Preventing High Estrogen Levels
While improving detoxification, reducing the activity of the aromatase enzyme to optimize your estrogen levels, you have to look at some lifestyle factors to reduce estrogen levels.
Reducing alcohol consumption can help reduce estrogen levels in men and women. For some people, this means reducing alcohol consumption. For other people, it may be necessary to fully eliminate alcohol for a period of time in order to improve liver function.
Estrogen in the environment is also a major problem. They can be found in plastics , cleaning products, personal care products, factory-farmed meats.
Estrogens are so widely used by many industries, that it is extremely hard to avoid them. Nevertheless, we can reduce our exposure and improve our detoxification.
When To Test Cortisol
We cant always get a full picture of whats going on with your hormones without looking at the adrenals, which produce the stress hormone cortisol.
Cortisol is involved in your stress response, hair loss, blood sugar regulation and more. In time of stress, the body will shift into preferentially making cortisol over progesterone. Read more about the importance of cortisol here.
Cortisol blood tests are best performed in the morning, along with Adrenocorticotropic hormone , because this is when levels are highest. ACTH is produced in the pituitary gland and helps your adrenals to function. For a more comprehensive picture of adrenal function, a 4-point salivary or urinary cortisol is best. Cortisol can be tested at any time of the month.
What Is An Estrogen Test
Your doctor may also call these estradiol, estrone , estradiol , estriol , or estrogenic hormone tests.
If your doctor needs to check to see if you might have a condition caused by too much or too little of a certain estrogen type, they may recommend that you take an estrogen test. Itâs a simple blood test, and it can measure up to three types of this estrogen:
- Estrone, or E1, the main hormone women make after menopause
- Estradiol, or E2, the main hormone women make when they arenât pregnant
- Estriol, or E3, a hormone women make more of when theyâre pregnant
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What Day Is Best For Testing
It depends on your goals. For fertility, check estradiol and FSH on day 3 of your menstrual cycle. This is a measure of egg quality and drives progesterone levels. For peak estradiol, check on day 12 of your cycle. I use that for bone mass. For progesterone and to check ovulation, I check day 21-22. If you dont know what day, aim for estradiol and progesterone on day 21-22 as most lab data are standardized for those dates before menopause. If your cycles are very irregular, test day 21-22 after a period.
Can You Test While On Bioidentical Hormones
For my patients on oral bioidentical progesterone, I use blood and dried urine. Serum tells me levels that are clinically relevant and supported by research. Dried urine tells me about the metabolism of progesterone and cortisol. I do not use saliva testing for my patients on bioidentical hormones as I believe the data suggests it leads to underdosing.
What Is Hormonal Imbalance In Men
The most common hormonal imbalances in men are related to testosterone levels. Men may experience low levels of testosterone due to disorders, like hypogonadism for example when the testes cannot produce an adequate supply of testosterone. More commonly, aging is the underlying cause, with testosterone production gradually diminishing over time, beginning around age 40. For some men, levels fall so low that the body’s basic needs for the hormone cannot be fulfilled, which can lead to many of the symptoms listed above. Other factors that can contribute to low testosterone levels include excessive stress, poor diet, obesity and regular excessive alcohol use.
Types Of Estrogen Tests
If you think you may be suffering from estrogen dominance or estrogen deficiency, you should schedule a doctor’s appointment immediately. Your doctor will administer a test that will help determine what’s behind your imbalanced estrogen levels and advise a treatment option to suit your needs.
Common estrogen tests include:
- Blood test. Blood tests may detect estrogen imbalances by measuring the hormones found in the blood serum or blood plasma content.
- Urine test. 24-hour urine samples are not susceptible to hourly fluctuations in serum or saliva measurements. Urine tests detect estrogen imbalance by capturing metabolite measurements.
- Saliva test. These tests capture the metabolic process of the salivary glands and the diffusion of hormones from the bloodstream. Results may be skewed by diet, medication, hormone replacement therapy treatments and contraceptive pills.
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The Hormone Test All Women Can Do At Home
While lab work like the Female Hormone Panel is super valuable information especially once you have a personal database of tests that track your bodys progress there are ways you can check in on your hormones, at home, without the assistance of your OBGYN. If youre experiencing symptoms like PMS, acne, low sex drive, mood swings the next time you get your period, look at what color it is! Like really look.
Look at the color of the bleed, the consistency, note how long your period is, how it starts and how it endsnumbers on a page can be hard to connect back to how you feel, but your period is right there in front of you. Its a part of you and its a visual indicator of whats going on with your hormones. You can tell what kind of hormone imbalance you are dealing with by observing:
- The color of your period blood
- The way it starts and the way it ends
- The consistency of the period blood
- The length of time you have your period
- How much you bleed
This easily observable, immediately accessible information is right there for your understanding. Notice it, note it, actually write it down if you like in a period diary and it can give you so much important information.
But, how to know what it all means?
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
Women On Birth Control
If you are on the birth control pill, all of your hormones in the ovary are suppressed so there is NO egg production and no thick, fluffy lining built up to accept a fertilized egg .
Balancing hormones for women on the birth control pill can be done, but it is trickier. Often times, the birth control pill is the cause of some of the problems which is quite an eye opening statement to some patients. A lot of women have been on the birth control pill for a majority of their lives, so they never suspect their birth control pill could be the problem. But, maybe it is. Why? Well, the pill is not changing, but you are. When we are older, the pill could drop our hormone production down so much that it is more of the problem than the solution. Most women who are done having their children might be better off finding a non-hormonal method of birth control . Then when you are hormone free, and the birth control pill is out of your system, test your hormones and see how many problems being off the pill fixed or caused, and go from there.
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When Thyroid Levels May Be Tested
You may need a thyroid hormone test if you have symptoms such as:
Hyperthyroidism symptoms include:
- Frequently feeling cold or hot
- Irregular or light menstrual period
- Hair loss
High thyroid levels indicate hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid.
Low thyroid hormones indicate hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid.
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.
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.
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Do All Patients Need Blood Tests For Hormone Levels
Dr Aziz-Scott: Although treatment is bespoke to you, patients will follow a similar patient journey, and in the initial consultation, blood tests for hormone levels are required for all patients. In some cases, women may come to the clinic with blood tests conducted externally by their GP, or another healthcare professional.
We do see patients that have had a Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones . The DUTCH test is a urinary assessment of hormones and can provide a great deal of useful information about the different hormone systems in the body. It is very useful in assessing how estrogen is metabolised and this is a very important factor to consider once you are on BHRT as certain estrogen metabolites can be toxic and increase breast cancer risk.
Depending on a patients individual situation, we may be able to work with DUTCH test results, but serum blood hormone levels are the gold standard of testing to provide an accurate baseline. Many clinics offer finger prick tests, but we opt for serum blood tests as these are less likely to provide erroneous results and unnecessary additional costs if repeats needed. Once we begin treatment, the monitoring process is also much more efficient with serum blood tests.
Your Marion Gluck Clinic doctor will advise you of the tests required during your consultation and will explain the options for how you can have blood drawn.
How Can I Balance Back My Hormones
If you have been diagnosed with a hormonal imbalance, your doctor can advise you on ways of bringing your body back into proper balance. Typical treatments for improved hormonal balance include hormone replacement therapy and lifestyle changes, such as dietary changes, stress management and exercise. In the case of thyroid dysfunction, medications and/or surgical intervention may be necessary to restore health levels of thyroid hormones.
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Symptoms Of Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen dominance is quite complex because estrogen has so many far-reaching effects on thyroid function, metabolism, and a multitude of other hormone levels.
If youre a woman with a menstrual cycle, sometimes we can better gauge which symptoms are directly related to estrogen dominance because they worsen at specific times of your menstrual cycle.
In fact, thats a question I ask all of my relevant female clients.
This one question alone can provide a lot of information regarding estrogen status.
You would be amazed at how many women dont correlate their symptoms to their menstrual cycle until they stop to think about it.
Below are some common estrogen dominance symptoms:
- Weight gain
If you suffer, or have suffered, from any of the above symptoms, then youre likely more estrogen dominant than you may think.
Why The Test Is Performed
In women, most estradiol is released from the ovaries and adrenal glands. It is also released by the placenta during pregnancy. Estradiol is also produced in other body tissues, such as skin, fat, cells bone, brain, and liver. Estradiol plays a role in:
- Growth of the womb , fallopian tubes, and vagina
- Breast development
- Changes of the outer genitals
- Distribution of body fat
In men, a small amount of estradiol is mainly released by the testes. Estradiol helps prevent sperm from dying too early.
This test may be ordered to check:
- How well your ovaries, placenta, or adrenal glands work
- If you have signs of an ovarian tumor
- If male or female body characteristics are not developing normally
- If your periods have stopped
The test may also be ordered to check if:
- Hormone therapy is working for women in menopause
- A woman is responding to fertility treatment
The test may also be used to monitor people with hypopituitarism and women on certain fertility treatments.
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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.
How To Test Your Estrogen Levels At Home
If you suspect you have a hormonal imbalance, your first step may be looking for how to test estrogen levels at home. Whether you are working with your healthcare professionals, or are just looking for insight, at-home hormone tests provide a solution for you to monitor your hormones on your own. Its important to note that at-home tests do not diagnose or prescribe, they simply provide you with results.
The most common type of at-home test is a urine test, where you collect a sample to be analyzed for hormone levels. This classic pee on a stick method is used for a variety of reasons from measuring important fertility hormones like follicle-stimulating hormone to checking your estrogen levels.
Though less common, you can also check your estrogen levels at home via blood or saliva test. Depending on the test you choose, home collection kits may involve additional steps such as mailing the sample back to a lab before receiving the results of your hormone panel.
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The Relationship Between Estradiol And Urinary E2
Estrone-3-glucuronide is the main metabolite of estradiol in urine and detecting its presence highly correlates with E2 blood levels. Urine hormone tests are measuring E3G or urinary E2 to positively correlate with E2 levels that might be found in the blood. Detecting a rise in E2 through an at home hormone test is done to predict and detect ovulation.
When To Get Tested
Women: when you show symptoms of a hormone imbalance, such as abnormal vaginal bleeding, lack of menstrual periods, unusual and/or early or late sex organ development when you are undergoing infertility treatment or therapy for menopause symptoms when you are pregnant and your health care practitioner wants to monitor the health of your placenta and developing baby, if it is a high-risk pregnancy
Men: when you have signs of feminization, such as enlarged breasts
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