When Cortisol Testing Is Helpful
There are several medically recognized conditions that often require cortisol testing. Addisons disease is an autoimmune condition that causes extremely low cortisol levels , and is often accompanied by symptoms like :
- Extreme fatigue
ACTH and dexamethasone-suppression tests, 24-hour urine collection, and antibody testing are special types of cortisol response testing, and are the gold standard in diagnosing Addisons and Cushings disease . However, these tests are very involved and should be performed only under a doctors supervision. Other forms of cortisol testing, such as dried urine, salivary, and dried blood-spot testing are not approved to diagnose Addisons or Cushings disease.
And while these disorders are relatively rare , if you suspect that you have either of these conditions its important to speak with your healthcare provider. They can help you undergo the proper testing methods for a diagnosis.
As previously discussed, other types of cortisol testing may be unreliable and expensive, and adrenal fatigue doesnt appear to be a valid medical diagnosis. However, there are several underlying issues that may be at the root of your fatigue and can be easily addressed.
Stress And Your Hormones:
A portion of the brain called the hippocampus is what senses danger and sends signals triggering the H-P-A Axis. The Hypothalamus is a small part of the brain that sends a hormone called the Corticotrophin Releasing Hormone which activates the powerhouse gland called the Pituitary
The pituitary gland is the master hormone producing gland of the body. The pituitary gets stress signals from the hypothalamus and sends a hormone called Adrenocorticotropic Hormone ACTH then signals the adrenal glands. Once the adrenal glands receive the message it releases cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine into the body.
This is a normal, natural response of the body and does not cause any problems. This is unless your body is always sensing a stressful response. When you have a chronic stress response it leads to something called cortisol resistance where the body either underproduces cortisol, clears it too fast or downregulates cortisol receptors. This condition often causes fatigue and mental lethargy and is commonly referred to as adrenal fatigue.
Cortisol resistance causes a problem because cortisol provides a negative feedback to the pituitary and hypothalamus glands. This means the body is telling the brain that it received the message and if the stressor has stopped then the HPA axis reduces its activity and the body resets its balance and homeostasis.
Dutch Hormone Test Ordering And Pricing
The DUTCH hormone test is $400 to order plus $20 postage.
To order the DUTCH hormone test, please contact our clinic.
It is advisable to have an initial appointment with Jarrod in order to determine the right level of the testing requirement. There may be different or additional testing recommendations on the basis of your presenting symptoms as well as health concerns.
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The Dutch Cycle Mapping Panel
DUTCH Cycle Mapping analyzes the full picture of progesterone and estrogen patterns throughout the menstrual cycle. Providers can use these results to potentially answer important questions for patients with month-long symptoms, fertility concerns, or even issues related to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome .
The one-day urine and salivary testing with DUTCH is very helpful to give a snapshot of a womans hormones in a particular part of her cycle but may not give the full picture of hormone health. For example, if a woman is having specific symptoms on multiple days of the month, such as headaches or mood swings, she might want to expand to the DUTCH Cycle Mapping.
This test collects 9 targeted estrogen and progesterone measurements from urine throughout the cycle to graph out a womans follicular, ovulatory, and luteal phases. These convenient, first-morning urine collections are based on the actual length of the cycle to allow for better characterization of both the ovulatory and luteal peaks.
For more information about DUTCH Cycle Mapping, please click here.
Advantages Of The Dutch Test
The DUTCH Test is well-recognized for its ease-of-collection, coupled with comprehensive reporting that is not available from other laboratories. The DUTCH Adrenal provides free cortisol patterns that parallel saliva with the addition of metabolite measurements for an improved marker for total cortisol production.
The cortisol metabolites in the adrenal section are among the commonly-highlighted markers appreciated by practitioners. They offer a much more complete view of the HPA axis than the traditional saliva tests, which only measure free cortisol.
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Is The Dutch Test Necessary
Precision Analytical claims that DUTCH is superior in comparison to serum and saliva hormone tests, because DUTCH is more accurate in measuring cortisol and cortisol metabolites.
But is it?
Not according to Disha Narang, MD, a board certified endocinologist.
She told me this:
Not a single one of these tests is useful for a legitimate practitioner.
Metabolites are never used in clinical practice. Its very rare for any of the metabolites to be low that would mean you have dysfunctional enzymes that convert estrogen.
In my experience, the DUTCH is used by providers like naturopaths to say your metabolites are low and sell you a supplement.
Karl Nadolsky, DO FACE, and board certified in endocrinology, diabetes & metabolism, agrees.
While the variety of tests in DUTCH may ultimately become validated methods of testing some hormones, there is no currently validated clinical indication for using it. We must have a keen clinical consideration for why, how and when to check any specific hormone lab when evaluating patients for endocrine diseases . Having a random slew of hormones checked in the Dutch method does not help diagnose any endocrinopathy at this time that I am aware of.
Wonder If You Have A Hormone Imbalance
The women above demonstrate different hormone-related symptoms, and also different DUTCH test results. Each test result is unique and the findings require a specialized intervention that fits the individual. Do you wonder if this test is right for you? You can reach out and book a discovery call with us.
If youre curious to find out if you have a hormone imbalance, you can take this assessment:
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Dutch Complete Hormone Panel + Consultation
**The DUTCH Complete is the most advanced hormone test, offering an extensive profile of sex and adrenal hormones and melatonin, along with their metabolites, to identify symptoms of hormonal imbalances. Easily collected in the comfort of your own home, samples are then sent to Precisions lab to be processed, and take approximately six weeks to be processed. The DUTCH Complete is the most accurate test that provides a complete assessment of hormonal health.
**Information is taken from Precisions website.
This test is for you if you are experiencing the following:
Order Confirmation & Shipping
Upon purchase of the Dutch Complete Hormone Test, please allow 2-3 business days to process your order. Shipping time may vary due to COVID, but typically takes 3-5 business days once your order has been fulfilled. Once your test has been sent in, it takes approximately 2-3 weeks for the lab to process and generate results. For any tests that are shipped outside the USA and Canada, you, the customer, are responsible for shipping fees to get back to the lab.
The labs will notify us when your test has been analyzed and released for review. It takes approximately 2-3 weeks to process and generate results. One your results are released, someone from our team will reach out to have you schedule a 45-minute appointment with our functional nutritionist, who will interpret your results, give recommendations, and guide you in next steps.
What Others Are Saying About Dutch
I tend to use the Precision Analytical panel. Its the one that I found to be the most accurate.
Dr. Sara Gottfried, MD
Using genetic testing is an excellent way to demonstrate susceptibility. DUTCH combined with genetic testing shows how genes are working in real time. A winning combination.
Dr. Ben Lynch
DUTCH is a complete game changer in the functional medicine landscape, and far superior to saliva hormone testing in most circumstances.
Chris Kresser, MS, LAC
New York Times best selling author of The Paleo Cure
The Precision Analytical panel is used routinely in our clinical practice, and I so appreciate the quality, reliability, and breadth of data Im seeing.
Dr. Kara Fitzgerald
Functional Medicine thought-leader, educator, clinician, author, and host of New Frontiers in Functional Medicine.
We know every sample received by our lab comes from a real person, with a real story.
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Women Who Changed Their Lives With The Dutch Test
These are a few of the thousands of women weve had the honor to work with and help :
Postpartum and No Periods
Melanie had not felt herself since the birth of her second child one and a half years ago. Her periods had not returned and she suffered from insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. She had no interest in sex, and had symptoms of low thyroid even though her thyroid hormones were normal.
Findings: Menopausal ranges for progesterone, low cortisol and testosterone, elevated stress hormones.
Treatment: We also discovered Melanie had blood sugar dysregulation and nutrient deficiencies, so we addressed those as well. We used dietary changes, herbs, and supplements.
Within three months, Melanie got her period and her energy back, and her moods became much more stable and uplifted. Her skin got healthier and she felt warmer.
Estrogen Dominance and Toxic Load
Jasmine had a myriad of hormone imbalance symptoms including anxiety, PMS, painful periods, breast tenderness, fatigue, irritability, and frequent migraines. The worst symptom was very frequent and heavy periods.
Findings: Perfect adrenal hormones, low progesterone, high estrogen, and impaired detox.
Treatment: Jasmines primary root cause was estrogen dominance, and we also discovered nutrient deficiencies, anemia, and low beneficial bacteria in her gut. We used herbs, supplements, foods, cyclical progesterone, acupuncture, and focused detox.
PCOS and Infertility
Adrenal Dysregulation and High Cortisol
Our Range Of Dutch Testing
DUTCH Complete Test
This advanced hormone testing was developed to improve on available hormone testing options. DUTCH offers the most extensive profile of sex and adrenal hormones along with their metabolites. Additionally, the daily pattern of free cortisol is included, along with melatonin , 8-OHdG, and six organic acids. This unique combination of clinical information is not available by any other method.
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How Much Does A Dutch Hormone Test Cost
The DUTCH Complete + OATs costs $675.
Consult with our Naturopathic Doctor, Dr.Makoto Trotter, ND to determine if the DUTCH hormone test is right for you. Then, he can review the results and discuss potential treatment options to address your hormonal imbalances and improve your quality of life.
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Thats A Lot Of Hormones Why Measure All Of Them
Hormones are a family and when one dysfunctions, we often see multiple areas downstream that are also affected. By evaluating all of these hormones, we get a clearer picture of the imbalances happening inside your body and how to best support your body for optimal balance. Its about understanding the pathways and why certain hormones are might be excessive and why some might be deficient.
If you have adrenal fatigue, sleep or stress issues, testing your adrenal hormones and their rhythms gives specific information about how to handle these problems. We are specifically looking at your adrenal-brain communication, known as your HPA axis .
With fertility problems, polycystic ovarian syndrome , fibroids, PMS, irregular periods, painful periods, anxiety and moodiness, and endometriosis, this test is highly beneficial. It gives a complete picture of how adrenal and reproductive hormone imbalances contribute to these problems.
If you use hormone replacement therapy, you want to monitor your levels. This test works uniquely well for oral progesterone, vaginal hormones, patches, pellets and injections. Note that this is only for hormone replacement therapy, not hormonal birth control pills!
With sleep problems, its important to check melatonin. Melatonin can be low and related to your sleep problems, or it can be normal.
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In Other Words The Test May Be Accurate But Expert Physicians Believe That There Is No Indication For It
There is also no benefit to testing four times in a day. Cortisol, for example, follows a circadian rhythm so its naturally low in the evening and higher in the morning. The DUTCH test will show this, but that doesnt mean theres anything wrong with you.
Cortisol is a stress hormone that can cause us to gain weight. But the answer to elevated cortisol isnt diet its decreasing stress as much as possible. Some practitioners will also recommend cutting out coffee, and if youre drinking a lot, cutting down may help.
But if you typically have one coffee a day, and your body is accustomed to it, research says that cutting out your daily cup wont do a lot of good for lowering your cortisol.
Even if your cortisol is high, there are no herbs or supplements that can fix that, according to Narang.
And the multiple collections in a day dont give more or better information.
Narang adds, even with a multiple collections in a 24-hour period, the DUTCH test wont give me any extra information that current validated testing doesnt give me already.
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.
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Dutch Hormone Test: Overview What It Shows And Price
- Category:Hormone Testing & BHRT
Many of us are frequently tired, trying to juggle everything in our busy lives. We may assume our extreme exhaustion comes from the need to juggle work, personal life, and family obligations. But what if theres something more going on? We may not realize we suffer from stress and sex hormonal imbalances or nutrient deficiencies that can interfere with our lives, health, and well-being. This is why it can be so important to check your levels to see if there is a gap in your internal makeup causing a suboptimal lifestyle. This article will take a look at EVOLVEs in-home, convenient, mail-in assessment, theDUTCH hormone test to help you optimize your lifestyle!
Dutch Testing And Diet
The diet recommendations that come along with DUTCH results will probably be the same as anyone would give: regular meals, more fibre, lots of plants, moderate protein, healthy fats. Dont overdo the coffee and sugar. Eat as many whole foods as possible.
Those recommendations, not the DUTCH testing, may be responsible for your symptom resolution. But you can get them without spending $600 on a DUTCH test.
Theres no secret here.
Beware of providers who recommend numerous supplements to help with your hormone balance and adrenal health. This is a red flag, since there are no supplements that balance hormones, and adrenal fatigue is not an actual medical diagnosis.
Theres no specific diet for adrenal health, regardless.
Aside from being expensive, taking unregulated supplements not only lines the pocket of whoever has sold them to you, it can also be super dangerous.
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How To Get Started With Your Dutch Test
- When you order your DUTCH test youll receive your kit with easy to follow instructions that you can administer in the privacy of your own home. DUTCH testing uses a special litmus paper to collect your urine samples. once you have collected 4-5 samples, they will need to dry overnight. Once Dried they are ready to be shipped back to the lab for processing. Its that simple!
Dutch Test: Analyzing Hormone Levels For Optimal Health
The Dutch test is a comprehensive hormone test and the results are tested through dried urine. DUTCH is an acronym and stands for Dried Urine Test for Complete Hormones. This test is one of the most comprehensive hormone tests because it is a complete test of sex and adrenal hormones.
Many people are dealing with symptoms associated with stress and hormonal imbalances. These include things like depression, anxiety, fatigue, irregular periods, premenstrual syndrome, menopausal issues, low libido, erectile dysfunction, hair thinning, dry skin, hot flashes, fibrocystic breasts and more.
The mainstream medical testing offers little answers when it comes to these problems. Fortunately, the detailed stress hormone and sex hormone metabolites the DUTCH analysis provides give a great window into how the body is responding to stress and producing and metabolizing hormones.
This data can provide real answers as to root cause factors for a wide variety of health challenges. Even your risk for certain hormonal influenced cancers such as breast, uterine, endometrial, colon and prostate all have metabolic features that can be assessed through a detailed hormonal screening as well. In this article, we will discuss the details on the DUTCH and give you an understanding of how to interpret much of the findings.
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