Are you a woman and do you have acne, menstrual cycle irregularities, PMS, period pain or difficulty conceiving?
Or are you a man and have acne, a low libido, trouble gaining muscle mass or think you may have low testosterone levels?
What is it your body trying to tell you when you have these issues?
Most likely that you have a hormone imbalance.
To discover what's going on with your body's chemical messengers, schedule a functional hormone test with the Sydney hormone specialist naturopaths to find out.
Gain valuable insights into your health with hormone testing
If you are experiencing
- heavy or painful periods
- irregular menstrual cycle
- severe PMS
- excess hair growth
- weight gain
- low libido
- vaginal dryness
- loss of bone mass
- difficulty gaining muscle mass
Then the chances are you have a hormonal imbalance. Hormones affect female and male fertility, metabolism, fat distribution, brain function, blood pressure and the immune system.
So optimal hormone balance is crucial for optimal health and wellbeing.
However, often it can be difficult to get your doctor to test your hormones even when it's obvious you have a hormone imbalance.
Then if they do test your hormones they may not do as comprehensive a screen as is needed, or the type of testing they do such as blood testing wasn't the best way to assess your hormones, or the test was not done at the correct time of menstrual cycle.
To gain a holistic view of the problem at hand and understand what's driving your hormonal imbalance, you need to do more than standard blood tests.
This is why we regularly refer our patients for salivary hormone and urinary hormone testing. These two types of testing assess 'function' as opposed to 'pathology'.
Most of the hormone imbalance issues people suffer from are not the result of a disease, like a tumour or a failed gland, they are a dysfunction.
And result from years of stress, medication use (birth control pill), sugar and carb over consumption, too much or too little exercise, over or under body weight, and environmental toxins.
Hormone dysfunctions are often too subtle to be revealed on a blood test so to pinpoint them you need functional assessment tests.
Hormones we test
- Estrogen - a female hormone
- Progesterone - a female hormone
- Testosterone & free testosterone - male hormones
- Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) - a protein that reduces free testosterone
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) - a hormone produced by the pituitary gland
How does hormone testing work?
For sex hormone testing in pre-menopausal women the day the test is done counts. This is because hormone levels fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle.
During the first 5 or so days of the menstrual cycle (day 1 being the first day of the period) female hormone levels will be quite low as oestrogen and progesterone levels drop right off just before the period starts.
But then female hormone levels are really high after ovulation until the period.
So it's important to plan testing around the different phases of the menstrual cycle to make sure hormone levels are captured at the right time to provide correct information.
For men and post-menopausal women, testing can be done at any time.
But for everyone, the test should be done in the morning as this is when sex hormones are at their peak.
Types Of Hormone Tests
Blood testing is best to check baseline sex hormones, FSH, LH, SHBG and insulin.
These are typically referred by your doctor and the blood is drawn at a pathology lab office. But can also be done via your naturopath if you find it difficult to book in with your GP or you are looking for a more comprehensive test. When done this way the tests are not covered by Medicare or health insurance.
Saliva testing takes a deeper look at hormones from a functional perspective. It involves collecting a sample of your saliva 4 times over a day.
For pre-menopausal women, it is done 5 to 7 days before a period. For men and post-menopausal women, it can be done on any day.
Saliva testing is exceptional for assessing the level of hormones in your body's tissues. Blood testing just shows you what is circulating in the bloodstream whereas saliva testing provides a clearer picture of the level of hormones in your body.
Because it is easy to collect saliva testing allows multiple samples to be collected over the day which reveals how well your stress response is functioning and how much of an effect your stress hormones are having on your other hormones.
The most comprehensive way to test for hormonal imbalance is with urine. Urine testing looks at how well you are making hormones and how well your body is detoxing and excreting hormones.
When it comes to hormonal imbalance, the root cause is not always hormone production but ineffective hormone detoxification.
Female hormone and male hormone detox is a multistep process, and if the process gets blocked at any point, a build-up of 'secondary' hormones results. This is a big problem because many secondary hormones are stronger than the original hormones and have toxic effects on the body when they build up.
Discover underlying hormone imbalances impacting your health
If you suspect you have an underlying hormone imbalance it's critical to understand that before you can properly treat it you need to pinpoint it. This is because some symptoms may masquerade as one thing but actually be caused by something different.
Our motto is, 'Test, don't guess!'
If you want a thorough and holistic check of your hormones then contact us.
We are the experts when it comes to saliva and urine hormone testing.
Create a health plan with our Sydney naturopath based on your results
If you want to get to the bottom of your hormone issues, schedule an initial consultation with one of our hormone specialist naturopaths.
We can test your hormones to pinpoint with laser-like accuracy which ones are out of balance. Then, we can assemble an individually tailored program of herbs, supplements and lifestyle changes to balance your hormones.
Our programs address diet, lifestyle, stress reduction, exercise, and strategies to bring your hormones back into balance naturally and holistically.
We partner with you to support and guide you along your journey.
Relief for acne, chronic fatigue, and other hormonal imbalance health concerns
As mentioned earlier hormones affect every system of the body. Hormone imbalance can cause acne, PMS, painful periods, PCOS, infertility, weight gain and fatigue to name a few.
So testing your hormones and discovering your imbalances could be the key to solving your problem.
With hormonal acne, it's usually suspected that overproduction of androgens such as testosterone are the cause.
Sometimes this is true but we've discovered that hormonal acne is equally caused by the underproduction of estrogen and progesterone.
This creates a relative androgen excess and causes acne in the same way as high androgen levels but it's often overlooked by doctors.
The best way to assess for this is with saliva or urine hormone testing.
If you feel fatigued all the time even when you get enough sleep then it might be because your cortisol levels are out of balance. This is what we call adrenal fatigue or burnout.
It isn't a disease, it's the state your body falls into when you've pushed too hard for too long or some other stress like a virus overtaxes your stress response.
Saliva hormone testing is the best way to assess adenal fatigue.
Painful menstrual cycles
Too much oestrogen can result from blocked oestrogen detox. And too little progesterone can be caused by too much stress.
Saliva or urine testing are the best ways to assess oestrogen and progesterone imbalance.
The gut can play two roles when it comes to hormone imbalance.
The first is the instigator. When the gut is inflamed, it affects hormone elimination because rather than flowing out detoxified hormones, particularly oestrogen, can be reabsorbed. This creates an excess of hormones in the body which can cause acne, heavy or painful periods, and irregular cycles.
Secondly, the gut can be a victim of hormone imbalance. Excessive production of cortisol damages the gut lining.
Saliva or urine testing are the best tests to do for this.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hormone Tests
During pregnancy, your hormone levels are very different to when you aren't pregnant. So, while you can test for things like blood sugar balance (insulin and glucose) and stress hormones, there isn't much point in testing your sex hormones.
While pregnant, herbal and supplement options are limited.
Book online today for an initial consult with one of our Sydney hormone specialist naturopaths today to get to the bottom of what is causing your symptoms!