Dried Urine Testing for Comprehensive Hormones
This is the most comprehensive hormone test that requires a dried urine sample. The sample is collected at home and mailed out to the laboratory for testing.
This test measures your adrenal (cortisol and DHEA-s) and sex (testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen) hormones AND also measures their metabolites which helps to give a complete picture of what is happening with your HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) axis. Showing metabolites of estrogen also helps to show how your body is detoxifying and metabolizing estrogen by showing how much 2-OH (healthy), 16-OH (protects bone), and 4-OH (toxic) estrogens you are producing.
It measures your cortisol at 4 points over the course of a day rather than just in the morning which is often the blood test your MD will run (AM Cortisol). Together with this 4-point pattern and cortisol metabolites, it gives a better assessment if your adrenal glands are producing too much cortisol or too little cortisol. This helps with more appropriate adrenal supplement recommendations that can help increase or decrease adrenal gland output.
Another key feature of this test is that it measures key enzyme activity including 5-alpha-reductase. This enzyme is involved in the formation of testosterone to DHT. Elevated levels of DHT can promote BPH (Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy). DHT can increase hirsutism in females, acne, male-pattern hair loss as often seen in PCOS.
This test also looks at your melatonin levels; Serotonin, norepinephrine, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and glutathione metabolites; and oxidative stress level.
This hormone testing is great for effective monitoring of most HRT methods. Inquire with a naturopathic doctor if the test is right for you based on which hormone replacement therapy you are using.
For more information on comprehensive urine testing, you can visit Precision Analytical Laboratory
Month-Long Hormone Assessment
This is a saliva hormone assessment. Saliva tests measures hormone levels within tissues whereas, testing your hormones through your family doctor will give a measurement of what is in your blood through a blood test. While blood tests can determine levels of low hormones, often, blood levels can be adequate but tissue levels are low. In order for a hormone to be able to get into tissues, it must be in its free, unbound form which is what is measured by saliva tests. Blood tests will more commonly measure bound hormone (hormone attached to a protein).
The month-long hormone assessment is designed for pre-menopausal women who are cycling. It helps to determine when ovulation is happening, looks at the amount of estrogen and progesterone over the course of one cycle (1st day of period to the next period for a woman who has 28-33 day cycles), and measures your morning cortisol and an average of DHEA-s and testosterone.
This is great for any female looking to get pregnant, has cycle-specific symptoms (mood swings, bloating, water retention, breast tenderness), and, PMS symptoms.
Single Saliva Hormone Assessment
This saliva hormone assessment measures progesterone, estrogen, DHEA-s, morning cortisol, and testosterone on one day. For pre-menopausal women, it is recommended to test this at day 21 of your cycle when progesterone is at its peak. This is the test used for menopausal or post-menopausal women where they can test on any day as they are not cycling anymore.
This test is used for men as well and morning cortisol, DHEA-s, estrogen, and testosterone are all tested.
Indications for this test include estrogen dominance or low progesterone symptoms, menopausal symptoms, decreased sex drive, low energy, decreased endurance and muscle recovery time, and weight gain.
In men, signs of increased estrogen can include low libido, weight gain around the waist and abdomen, and enlarged breasts.
Adrenal Function Testing
The saliva adrenal function panels yield free cortisol levels at four points – morning, noon, mid-afternoon, and nighttime. DHEA-s is also tested. This panel will give a snapshot of what your cortisol output is over the span of a day which can help identify either low free cortisol as a source of fatigue or increased free cortisol which can create that “tired but wired” feeling.
Unfortunately, low free cortisol does not determine what your overall cortisol production is as this test does not tell us how much cortisol is being metabolized. There are still treatment options based on whether your free cortisol is low or high that can be implemented.
Cortisol can help to suppress the immune system and so low free cortisol levels can increase the susceptibility to autoimmune disease(s), increased infections, allergies, low blood sugar, depressed mood, and, low sex drive.