Here Are Our Tips On How To Get What You Want And Need Out Of Hormone Testing
Your visit to the OBGYN:
- Get the test taken during the first few days of your cycle , if possible.
- Ask your OBGYN for a hormone panel test that includes estrogen, progesterone, FSH and LH .
- Ask additionally for a thyroid test, blood sugar test and Vitamin D3 test. These are also important indicators for hormonal health.
- Ask that they also run a general blood test you want to be checked for iron saturation, anemia, and C-reactive proteins particularly.
- Ask for a print out of your results to take home if they are not made available online for you to access.
Assessing the results:
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.
Which Test Should I Choose
i-screen offers a number of hormone tests, and it can be confusing to decide which test is right for you.
- If you believe you have a sex hormone imbalance, then i-screens Female Hormone Check can verify this
- If you think your thyroid may be to blame, then a Thyroid Check or Advanced Thyroid Check is a good place to start
- Or if cortisol could be the problem, then i-screens Adrenal Fatigue Check can provide further insight
If your blood tests or saliva tests do reveal that you have a hormone imbalance, then our team of qualified doctors can recommend how you can take steps to improve your health and wellbeing.
If you need further guidance on which test is right for you, then contact us and one of our medical professionals will be in touch to work through your symptoms.
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What Tests Are Included In This Package
Oestradiol is a type of oestrogen and is the main female sex hormone. E2 is essential for egg production, protects you against bone loss, and helps regulate your cholesterol levels. Your E2 levels fall as you age so low levels can be a sign that youre menopausal. If your E2 levels are too high or low it can cause a wide range of symptoms like irregular periods, hot flashes, fatigue, headaches, sleep problems, anxiety, depression, and a low sex drive.
Luteinising hormone plays a key role in reproduction. Mid-cycle, your LH levels increase which triggers your ovaries to release an egg ovulation. If your LH levels are too high or low you might have irregular periods and have trouble getting pregnant. High LH levels can be a sign that youre menopausal or have PCOS.
Follicle-stimulating hormone helps your ovaries to function normally and plays a key role in egg production and ovulation. Your FSH levels naturally increase as you age high levels can be a sign that you’re menopausal. If your FSH levels are too high or low you might have trouble getting pregnant.
Testosterone is a sex hormone that’s important for your sex drive, bone and muscle health, mood, and cognitive function. Your levels gradually drop as you age this process speeds up around perimenopause and menopause. If your levels are out of range you might feel tired, have a low sex drive, and have low mood.
Is There Anything The Patient Needs To Do To Prepare For Having Tests Taken
The doctor will advise the patient on how to prepare, because it depends on the particular test. Most preparation is obvious once it is understood that hormones keep the body working and levels change to meet various demands such as fasting, eating, thirst, smoking, exercise, posture, time of day, stage of the menstrual cycle and medicines.
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Are There Any Other Factors That Might Affect The Outcome Of The Test
The blood level of several hormones changes significantly with the time of day. For example, cortisol and testosterone are highest in the early morning. The response of glands to hormones given to patients during dynamic tests may also show this diurnal variation for example, the response of the adrenal gland to synacthen is higher in the morning.
The day of the menstrual cycle also has a major impact on hormone levels. In general, blood samples are best taken in the first half of the cycle when normal and abnormal hormone levels are more clearly separated. However, progesterone may be deliberately measured on day 21 in the middle of the second half to see if ovulation has occurred.
It is human nature to ignore doctors advice. Not taking medication as prescribed, or taking extra the week before the test in an effort to make up for doses missed previously, will give misleading results and the patient may miss out on a full return to health.
Thyroid Testing With Blood
The most common way to test thyroid function, and the test that is considered the gold standard is a blood test, but it is important that you get a complete thyroid test and not just the TSH test.
The complete thyroid test includes:
- TSH This is important because we want to see what messages the brain is sending to the thyroid.
- Free T4 This is the storage form of the thyroid that is made by the thyroid gland in response to TSH, this is also the form of the thyroid that is usually prescribed in medications but some people have a problem converting T4 to T3.
- Free T3 This is the metabolically active form of thyroid hormone which makes it the most important thyroid hormone to be optimal. T4 to T3 conversion happens throughout the body.
- Reverse T3 This is an inactive form of thyroid hormone, important to test because high levels indicate adrenal issues or high levels of inflammation.
- Thyroid antibodies This indicates if you have an autoimmune thyroid problem, also important to test because often this will rise well before there is a problem with the other thyroid hormones.
You can still have normal TSH and even normal T4 levels but have a low thyroid function, check out this video below and I explain the importance of the complete thyroid test, and show a number of different examples of perfect TSH levels but low levels of the metabolically active T3. Note the measurement units in the U.S are different but the principle is still the same.
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Natural Remedies And Supplements
There are many nutritional supplements on the market that claim to treat menopause and hormone imbalance. However, few of them are backed up by scientific evidence.
Many of these supplements contain plant-derived hormones. These are sometimes called bioidentical hormones because they chemically resemble the bodys natural hormones. Theres no evidence to suggest that they work better than regular hormone therapy, though.
Some people find that yoga helps treat symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Yoga is excellent for your strength, flexibility, and balance. It may also aid in weight loss, which can help regulate your hormones.
You can also make the following lifestyle changes:
- Lose weight. A
The primary cause of acne is excess oil production, which leads to clogged pores. Acne is most common in areas with many oil glands, including the:
- upper back
Acne is often associated with pubescent hormonal changes, but theres actually a lifelong relationship between acne and hormones.
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.
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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.
Urine Test For Sex Hormones
This is my favorite way to test sex hormones using the DUTCH Hormone test and you can read my complete review of the DUTCH test where I discuss all of the different things it assesses besides the sex and adrenal hormones.
The advantage in urine testing is that it can assess the sex hormones plus how your body is metabolizing the hormones, this is important when you are assessing why the hormone levels may be out of balance. It also assesses the free hormones, this is what is available to the body and not just the total hormone level.
Another advantage of urine testing is that the test can be done at home without the need to go to a lab, this is convenient and saves time, urine testing is also great for people who dont like needles.
One of the disadvantages of urine testing is that it does not assess LH and FSH, so it cannot tell you what messages are being sent from the brain to the ovaries or testes. LH and FSH are important markers and if you do have major hormone issues I will often recommend that you get both blood and urine levels tested.
The DUTCH hormone test is the best way to assess the urine sex hormone levels, it also assesses adrenal function and this is important as adrenal hormone imbalance can be one of the main causes behind an imbalance in the sex hormones.
The DUTCH test also assesses markers for B12, B6, melatonin, neurotransmitters, and oxidative stress.
A comprehensive analysis of the sex hormones and the the metabolites
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How And When Will The Patient Find Out The Results
Results are returned to the doctor or specialist nurse who is looking after the patient. They may be contacted immediately to discuss the results or wait until they are next seen in clinic.
Results must be interpreted in the context of other medical details. With endocrinology in particular, the same numerical result may signify health in one person, but a problem in another. Patients should discuss results with their doctor rather than trying to interpret them themselves.
Routine results are produced within one working day providing additional measurements are not required, for example, if it has to be double-checked. Results on samples sent to reference laboratories for special tests may take one to four weeks to return.
Why Have A Female Hormones Screen
The female hormones screen will test you for the levels of four separate important hormones. Hormones are chemicals produced by certain cells in our bodies. These chemicals are responsible for regulating a wide variety of processes including metabolism, digestion, lactation and reproduction.
The hormones tested for in this profile are all involved in regulating a womans reproductive cycle. If they are not in balance, this can indicate problems with certain glands such as the Pituitary and Thyroid glands. High or low levels of these hormones can also affect a womans ability to conceive and carry a foetus to term. So these hormones are important indicators of reproductive health.
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Types Of Fertility Hormone Testing
Considerable hormone activity occurs during the menstrual cycle, so testing for hormones, such as those listed below, should be done at a specific time during the cycle.
Medications, including birth control pills, can interfere with hormone test results. Women and men should tell their physician beforehand about their medications, and may need to cease certain medications before fertility hormone testing.
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.
to get your FREE detox and evaluation!
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What If I Am Breastfeeding Can I Still Test My Hormones
It depends on the goal. When a baby is no longer breastfeeding exclusively and menstruation resumes, testing is relatively accurate. I like to check estradiol in my patients who are breastfeeding more than 6-12 months to track estradiol and effects on bone mass. For a baseline, the most accurate would be 6-8 weeks after breastfeeding stops.
Follow me on , or to learn more about how to balance your hormones and reclaim your health.
Commonly Asked Questions About Female Hormones
What is the lifelong role of estrogen in female health?
Most people think estrogen is primarily responsible for reproduction, but it also helps with bone, skin and cardiovascular health. In addition, it affects thyroid hormone production. During menopause, estrogen levels decline along with the production of progesterone and testosterone. Hormone replacement therapy , which means replacing lost hormones by re-introducing them into the body, is often suggested to offset the positive benefits of estrogen and can be helpful in reducing common symptoms of menopause. But some studies show that artificial doses of estrogen carry risks and have been linked to cancer, dementia, strokes and arthritis. Never assume that hormone replacement therapy is the right thing to do without consulting your healthcare provider.
What is Puberty? Hormones that control puberty
Puberty is the time in life when children begin to show changes through hormone secretions that indicate they are about to become adults physically. In girls, the most obvious sign of puberty is the onset of menstruation. It can happen anywhere between the ages of 9 17, with a median age of 12. The menses, or monthly cycle, is interrupted during pregnancy and typically ends when the ovaries stop secreting steroid hormones a stage known as menopause.
What are the hormonal milestones in a females life?
What Causes Hot Flashes?
Why do I feel so different during my monthly cycle?
Why dont men have monthly cycles?
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Fertility Hormone Testing Overview
- Fertility hormone testing usually involves analyzing a womans blood or urine samples to determine if hormonal issues may be preventing her from becoming pregnant.
- Hormonal imbalances are a leading cause of infertility in women.
- Hormone levels can also affect male fertility and hormone testing may be appropriate for men as well.
- Primary fertility hormone testing involves analysis of follicle-stimulating hormone , luteinizing hormone levels and progesterone.
Hormone Testing: 21 Common Symptoms
As we age, our bodies gradually reduce the production of vital hormones. Testosterone, the primary male sex hormone, is vital in the development of secondary sexual characteristics and reproductive tissues in men. Estrogen, the primary female sex hormone, is responsible for sexual and reproductive development in women. A drop in these primary sex hormones negatively affects several physical and mental functions. Hormone testing offered at the Medical Transformation Center in Louisville, KY can help you avoid these negative changes.
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Causes And Symptoms Of Hormonal Imbalance
When the endocrine system is functioning smoothly, its precise and timely release of hormones works to promote optimal health and function. The glands in this system assist in nearly every critical bodily function. So, if there is a problem with one or more glands, hormonal imbalance can occur, causing a variety of problems, some more serious than others. These changes can be detected by undergoing a hormone imbalance test, which is an opening door towards getting the right kind of treatment to address your hormonal imbalance symptoms.
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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