Testing for Hormone Imbalances: The Big Five

By Joan Haynes, NMD

Hormone imbalances is something we see a lot of at Boise Natural Health. Listed below are symptoms of deficiency and excess of different hormones. Because there is such an overlap between the symptoms of the hormone imbalances, testing takes the guess work out.

Estrogens

Deficiency

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Foggy thinking
  • Memory Lapses
  • Incontinence
  • Tearful
  • Depressed
  • Insomnia
  • Heart palpitations
  • Bone loss
  • Aches/pains

Excess

  • Mood swings
  • Tender breasts
  • Water retention
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Fibrocystic breast
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Weight gain hips
  • Bleeding changes
  • Headaches
  • PMS

Progesterone

Deficiency

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Foggy thinking
  • Memory lapses
  • Incontinence
  • Tearful/Anxiety
  • Depressed
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Heart palpitations
  • Bone loss
  • Irritability
  • PMS
  • Infertility

Excess

  • Sleepiness
  • Breast swelling
  • Breast tenderness
  • Decreased libido
  • Mild depression
  • Candida infections
  • Water retention

Androgens (DHEA and Testosterone)

Deficiency

  • Low libido
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Foggy thinking
  • Foggy thinking
  • Fatigue
  • Aches/pains
  • Memory lapses
  • Incontinence
  • Depressed
  • Insomnia
  • Bone loss
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Thinning skin

Excess

  • Excess facial hair
  • Excess body hair
  • Loss of scalp hair
  • Increased acne
  • Oily Skin

Cortisol (Adrenal Gland)

Deficiency

  • Fatigue
  • Sugar cravings
  • Allergies
  • Chemical sensitivity
  • Stress
  • Cold body temperature
  • Heart palpitations
  • Aches/pains
  • Arthritis

Excess

  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Bone Loss
  • Tired and wired
  • Weight gain in waist
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Thinning skin

Thyroid

Deficiency

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Goiter
  • Constipation
  • Low body temperature
  • Dry hair
  • Hair loss
  • Dry skin
  • Achy joints
  • Infertility

Excess

  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Goiter
  • Increased hunger
  • Racing heart
  • Diarrhea
  • Excess energy
  • Bulging eyeballs
  • Mood swings

Some factors that determine which tests to order are symptoms, chronic health issues, family history, cost and insurance coverage.

Sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA) can be measured in saliva, blood, or urine. For menstruating women, collection is best near day 20 of their cycle. (Day 1 is the first day of bleeding). For non-menstruating women and men, the test can be run any day of the month.

Thyroid (TSH, Free T3, Free T4, Thyroid antibodies, Reverse T3) can only be measured in blood.  It is important to avoid biotin for 48 hours prior to testing and time the blood draw about 4 – 6 hours after taking thyroid hormone.

Adrenal (Cortisol and DHEA) can be measured in blood or saliva.  Cortisol starts off high in the morning and lowers in the evening

For current prices and more information – call Boise Natural Health Clinic 208-338-0405.  You can schedule a free brief consult with one of our doctors to see if we can meet your needs.