How To Test Your Hormones At Home
My gold standard is a blood draw for serum testing, but its hard to get a blood draw during a pandemic! There are convenient, reliable alternatives for many biomarkers. In the video, I talk about the blood spot test from ZRT Labs. I also love the dried urine test for hormone metabolism and to follow certain hormones in my patients on bioidentical hormone therapy. Occasionally I will run saliva tests but only for limited indications.
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.
Reasons To Get Your Hormone Levels Checked Out
People have varying outlooks regarding becoming older. Your attitude towards advancing years will probably have much to do with the condition of your overall health. If you still feel agile and look comparatively young, you most likely wont care too much about your chronological age. However, for many people, getting older comes with a minefield of incommodious health issues.
If you are older, and your overall health is diminishing, consider talking to your GP about getting a blood test to determine your hormone levels. Here are ten worthy reasons why it is a good idea to get your hormone levels evaluated:
Weight gain is a common symptom of plummeting hormone levels in both men and women. Low testosterone can cause men to develop a stout abdomen and surplus fat in the pectoral area. It can also cause the loss of muscle mass. Laboratory research has shown that in female mammals, dwindling estrogen levels can lead to lethargy and general weight gain. Carrying too much weight can cause other health complications, such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.
If low levels of sex hormones, like testosterone and estrogen, have caused you to feel sluggish, you may not have the energy to exercise as much as youd like. Exercise is of vital importance to your overall health. It can safeguard you against a multitude of physical ailments and diseases. It is also excellent for your mental health, and it keeps your body looking and feeling young.
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Signs And Symptoms Of A Hormonal Imbalance
Your hormones play an integral role in your overall health. As a result, theres a broad range of signs and symptoms that could signal a hormonal imbalance. Your signs or symptoms will depend on which hormones or glands are not working properly.
Common hormonal conditions affecting people of all genders could cause any of the following signs or symptoms:
- rounded face
- purple or pink stretch marks
Keep in mind that these symptoms are nonspecific. Having one or a few of them doesnt necessarily mean that you have a hormonal imbalance.
Some of these symptoms may also reflect other chronic conditions. So, if you find yourself dealing with any notable changes in your body or energy levels, its a good idea to talk with your doctor.
Figuring Out If You Need Hormone Testing
To decide whether you need hormone testing , your doctor will likely start by asking you lots of questions about your symptoms. This will help them put together the puzzle pieces of what might be going on.
The workflow in my head focuses on three questions, Dr. Batur says. First, do these symptoms sound hormonal? If so, do they sound like theyre related to estrogen, progesterone, testosterone or some other type of hormone? And finally, is it because theyre too low or too high?
Once your doctor has a sense of what might be happening, theyll figure out which tests to run.
One symptom that indicates that you may need testing is irregular periods.
If youre having regular menstrual cycles and not having symptoms throughout the month, I dont usually start with lots of estrogen, progesterone or testosterone tests, Dr. Batur says. But if youre experiencing a lot of irregularities in your cycle, Im likely to do more testing.
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What Are Risk Factors For High Blood Cholesterol
Lifestyle, some health conditions, and family history can raise your risk for high cholesterol. Your doctor may suggest you have your cholesterol checked more often if you have risk factors, such as the following:
- A family history of heart disease or high blood cholesterol. You are more at risk of having high cholesterol if other people in your family have it. This may be due to genetics, but it may also be that families share the same unhealthy lifestyle habits. Some people also have a genetic condition called familial hypercholesterolemia, which can cause high levels of low-density lipoprotein , or bad, cholesterol from a young age.
- Diabetes. Type 2 diabetes raises bad cholesterol and lowers high-density lipoprotein , or good, cholesterol, raising the risk for heart disease and stroke.
- Older age. As you age, your body cant clear cholesterol as well as it used to.
- Being male. Men tend to have higher LDL and lower HDL cholesterol levels than women do. But after menopause , LDL cholesterol levels in women increase.3,4
- Having overweight or obesity. Excess weight, unhealthy eating habits, and lack of physical activity can lead to high cholesterol.
- Previously having had high cholesterol. If you have a history of high cholesterol, your doctor may want you to keep a closer watch on your cholesterol.
Your doctor may tell you not to eat or drink anything except water for 9 to 12 hours before the test.
Which Tests Are Best For Hormonal Imbalance
Most companies that offer hormone test kits have several options. If you suspect a specific hormone imbalance, like a thyroid issue, you can order a test kit that focuses on those hormones. Otherwise, most companies offer a comprehensive test option that will check the levels of most or all of your major hormone types.
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How Can I Get My Hormones Checked For Imbalance
Are you wondering if you have a hormone imbalance or how you can get your hormone levels checked for imbalance? In this article, we look at this question and specifically look at what hormones you should check, when you should check them, and what some of the levels suggests. We will looking at estrogen, progesterone, some androgens and imbalances scenarios. As we make our way through these different scenarios you will begin to understand how some of the enzymes involved with production and breakdown of androgens and estrogen can influence your hormone balance.
If you want to know how to get your hormone checked for imbalance, keep reading.
Tests For Hormonal Imbalance
A variety of tests are often used to help diagnose a hormonal imbalance. There are even some at-home tests that you can take in the privacy of your home to see if you are suffering from a hormonal imbalance. In this section, you can learn more about the different tests that you can take to see if you have an imbalance of hormones in the body.
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How Hormone Testing Works
Hormones can be tested several different ways blood, urine, and saliva. Which one is best for you depends on your symptoms or any diagnosed conditions. In general, for fertility and to monitor the status of hormone replacement therapy, blood tests are sufficient. When evaluating hormone imbalances like PMS, PCOS, and chronic fatigue choosing urine or saliva will provide you additional insight into the root cause of the condition. Its important to test your estrogen metabolites and the circadian rhythm of your cortisol to obtain a complete picture of your hormones and evaluate any potential hormone imbalance.
If youre on birth control, your hormone levels on any test will be suppressed, because birth control pills contain synthetic estrogen and/or progesterone which deplete your bodys natural production of these hormones. Once going off the birth control pill, your body should naturally take over this process again, however that can take up to 12 months to regain a regular menstrual cycle.
How Do I Know If I Have A Hormone Imbalance
The following list of common complaints can often be helped or eliminated by improving hormone health. The challenge is often finding out the starting place of your hormone imbalance to ensure you are treating the root of the problem rather than just the symptoms. And thats where hormone testing comes in.
- Menstrual irregularities
- Poor immune function
When assessing a hormone imbalance, its important to evaluate the endocrine system as a whole. This is because the endocrine system is complex and hormones and their actions are intricately linked this means that hormone imbalances originating from different areas can cause the same symptom.
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When Does Perimenopause Happen
Perimenopause is defined as the 10 years prior to menopause, so most women in their 40s are in perimenopause. The 40s are characterized by a decrease in fertility, which is due to the decrease in hormone production.
This decline in fertility is the same reason for the increase in complaints of women in their 40s. We commonly hear about irritability, nervousness, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, belly fat, water retention and weight gain from female patients in their late 30s and 40s. These symptoms are usually from the declining production of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
It Might Not Be Your Hormones
While its important to advocate for your health, try not to be swayed by broad, overarching claims that insist that everyone needs hormone testing or that every symptom youre experiencing is related to your hormones.
Just because youre experiencing symptoms of a hormonal imbalance doesnt mean you have a hormonal imbalance. Nearly every symptom of a hormonal imbalance can have other causes, as well. Its important to not lump everything together under hormones, and to instead break down each symptom individually, Dr. Batur advises. We have to take a deep dive to make sure were not missing anything, whether its lifestyle factors or another medical condition.
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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.
What Are Female Hormones
Estrogen and progesterone are the primary sex hormones in females. Most of the body’s supply of these hormones is produced by the ovaries, although small amounts are supplied by other tissues in the body. While best known for their primary function of regulating the reproductive system, female hormones also play a role in other aspects of women’s health, including cardiac function, metabolism, bone health, skin thickness and elasticity, urinary tract health, emotional health and brain function, among others.
Cortisol and the thyroid hormone can become imbalanced for various reasons and affect both men and women. Ensuring a healthy profile means keeping abreast of your body’s levels. A comprehensive hormone test can provide much needed insight.
The three primary sex hormones in women are estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
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Understanding How Hormones Should Work
Its a little bit like a symphony. Most of us have all the notes, they are just not playing in key. The ovaries produce three different estrogens estradiol, estrone, and estriol, progesterone, and about half of the bodys testosterone production. The other half of testosterone production is produced in the adrenal glands.
Each month during a womans menstrual cycle, the ovary has a list of things to do, and the endometrium, or lining of the uterus, has a list of things to do. In the role of the egg development and lining development, there are four different hormones . Note, your body requires a pretty big jump of progesterone in the luteal phase, and when the body doesnt produce that, it is pretty noticeable . Hence the symphony analogy, you probably have all the right hormones, but if you dont have the spikes of them during this cycle, then the notes are not playing in tune. Dont worry, it is fixable.
Common Signs Of And How To Test For Hormone Imbalance
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Are you suffering from painful periods, weight gain, or unusual hair growth?
Is it a struggle to drag yourself out of bed each morning?
Maybe your friends have dropped some less than subtle hints about your mood, andyoure wondering if your hormones may be to blame.
Help is on the way.
If youre concerned that your hormones may be out of whack, read on.
This guide will cover everything you need to know about the symptoms and how to test for hormone imbalances.
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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.
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.
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What Are The Treatment Options
Hormone replacement therapy is one of the most common treatments of low hormone levels.
For people experiencing menopause, premature menopause, or primary ovarian insufficiency as well as after oophorectomy or chemotherapy estrogen therapy can offer some relief. Estrogen therapy alone is recommended for those who have had a hysterectomy. You can take estrogen in different forms, generally estrogen pills and estrogen patches.
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Hormonal Changes In The Menopause
Menopause causes a change in hormone levels, such as decreased levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. On average, menopause usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age.
Menopause is a natural change which all women will go through, but it can have a big impact on a woman’s sense of wellbeing. Symptoms of menopause include:
- Hot flushes
- Mood changes such as depression and anxiety
- Night sweats
- Changes to your menstrual cycle
- Reduced sex drive
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Can You Test For Hormone Imbalances
The short answer is yes.
Your first step in testing for ahormonal imbalanceis to make an appointment with your doctor for a physical exam.
At your appointment, be prepared to describe the symptoms you are experiencing, as well as the timeline along which theyve occurred.
And you will need to bring a list of all …
youre currently taking.
Where Should I Get A Hormone Balance Test And Other Faqs About Hormone Testing
You should get your hormones tested!
How many times have you heard that comment? Were often encouraged to look closely at our hormones when we experience symptoms that hint at conditions like hypothyroidism, menopause, or low testosterone. Indeed, fatigue, depression, hair loss, weight gain, weight loss, temperature sensitivity, mood changes, sleep disturbances, and anxiety are all common symptoms of hormonal changes or imbalances. But even if you know that a hormone test might be a good idea, you may not know what it entailsor where to get one.
Hormone testing is a very simple process. Its quick, easy, highly accessible, and can reveal critical information about your health. But hormone testing can only work if you know which tests to get and what the results mean. By exploring the basics of hormone testing, you can ensure you get the information and the support you need.
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