Hormone levels affect many aspects of our bodies, both emotionally and physically. Included in these aspects are irritability, weight gain, memory lapses, insomnia, depression and fatigue.
Women in particular need to be aware of how hormones affect their everyday lives. Our hormone levels change as we age and they can change significantly, even in the course of a single day. Some are higher in the morning, some at night. These fluctuations may lead to deeper issues that need to be addressed. I say this because many of my female patients have suffered for years with their symptoms prior to being seen only to find a simple hormone test uncovered easily treatable imbalances.
My office offers several different hormone tests, but I am partial to saliva testing as it measures your hormones throughout the day. It also measures the metabolites of hormones or more plainly, how much of the hormone is used by our bodies. A blood test on the other hand, is a snap shot of a single point in time. It measures the amount of a certain hormone and not what our body is actually using. To better explain, I’ll use the analogy of money. You can determine how much money you have overall, which is like what the blood test would measure for hormones, but it is not about how much money you have when the bills come due, it is how much you are spending. The saliva test, in comparison, is equated to how much your spending. That way we can determine the hormone demand on your body and fill in the gaps or overages.
A deeper dive would be a Comprehensive Female Panel that will determine if your hormones are functioning properly. In addition to what is in the Basic Check–Up panel, we include Estradiol, LH, Progesterone, FSH, and DHEA–S tests. A reliable practitioner should always have comprehensive testing like the ones I described to get an in depth view to your hormonal health.
As I stated earlier, hormones affect many aspects of our lives so knowing where you stand is a good step in getting better. Visit our office or talk to your health care provider to get more information on the link between your symptoms and hormonal health – it’s an important piece of your healthcare puzzle.