If you've been suffering from symptoms of hormone imbalance (whether you're pre, peri or post-menopause), hormone testing can often be the missing link in your journey back to full health.
Doctors will often say that hormone testing is not worth doing, especially during peri-menopause. It's too unreliable as hormones are often fluctuating throughout the month.
And they're right when they only have access to blood tests, which are essentially a snapshot of one hormone in the blood at any one time.
But there are other ways of testing that can be incredibly useful for identifying what your hormones are up to, and therefore the best way to naturally support them.
Why test your hormones?
I often get asked why we do so much hormone testing with our clients. And the answer is simply because they get us the best and quickest results!
Of course, we start with a look at your symptoms and history and that gives us a good idea about what might be going on. But there are 4 main reasons we love to test;
- there’s no guesswork – we can get straight to the issue
- it’s totally personal – every woman is unique
- it’s motivating – when you see results on paper, it's easier to make the changes!
- it’s measurable – tests provide a baseline for us to measure your progress
And those 4 things get us better and faster results for women who want to get back to their best and get on with their lives!
Hormone Testing Options
So what tests are available at your doctor, and what can you get privately to measure your hormones?
There are several blood tests that your doctor may use to measure your sex hormones. You may get your FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Luteinising Hormone) levels tested. If these are raised it can indicate lower levels of oestrogen and progesterone, indicating you are peri menopausal – but it’s not that useful because you probably know that already!
You may also get your oestradiol (your main reproductive oestrogen) or progesterone tested, which can be helpful, but doctors are often reluctant to run these tests and won't do them at all if you're over 45.
If you are able to invest in private support, there are much better ways to test your hormones. Urine testing in my experience is the most accurate way to test your hormone levels and how they are behaving. Here’s why;
1. It's done over 24 hours – it measures 4 samples over a 24 hour period. This not only shows your active hormone levels, but also the metabolites of those hormones over the course of a whole day, not just a snapshot. This shows a much bigger picture of how hormones are actually behaving, and crucially how they are being detoxified and eliminated.
2. It's done at a certain point in your cycle – the timing of the test is in your luteal phase, roughly 5-7 days after ovulation if you are still having periods. This gives a much more accurate picture of where your hormones should be at exactly that time of your cycle. If you’re not having regular periods, you can do the test any time, it still shows where your hormones are and what they are up to.
3. It measures all 3 of your Oestrogens – oestradiol, oestrone, oestriol. This gives a much more accurate picture of your overall oestrogen levels and which type your body is favouring. This is really useful when assessing whether you might need HRT, or whether you need to review your dose of HRT.
4. It measures your adrenal health – not only does it measure your sex hormones; all 3 oestrogens, progesterone and testosterone, but also your adrenal hormones, cortisol and DHEA. Looking at your levels over 4 points of the day can identify where your adrenals may be struggling. Knowing how your body is dealing with stress can give you that extra motivation to make some changes to support your adrenals. Not surprisingly I have only seen a handful of perfect cortisol results!
5. It shows even more info – it measures some brain neurotransmitters, melatonin and some key B vitamins (including B12) – really important if you’re having any mood issues, anxiety, fatigue or sleep issues.
And the beauty of it is that you can do it in the privacy of your own home and its non-invasive.
Like I said above, you can do this test if you’re on HRT, to see where your levels are and if you’re on the right HRT and if you need to discuss your dose with your doctor. Or if you’ve got the Mirena coil – to see how it might be affecting your natural hormone production and therefore causing any symptoms.
How do we use the results of hormone tests at Happy Hormones?
We use this test on the majority of our clients (women and men);
- to know exactly where to focus your efforts
- to know what foods you need to focus on to give you specific nutrients
- to know what supplements you actually need (and not just what you think you should be taking),
- to identify whether HRT will actually be of benefit or if you’re taking it how it’s working
- to understand the unique behaviour of hormones in the body and the potential risks of further conditions
Hormone testing was life-changing for me back in my early 40s. It enabled me to pinpoint the exact hormone imbalances that were causing my issues (fatigue, weight gain, brain fog, mood swings, night sweats). And by targeting individual hormones just using natural solutions got me really fast and effective results.
Testing isn’t cheap, it’s all done privately, so it’s not for everyone. But if and when you’re able to invest in your health and happiness, it can bring huge rewards.
If you’d like more information on our testing and 1-1 support, then do Contact Us and we'll be in touch.
You might also like to read...
- Guest post: Hormone testing; is it the missing link for you? - October 12, 2022
- Are you thriving or just surviving? Why we should be aiming for optimal health - March 31, 2022
- Guest blog: What does perimenopause feel like? - March 19, 2019