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.
The Role Of Pregnenolone In Building Hormones
In other testing, the test may just be testing estrogens or testosterone. If it is found to be low, the general approach is to do hormone replacement therapy Where the patient is given either estrogens or testosterone, depending on what was found to be low on the tests. Hopefully you are seeing why this can be a very dangerous approach.
If there has been no upstream testing, you actually have no idea if there is a deficiency somewhere else. What if you are taking cholesterol lowering medications?
Your body is demanding more raw material because it is chronically stressed so it is increasing your bodys natural process to create cholesterol, to then increase pregnenolone, to increase progesterone, to then create more cortisol. If the stressful environment still exists and the patient is trying to get pregnant, has menstrual issues, low testosterone symptoms, there has to be an increase in cholesterol to make all of our hormones.
Cholesterol has been unfairly vilified, in my opinion. Because of this, there has been a lot of unnecessary HRT drugs used by patients. Especially in conjunction with cholesterol lowering medication. There actually might not be an issue with testosterone or estrogen production. The issue could be something as far upstream as not having enough cholesterol in the system.
Hormonal Imbalance And Women
Female hormones are powerful chemical messengers that regulate the reproductive system and influence many other vital systems. When they are present in the body in the proper amounts and ratios, they work in concert with one another to promote optimal health and well-being. However, when female hormonal imbalance becomes an issue, the consequences can manifest themselves throughout the body, taking a toll on a woman’s health and quality-of-life. When the condition is accurately identified and treated, the balance of female hormones can be corrected, reducing the symptoms and health risks associated with hormonal imbalance.
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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.
How Is A Saliva Hormone Test Performed
Saliva tests for hormone levels are non-invasive and stress-free. A patient simply spits into a sterile test tube which is sent to a lab for analysis. Saliva sampling must be done correctly, but today’s collection devices make it easy, and patients can collect samples during the day or night as needed to establish an accurate baseline and measure changes in hormones throughout the day or throughout the month.
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Understanding Results Of Your Thyroid Function Test
To understand the results of your thyroid function test better, you can check out below the normal ranges for TSH, T4, T3, TPOAb, TgAb, TRAb.
However, self-diagnosis, especially, in this case, is not a good idea. If you need help with the interpretation of your test you can schedule a consultation with me.
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.
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Natural Ways To Support Healthy Hormones
While you should always speak to your doctor if you have hormonal imbalance, he might not have to give you any kind of medication to restore the balance. This is particularly true if the imbalance is caused by something like diet or stress. In general, people who have the following criteria are at higher risks of developing hormonal imbalances:
- Being overweight or obese
- Consuming an excessive amount of alcohol
- Being exposed to pesticides and toxins
- Experiencing high stress levels
- Not sleeping enough
Many of these risk factors are easily controlled when you’re mindful of your diet, exercise routine, and daily habits. If you quit smoking, moderate your drinking, or avoid exposure to pesticides, you can help reduce your risk factor for hormonal imbalances and naturally keep them moderated.
Changing the way you eat can go a long way towards improving your hormonal balance. For example, when you exchange carbohydrates for healthy fats, like coconut oil and avocado, you can lower your bodys inflammation and help maintain your hormone at the right levels. Consuming enough proteins will help control the ghrelin hormone that makes you feel hungry. This gives you the feeling of fullness and then, you will stop eating at the appropriate time and maintain a healthy weight.
How Do I Know My Estrogen Levels Are Low Or High
As estrogen levels do fluctuate regularly throughout the cycle, its difficult to pinpoint a typical or normal level of estrogen because they tend to change almost every day . In saying that, when estrogen levels fluctuate or become low, you may experience a number of signs and symptoms. This can occur for a number of reasons – from an underlying condition or things such as age, or the use of certain medications.
Some common indicators of hormonal imbalance include:
- Irregular periods, heavier or lighter periods, or total cessation of periods
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Feeling tired all of the time
- Mood changes
- Acne on the face, back or chest
- Hair growth on the face, chin and breasts
The most reliable way to check estrogen levels at home is with an at-home hormone test because its processed by a highly accredited network of laboratories. The process is simple:
Its recommended that you check your hormone levels if:
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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.
Hormonal Imbalance In Women: Symptoms And Treatment
There are natural fluctuations in hormone levels throughout our lives and our menstrual cycles. But when levels become too low or too high, that can lead to issues that make getting pregnant more difficult. Below, weâre breaking down the types and symptoms of hormonal imbalance â and walking you through testing your levels on your own.
How Can I Find Out If I Have A Hormone Imbalance
The only way to confirm a hormone imbalance is to test your hormone levels. Both blood tests and saliva tests are proven techniques in assessing a hormone imbalance. i-screen uses blood tests to accurately determine sex hormone and thyroid hormone levels, but prefers saliva testing to assess cortisol levels. This is because cortisol levels follow a diurnal pattern which means tests must be conducted throughout the course of the day this makes blood testing inconvenient.
Need More Hormone Help
If youre needing some health upgrading, its time you started you looking into whats going on with your hormones.
Ive designed a 4 day hormone detox and evaluation to help you understand exactly whats out of whack and how you can start getting back to balance so that your hormones no longer have to suffer.
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Hormonal Imbalance And Weight Gain
People with Cushing syndrome have high levels of cortisol in their blood. This leads to an increase in appetite and fat storage.
Hypothyroidism, if the condition is severe, can also lead to weight gain.
During menopause, many women gain weight because the metabolism slows down. You may find that even though youre eating and exercising like normal, you still gain weight.
The only way to treat weight gain from a hormone disorder is to treat the underlying condition.
During a normal, healthy pregnancy, your body goes through major hormonal changes. This is different than a hormonal imbalance.
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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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:
Stages Of Your Cycle And Testing
In the ovary, the egg, or follicle growing stage which are from days 1-14, is called the follicular stage.
The second stage of the ovary, days 14-28, is called the luteal phase. These terms are important since testing of hormones, whether for infertility or hormone imbalance, need to be timed.
Days 19, 20 or 21
Usually, most testing is done in the luteal phase, around days 19, 20 or 21. This is the phase when PMS symptoms are at their peak, so I always tell patients you want to be tested on your bad days. If you have had an endometrial ablation or hysterectomy, but you still have your ovaries, its hard to know when you are in this phase of your cycle. These are day you find yourself reacting differently to something that day that normally would not have bothered you.
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Signs Of Hormone Imbalance In Women
So often we attribute our body’s changes incorrectly. As women progress through life, the body responds differently, and it plays out in a number of ways.
1- Estrogen Imbalance
Estrogen is made by your ovaries, your adrenal glands, and to a much lesser extent, by your fat cells. It has many functions, including:
- Maintaining Bone Calcium
- Regulating HDL and LDL Cholesterol in Blood
- Helping Maintain Blood Sugar Levels
- Helping with Memory
- Balancing Emotions
Estrogen imbalance can cause numerous symptoms which will depend on whether you are experiencing an overabundance of the hormone or less of it. The causes and signs can be discerned, but they take a watchful eye. Too little estrogen is often caused by:
- Failed Pregnancy
- Hot Flashes
3- Testosterone Imbalance
Testosterone is not just a male sex hormone. Women also have lesser amounts of this hormone. It is produced by your ovaries and adrenal glands. Testosterone has the important function of aiding you by protecting you against developing osteoporosis. It has many other effects on your health, including sex drive, mood, energy levels and body fat percentage.
If you have too much testosterone in your body, such as when you have a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome, you could experience:
- Irregular Periods
- Increased Body or Facial Hair
- Hair Loss
Too little testosterone often occurs during menopause and can lower your sex drive, cause depression, weakness of your muscles and fatigue.
How Reliable Is A Salivary Hormone Testing Kit
Saliva hormone testing can give you accurate information about your hormone levels. A large amount of research done in the past decades has shown that hormone levels in saliva correlate with hormone levels in blood . So saliva tests offer a convenient, noninvasive way to evaluate a wide range of hormones, and saliva testing techniques can be just as accurate as blood testing methods.
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Estrogen And Liver Metabolism
When looking at the DUTCH test results you will see the word metabolites or metabolized. When your body makes an estrogen or cortisol or if someone takes a hormone by HRT, it must be processed by the body in the liver through the process of phase 1 and 2 detoxification before it can be excreted out of the body.
This is known as hormone metabolism. As a hormone undergoes this process, it gets changed into other forms called metabolites. It might also be a coincidence that cholesterol is produced in the liver. The very beginning and the very end of hormone synthesis is in the liver.
This is important because after estrogens go through phase 1 detoxification it moves on to methylation. Methylation neutralizes the phase 1 metabolites and prepares them to be excreted out of the body instead of sending them back into circulation. If a patient has a genetic issue called MTHFR they have issue methylating and the reports tells you where you are on the methylating spectrum.
Why Are Blood Tests So Important For Hormone Treatment
Dr Aziz-Scott: Although we can get an idea of where the problem lies by assessing history and symptoms specific to hormone health, blood tests give us more information about exactly whats going on with each patient we see.
At a glance, blood tests:
- Give an in-depth analysis of specific hormones.
- Ensure an accurate diagnosis.
- Allow your doctor to ensure the amount of hormones in your body are not higher than what is physiologically appropriate, and to know that the prescribed treatment is working effectively.
- Help your doctor understand if any changes to your medication are required.
- Are essential for monitoring your safety.
- Ensure you are getting the very best care from the Marion Gluck Clinic.
In the initial appointment, we need to understand whether a patient is perimenopausal, menopausal, or whether they could have premature menopause or some other hormonal condition. The initial blood tests allow us to evaluate which hormone levels are raised or lower than expected to aid with an accurate diagnosis.
Estrogen and progesterone
For women who are menstruating monthly, we check the blood hormone levels on day 21 of their cycle and analyse the estrogen-to-progesterone ratio, which should ideally be 10:1. Day 21 progesterone is indicative of whether a woman is ovulating. If your progesterone is low and estrogen is relatively high, then it is likely to cause symptoms of estrogen dominance, which is common in perimenopause and in women who present with PMDD or PMS.
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Men And Estrogen: What You Need To Know
Estrogen is known primarily as a female hormone that helps regulate menstrual cycles, yet the hormone plays a bigger role in mens health than most people realize. Men produce small amounts of estrogen as part of their normal functioning male reproductive system, along with the male hormone testosterone. As they age, less testosterone is produced.
Yet questions are beginning to emerge as to what specific part estrogen plays in male development, especially as a man ages. Once largely ignored, estrogen levels in men are now under the microscope as researchers are trying to determine this hormone’s role in men and how it affects the body’s different hormone levels.
A decrease in estrogen, for example, may be a factor in fat accumulation in men as well as women. One endocrinologist at Harvard Medical School reported in a 2013 study that some of the symptoms of testosterone deficiency in males, including a decline in libido, were at least partially caused by lower estrogen production.