[Special Report]
Why Test Hormones

Jay H Mead, MD and Erin Lommen, ND

Why do I need hormone testing?

One size does not fit all when it comes to hormones! For decades western medicine has prescribed HRT as if everyone needed the same thing and the same amount. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your hormones are like your fingerprints and in order to achieve optimal health, you need to know what your specific imbalances are. To find out about your hormonal status you'll need to have lab tests performed. But what kind? There are several ways to test (saliva, serum and urine), but the state-of-the-art testing is through saliva. This is because it measures only the active portions of your hormones and it is these portions that determine how you feel. So if you're seeking bio-identical hormone replacement (BHRT), you'll need to know active hormone levels. In addition, if using a topical (transdermal) hormone preparation for treatment, saliva testing is the most accurate tool to measure and monitor your hormone status.

    Which Hormones Need Testing?
The major players in the sex hormone arena are estradiol, progesterone and testosterone. The main adrenal hormones are DHEA and cortisol. These five hormones will provide crucial information about your deficiencies, excesses and daily patterns, which then results in a treatment approach specifically tailored for you and one far more beneficial than the old "shotgun" approach. Below is a brief description of each of these five hormones to refresh your memory about what each one does and how they interact.
Estrogen: there are three forms made by the body: estrone, estradiol and estriol. The form used in past hormone replacement therapies is estradiol, often in the form of concentrated pregnant mare's urine (premarin). It is a proliferative (causes growth) hormone that grows the lining of the uterus. It is also a known cancer-causing hormone: breast and endometrial (uterine) in women and prostate gland in men. It will treat menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia and memory-loss. With the bio-identical formulas estriol is matched with estradiol (biest) to provide protective effects and additional estrogenic benefits. The other major protector in keeping estradiol from running amok is progesterone.
Progesterone is called the anti-estrogen because it balances estradiol's proliferative effects. It is considered preventive for breast and prostate cancers as well as osteoporosis. In addition too little progesterone promotes depression, irritability, increased inflammation, irregular menses, breast tenderness, urinary frequency and prostate gland enlargement (BPH).
Testosterone is an anabolic hormone (builds tissue) that is essential for men and women. The proper level of testosterone is necessary for bone health, muscle strength, stamina, sex drive and performance, heart function and mental focus.
DHEA is an important adrenal gland hormone, which is essential for energy production and blood sugar balance. DHEA is a precursor to other hormones, mainly testosterone.
Cortisol is your waking day hormone (highest in the morning and lowest at night). It is necessary for energy production, blood sugar metabolism, anti-inflammatory effects and stress response.
Some of the common imbalances identified through testing include estrogen dominance, estrogen deficiency, progesterone deficiency, androgen (testosterone and DHEA) excess or deficiencies, adrenal dysfunction and adrenal fatigue.
    State-of-the-Art Saliva Testing
This testing is accurate, easy to collect, FDA approved and has rapid results (turn-around-time). Pure Prescriptions is proud to now offer this clinical service, overseen by board certified pathologist; Jay H Mead MD, FASCP. Our tests are unique because they deliver accurate results requiring a much smaller sample size (one fifth the volume previously required). Sample collection only takes 2-3 minutes. Four samples are collected and pooled to give a truer reflection of hormone levels (hormones fluctuate dramatically throughout the day, thus one sample does not reflect your average levels). The exception is cortisol, which has its own daily rhythm, and is measured before the samples are pooled. With this state-of-the-art saliva testing you will find solutions to your health problems which until now have gone unexplained.
    Hormone Testing Resources
To set up an appointment with Dr. Chad Larson to see which hormone test is right for you, please call 1.800.860.9583 to set up a consult time.
    Further Reading
Read Part Two: The How's & Why's of Hormones
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