Hormones play a huge role in all aspects of our health. They helped us to grow and develop from babies into adults. They help to regulate our blood sugar, blood pressure, and inflammatory responses in the body. Hormones are responsible for a good night’s sleep and energy production throughout the day. They support a positive, even keel mood and make us feel connected with others. So, when they are out of balance its clear why we don’t feel like ourselves!
Men and woman make many of the same hormones just in different levels. All of our hormones interact with each other just as all the glands in the endocrine (hormonal) system function and dysfunction together. If one of the glands is overworked then it puts stress on the whole system. This why it is so important that when we test hormones that we look at more than just one or two at a time. It doesn’t give us all the information. Here is a great example:
- Jane and John Doe have three kids and full time jobs. They do their best to keep up with homework and cooking healthy family meals but their stress levels are high! Because emotional and physical stress make their adrenal (stress handling) glands work overtime the rest of their hormonal system is stressed as well. Jane starts having possible hypothyroid symptoms (weight gain, fatigue, cold hands and feet, thinning hair) and John shows signs of having low male hormone levels (fatigue, decreased ability to focus, sleep problems, and elevated blood pressure). Its time to contact China Rose Wellness!
Sometimes a client’s situation can be efficiently assessed and supported without doing any hormone testing. Symptoms can tell a lot of the story. In more complicated or chronic situations saliva hormone testing can be very helpful, making the picture clearer from the start, and allowing us to create a more focused protocol so that results are seen more quickly.
There are many reasons that holistic healthcare practitioners prefer saliva testing to blood testing.
- It’s easy for the client! We give them a kit (with clear instructions) to collect their own saliva samples at home. They are sent, at no additional cost to them, directly to the lab and the results get emailed to us to go over with the client.
- Saliva testing has an accuracy rate of 92-96% which is more accurate than blood testing.
- Saliva tests show the “free fraction” form of the hormones which is the form active in our tissues. Blood tests show the “protein bound” form of hormones which is not the form that is active in our tissues.
China Rose Wellness choses to work with DiagnosTechs because they are pioneers in saliva-based testing and provide ongoing educational support for their clients. See the link below for more information.
Common saliva tests that we suggest:
- Cortisol – Assessing a person’s cortisol (adrenal stress hormone) production throughout the day will show how their body is handling their stress. Levels that are either too high or too low can negatively affect energy, sleep, blood sugar levels, inflammation, digestion, and the levels of other hormones like progesterone and testosterone. This is the test we would usually start with in order to work from the ground up.
- Expanded Cycling Female Hormone Panel – Cycling women’s hormones fluctuate all throughout the month. If only one saliva sample was taken on one day we would simply get a fraction of the information that it would take to truly assess her situation. By having her take a sample every few days throughout her cycle we get to see how her hormones are interacting leading up to, during, and after ovulation making it much clearer how to address issues like PMS, irregular periods, and infertility. This test assesses progesterone, estradiol, testosterone, DHEA, luteinizing hormone, and follicle stimulating hormone.
- Expanded Perimenopausal Hormone Panel – Due to the nature of hormone fluctuation at this point in a woman’s life it is helpful to take two saliva samples two weeks apart. This will show how her hormones are interacting throughout the month which could be resulting in symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. This test assesses the three forms of estrogen (estrone, estradiol, and estriol), progesterone, DHEA, testosterone, luteinizing hormone, and follicle stimulating hormone.
- Expanded Post Menopausal Hormone Panel – Female hormones continue to play a vital role in a woman’s life even after menopause. They protect bone density, balance mood, facilitate sleep, and help with energy production to name a few. Because there is not as much fluctuation at this point a single saliva sample can be taken. This test assesses the three forms of estrogen (estrone, estradiol, and estriol), progesterone, DHEA, testosterone, luteinizing hormone, and follicle stimulating hormone.
- Expanded Male Hormone Panel – Yes, men have hormones too! When they’re out of balance some very common symptoms can result: fatigue, weight gain, trouble sleeping, reduced memory and focus, depression, and low libido to name a few. Although it is more common for these imbalances to develop later in life, it can happen to men in their 20’s and 30’s too if they are under a lot of stress and don’t take care of themselves! Since men’s hormones don’t fluctuate greatly a single saliva sample can be taken. This test assesses three forms of testosterone (androstenedione, testosterone, and dihydrotestosterone), estrone, progesterone, DHEA, luteinizing hormone, and follicle stimulating hormone.
For more information see the DiagnosTech’s website at www.diagnostechs.com
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