Have your own kit delivered to your home!
Hormone saliva testing is an easy non-invasive way of assessing your hormone status. You do the test at home by taking saliva samples and mail it off the lab using the pre-paid mailer. The results are mailed to our clinic and we go over the results and proposed treatment plan with you. It is that simple!
Managing Your Menopause
When searching for alternative treatments, saliva hormone test is a great start to begin to help guide you towards finding hormone balance. Take a look at Managing Menopause article.
Chronic Stress & Adrenals
It’s a constant refrain: We’re too stressed out. But how stressed out are we really? An adrenal saliva test can tell you whether your cortisol (the stress hormone) is too high or too low! Read about Adrenal Dysfunction!
Weight Gain & Hormones
High levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, can cause unstable blood sugars and may increase sugar cravings. High estrogen levels may interfere with thyroid gland function and result in weight gain. Read more about the link between Hormones and Weight Gain!
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[pane title=”What about saliva testing?”] Saliva testing is proving to be the most reliable medium for measuring hormone levels. Hormone levels in saliva accurately represent the amount of hormone delivered to receptors in the body, unlike serum which represents hormone levels that may or may not be delivered to receptors of the body. Clinically, it is far more relevant to test the amount of hormones delivered to the tissue receptors as this is a reflection of the active hormone levels of the body.
[pane title=”Is Saliva Testing a Better Option?”] Saliva testing is an easy and noninvasive way of assessing your patients hormone status and balancing needs, and is proving to be the most reliable medium for measuring hormone levels.
Appreciating the reliability of saliva testing is based on understanding the difference between steroid hormones in saliva and in serum. This difference is based on whether or not the hormones are bound to proteins in the medium used for testing. The majority of hormones in the blood exist in one of two forms: free (5%) or protein bound (95%). While 95% of the hormones in the body are protein bound, it is only the 5% free hormones that are biologically active. Saliva measures the free, bioavailable hormone levels in the body, while serum measures only the protein bound, non-bioavailable hormone levels. Therefore, serum is a much less accurate
measurement than that of saliva when assessing functional hormone levels.
[pane title=”Saliva Measures the “Unbound” Biologically Active or Free Hormone Levels in the Body:”] When blood is filtered through the salivary glands, the bound hormone components are too large to pass through the cell membranes of the salivary glands. Only the unbound hormones pass through and into the saliva. What is measured in the saliva is considered the “free”, or bioavailable hormone, that which will be delivered to the receptors in the tissues of the body.
[pane title=”Serum measures the “protein bound” biologically inactive hormone levels in the body:”] In order for steroid hormones to be detected in serum, they must be bound to circulating proteins. In this bound state, they are unable to fit into receptors in the body, and therefore will not be delivered to tissues. They are considered inactive, or non-bioavailable.
[pane title=”Only saliva testing measures topically dosed hormones”] The discrepancy between free and protein bound hormones becomes especially important when monitoring topical, or transdermal, hormone therapy. Studies show that this method of delivery results in increased tissue hormone levels (thus measurable in saliva), but no parallel increase in serum levels. Therefore, serum testing cannot be used to monitor topical hormone therapy.
[pane title=”Why test Hormone levels?”] Hormones are powerful molecules essential for maintaining physical and mental health. We frequently think of estrogen as being a female hormone, and testosterone as being a male hormone. But men AND women make both, plus several more that need to be in balance for optimum health. An imbalance of any one hormone can throw your physical and mental health out of balance, causing aggravating and even serious health problems.
There are several ways to test for hormones(saliva, serum and urine), but the state-of-the-art method is through saliva. This is because only the active portions of hormones are measured and it is these portions that determine how individuals feel.
[pane title=”Who should be tested?”] Both men and women experience changes in hormone levels with age. Sometimes those changes result in unpleasant symptoms that demand attention. Often, the changes are more subtle yet there is still an impact on overall health.
Hormone testing is applicable for:
- Men and women concerned with changing hormone levels as a result of age.
- Cycling women experiencing PMS symptoms, perhaps related to a hormonal imbalance.
- Peri and post-menopausal women concerned with their estradiol and progesterone levels.
- Those wishing to monitor their hormone levels following replacement therapy (oral, sublingual or topical), and subsequently regulate their supplement levels.
- Anyone with symptoms involving fatigue, insomnia, stress, immunity problems, blood sugar problems, and overweight should be tested for cortisol levels as well as “sex” hormones.
Men and women of any age who are having symptoms of hormone imbalances should test for all hormones that may be associated with their symptoms. Men and women over the age of forty may want to do a baseline test.
Frequently imbalances will be detectable for a time period before symptoms gain attention.
[pane title=”Which Hormones need to be tested?”] The major sex hormones to assess are estradiol, progesterone and testosterone. Estrone and estriol are also important sex hormones to consider testing. The main adrenal hormones are DHEA and cortisol. These seven hormones will provide crucial information about deficiencies, excesses and daily patterns, which then result in a specifically tailored treatment approach and one far more beneficial than the old “shotgun” approach. Below is a brief description of each of these hormones:
There are three forms made by the body: estrone, estradiol and estriol. The form used in past hormone replacement therapies is estradiol, often in the form of concentrated pregnant mare’s urine (premarin). It is a proliferative (causes growth) hormone that grows the lining of the uterus. It is also a known cancer-causing hormone: breast and endometrial (uterine) in women and prostate gland in men. It will treat menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia and memory-loss. With the bio-identical formulas estriol is matched with estradiol (biest) to provide protective effects and additional estrogenic benefits. The other major protector in keeping estradiol from running amok is progesterone. Estrone and estriol are also useful hormones to test.
Called the anti-estrogen because it balances estradiol’s proliferative effects. It is considered preventive for breast and prostate cancers as well as osteoporosis. In addition, too little progesterone promotes depression, irritability, increased inflammation, irregular menses, breast tenderness, urinary frequency and prostate gland enlargement (BPH).
An anabolic hormone (builds tissue) that is essential for men and women. The proper level of testosterone is necessary for bone health, muscle strength, stamina, sex drive and performance, heart function and mental focus.
An important adrenal gland hormone, which is essential for energy production and blood sugar balance. DHEA is a precursor to other hormones, mainly testosterone.
Your waking day hormone (highest in the morning and lowest at night). It is necessary for energy production, blood sugar metabolism, anti-inflammatory effects and stress response.
Some of the common imbalances identified through testing include estrogen dominance, estrogen deficiency, progesterone deficiency, androgen (testosterone and DHEA) excess or deficiencies, adrenal dysfunction and adrenal fatigue.
[pane title=”How valid is saliva hormone testing?”] Click here to read more about the validity of saliva testing.