Saturday, February 24, 2024

How To Test Hormone Levels At Home

Are You Living With A Hormone Imbalance

Simple Way to Test Your Hormone Levels at Home

Hormones are chemical messengers that affect the way your cells and organs function. Its normal for hormone levels to fluctuate over time, such as with your monthly cycle, during pregnancy, or with the onset of menopause.

For women, the most pronounced hormonal changes come in the 40s and 50s, but are also seen in the mid-30s. Hormonal changes not only progress with age, but are also linked to lifestyle, diet, medications, pollution, toxins and xenoestrogens that we are exposed to every day.

Hormonal imbalance can be to blame for a long list of symptoms which include irregular periods and infertility, cravings and persistent weight gain, digestive problems, low libido and vaginal dryness, fatigue, anxiety, irritability and depression, insomnia and poor sleep patterns, chronic acne and night sweats

A simple oestrogen and progesterone test can identify a hormonal imbalance. Changes to diet, digestive health, stress management, improved sleep and consistent physical activity have been shown to be effective in managing the effects of hormone fluctuations.

We can also offer a home collection finger prick version of this test here: Female Hormone Check

*Note this test is not appropriate if you are taking oral contraceptives.

Why Are Comprehensive Hormone Test Profiles Beneficial

Canary Club offers comprehensive hormone panels, which combine thyroid, adrenal and sex hormone tests, with these advantages:

  • Lower price for the bundle than for the sum of the individual tests together
  • Receive a single, comprehensive report used to assess the overall hormonal status
  • Allows a bigger and better assessment of which hormone imbalances are causing symptoms. This helps avoid the costly mistake of treating a secondary hormonal imbalance that is not the root source. A comprehensive profile will help isolate which gland is out of normal range.

Individual tests, on the other hand, are an excellent means of tracking a known problem that has been previously isolated and now requires ongoing monitoring.

Comprehensive Hormone Test Profiles are an excellent way to isolate a problem from symptoms that can be caused by several glands. The adrenal, thyroid and reproductive hormones work in harmony. When one or more of the hormones become unbalanced, this affects the balance of the whole system. Symptoms common to hormonal imbalances in the endocrine systems are seen as the body struggles to maintain balance, but does not succeed.

When patients have hormone-related symptoms, it is usually not a clear-cut case of one hormone level being abnormal or even one hormone system.

Common Symptoms Of A Hormonal Imbalance

Hormonal imbalances can cause many different symptoms. Some common issues to look out for include:

  • A bulge in the neck

Many symptoms of a hormonal imbalance can be misleading. For example, both weight gain and weight loss can be symptomatic of a hormonal imbalance. So, its really difficult to just rely on symptoms to understand which specific hormone is the root of the problem. This is when getting tested becomes handy.

If youre having trouble falling asleep, you may have low progesterone levels that are usually in charge of helping you fall asleep. On the other hand, high progesterone levels could be problematic as well, as these will make you feel sleepy even if youre getting enough rest.

Low melatonin gives your body a signal that its time to rest. Low estrogen can give you night sweats that can be unbearable for many.

If youre struggling with any symptom of a possible hormone imbalance, you need to get tested. Your hormone levels will depict the root cause of the symptoms you are experiencing and, you will be able to target them properly.

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Why Cant You Test All Of The Hormones In The Modern Fertility Hormone Test Panel On Birth Control

Hormonal birth control works by manipulating certain hormone levels to prevent pregnancy, many through blocking ovulation. This means that measuring those particular hormones while on birth control will be influenced by your birth control and wouldnt be reflective of your bodys usual levels. Think of it like this: If you had the heat running in your house, you wouldn’t measure that heated temp to see what the actual weather of the day was.

That said, there are important distinctions for AMH and TSH:

  • Different forms of birth control do impact your AMH to varying degrees, but the past research looking into this had small sample sizes and different reported effects. Modern Fertilitys own research team conducted the largest-ever study examining birth control’s effects on AMH and was able to pinpoint more precise estimates of the effects of different birth control types. We learned that the amount that AMH is affected by birth control, for most people, wont change the clinical interpretation of the result.
  • TSH, on the other hand, is more stable throughout the menstrual cycle and less impacted by hormonal fluctuations whether they’re induced by hormonal birth control or not.

For both AMH and TSH, the benefits you can get from proactively testing outweigh the possible impact of birth control on your hormones. Identifying any issues that could affect fertility before going off birth control gives you more time to take action prior to conception.

Why Cortisol Testing Is Important

HealthConfirm

Cortisol testing is important because that system does not always function in the normal, healthy manner outlined above. Sometimes cortisone levels can stay too high for too long, which can have far-reaching effects on your health, such as:

  • Problems with memory and/or concentration

Issues That Can Cause Abnormally High Cortisol Levels include:

1- Chronic stress: The bodys natural fight-or-flight stress response system is set up to manage short-term stress situations. Stress in todays world is often a longer-term health issue. Rather than being stressed by a sudden encounter with a predator, a situation that can be resolved quickly by running away, we are more likely to face ongoing problems that cause stress, like job pressures, for instance, or financial ones. This can cause long-term activation of the stress response system, leading to chronically high levels of cortisol.

2- Problems with the pituitary gland: Tumors on the pituitary gland or excess growth of the gland can cause it to release too much ACTH, increasing cortisol levels.

3- Problems with adrenal glands: Tumors on the adrenal glands can cause overproduction of cortisol.

4- Other tumors: Growths in other areas of the body can increase cortisol production.

5- Medications: Overuse of corticosteroid medications or long-term use of them can lead to abnormally high cortisol levels.

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What Are Female Hormones

Estrogen and progesterone are the primary sex hormones in females. Most of the bodys supply of these hormones is produced by the ovaries, although small amounts are supplied by other tissues in the body. While best known for their primary function of regulating the reproductive system, female hormones also play a role in other aspects of womens health, including cardiac function, metabolism, bone health, skin thickness and elasticity, urinary tract health, emotional health and brain function, among others.

Cortisol and the thyroid hormone can become imbalanced for various reasons and affect both men and women. Ensuring a healthy profile means keeping abreast of your bodys levels. A comprehensive hormone test can provide much needed insight.

The three primary sex hormones in women are estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

How To Check Hormone Levels With A Pelvic Exam

Pelvic exams dont directly check hormone levels, but they do give your doctor valuable insight into your bodys ability to produce sufficient hormones. Doctors will check the testicles for abnormalities in size or any internal lumps or growths that may be cause for concern.

Female hormone testing usually involves a pap smear and a wellness check to assess reproductive health issues that may contribute to or be caused by inadequate hormone production.

Lumps may require a punch biopsy or a needle biopsy. Your doctor will send a sample to a lab for analysis to determine the nature of these lumps, such as to confirm they are not tumors. Its important for your doctor to ascertain that these lumps dont present a serious threat to your overall health.

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I Appreciate Having The Knowledge Of What To Expect When I Am Ready

The process could not be more simple, and I received my results much faster than I expected. Having no medical or fertility knowledge whatsoever, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to interpret my results. I was far from being right. My dashboard not only gave me an overview of my fertility, but I could dive deeper into every section and learn about what my results mean to me, and why it is important when it comes to fertility. I appreciated the suggested next steps, and shared these with my doctor upon my next visit, to have a better discussion on my life plan. Although I am not ready to start a family yet, I appreciate having the knowledge of what to expect when I am ready. I highly recommend Modern Fertility. Its never too early to understand what is going on in your body. Lauren

Common Hormonal Imbalances Seen In Women

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We have at least 50 different hormones in our body, and very complex symptoms can arise from them, Dr. Batur says. Having too much or too little of certain hormones causes symptoms and issues with your health.

Here are some of the most common hormonal imbalances seen in people assigned female at birth .

  • Menopause: Its natural to stop menstruating as you age. But menopause causes changing levels of estrogen and progesterone, which can lead to a slew of symptoms, including some that begin in the lead-up known as perimenopause.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome : When your ovaries create unusually high levels of hormones of male hormones, your reproductive hormones become imbalanced.
  • Thyroid disease: Your thyroid is a small organ in your neck that produces hormones that impact many organs in your body, but sometimes, it makes either too much or too little of these hormones. There are a few kinds of thyroid disease, which means there are many possible symptoms.
  • Diabetes: This common condition occurs when your pancreas doesnt make any or enough of the hormone insulin or when your body doesnt use it properly. Diabetes is the most common hormone-related condition in the United States.

There are less-common hormonal imbalances, too, like Cushings syndrome and Addisons disease. Only a doctor can help identify which hormonal imbalance youre experiencing and what course of treatment is best.

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The Doctor Keeps Talking About Reference Ranges What Does This Mean

A reference range is the range of results seen in healthy people under standard conditions eg, rested, fed or fasted, at nine in the morning or non-pregnant. There is more than one range to allow for normal variations such as age, gender, the stage of the menstrual cycle, menopause and pregnancy.

Unfortunately, the range for test results in healthy people and those with illnesses usually overlap, so there is rarely a clear dividing line. A result can be outside the reference range in a healthy person but within it for someone who is ill. There also needs to be a balance between use of the range for detecting disease and the need to minimise false diagnosis. Thus, the reference range includes most results seen in normal people, but not all of them . Because of this, the reference range is a guide and not a rigid definition of normality.

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When To Test Thyroid Labs

We cant discuss testing for hormone imbalances without looking at the thyroid. Thyroid testing is best down first thing in the morning and can be at any point in your cycle. We typically add these in when we are testing for other hormones.

Its important to stop any supplements with biotin at least 72 hours in advance as it can skew results.

At a minimum, I would suggest looking at:

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What Do I Need To Send In For An At

At-home testosterone test kits involve collecting your saliva, blood, or both. While test kits may vary by brand, they will usually include swabs or a test tube-like receptacle that allows you to spit into the collection tube. Most will also include a return envelope and information for you to fill out to return to the testing laboratory. If for any reason your provided sample may be invalid , the laboratory should notify you.

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Which Hormones Should You Get Tested

Female Hormones Screen

If you suspect that you are experiencing a hormonal imbalance or the unwanted effects of age-related hormone fluctuation, it is a good idea to begin recording your symptoms on a daily basis. This record can be an important tool when you speak to a hormone specialist and begin the journey of diagnosis and treatment. Although noticeable symptoms are not the complete picture, it is a good place to start and can help you to better understand your health goals.

While you may have a good idea of what you would like to be tested for, the guidance of an experienced practitioner is essential to determine which hormones to test for and which types of hormone tests will be best to ensure accurate diagnosis and facilitate treatment planning This chart can help you quickly understand your testing options based on the specific hormones being assessed:

When seeking out a practitioner, look for these qualities:

  • Specializes in hormone health and HRT
  • Has completed extensive specialized training
  • Has access to wide resources for testing and treatment options
  • Provides individual attention and cares about your goals

With the right hormone health practitioner to guide you forward, you can find meaningful symptom relief and find your way back to your best, most vital self.

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Signs Of Hormone Imbalance In Women

So often we attribute our bodys changes incorrectly. As women progress through life, the body responds differently, and it plays out in a number of ways.

1- Estrogen Imbalance

Estrogen is made by your ovaries, your adrenal glands, and to a much lesser extent, by your fat cells. It has many functions, including:

  • Maintaining Bone Calcium
  • Regulating HDL and LDL Cholesterol in Blood
  • Helping Maintain Blood Sugar Levels
  • Helping with Memory
  • Balancing Emotions

Estrogen imbalance can cause numerous symptoms which will depend on whether you are experiencing an overabundance of the hormone or less of it. The causes and signs can be discerned, but they take a watchful eye. Too little estrogen is often caused by:

3- Testosterone Imbalance

Testosterone is not just a male sex hormone. Women also have lesser amounts of this hormone. It is produced by your ovaries and adrenal glands. Testosterone has the important function of aiding you by protecting you against developing osteoporosis. It has many other effects on your health, including sex drive, mood, energy levels and body fat percentage.

If you have too much testosterone in your body, such as when you have a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome, you could experience:

  • Irregular Periods
  • Increased Body or Facial Hair

Too little testosterone often occurs during menopause and can lower your sex drive, cause depression, weakness of your muscles and fatigue.

How Does A Hormone Balance Test Work

Saliva, urine, and/or blood tests are the most common method for testing a patients hormone levels. Youll usually only need to provide a few small samples. Then, depending on what symptoms you experience, these samples will be evaluated by a lab to measure a variety of hormones, including:

The lab results show a snapshot of your current hormone levels at the time the samples were taken. Many of these hormones fluctuate over the course of a day, or throughout the month, so you may need to fast prior to testing, get tested at certain points in your menstrual cycle, and/or get multiple tests to get an accurate picture of your hormonal health.

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Causes Of Male Hormone Imbalance

The cause of male hormone imbalance is multifaceted. In most cases, there is no one single cause, rather it is a combination of several factors.

One of those factors that men often suffer from is ongoing stress. In addition to being a trigger for many chronic diseases and pathological conditions, stress adversely impacts hormone balance. It increases the activity of the enzyme converting testosterone to estrogen, called aromatase. This leads to elevated estrogen levels and a lack of testosterone in the body.

Environmental xenoestrogens from personal care products, pesticides on produce, pollutants, and plastics also contribute to an increase in estrogen levels.

Additionally, low testosterone is often seen in conjunction with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Overweight men are more likely to have low testosterone. At the same time, reduced levels of testosterone encourage fat to be deposited. There is a link between visceral fat, or the fat that sits around your belly, and low testosterone. This is because fat cells change testosterone into estrogen, and obesity reduces the protein which carries testosterone around your body.

Who Should Take An At

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Now that you know how to test estrogen levels at home, you may be wondering who should pursue this kind of test.

Here are a few worthwhile reasons to check estrogen levels at home:

  • Youâre experiencing symptoms that may indicate a hormonal imbalance â If estrogen is too high or too low, you may develop certain symptoms. These types of symptoms may be linked with low estrogen levels or estrogen dominance.

    They include:

  • Very heavy or light periods
  • Early menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes or vaginal dryness
  • Vaginal bleeding after menopause
  • Youâre having trouble becoming pregnant â Since estrogen imbalances can lead to infertility or difficulty conceiving, you may want to test your levels if youâve been trying to conceive for some time with no success. If estrogen levels are to blame, you and your healthcare provider can develop a treatment plan to help restore hormone levels.
  • Youâre currently pregnant â If youâre already pregnant, estrogen levels can offer you and your healthcare provider some insight into the health of your pregnancy and developing fetus. For instance, estriol levels can help diagnose certain birth defects and indicate how likely you are to go into labor early.
  • As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to check estrogen levels at home. Even if youâre not experiencing any health issues or hormonal treatments, you may simply be curious about what your estrogen baseline is.

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