What is Saliva Testing?
Saliva testing is an easy and noninvasive way of reliably assessing your hormone balancing needs. Saliva testing represents only hormones actively delivered to receptors in the body. This is relevant because it provides an accurate reflection of the body’s active hormone levels.
Why Test Hormone Levels?
Hormones are essential for maintaining physical and mental health. We frequently think of estrogen as being a female hormone, and testosterone as being a male hormone. But men AND women make both, plus several more that need to be in balance for optimum health, including cortisol, the adrenal hormone that mediates stress response. An imbalance of any one hormone can throw your physical and mental health out of balance, causing aggravating and even serious health problems.
One size does not fit all when it comes to hormones! For decades western medicine has prescribed hormone replacement therapy as if everyone needed the same thing and the same amount. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your hormones are like your fingerprints and in order to achieve optimal health, you need to know what your specific imbalances are.
Indications of Possible Hormone Imbalance
- sugar cravings
- severe exhaustion
- weight gain
- hot flashes/night sweats
- thinning skin
- bone loss
There are several ways to test for hormones, but saliva testing is unique because only the active portions of hormones are measured and it is these portions that determine how you feel. Saliva hormone tests can uncover biochemical imbalances that can be underlying causes of a variety of conditions including stress, fatigue, anxiety, obesity, diabetes, depression, insomnia, and many other chronic conditions.
Which Hormones Can Be Tested?
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 will 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:
Estrogens: 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.
Progesterone: 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).
Testosterone: 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.
DHEA: An important adrenal gland hormone, which is essential for energy production and blood sugar balance. DHEA is a precursor to other hormones, mainly testosterone.
Cortisol: Your 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.
DHT: A testosterone metabolite that is the primary androgen in the prostate and hair follicles where it can contribute to scalp hair loss, acne, hirsutism and prostate enlargement.
Some of the common imbalances identified through hormone testing include estrogen dominance, estrogen deficiency, progesterone deficiency, androgen (testosterone and DHEA) excesses or deficiencies, adrenal dysfunction and adrenal fatigue.
The Testing Procedure
When your test is ordered, you will receive a kit and easy-to-follow instructions on how to collect samples at specific times.