Women who still have menstrual cycles may experience infertility, premenstrual syndrome, mood swings, anxiety, painful/irregular periods, acne, hair loss and other symptoms as a result of hormone imbalance. Women in peri-menopause and menopause often experience debilitating sleep disturbances, night sweats, hot flashes, accelerated bone loss and many other symptoms related to hormone changes.
Other conditions associated with hormone imbalance include:
Five primary hormones are typically assessed: cortisol, DHEAs, estradiol, progesterone and testosterone, as well as some of their metabolites, providing information on excesses or deficiencies in these hormones, AND how the body is utilizing them. Interactions between these hormones are fundamental to health - which is why imbalances can have a significant impact on well-being. Knowing which imbalances are occurring helps your health care provider target natural therapies to move them back into balance.
Furthermore, Dr. Holmberg may suggest a month long salivary hormone assessment. As mentioned, since hormones are constantly fluctuating, a single snapshot fails to catch the underlying cause of the concerns. This is where a month long assessment (collected via saliva) can often provide more insight.
Why get hormone testing?
While clinical symptoms provide some insight, hormone testing gives you and your Naturopath a detailed snapshot into every step of the process in your endocrine system. Getting a full insight to both preliminary hormones and their metabolites can change the course of treatment in case management.
For example, a patient may present with a phenotype of elevated androgens, but when tested, testosterone may appear within a normal range on blood-work. However, if blood-work fails to assess its metabolite, dihydrotestosterone (which is 2.5x more potent), the metabolite of testosterone may in fact be creating the symptoms.
When indicated, benefits to hormone assessments include the ability to assess both primary hormone levels, their pathway of breakdown, and the efficacy of the enzymes that are doing so. The results allow for a tailored treatment plan that are specific to you and your hormonal needs, and treatments often work faster and more effectively.
Information and pamphlets collected and adapted from Rocky Mountain Analytical and DUTCH complete.
Courtney Holmberg, ND does not endorse or have professional affiliation with this lab company. The information provided is for general education, and is not intended to assist in diagnosing or treating a medical condition.