Could Hormone Testing Be the Answer to Mysterious Health Issues?

Hormonal Testing and Health Issues

Hormone testing is an underexplored topic for MANY women, with 82% lacking knowledge about hormonal health in general. Understanding the importance of hormonal health is paramount, and by spreading awareness, we all win. 

In this blog, our founder, Ana G. Herrera, will cover hormone testing – what it is, its importance in uncovering the etiology of health issues and devisement of targeted solutions. 

Hormone Tests are not just for fertility!

Hormones are responsible for a lot more than just the mechanics of baby-making. And a growing number of doctors are taking a closer look at hormone levels to find explanations for health issues. So it’s not just PMS and menstrual pain that are leading doctors to order hormone tests, although those are definitely two big factors. Hormones contribute to our energy levels, our pain tolerance, how much we’re affected by stress, and how well we sleep.  They even contribute to whether you’re feeling down or totally joyful. The short answer is that hormones affect so much of what makes you feel like you. And if your hormone balance is off due to diet, environmental stressors, or lifestyle habits, everything from your mood to your vitality can feel off-kilter, too. You can check your symptoms here to get an idea.

Finding the root cause is key - why I love Functional & Naturopathic Medicine

I am excited about the rise of functional medicine—similar to Naturopathy, it’s a discipline that focuses on correcting the root cause of symptoms, rather than just medicating them and is historically more open to incorporating holistic methods. Functional medicine doctors or NDs very often test hormones in younger women, as there may be imbalances that are showing up. Many women ask me where to go. I am not endorsing nor recommending, but I personally like the approach of Parsley Health and The Lanby, if you want to check them out. Our Lead Scientific Advisor, Dr Elizabeth Poynor, is brilliant at assessing women’s health in a personalized way – you can check her approach here. Talk to your Endocrinologist / ObGyn / ND / or Doctor about hormone testing, it will be useful for you to know what they think about it.

Hormone testing 101

Hormones are straight-up complex, and every doctor will have their own testing protocol that will vary based on a patient’s specific set of symptoms.

That said, if you’re experiencing frequent or missing periods, mood swings, low libido, heavy or painful periods, changes in weight or hair growth, or depression many doctors would choose to run a reproductive hormone panel at home or at a lab

In these cases, ask for a test to cover estradiol, total estrogen, progesterone, DHEA (an adrenal hormone), testosterone (both free and total testosterone), and cortisol. These hormones can be checked via blood, urine, and saliva—your doctor can advise you on which one is right for you.

I have tried companies like Feminade & Dutch Test and I was impressed with Femminade’s approach – after receiving your results, you can book a personalized consultation that offers you a very detailed treatment. Again – I am not endorsing them nor receiving any compensation from them – this is solely based on my experience.

What can you learn from hormone testing?

In some cases, hormone testing can show a major imbalance indicative of, say, a thyroid condition or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). But even a slight hormonal shift away from the optimal range can impact your well-being. There are a lot of conditions that fall on the imbalance spectrum. Your cycle can be thrown off a little, or you could have PMS or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Hormone imbalance can even put you into premature ovarian failure, which is something that can be really life-altering. 

Once your doctor knows exactly which hormones are causing your distress, they’re able to offer a more targeted treatment. In the Western medical tradition, drugs are often the answer—birth control pills, thyroid meds, or antidepressants, to name a few. And while there are certainly many cases in which pharmaceuticals are necessary, a rising number of doctors prefer to treat more moderate hormone imbalances through a combination of natural and preventative treatment and lifestyle changes like diet, sleep, exercise, and taking vitamins & minerals.

And what if your doctor doesn’t suggest hormone testing when you bring up your symptoms? In this case, you have the right to ask about it—after all, it’s up to you to be your own health advocate, as we often say at Hormone University. If it doesn’t resonate with you, then you may need to find a different doctor or even a completely different type of doctor. It’s your body and you have a right to feel good in it.

Do you have a particular subject you would like me to cover? Do not hesitate to email me

Help us spread the word about hormonal health by sharing this information with others or directing them to our website. We believe that everyone deserves to be informed about their hormonal well-being, and sharing knowledge is an act of care and compassion! Together, let’s create awareness and empower individuals to prioritize their hormonal health.

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