.: Yeah, lets do that. Like Dr. Alan mentioned, the URL is go.yourlabwork.com/hormonesbalancelabs. We are going to make the URL available in all different places. Just before I show you the labs, just want to share that its a really simple ordering process. You order them online with the link down below here. You go to the local quest lab, which has got over 4,000 locations throughout the country. Then, you get the results online within 48 hours, really as simple as that, just absolutely wonderful. No need to see a doctor, no need to argue why you want to have those labs done. We always get a lot of questions of what about us Canadians, what about us in the UK. We cant help you with this.
Alan Hopkins: Yeah, yeah, absolutely cheat sheets. Ill talk about those in a minute. We have cheat sheets for people to try and make it easier for them.
I dont need to read that. This is a great starting point, especially if you have already done a lot of things in the past. We basically repackage the panels into three options here. If you feel like maybe you want to just pick and choose what you want, there is always an option of that. I love this website for that. You could just basically click on what would you like to order, and then go and add it to cart, and then check it out. Everything that Dr. Alan has covered is all in here. I didnt even see that. We have even exposure. This is heavy metal testing here, right?
Alan Hopkins: Yes.
Magdalena W.: Specific markers.