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Confused About Hormone Testing!

If you are struggling with hormone imbalances, fertility issues or just would like a baseline understanding of how your hormones are doing or are confused about hormone testing, you are in the right place!

There are three types of testing:  Blood Serum, Saliva and Dried Urine.

Each serve a purpose and depending on what you are looking for, will determine what test to use.

So, what tests should you ask for and which test should you choose?  I hope to clarify some of that for you here.  Hormone testing is best when done 5-7 days after ovulation.

Let’s start with Blood Serum Testing.  Here are the tests that use Blood Serum:

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

  • sugar (glucose) level
  • electrolyte and fluid balance
  • kidney function
  • liver function
  • cholesterol

Vitamins and Minerals

  • Vitamin D
  • B12
  • B6
  • Ferritin and Zinc (key in how your hormones are produced and metabolized)

Thyroid Panel:           

  • TSH
  • Free T3
  • Free T4
  • TPO
  • Anti-TG antibodies

Nutritional deficiencies

Blood tests need to be ordered by your doctor.


Saliva Testing is a more comprehensive testing and allows for multiple collections so providing a more accurate picture.  These are available without a doctor’s script.  You test at home.  Limitations of Saliva Testing include:

  • Can only be done for steroid hormones – won’t work for thyroid testing
  • Very specific guidelines to be followed to collect an accurate sample
  • Affected by topical and oral hormone usage which disproportionately raise saliva levels

23andme allows for genetic testing through a saliva sample.  You can learn a ton of information about yourself with this test.

Dried Urine Testing tests the Sex hormones, (cortisol, DHEA, testosterone, progesterone, estrogens and their metabolites.

DUTCH – This Dried Urine Test tests for Comprehensive Hormones – this allows for individual collection of urine samples without the inconvenience of multiple jars.  This collects a large amount of data including the basics of the sex and adrenal hormone metabolites.  The comprehensive nature of this tests major advantage is it combines the best of Serum, Saliva and Urinary testing all in one.  We can offer you a discount on this test.  Testing hormone metabolites is important as hormone metabolites are the byproducts left over after hormones have been processed for excretion by your body.  If efficiently processed, symptoms of estrogen dominance, ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids, heavy or long periods, PMS and breast tenderness are reduced.

The DUTCH Test tells you how estrogen, progesterone, androgens and cortisol are being broken down by the body.

Also testing with the OAT (Organic Acid Test)-Dried Urine Test also,  you obtain a snapshot of your overall health with over 70 markers, including:

  • Intestinal yeast and bacteria- can cause or worsen behavior disorders, hyperactivity, movement disorders, fatigue and immune function.
  • Many people with chronic illnesses and neurological disorders often excrete several abnormal organic acids in their urine. The cause of these high levels could include oral antibiotic use, high sugar diets, immune deficiencies, acquired infections as well as genetic factors.
  • Also measures vitamin and mineral levels, oxidative stress, neurotransmitter levels, and is the only OAT to include markers for oxalates, which are highly correlated with many chronic illnesses.

For help with hormone testing, CLICK HERE.  We can help you decipher the roadmap to hormone testing and help with interpreting your test results.  It helps to have someone explain your options and explain what all the available tests are providing you.

To move on to the second part of the series – click here!



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