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The Importance of Reliable Hormone Testing

When working properly, hormones help us live happier and healthier lives. They’re a normal part of bodily function and are responsible for important processes like our ability to sleep soundly, concentrate easily, maintain healthy bone density, have normal sexual functions, and can even positively influence our moods. When hormones are not in balance or not working as intended, they can negatively affect each of those processes and cause us a wide range of other physical and emotional distresses.

In order to provide long-term protection against osteoporosis, sexual dysfunction, breast cancer, and other disorders, it’s important to have your hormone levels tested to ensure they are at optimal levels. It’s much easier to receive help and make the necessary changes to improve your overall wellness once you know specifically which hormones are out of balance.

How Are Hormones Tested?

Measuring your hormone levels can be performed with several different tests, but the two most common are blood and saliva testing. Unfortunately, hormone levels from blood tests mostly indicate inactive hormones. For these and other reasons, ALHC believes blood tests are not the best way to test hormone levels.

In blood testing, samples are drawn and plasma is then separated from the sample to measure hormone levels. These measurements are of the hormones bound to carrier proteins as well as unbound hormones. Blood collection is considered an invasive method hormone testing.

At ALHC, we believe saliva testing to be the most accurate method of testing hormone levels because it more accurately reflects any absorbed and bioavailable hormones. Active hormone levels are important to measure as they help identify any excesses or deficiencies that may be causing your symptoms.

Accurate hormone readings are particularly important when using topical hormone therapy. Hormones are delivered to tissues by red blood cells, but any plasma that’s tested doesn’t contain red blood cell membranes. As a result, blood testing doesn’t accurately reflect current hormone levels from topical treatments. Studies show that this method of delivery results in increased tissue hormone levels (thus measurable in saliva), but there’s not a parallel increase in plasma levels. Because of this, blood testing should not be used to monitor topical hormone therapy.

What Hormones Can Be Tested?

Abundant Life Health Care tests for a variety of hormones. Each plays a unique role inside the bodies of both women and men, and must be properly balanced to prevent symptoms and promote long-term wellness.

Estriol (E3)
Estriol is considered the weakest of the three estrogens. It has been found to provide some protection from the stronger estrogens in the body. It can be used to control some of the symptoms of menopause including hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and insomnia.

Estradiol (E2)
Estradiol is the strongest form of estrogen. When a deficiency exists it can cause hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, memory loss, and strong changes in mood.

Progesterone is the bio-identical hormone known to block or protect against the proliferative effects of Estradiol (E2). It is protective for breast and endometrial tissue. When replaced in physiologic doses, it can stabilize mood, increase mineralization of bone, reduce PMS and post-menopausal symptoms, and decrease cancer risk. In males, it is protective to the prostate gland. It’s best supplemented topically or sublingually.

Testosterone is the major sex hormone in males, and is produced in the testes. In women, it is produced in the adrenal glands and ovaries. It’s essential for sexual function, cardio-protection, stamina, muscle strength, bone density, and stable sugar metabolism.

DHEA is an adrenal hormone which may also be converted to testosterone and estrogen. DHEA supplementation, in addition to supporting adrenal health / energy, can optimize testosterone levels in women.

Cortisol is the adrenal gland’s primary glucocorticoid, secreted in a known 24-hour pattern called a diurnal rhythm. It’s essential for carbohydrate metabolism and immune modulation. It is foundational for energy production and optimal thyroid function.

How Abundant Life Health Care Can Help

The most effective way to diagnose hormone imbalances is through saliva testing. Saliva tests gives us the most accurate snapshot of the active hormone levels currently in your body. We can then correct these imbalances using bio-identical hormones, nutrition, dietary supplements, and lifestyle changes.

At Abundant Life Health Care, we understand that treating hormonal imbalances means addressing more than just your symptoms. In order for you to have the best outcomes, we address all of the factors that contribute to your wellness. 

It’s our goal to help you discover your optimal energy and wellness. Request an appointment to start your journey toward abundant health today.

Posted by Karole Beck at 11/22/2017 7:40:00 PM
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