When our hormones are in balance, you’ll feel full of energy and life will seem wonderful. By the same token, the very hormones that make you happy can also cause great misery if there is an imbalance. Simply put, we need to have a hormonal balance in order to maintain a level of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Additionally, hormonal imbalance can lead to medical conditions such as osteoporosis, breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. Hormone testing is absolutely vital to help us uncover potential imbalances and deal with the situation before it gets out of hand.
We need to have a familiarity with the symptoms of hormonal imbalance in order to assess our health in this regard and seek help when needed. The more you know about the symptoms, the quicker your physician can find the problem and fix it. Of the symptoms described below, many will occur when the imbalance involves more than one hormone and the problem could lie with a surplus as well as with a deficiency.
- Lack of Estrogen: Hot flashes, night sweats, memory loss, depression, yeast infections and anxiety.
- Too Much Estrogen: Fatigue, water retention, uterine fibroids, weight gain and mood swings.
- Lack of Progesterone: Low sex drive, insomnia, cramps, sore breasts, early menstruation and bloating.
- Too Much Progesterone: Changes to the menstrual cycle and drowsiness.
- Lack of Testosterone: Weakness, lethargy and lack of clarity when thinking.
- Too Much Testosterone: Retention of fluid, acne, hair growth similar to men and weight gain.
- Lack of DHEA: Lack of hair, weight loss and low bone density.
- Too Much DHEA: Increased facial hair and oily skin.
- Lack of Hydrocortisone: Anorexia, low blood sugar and hypotension.
- Too Much Hydrocortisone: Hypertension, obesity, sleep disorders and osteoporosis.
There are a number of easy testing options such as saliva, blood and urine tests. Each test has its own strengths and weaknesses so before you start testing, discuss your needs with your physician. A hormone test is designed to provide a single measure of your hormones which will be compared against the ‘standard’ hormonal level criteria. The trouble with this is the fact that there are variations right across the spectrum depending on age, gender and even ethnic groups. For instance, a woman in menopause will have a much lower level of estrogen than a woman who is still menstruating.
Although there may be limitations, it is still necessary to undergo hormone testing. When used in concert with monitoring of symptoms and clinical observation, hormone testing can be an extremely effective method of determining whether or not women are in need of hormone therapy. If you have some of the symptoms outlined above, contact your physician and provide him with an evaluation of your family history, chart of your symptoms, urine, blood and saliva for tests and agree to have testing done to check out your bone density.