Hormone Imbalance And Hormone Level Testing
Last Reviewed Date: Apr 29, 2020 Apr 29, 2020 Dec 05, 2018
Chapter 1: Hormone Imbalance Introduction Chapter 2: Causes and Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance Chapter 3: Hormonal Imbalance and Men Chapter 4: Hormonal Imbalance and Women Chapter 5: More about Cortisol
Your entire endocrine system is composed of glands and hormones. It is one of two systems that help coordinate all the functions of your body.
This managerial role, of maintaining hormone levels over time and in various situations, is important for both your survival and well being. Hormone testing has shown that hormone levels decrease with age and that hormone replacement therapies may be helpful in maintaining youthful vigor.
The other critical system that regulates the functions of your body is the nervous system. Both the endocrine and nervous system work closely together to control a number of important functions:
- Your bodys growth and development
- Your metabolism
- Your mood and sleeping patterns
What Is The Best Way To Medically Treat A Hormone Imbalance
How a hormone imbalance is treated depends on the condition and the practitioner. Options include medication, creams, pessaries, the pill and hormone replacement therapy .
Regular HRT medication contains synthetic hormones but there are natural options. As an expert in natural medicine, Dr. Eccles believes that the best way is to use bio-identical hormones since these do not appear to have the long-term downsides and risks that we can see with synthetic hormones.
While many of us prefer natural methods and some of us swear by them, the jury is still out on their efficacy. The NHS currently doesnt offer bio-identical hormone therapy, stating that its not known how effective they are in reducing menopausal symptoms.
Healthconfirm Hormone Vitality Complete+
HealthConfirm Hormone Vitality Complete+ measures your DHEA-S, cortisol, progesterone, testosterone, and estradiol levels. Checking these hormones can give you valuable information about your fertility status, whether youre getting close to menopause, or whether you might have a medical condition that needs treatment.
HealthConfirm uses saliva samples to check your hormone levels, so your kit will come with collection tubes and other supplies to ensure its easy to collect the right amount of saliva. The company also offers free shipping both ways, so theres no need to pay extra to send your samples to the laboratory.
When youre ready to check out on the HealthConfirm website, you can use a credit or debit card to pay for your order. To ensure test accuracy, HealthConfirm uses only CLIA-certified labs to process its hormone tests. The test kits have also been cleared by the FDA to ensure a high level of quality. You can access your results via a private online dashboard within a few days of mailing your sample. HealthConfirm includes physician support in the price of its hormone testing kits, ensuring that you have an opportunity to learn more about what the results mean for your health. HealthConfirm doesnt accept insurance.
You May Like: Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Low Testosterone
Who Gets An Estrogen Test
Doctors may recommend testing of estradiol or estrone for symptoms such as:
Girls whose sex organs develop earlier or later than normal may also get tested for E1 and E2 levels.
Doctors usually test E3 during pregnancy, when it temporarily becomes the main estrogen. Abnormal levels of estriol may be a sign of problems with the babyâs health — but youâd get a lot more tests to find out for sure.
You might need several tests to track changes in your estrogen levels over time.
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.
Also Check: Nugenix Estro Regulator Reviews
Female Hormone Profile Results
FSH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. In women, FSH helps stimulate the growth and development of ovarian follicles during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. At the time of the menopause, the ovaries stop functioning and FSH levels rise. During pregnancy, oestrogen levels are high and this makes FSH undetectable. In men, FSH stimulates the testes to produce mature sperm. FSH levels are relatively constant in men after puberty.
Post-menopausal: 25.8 134.8 IU/L
Oestradiol is the most active form of oestrogen. It is involved in ovulation, conception, and pregnancy, and has effects on other tissues such as bone, fat, skin, etc. It is mainly produced by the ovary with small amounts being produced in the testes and adrenal cortex. Its production begins to fluctuate and lower in the years leading to menopause. Menopause can be confirmed by a decrease in blood oestradiol levels.
Post-menopausal: < 183 pmol/L
> 30 nmol/L usually indicates ovulation
< 5 nmol/L indicates no ovulation has occurred
Total Testosterone Normal: 0 1.8 nmol/L
Free Testosterone Normal: 0.4 7.1 pg/mL
Normal: 0.26 11.0
Overview Of Menstrual Cycle For Hormone Testing
- Day 1 this is the first day you see bright red blood.
- Day 14 this is when women are typically told they ovulate, but thats not true for everyone or every cycle. But we use this as a baseline when discussing lab tests and timing. You should monitor your cycle and symptoms to find out when you *actually* ovulate for sure.
- Day 28 not everyone has a 28-day cycle. However, youll often hear the menstrual cycle talked about in terms of 28 days. This is where your hormones drop if you don’t get pregnant. If youre tracking your period and you know that you have a shorter or longer cycle.
- Back to Day 1 this is when youll once again see blood.
> > Its important to note: While on hormonal birth control you should not ovulate and you dont have a period. Instead, you have a medication-induced withdrawal bleed that isnt actually a period. Some women will continue to ovulate with an IUD.
You May Like: Can Getting Your Tubes Tied Cause Early Menopause
When To Test Thyroid Labs
We cant discuss testing for hormone imbalances without looking at the thyroid. Thyroid testing is best down first thing in the morning and can be at any point in your cycle. We typically add these in when we are testing for other hormones.
Its important to stop any supplements with biotin at least 72 hours in advance as it can skew results.
At a minimum, I would suggest looking at:
When Is The Best Time To Test Hormone Levels
If youre struggling with a hormone imbalance, testing your sex hormones can help you understand where the issue is rooted. Evaluating estrogen, progesterone and testosterone can be helpful in understanding which hormones are driving your symptoms.
Hormone levels arent static throughout the monthand this is why so many women get within range blood test results.
Read Also: Does Nugenix Have An Estrogen Blocker
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.
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.
Can You Test While On Bioidentical Hormones
For my patients on oral bioidentical progesterone, I use blood and dried urine. Serum tells me levels that are clinically relevant and supported by research. Dried urine tells me about the metabolism of progesterone and cortisol. I do not use saliva testing for my patients on bioidentical hormones as I believe the data suggests it leads to underdosing.
Everlywell Womens Health Test
The Everlywell womens health test measures levels of 10 key hormones in your body, including total testosterone, thyroid-stimulating hormone, free T3, free T4, cortisol, DHEAS, luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, progesterone, and estradiol. It also checks for thyroid peroxidase antibodies, which can interfere with the function of your thyroid gland.
When youre ready to check out, youll be able to pay for your at-home hormone test with a credit or debit card, HSA or FSA account, or PayPal. Your kit comes with everything you need to collect blood and saliva samples and send them to the lab for processing. Everlywell also offers free shipping both ways to help keep your testing costs low.
Everlywell uses CLIA-certified laboratories to ensure the accuracy of your results. Once your sample arrives at the lab, you can expect to receive the results via email in no more than five business days. Physician support is included in the price of the kit to ensure you can ask questions and find out if theres anything you need to do to follow up on results that fall outside of normal ranges. Everlywell doesnt accept insurance, but you dont need to see a doctor before you order a hormone test kit, so home testing can still help you save money.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Low Estrogen In Men
In men, male menopause may result from too little estrogen in addition to lower testosterone levels, at least according to some recent studies. Diminished libido, strength and energy are the main symptoms. However, testosterone levels tend not to fall as sharply in aging men as estrogen does in women who are post-menopausal. Further research is needed to determine if changes that come with aging are due to hormonal declines and if so, which hormones are the culprit.
Can You Test Day 3 Hormones If Youre On Birth Control And Get A Period
Some people who use a continuous form of contraception, like the minipill or hormonal IUD, get regular periods. In these causes, day 3 hormones will be included in your test.
Not all periods are created equal in fact, for some birth control methods, the periods you experience arent actually periods. If you are using the regular pill , the vaginal ring, or the birth control patch, the bleeding you experience during the placebo days/week is actually withdrawal bleeding your bodys response to the sudden drop in hormones. And because this withdrawal bleeding is caused by the changes in hormones of your birth control, its not a reflection of your bodys hormones during a natural period. If youre looking to test your day 3 hormones, we recommend waiting three months after going off these birth control methods for your levels to return to non-birth control levels.
Don’t Miss: Blue Cross Blue Shield Trt
What Is An Estrogen Test
Your doctor may also call these estradiol, estrone , estradiol , estriol , or estrogenic hormone tests.
If your doctor needs to check to see if you might have a condition caused by too much or too little of a certain estrogen type, they may recommend that you take an estrogen test. Itâs a simple blood test, and it can measure up to three types of this estrogen:
- Estrone, or E1, the main hormone women make after menopause
- Estradiol, or E2, the main hormone women make when they arenât pregnant
- Estriol, or E3, a hormone women make more of when theyâre pregnant
Female Hormone Imbalance: What Is It
Hormonal imbalance occurs when the amount of estrogen, progesterone or both is altered, disturbing the delicate balance between these powerful hormones. Imbalances in these vital female hormones can stem from a number of underlying causes. The most common cause is perimenopause, the transitional phase leading up to menopause, during which the production of estrogens and progesterone begin to decline. Other common causes of hormonal imbalance include pregnancy, endocrine disorders, certain drugs, especially oral contraceptives, drugs used in hormone replacement therapy and cancer medications, and lifestyle factors that include stress, overweight or obesity, poor diet, sleep deprivation and lack of exercise.
Advice Before Doing This Test
If you’re on hormonal contraception
Your results will only show what your hormone levels are from hormonal contraception the insights might be less useful. This includes the oral contraceptive pill, implant, ring, injection, and hormone replacement therapy .
If you just stopped hormonal contraception
Wait 3 months before doing this test this allows time for your natural cycle to return. If you were using the contraceptive injection, we recommended waiting a year.
If you use an oestrogen or testosterone cream/gel
If you use a topical oestrogen-containing or testosterone-containing cream or gel, always use a glove when applying it. Contact with your fingers could affect your finger-prick oestrogen or testosterone result.
If you’re breastfeeding
Breastfeeding can affect your hormone levels which can make it difficult to accurately interpret your results. We recommend waiting until you’ve stopped breastfeeding before doing this test.
If you’re pregnant
Dont do this test if you’re pregnant as we won’t be able to interpret your results.
When To Do Adrenal Testing
Feeling tired and worn-out, craving salty foods, and struggling with mood swings? It means your adrenals need your attention.
If you ignore the signs, with the time you may develop adrenal fatigue, or adrenal gland disorders such as Cushing’s syndrome, or Addison’s disease. In other words, adrenal dysfunction may affect your energy, sleep, mental focus, and quality of life in general.
Recommended Reading: Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Testosterone Therapy
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.
How Might Pcos Affect Fertility
The biggest barrier to getting pregnant with PCOS is ovulation. Because PCOS often means the ovaries wonât release an egg every month, there may not always be an egg to fertilize.
But there are treatments available that help women with PCOS ovulate. There are a few different medications and lifestyle changes that might help ovulation resume naturally.
If those methods donât end up regulating ovulation, in-vitro fertilization can also help women with PCOS get pregnant.
The bottom line is that there are lots of options â and a doctor can help you plan the best strategy for you.
Read Also: Does Melatonin Cancel Out Birth Control Shot
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.