Hormones are essential and very complex messengers in our bodies. They play an important role in our metabolism, sleep cycle, hunger, growth, mood, concentration, stress, reproduction, energy, libido and many others.
When hormones are not within normal range, many of these processes become unbalanced, which may lead to irregular or missing periods, thyroid issues, adrenal fatigue, infertility, osteoporosis or breast cancer.
Hormone testing may help uncover underlying medical problems and working with a qualified, healthcare provider can guide you through the process. After identifying underlying causes, it is much easier to create a management plan .
What Can I See in a Hormonal Panel?
DHEA: precursor hormone to testosterone and estrogen. DHEA enhances immunity, reduces autoimmunity, and improves insulin sensitivity, bone health and cognitive function.
Progesterone: protects the breast and endometrial tissue and also protects against effects of Estradiol (E2). Progesterone promotes bone formation, protects the brain, stabilizes mood, helps reduce PMS and post-menopausal symptoms.
Testosterone: associated with increased muscle mass, libido, and bone health.
Estradiol (E2): is the strongest estrogen; deficiency may lead to hot flashes, insomnia, cognitive decline, and mood changes. It must be properly balanced with progesterone and other estrogens to prevent the clinical manifestation of estrogen dominance.
Estriol (E3): is the weaker estrogen; it may provide protection from other stronger estrogen. It is high during pregnancy.
Cortisol: hormone produced in the adrenal glands, essential for carbohydrate metabolism, energy production and thyroid health. Low cortisol can be caused by poor sleep, poor nutrition, environmental toxins, low cholesterol, poor circadian rhythm regulation, medication, stimulants, etc.
Hormones play an important role in our metabolism, sleep cycle, hunger, growth, mood, concentration, stress, reproduction, energy, libido and many others.
How are Hormones Tested?
Hormone levels can be measured by serum, saliva and urine tests. While saliva and blood analysis are the most common methods, new research has shown urine is as reliable and precise to detect hormones and its metabolites.
Because hormones fluctuate throughout the day, a 24-hr urine test offers a better representation of the patient’s overall progesterone production.
Integrative Approach to Re-balancing Hormones
Integrative approaches to re-balancing hormones may include herbals, supplements, acupuncture, diet changes and stress management techniques. All recommendations must be personalized and a consultation with your healthcare provider, or nutritionist ensures the recommendations are right for you.
Some examples may include: Vitamin B6, chasteberry, magnesium, turmeric and calcium citrate to help alleviate PMS. DIM, resveratrol, hops and melatonin to decrease excess estrogens. Chromium, vitamin D, inositol and saw palmetto to decrease androgens