Hormonal imbalances have a big impact on many of aspects of both male and female health including fatigue, bloating, acne, low sex drive, irregular/painful periods, PMT, depression and even difficulty losing weight.
Generally speaking we never measure hormones in isolation. Your hormones, adrenals and thyroid all work closely together so an imbalance in one, will cause imbalances in another system so it's good to get the full picture by doing comprehensive testing.
So choosing the best method of testing will also depend on what other testing priorities need to be explored to get a whole and complete picture of your current health and wellbeing.
If we just consider hormonal testing, at Radiance we have 3 methods of assessing hormonal balance:
1. Urine testing
3. Blood testing
Urine testing is our gold standard for uncovering the root cause behind symptoms related to hormonal balance.
In this detailed type of testing we look not only at the female and male hormones but their balance between each other and most importantly how they are metabolised or in the body.
We also look at not one but three types of oestrogen which gives a lot of important information pertaining to your liver function and general health.
Adrenal function is also assessed as well as melatonin and important neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine that affect sleep, mood and motivation.
An important advantage that urine testing has is that we are assessing the free and available hormone for use in the body whilst blood testing for example only measures bound up hormone.
The price of this test that includes hormones, adrenals and neurotransmitters is $430 and must be done in conjunction with a full consultation.
If that type of testing is a little out of your budget we offer salivary hormonal testing.
Salivary testing also measures free and unbound hormones and gives information on all three types of oestrogen but it doesn't include how the body is metabolising your hormones or information on neurotransmitters.
You can add on other tests to include adrenal function and melatonin.
Blood testing for hormonal balance
Our Naturopaths are very detailed and comprehensive and more often than not will suggest that you get an extensive range of blood tests no matter what your health concerns are to get a complete picture of your heath and wellbeing.
When it comes to hormonal assessment via blood testing there are some advantages and disadvantages that we must keep in mind when interpreting the results.
Some hormonal tests can only be done via blood testing like FSH and LH making blood testing an essential component of the diagnostic process. The downside is that blood testing measures the bound hormone (not free and available) making it worthwhile to consider our other forms of hormonal testing to provide a whole and complete picture.
What sort of testing should I choose?
The best way to answer this is in consultation with your experienced Naturopath. Given your case history, health goals and current symptoms your Naturopath will recommend the best tests for your unique circumstances.
At the end of the day the gold standard if you have hormonal imbalances is blood testing as well as either urine OR salivary testing so we can get as much information as we can and get the best of both worlds.