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.
Why Would You Go To An Endocrinologist
You would be referred to an endocrinologist by your family doctor, or you can visit him/her on your own if
- You are a diabetic and
- Your high blood sugar level has not been controlled by your doctors treatment
- Your doctor does not have experience in treating diabetes
- You are on many insulin shots or on an insulin pump
- You have developed complications of diabetes
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Common Hormone Testing For Women
Before you begin your search and compare your options, lets take a look at 12 lab tests designed to help identify hormonal imbalances in women.
This acronym stands for Dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate. This is a weak male hormone that adrenal glands produce in both men and women.
What It Measures
A DHEA-S test measures the level of this hormone in your blood. It is appropriate for women who appear to have too many male hormones.
Clinical Test Reference Range
Normal levels of DHEA-S will vary depending on each individuals sex and age. The average normal ranges for females measured in mcg/dL, as reported by Quest, are listed below.
- < 1 Month: 15-261
There is a particular group of steroids responsible for regulating your menstrual cycle and functioning as your main female sex hormones. This group includes the most predominant form of estrogen, called Estradiol, also referenced as Estradiol-17 Beta or E2.
What It Measures
An Estradiol test measures the level of Estradiol in your blood.
As its produced mainly in your ovaries, doctors can analyze this hormonal activity to see if your organs are functioning as they should.
Clinical Test Reference Range
Normal levels of Estradiol in women will vary depending on the menstrual cycle and age. The following Estradiol levels are considered normal for women, as reported by Quest.
- Follicular Phase: 19-144 pg/mL
Normal levels for postmenopausal women should be lower than 10 pg/mL.
What an Imbalance Means
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Preparing For Hormone Testing At Cedars
We explain the tests you need and answer any questions you may have.
Heres what to expect:
- Stop certain medications: We let you know whether to stop taking drugs such as oral steroids or estrogen supplements before your test.
- Visit one of our labs: You go to a Cedars-Sinai lab and provide a blood, urine or saliva sample. If you need stimulation or suppression testing, we let you know in advance how long youll need to stay.
- Collect samples at home: If we need samples over a period of time, you may be able to perform testing at home. We give you special containers for collecting saliva or urine samples and detailed instructions on how to handle them.
- Receive more than one form of hormone testing: Blood testing is one way we evaluate hormone imbalances. We may recommend additional tests, including stimulation or suppression tests, to learn more about whats causing the imbalance.
- Undergo other forms of testing: For problems such as tumors or a possible cancer diagnosis, we use imaging to learn more about their size, location and nature.
Have Questions or Need a Second Opinion?
To make an appointment or refer a patient, call us or send a message to the Endocrinology care team.You can also have us at your convenience.
Can A High Estrogen Level Cause Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction . Men with high levels of estrogen may have difficulty getting or maintaining an erection. If your doctor suspects that you might have high estrogen, theyll likely order a blood test to check your hormone levels. A trained professional will collect a sample of your blood to be tested in a laboratory.
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What Are The Most Common Endocrine Disorders
There are many different types of endocrine disorders. Many of the most common disorders relate to improper functioning of the pancreas, thyroid, adrenal and pituitary glands. In the United States, the most common endocrine disorder is diabetes. More than 29 million Americans have diabetes, but nearly one-third are unaware that they have it.
Other endocrine disorders include:
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
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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Precisely Diagnose The Cause Of Your Hormonal Symptoms
Testing your hormone levels at home is vital because it helps you identify some of its symptoms. Some of the common signs of hormone imbalance include:
Fatigue. Are you taking care of yourself but still cant get up? It may be that your hormones are the problem. Some of the most common causes of fatigue are elevated cortisol levels, overproduction of thyroid hormones, low estrogen levels, low progesterone levels, and underproduction of thyroid hormones.
Difficulty losing weight. Most people seem to work hard, eat well, and work out but still cant maintain their weight. Among the causes of this are factors such as elevated cortisol levels, estrogen dominance, and overproduction of thyroid hormone.
Hair loss, thinning, and brittle nails. Normally, the quality of your skin, nail, and hair has a direct relationship with hormone production. Factors such as under and overproduction of thyroid hormones, low estrogen levels, declining progesterone, and elevated androgens can greatly contribute to hair loss, thinning, and brittle nails.
Acne. The contributing factors to this include high cortisol levels, elevated insulin levels, elevated androgens, and low progesterone hormone.
The list of signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalance is extensive. Testing your hormone levels at home greatly helps you in identifying some of these symptoms which gives you an opportunity to seek medication.
Can Gp Test Hormone Levels
When to see a GP They can usually confirm whether youre menopausal based on your symptoms, but a blood test to measure your hormone levels may be carried out if youre under 45.
Do I need to see a doctor for hormonal imbalance?
To determine what the situation is, you should see a hormone specialist to get tested. Once your doctor can diagnose you with the specific hormone imbalance you have, you can explore treatments. For women who suffer from hormone imbalances, the most common symptoms they experience are: Breast tenderness.
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Prevents Wasting Money And Precious Time On Unnecessary Treatments
The self-test is effective and convenient. This is because you can order online, collect samples on your own, and send them to the laboratory with just a click of the mail. In the same manner, you will also receive your results via mail.
In addition, determining hormone levels with a hormone level test kit has been made easily available. This provides you an opportunity to choose your test option from the varying test options available. The beauty is that they are accurate just like any other lab test youve come across.
This saves you time since you wont have to go to the physicians office for check-ups and appointments.
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
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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Is It Safe To Have Tests During The Pandemic
Dr Aziz-Scott: Its understandable that there is some hesitation about being around others at this time, but we would like to reassure you that your safety is of the utmost importance to us. It is safe to have your blood tests during the pandemic and as per Government advice, it is recommended that you keep any appointments or procedures you have booked.
Symptoms And Potential Complications
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.
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What Can It Tell Us
Hormones in the bloodstream that are not bound to protein are filtered through the salivary glands and enter saliva. Saliva testing accurately measures the hormones that are bioavailable to organs and tissues. If these active levels are too high or too low, it may be the cause behind health issues such as irregular periods, weight gain, fatigue, hot flashes, night sweats and many others.
Hormone testing may often require baseline measurements as well as periodic tests to monitor a particular condition or adjust therapeutic dosing.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance, theres an easy way to find out if your hormones are to blame! Schedule your consultation with the expert team at Coyle Institute and well track down the cause of your hormonal issues through a saliva test, then work with you to get the care and treatment you need to feel like yourself again!
At Coyle Institute, We Restore Womens Lives Through Improved Pelvic Health So You Can Focus On Whats Important: Enjoying Your Life and the People You Love.
How Can You Cure Hormonal Acne Without Knowing The Hormone Levels
This seems like a pretty obvious question, but as I was just saying, you might find your doctor doesnt see it this way though.
You might have already experienced going to your doctor and asking to get your hormones tested and found there werent too keen to do it. The reason for this is because medical treatments are really strong. The birth control pill and Accutane/Roaccutane usually work regardless of what type of hormone imbalance you have, so your doctor thinks why to bother testing.
They know the medications are that powerful that they will just override any hormonal imbalance.
But the problem with these treatments is that when you stop them, your hormonal imbalance returns and so does your acne. So if you want to get rid of your acne for good, then you need to balance out your hormones.
So when you want to solve your hormonal acne issues naturally, we need to know what your hormone levels are like. So testing becomes critically important. When you do the testing, you know what your hormone levels are which then allows you to be very specific around the herbs and supplements youll use.
Because if you dont test, all you can do is guess at what you need, and this is where most people are at.
So what I see a lot in my clinic is patients come to see me and theyre taking a whole heap of supplements, but theyve still got acne. And this is because they dont really know what they should be taking and what theyre taking isnt correcting their hormone imbalance.
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When To Test Insulin
If youre trying to get to the bottom of a PCOS diagnosis, you will need to evaluate insulin. If you have a family history of diabetes or your clinician suspects insulin dysregulation, this is a test they will likely order.
Typically, insulin is tested while fasting along with blood glucose. Because of this, the test is commonly done first thing in the morning.
It is recommended that biotin be stopped at least 72 hours before testing.
Fasting insulin is a good place to start, but you may need to do a glucose challenge as well. Finding out what your insulin looks like after you eat can also be helpful. Your doctor will help determine the right tests for you.
Difference In Reference Ranges At Different Laboratories
Reference ranges can differ between laboratories due to varying operating conditions, differing criteria for selection of healthy subjects, and different populations. Test results can be confusing, therefore it is important to speak to your physician if there is anything you dont understand or are concerned about.
Anti-aging panels can be carried out to determine if anti-aging treatment with bioidentical hormone replacement is required. For a full list of tests carried out in an anti-aging panel click for men and women.Imbalanced hormones cause a range of symptoms that can have a negative effect on your day to day life, but there is no need to suffer alone. Through comprehensive hormone testing, you can work with your doctor to pinpoint hormone imbalances. Private MD Labs can provide you with confidential laboratory testing to help you take charge of your own health. You can order your lab tests by clicking here or call us on 283-7882 for further information. By understanding your test results you can be proactive in your healthcare. However, even with a good understanding, hormone testing and test results can be confusing. Your doctor is there to explain your results and support you if you have any concerns or questions.
* Refer to the terms and conditions for more details.
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What Do The Results Mean
If your estradiol or estrone levels are higher than normal, it may be due to:
- Early puberty in girls delayed puberty in boys
If your estradiol or estrone levels are lower than normal, it may be due to:
- Primary ovarian insufficiency, a condition that causes a woman’s ovaries to stop working before she is 40 years old
- Turner syndrome, a condition in which a woman’s sexual characteristics don’t develop properly
- An eating disorder, such as anorexia nervosa
- Polycystic ovary syndrome, a common hormone disorder affecting childbearing women. It is one of the leading causes of female infertility.
If you are pregnant and your estriol levels are lower than normal, it may mean your pregnancy is failing or that there is a chance your baby might have a birth defect. If the test shows a possible birth defect, you will need more testing before a diagnosis can be made.
Higher levels of estriol may mean you will be going into labor soon. Normally, estriol levels go up about four weeks before you start labor.
If you have questions about your results, talk to your health care provider.
Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.
How Early Can A Blood Test Detect That Youre 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.
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