Years ago I almost died.
It was due to an ovarian cyst that had ruptured and tore off a piece of my right ovary, and caused me to hemorrhage internally.
I was left with 24 staples and almost 2L of blood taken out. I needed an epidural for the pain and I was on a cocktail of medications including dilaudid, which is seven times the potency of morphine and banned in Europe.
So clearly, upon my healing I thought, ‘I should get my hormones tested’. Naturally I asked the gynecologist who operated on me to which she replied, “Why? It’s not like you’re going through menopause?”
I didn’t understand the reaction and when I had gone to other doctors asking the same thing, I had received another response which was, “Why? Your hormones change all the time?”
(And they were right)
It’s the reason why I thought I’d dedicate this post to help you figure out which testing is best.
Hormone testing – blood
Hormone testing via blood is accurate, the problem with this method is that you are only getting an understanding about your hormones at the one time when the blood was taken. And oftentimes, you’re not getting your blood taken at the right time of your cycle, either.
The biggest issue with this one blood draw is you’re not getting an average that you’d otherwise get with multiple samples taken in a 24 hour period. Plus, in the case of cortisol (the hormone released in response to stress), you’re not receiving an understanding of what it looks like at multiple times per day. In other words, your cortisol could be low in the morning and elevated in the evening and knowing that will help your practitioner understand what course of action to take. Otherwise, they’re guessing versus testing.
Hormone testing – saliva
This is a great option for many people and it’s the preferred choice for many practitioners as well. It’s absolutely a viable option because multiple samples are taken so you get that average I spoke about above. From a cortisol perspective, you’re also able to understand what your cortisol levels are like throughout the day.
But it’s not a great option to test your metabolites which brings me to urine…
Hormone testing – urine
This is my preferred choice because, like saliva, multiple samples are taken to give us an average and it’ll also give an understanding of cortisol throughout the day. However, it also does several other things that saliva does not do:
- It tests your sex hormone metabolites (meaning your male hormone metabolites and your estrogen metabolites). This matters because your estrogens like estrone (E1) and estradiol (the most potent estrogen E2) can be low on a urine hormone test. But specific estrogen metabolites (4-OH-E1 and 16-OH-E1) may be elevated. If this is the case, the supplements like DIM should not be used because it can further lower your E1 and E2. Rather you will need supplementation to lower your estrogen metabolites instead (which can still give you symptoms like ovarian cysts, fibroids, endo, etc.). Without knowing your metabolites, you’re literally guessing at which estrogen lowering protocol is right for you.
- Urine will also give us an understanding of your methylation (not to be confused with the mutated MTHFR gene). If your methylation is low, then your phase II liver clearance of hormones and toxins will be sluggish and needs to be addressed.
- Urine will also do organic acid testing (OATs). This will help me understand markers like B6, B12, dopamine and serotonin to name a few. And once I understand not only your emotional state but also the health of your gut.
- Urine will test melatonin status. And while you may think of sleep when you think of melatonin, it also is a major indicator of gut dysfunction (whether it’s high or low). Believe it or not, the majority of melatonin is produced in your gut!=
So where can you get this testing done?
Blood: Your medical doctor (if they’ll do it), independent nurse practitioners, Naturopathic doctors and Functional Medical Doctors.
Saliva: Naturopathic doctors, Functional Nutritionists and Functional Medical Doctors. You may find that Acupuncturists and Chiropractors may offer it too depending on their speciality.
Urine: Naturopathic doctors, Functional Nutritionists and Functional Medical Doctors. You may find that Acupuncturists and Chiropractors may offer it too depending on their speciality. I offer this option in two ways:
- Through my online clinic that’s available to program members of Sexy Lady Balls. The package includes the test, a 1:1 consult with one of my team of qualified, functional practitioners, and a targeted kick-butt protocol!
- By working with me privately – which is done via application ONLY. If approved, this would be one out of the three tests we would do (HTMA and stool testing are the others). Please note: I only take 10 patients annually. Read more about it here. (Scroll down to see the three options I offer).
At the end of the day, we need to be advocates of our own health, especially when so many women are falling through the cracks of the medical system. After all, information is power!
Speaking of info, did you find this useful? If so, I’ve got SO much more to share in my hormone masterclass, so make sure that you sign up now and reserve your spot!