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.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know
Blood and urine results are not interchangeable. Your healthcare practitioner will choose which estrogen and sample type to test. In addition to blood and urine, estrogen testing is occasionally also performed on saliva or on amniotic fluid.
Beyond daily and cycle variations, illnesses such as high blood pressure , anemia, and impaired liver and kidney function can affect estrogen levels.
What Is High Estrogen In Men
Too much estrogen in the male body can interfere with fertility, sexual function and even raise the risk for chronic diseases. One cause of hormone imbalance in aging men is that is testosterone is converted to estrogen, which can result in an excess of estradiol. Lab testing can reveal hormonal imbalances of estrogen and testosterone.
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How It Is Done
The health professional taking a sample of your blood will:
- Wrap an elastic band around your upper arm to stop the flow of blood. This makes the veins below the band larger so it is easier to put a needle into the vein.
- Clean the needle site with alcohol.
- Put the needle into the vein. More than one needle stick may be needed.
- Attach a tube to the needle to fill it with blood.
- Remove the band from your arm when enough blood is collected.
- Put a gauze pad or cotton ball over the needle site as the needle is removed.
- Put pressure on the site and then put on a bandage.
What Are The Signs Of Hormone Imbalance In Men
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
Additional Tips On Menopause And Hormone Levels
If you belong to the category of women who like to prepare in advance, and take care of health to provide comfortable living even in the 60s and 70s, you might find helpful the next tips on controlling the levels. Note, these are basic recommendations, a previous consultation with a doctor is a must.;
- Take vitamins. Calcium and Vitamin D will save your bones from injuries. Whenever hormone levels during menopause start fluctuating, the overall health deteriorates, and there is a big risk of breaking a bone. So, vitamins and menopause supplements will give another support;
- Medical examinations. Some women think that if there is no menstruation, so there is no point to go to the gynecologist. On the contrary, your visits should become regular. With age, ladies are more predisposed to diseases. So, for example, they can find out about the development of malignant tumors and save precious time on treatment. Note, hormone levels in menopause changes are normal but they may lead to negative consequences;
- Exercise. No need to go crazy over the gym or CrossFit for weight loss. Aerobics and swimming can become your best friends whenever hormone levels after menopause provoke hot flashes or sleep disturbances. Once you spent an hour on swimming, there are fewer chances your body will not be able to fall asleep;
- Beware of osteoporosis. This is a common disease during the climax. Ladies may lack calcium, and after that, this silent killer will lead to fatal consequences;
What Are Hormone Blood Tests Used For
These symptoms that might require hormonal blood work are generally indicative of various conditions, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome , thyroid disease, diabetes, obesity, and more.
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Where Should I Get A Hormone Balance Test
Hormone balance tests can be performed in a variety of settings. Many people first get their hormones tested by their primary care doctor or gynecologist. Others prefer to go straight to a lab facility. While both of these methods can garner accurate results, we recommend getting your hormones tested by a hormone health specialist. These practitioners will have the training and experience necessary to determine which tests are right for you and are experts at both interpreting your results and providing treatment.
Low Estrogen Level: Symptoms And Causes
As previously mentioned, menopause commonly causes decreased levels of estrogen in females. However, women of all ages can experience low estrogen levels from a variety of causes, including hysterectomies , radiation treatments, and severe cases of anorexia.
A common and well-known consequence of low estrogen levels is the increased fragility of bones seen in post-menopausal women, leading to osteoporosis. Estrogen is known to work in conjunction with calcium, vitamin D, and other minerals to keep bones strong, and without it, bones become brittle and tend to fracture more easily.
Other symptoms of low estrogen include:
- Painful sex due to the lack of vaginal lubrication
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How To Get Your Hormones Tested And What To Do Next
Last updated on by Alisa Vitti
So, youve been feeling less than great lately maybe the first sign was irregular or heavy and painful periods, or maybe it was some weight gain and acne either way, you know something is wrong and you want to feel better. Youre thinking it might be hormone-related. What now?
Many women take a trip to their OBGYN and ask for a hormone test. This is a great first step towards treating your health issues. But the results can be confusing and concerning without a little background information and preparation. Knowledge is power! Theres no need to be mystified.
Remember: no result received is static, the diagnosis you get can and will change with the right kind of treatment.
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.
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Treatment For A Hormonal Imbalance
There are many different treatment options for hormonal imbalances. The treatment you ultimately be given will depend on which hormone exactly is unbalance as well as the underlying cause of the imbalance. Sometimes, a life event might cause such a fluctuation in your hormones, such as menopause. In that case, your treatment would be short term one. However, if you have a genetic disorder that causes a lifelong hormonal imbalance, you will need to pursue a more prolonged course of medications.
Hormone therapy is a common treatment for hormonal imbalances. Women who are witnessing uncomfortable menopausal symptoms may choose estrogen therapy. Testosterone therapy is a common choice for men with low testosterone levels or adolescents facing delayed puberty. Taking thyroid hormones can help individuals with hypothyroidism. Such hormone replacement therapies may come in the form of pills, patches, or even injections. Your doctor will help you choose the appropriate dosage by checking your hormone levels test results. This is how he will determine the right amount of supplemented hormone you will need to recreate the balance.
Bioidentical hormones can be produced by pharmaceutical companies using different doses. Examples include bi-estrogen which is 50 to 80 percent estriol combined with estradiol, or tri-estrogen which is 10 percent estrone, 10 percent estradiol, and 80 percent estriol.
What Affects The Test
You may not be able to have the test, or the results may not be helpful, if:
- You use hormone therapy after menopause.
- You use birth control pills, patches, or rings and other forms of hormonal birth control.
- Within 1 week before your test, you had a test that uses a radioactive substance, such as a bone scan.
- You use certain medicines, such as clomiphene or steroids .
- You have high levels of sugar in your urine caused by diabetes.
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Hormones Affect Almost Every Cell In The Body
Since they affect virtually every cell and tissue in the body, and generally have a long duration of action, when out of balance they can seriously affect your health and wellbeing. Just some of the issues that out of balance hormones can cause are:
- Poor libido
- Post natal depression .
Because they affect nearly every cell in the body, it stands to reason that if you are suffering from something that has been undiagnosed or that hasn’t responded to other treatment, finding out if hormones are involved could be a way of getting to the root of the problem.
Can You Test Hormone Levels
Yes, you can. Hormone testing is routinely done these days and is available for all types of hormones that commonly become unbalanced, including women hormones, men hormones, thyroid hormones, cortisol and much more. Most hormone imbalance tests are blood tests that measure the level of certain hormones circulating in the blood stream, and in some cases, whether complimentary hormones estrogen and progesterone, for instance are present in the proper ratios to work together effectively.
- Hormone tests are commonly done for the following purposes:
- To diagnose hormonal imbalances
How To Test Cortisol Levels
Cortisol levels are measured with lab tests. These may be blood tests, which measure levels of the hormone in the bloodstream, or saliva tests, which measure cortisol levels in a saliva sample. Cortisol testing is typically done early in the morning, when levels are normally highest. Often, to produce the most accurate results, testing is repeated in the afternoon of the same day. Cortisol testing is often done in conjunction with ACTH level tests, since this pituitary gland hormone works to regulate cortisone levels. ACTH tests measure levels of the hormone in the bloodstream.
Getting tested can be done through your health care provider, who can order your tests for you, take your blood or saliva samples or send you to a lab to have them done. Then, your provider will let you know your results once they are delivered to his or her office.
You can also order these lab tests yourself online or over the phone from independent testing services, like Health Testing Centers. Ordering your own tests is generally less expensive, since you skip the cost of an office visit, and more efficient, since the results are delivered directly to you.
However, it is important to note that if your tests show that your cortisol and/or ACTH levels are abnormal too high or too low following up on those results with a visit to your healthcare provider is essential. Abnormal levels of these important hormones require further examination and testing.
How To Test Your Estrogen Levels
Because hormones and their functions can be so varied, there is no one single test to detect hormonal imbalances and estrogen can be tested in one of three ways:
Each test involves a different level of medical support, and can give different snapshots of information.; For instance, a saliva test collected over the course of a month can provide a more accurate picture than a one time blood draw. Other than a small prick at the point of a blood draw, there are no known risks to any of the collection methods, and no special preparations need to be taken before the test.
How Early Can A Blood Test Detect That You’re Pregnant
Hormonal blood tests performed by a medical facility can detect pregnancy earlier than home pregnancy tests using urine. Blood tests can detect pregnancy between six and eight days after you ovulate. By contrast, home pregnancy tests should be taken after your period is late, which is between 12 and 16 days after ovulation. Waiting until this point can help you avoid false negatives or positives.
Which Hormone Tests Should I Ask For
Which tests you undergo will depend on your symptoms and preferences. If youre experiencing hot flashes, irregular periods, and other telltale signs of menopause, it would make sense to have your estrogen and progesterone levels checked. If youre feeling fatigued, depressed, or having trouble with your weight, comprehensive thyroid testing would likely be a good option. If youre a man, you may also want to check your testosterone levels, as low testosterone can produce similar symptoms.
On the other hand, you might simply be interested in a general hormone health check without any specific concerns. This can be useful to establish a baseline that helps you identify hormonal changes in the future or detect asymptomatic health conditions.
Regardless of whether you have specific concerns or just want an overview of your current hormonal health, your health care practitioner can help you determine which tests are most appropriate for your situation.
Feeling Out Of Sorts But Not Sure Why Your Hormones Might Be The Answer Theyre Involved In Nearly Every Bodily Function And Can Disrupt Areas Of Your Body You Might Not Even Be Aware Of Parsley Health La Dr Tiffany Lester Shares What A Hormonal Imbalance May Look Like And What You Can Learn From A Hormone Test
Many women and men are suffering needlessly from hormonal imbalance every single day. Whether its painful periods that require medication and time off work for severe cramps or mood swings, acne, and sleepless nights, none of these symptoms are normal. They all indicate some type of hormone imbalance that can typically be corrected through diet, exercise, and supplementation. A hormonal imbalance test can help identify this.
When we talk about hormones, were not just talking about those that you learned about in middle school health class. Hormones are a huge category that includes cortisol, thyroid, and melatonin, as well as sex hormones . Each hormone plays a unique role and they work together to keep your body functioning properly, so if something is off, you may have noticeable symptoms.
More Information About Hormone Testing
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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What About Testosterone
Although testosterone is thought of primarily as a male hormone, it is an important hormone for women, too. It is produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands and spikes around the time of ovulation .
Testosterone helps women maintain muscle mass and bone strength , enhances sex drive, and provides an overall sense of vitality. Just like with estrogen and progesterone production, the Goldilocks principle applies we want testosterone not to be too high or too low, but just right!