Is Hormone Testing Necessary?

Is hormone testing necessary (1)

Is hormone testing necessary? I get asked this quite frequently, which is warranted since sex-hormones and preconception planning go hand in hand. My answer is usually the same:

Short answer:



Long answer:

Hormone levels can be altered by a number of processes in the body. For instance, a precursor for many sex hormones (i.e. estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) is Vitamin D. If you are deficient in this pro-hormone (it's not actually a vitamin in the traditional sense -- they just can't make it easy on us, can they?), or your body has a hard time processing Vitamin D, this can be a reason for altered hormone production or expression.

Another reason hormones may be altered can be stress on the liver. Sex hormones are metabolized in the liver, so if this is organ is overloaded by toxins or inflammation, it's not as efficient at it's day-to-day tasks.

A third reason you may be having symptoms that you think are related to hormones are actually due to non-sex hormones like the hormones your thyroid produces. When the thyroid either fails to produce enough hormone, or the hormone it does produce isn't converted into the active form efficiently, this can lead to symptoms women often relate to issues with sex-hormones.

So, if you're having symptoms like:

  • Irregular periods
  • Infertility/trouble conceiving
  • Recurrent pregnancy loss
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Unwarranted weight gain
  • Hot flashes
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Cystic acne
  • Constipation
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Decreased sex drive
  • ...and of course, there's more

You may do well to explore some deeper-rooted issues than just what your hormone levels are. You may want to work with a health-care provider who understands the things that can alter hormones well before you notice the symptoms!

That said, testing just gets us more information, and hormone testing is *often* very minimally invasive (think urine, saliva, or blood samples). It doesn't do any harm to get the testing done, I just often find it's not a necessary first step when addressing what is ailing a patient or client I am working with.

A few things you might consider in the meantime that could help support healthy hormone levels:

  • Address your mental/emotional stress levels - the body reacts on the same spectrum (though maybe at a different level) to a tiger chasing you as it does to working a 50-hour/week job or having a toxic relationship in your life. Assess where you can limit your stressors, and work with a professional if needed like a counselor or therapist
  • Minimize your toxic exposure to things like agricultural chemicals (try eating organic produce or organic, grass-fed or pastured meats)
  • Support liver function with things like essential minerals, nutrient dense foods, and drainage/inflammation support. On my practice's e-store, there are a few products that are great for these types of support.
  • Get my online course, PreBaby Bootcamp, to learn more about how to support yourself overall along the preconception journey. (There's  a whole module on hormones and a bonus mod on functional lab testing!)

If you think hormone testing is right for you, I recommend the DUTCH Cycle Mapping Plus, which you can grab here.

Please don't take this as a substitution for medical advice or recommendations from a healthcare professional you are working with. These are suggestions that you should discuss with someone who knows you and your case history!


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