Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Can I Get My Hormone Levels Tested

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Symptoms And Potential Complications

my hormone testing

Imbalances in female hormones can have far-ranging effects on the body, producing a variety of physical, emotional and cognitive changes. These changes can cause symptoms that may include:

  • Menstrual cycle changes, including shorter or longer times between periods, and periods that are longer, shorter, heavier or lighter than normal.
  • Hot flashes and night sweats.
  • Insomnia and other sleep disturbances
  • Diminished sex drive
  • Unexplained weight gain, especially in the abdominal area, hips and thighs
  • Skin changes, such as thinning, dryness and wrinkling
  • Dry, brittle hair

Female hormone imbalance can increase a woman’s risk of a number of diseases and health problems. Among the most serious of these is heart disease, with risk increasing as estrogen levels decrease. Women with hormonal imbalances are also at greater risk for osteoporosis, since low levels of estrogens can interfere with the absorption of calcium and other nutrients essential to the maintenance of bone health and density.

Hormonal Imbalance And Men

You may think that women are the ones facing hormonal imbalances. But this is not the case. Men, as well as womens bodies, produce several hormones that are essential for wellbeing. One very well-known male hormone is testosterone. But, did you know that men, also, produce estrogen? Testosterone is mainly produced in the testicles; and, a small amount is produced in the adrenal glands. It is responsible for ones manly characteristics, such as:

  • Facial and Body Hair
  • Muscle and Bone Density
  • Deeper Voice

It also stimulates the production of sperm and affects your desire for sex. It also plays a major role in the way one gains weight ; and, how and where the body will end up accumulating these fat cells. Finally, red blood cells production is linked to testosterone levels.

Estrogen is made from testosterone with the help of an enzyme known as aromatase. As you age, not only do your testosterone levels naturally drop, but your estrogen levels go up simultaneously. The loss of testosterone with age is referred to by some professionals as andropause male menopause.

However, testosterone levels can drop, even in young men, from several causes, such as:

  • Injuries to Scrotum or Testicles
  • Mumps
  • Testicular Cancer
  • Liver Disease

But, testosterone and estrogen arent the only hormones that can get out of balance in men. You can suffer a decrease in cortisol levels if you are under a lot of stress, or even an imbalance in the thyroid hormones.

Cortisol Imbalance

Thyroid Imbalance

How Is Low Testosterone Diagnosed What Treatments Are Available

Most healthcare providers will measure their testosterone levels by having a blood test, doing a physical exam and having the patient describe his symptoms. Finally, they may order additional tests to rule out other possible diagnoses.

Testosterone is sometimes prescribed for men with low testosterone. Almost all hormone supplements and testosterone treatments are available in different forms, including lozenges, patches, gels and creams.

Because of the limited knowledge regarding this condition, challenges in having a proper diagnosis, as well as the possible side effects of treatments, HRT should not administer for men without proper testing, retesting and consultation with a healthcare provider to discuss the pros and cons. One may want to consider an endocrinologist who specializes in hormones.

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What Can You Learn From Hormone Testing

In some cases, hormone testing can unveil a major imbalance indicative of, say, a thyroid condition or polycystic ovary syndrome . But even a slight hormonal shift away from the optimal range can have an impact on your well-being. “There are a lot of conditions that fall on the imbalance spectrum,” says Dr. Masutto. “Your cycle can be thrown off a little, or you could have PMS or premenstrual dysphoric disorder . can even put you into premature ovarian failure, which is something that can be really life-altering.”

Once your doctor knows exactly which hormones are causing your distress, they’re able to offer a more targeted treatment. In the western medical tradition, drugs are often the answerbirth control pills, thyroid meds, or antidepressants, to name a few. And while there are certainly many cases in which pharmaceuticals are necessary, some doctors prefer to treat more moderate hormone imbalances through food and lifestyle modifications.

“From a holistic medical perspective,;I would recommend that a woman with hormone imbalances use botanical medicines, acupuncture, nutritional supplements, and lifestyle and dietary therapy,” says Dr. Steelsmith. Dr. Masutto says Parsley Health takes a similar approach, adding that she’s not averse to prescribing medication in some cases. “Utilizing prescription or compounded hormone replacement can help alleviate symptoms and help you get your life back so you can work on the lifestyle changes that are needed,” she says.

Hormonal Imbalance Saliva Test

Progesterone Levels After Ovulation And During Pregnancy ...

Saliva tests can also be performed at home. This can be a highly effective way to test for such hormones as:

  • Progesterone
  • Estrogen

This can be a more specific test than other tests that can better identify the hormone levels at a cellular level. This is different from how the blood tests look at the hormones, which look at the number of hormones currently circulating in your blood system.

Read Also: What Does Estrogen Do For You

Overview Of Menstrual Cycle For Hormone Testing

  • Day 1 this is the first day you see bright red blood.
  • Day 14 this is when women are typically told they ovulate, but thats not true for everyone or every cycle. But we use this as a baseline when discussing lab tests and timing. You should monitor your cycle and symptoms to find out when you *actually* ovulate for sure.
  • Day 28 not everyone has a 28-day cycle. However, youll often hear the menstrual cycle talked about in terms of 28 days. This is where your hormones drop if you don’t get pregnant. If youre tracking your period and you know that you have a shorter or longer cycle.
  • Back to Day 1 this is when youll once again see blood.

>> Its important to note: While on hormonal birth control you should not ovulate and you dont have a period. Instead, you have a medication-induced withdrawal bleed that isnt actually a period. Some women will continue to ovulate with an IUD.

Serum Or Blood Testing

Most serum hormone tests define the normal range of hormones very broadly, which is a distinct disadvantage to their use. After a womans blood has been drawn, a portion of the blood sample is used to measure hormone levels. Most serum testing measures the level of free hormone , the level of the total hormone , or a calculated combination of both free and total levels of hormone. It is not an accurate reflection of the bioavailable hormone . In addition, the results of the serum hormone tests are often inconsistent, especially if the hormone value indicated is in the low-normal range. Serum testing is less helpful in monitoring women using transdermal forms of hormones, as the hormone is bound to the red blood cell surface and does not register in the serum in very high amounts.

Many women whose serum hormone test results are normal cannot understand why they continue to experience the symptoms of hormone imbalance.

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Signs Or Symptoms Of A Hormonal Imbalance

Your hormones play an integral role in your overall health. As a result, theres a broad range of signs or symptoms that could signal a hormonal imbalance. Your signs or symptoms will depend on which hormones or glands arent working properly.

Common hormonal conditions affecting both men and women could cause any of the following signs or symptoms:

Natural Remedies And Supplements

How Can I Get My Hormones Checked For Imbalance?

There are many nutritional supplements on the market that claim to treat menopause and hormone imbalance. However, few of them are backed up by scientific evidence.

Many of these supplements contain plant-derived hormones. These are sometimes called bioidentical hormones because they chemically resemble the bodys natural hormones. Theres no evidence to suggest that they work better than regular hormone therapy, though.

Some people find that yoga helps treat symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Yoga is excellent for your strength, flexibility, and balance. It may also aid in weight loss, which can help regulate your hormones.

You can also make the following lifestyle changes:

  • Lose weight. A

The primary cause of acne is excess oil production, which leads to clogged pores. Acne is most common in areas with many oil glands, including the:

Acne is often associated with pubescent hormonal changes, but theres actually a lifelong relationship between acne and hormones.

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Testing For A Hormonal Imbalance

Although a hormone imbalance may bring some obvious symptoms, thatâs not always the case. For example, it can be challenging for someone to decipher whether the depression theyâre experiencing is related to a life event or if itâs instead because of hormone levels that are affecting their mental health. Thatâs why consulting with a healthcare provider is a good idea any time you arenât sure whatâs going on with your health.

Hormone testing may also be worth considering if youâre curious to learn whether you have a hormonal imbalance. Everlywell makes testing your hormones easy with at-home test kits that come with everything you need for collecting your sample and sending it to a lab . Plus, you can view your results on our secure, online platform in an easy-to-understand format. This can be a simpleâbut powerfulâway to see if hormones are balanced in your body and learn your personal levels.

As an example, consider a Womenâs Health Test to check for a hormonal imbalance in women.

Hormone Testing At Cedars

You benefit from the expertise of endocrinologists, doctors who specialize in treating hormone disorders. Many of our endocrinologists completed additional training through fellowships and have decades of experience. All of our experts stay up to date on the latest hormone testing practices.

We order appropriate tests based on your symptoms, allowing us to quickly pinpoint the source of the problem. And we detect subtle signs of a hormone imbalance, so you receive an accurate diagnosis. Once we confirm a diagnosis, we’ll discuss your personalized care recommendations. Treatments may include:

  • Medical therapy for endocrine disorders
  • Endocrine surgery

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What Are The Different Types Of Hormones

Endocrine glands are located throughout the body. These glands include the:

  • Hypothalamus: controls thirst, hunger, sleep, sex drive, moods, body temperature, and the release of other hormones
  • Parathyroid: controls calcium
  • Ovaries, in women: controls female sex hormones
  • Testes, in men: controls male sex hormones

There are several different types of hormones in the body. When you have a hormonal imbalance, you may have a problem in one of more of these glands. The specific hormone that’s imbalanced will determine the signs and symptoms that you experience as a result. Some of the major hormones found in the body include:

  • Estrogen: controls sex drive in both men and women, and regulates the menstrual cycle in women
  • Progesterone: influences the body’s changes through pregnancy
  • Testosterone: controls sex drive in both men and women
  • Cortisol: controls stress
  • Melatonin: control’s the body’s circadian rhythm and sleep cycles
  • Serotonin: controls sleep cycles, appetite, and mood
  • Growth hormone: controls the reproduction of cells and their subsequent growth
  • Leptin: controls appetite, signaling when you’re full
  • Ghrelin: controls appetite, signaling when you’re hungry
  • Insulin: responds to sugar in the bloodstream

If your hormones are well-balanced, you will thrive. An imbalance, however, is something you cannot afford to ignore.

What Are The Signs Of Hormone Imbalance In Men

How do pregnancy tests work?

Many concerns surrounding a man’s bodily changes can be answered by fluctuations in the male hormonal makeup. If changes are being identified, it may be a good idea to see whether there are any deficiencies or overabundance in the body’s chemistry.

1- Low Testosterone: This is also known as Low-T and is defined by the American Urology Association as testosterone in the blood accounting for less than 300ng/dL .

Signs of Low-T include:

  • Hot Flashes
  • Trouble Concentrating

2- Increased Estrogen: An increase in estrogen production in a mans body can cause a condition called gynecomastia. This is where you begin to develop breasts. Increased estrogen levels can also cause problems with your prostate organ that is in charge of producing one of the fluids that make up semen. Obesity can increase the production of estrogen in a mans body.

3- Low Cortisol/Adrenal Fatigue: Men suffering adrenal fatigue often have difficulty focusing mentally and are excessively tired.

4- Hyperthyroidism/Overactive Thyroid: Signs of high levels of thyroid hormone in your body include:

  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Increased Sensitivity to cold

Read Also: Can Low Estrogen Cause Migraines

What Causes An Imbalance In Hormones

Hormone imbalance can be the result of various issues. There may be an underlying medical condition that is causing a shift in the level of hormones. Also, you may be taking medicines that are causing a change in your hormonal balance. At times, even minor stress can cause hormonal imbalance.

In women, polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS is a leading cause for hormonal imbalance. The changes in hormone levels due to PCOS come with a whole different set of symptoms, which include irregular periods, darkening of skin, excessive hair on face and chin and weight gain.

Men also go through hormone imbalance. Changes in the hormone levels for men are usually caused by low levels of testosterone. Since testosterone plays a vital part in mens health, low testosterone levels can result in complications. Common symptoms of low testosterone include breast tissue development, erectile dysfunction, loss of bone mass, reduction in body hair and infertility.

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.;

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Missing Or Irregular Periods

If you have long cycles or your period is irregular , then I suggest starting with the Female Hormone Test and the Progesterone Test.;

I think a thyroid test is also helpful in cases like this to see if your thyroid is playing a role in your cycle woes. As above, youd want to do;the Thyroid Antibody Test in addition to the Female Hormone Test and the Progesterone Test.;

Dont forget the progesterone test needs to be done 5-7 days after ovulation so make sure to be paying attention to ovulation signs. If you dont yet know how to do that, then read this post on charting your cycle.

More Information About Hormone Testing

What Hormone Tests to Order to Manage Your Hormonal Balance

Hormone levels change as you agesome change throughout the day. We use hormone testing to detect and evaluate hormone imbalances that may be making you sick. We often conduct hormone testing using a blood sample, but some tests require urine or saliva samples.

We frequently test levels of:

  • Estrogen and testosterone
  • Adrenal gland hormones, such as cortisol
  • Growth hormone, prolactin and other pituitary gland hormones
  • Thyroid hormones, such as thyroxine

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Getting Tested At Your Healthcare Providers Office

  • 1Make an appointment with your healthcare provider to get tested. Talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns you have relating to your estrogen levels, and let them know you would like to get tested. Your healthcare provider may ask you about any symptoms you are experiencing, such as:XResearch source
  • Changes in your menstrual period
  • Hot flashes or night sweats
  • Mood swings or other mood disturbances, such as depression or anxiety
  • Fatigue or sleeping problems
  • Weight gain, especially in the hips, thighs, and waist
  • Lumps in the breasts or uterus
  • Dry skin
  • Fertility problems
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts
  • 2Discuss your medical history with your healthcare provider. Normal estrogen levels vary a lot from one person to another. You can help your healthcare provider get a better understanding of what is normal for you by telling them about your health history, lifestyle, and any medications or supplements you may be taking. Tell your healthcare provider if you:XResearch source
  • Have a history of certain health conditions that may be related to your estrogen levels, such as pregnancy, polycystic ovarian syndrome , anorexia nervosa, obesity, diabetes, or problems with your pituitary or adrenal glands.
  • Are taking medications that may affect your hormones, such as birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, steroids, fertility drugs, or tetracyclines.
  • How Can You Look Out For Hormonal Imbalance

    The level of hormones in your body can significantly impact your overall health. If a certain type of hormone is in excess or short supply, it will have an impact on your health. The symptoms that you experience will depend entirely on which glands are not functioning properly.

    However, there are a few common symptoms to look out for. While these symptoms may be associated with a bunch of other reasons, it is best to get a checkup:

    • Weight gain without any explanation or sudden weight loss
    • Severely dry skin
    • Heightened sensitivity to heat or cold
    • Frequent bowel movements or constipation
    • A hard hump between the shoulder blades composed of fattytissue

    Apart from these common symptoms, individuals often experience irritability, anxiety and depression. Unexplained change in mood, anxiety and being irritated all the time are classic symptoms of hormonal imbalance.

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