**Note: All laboratory testing requires an authorizing physician. DHA Laboratory offers a patient direct program that partners you with an authorizing physician. If you have any additional questions regarding the availability of testing, please contact our laboratory by telephone or email.**
Hormones are essential for our overall welfare. We frequently think of estrogen as being a female hormone, and testosterone as being a male hormone. But both men and women make both, plus several more must be in balance for optimum health. An imbalance of any one hormone can throw physical and mental health out of balance, causing aggravating and even serious health problems.
For decades western medicine has prescribed Hormone Replacement Therapy as a “one size fits all” approach. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Hormones are like fingerprints, and in order to achieve optimal health, people must be aware of their specific imbalances.
Being able to identify a hormonal imbalance is essential to design an effective treatment plan. If a patient is seeking bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) or a topical therapy, free hormone levels must first be assessed before proceeding with a particular therapy.
Men and women at any age who display symptoms of hormone imbalance such as:
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 for replacement considerations
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
As we age, our hormonal makeup will begin to change as well, therefore it is ideal to understand where the imbalances are and identify an optimal therapeutic plan. Both men and women should perform a baseline test as a proactive step in maintaining physical and mental health, as imbalances may be present before symptoms manifest.
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 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.
The 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.
Performing laboratory is Great Plains Laboratory.