You read that right! While the standard of practice is a blood test, it’s actually quite useless. Today I’ll be explaining why blood tests are not effective in testing your hormone level and how to find proper hormone testing.
Here’s Why Blood Tests Are Useless For Testing Hormones
If you’ve gone to a regular MD, you probably only had a simple blood test to test your hormones. When you do a blood test you are getting a SINGLE SNAPSHOT of your hormones at that exact moment in your cycle. Hormone levels fluctuate throughout your cycle and even throughout the day. For this reason, blood tests are not only a waste of time but useless in discovering your individual hormonal imbalance.
Why do they only offer me a blood a test?
Most MDs only know what they were taught in school. They either do not keep up with research or never were taught how to properly test hormones. These simple blood tests are included in most insurance plans, while proper testing is rarely if ever, covered by insurance.
Personally, I had to discover this after my husband started in Functional Medicine and learned about these amazing tests.
My gynecologist had flat out told me I did not qualify to get a referral for an endocrinologist because my PCOS “wasn’t bad enough” and the only medication was “the pill”.
Because of that, I switched to another gynecologist. By this point, I had taken the proper hormone test on my own. I told him about my hormone levels being so off and he laughed and said there was NO WAY to find out that information because hormone levels fluctuate throughout your cycle. Yup! He had no idea the test even existed. Despite the test being around for years and vital in his field. So I showed him the results. In shock, he didn’t believe it. Then he took me into his office and explained he wasn’t taught enough in school about regulating hormones. All they were told was to put women with a lot of symptoms on hormonal birth control. In fact, he was very frank about how little he was taught about hormones.
Recently, I have heard of more informed doctors that offer options like Metformin. Either way, they still do not do proper hormonal testing. Mainly guessing based on symptoms.
Why Guessing Hormonal Imbalances Based on Symptoms is DANGEROUS
Guessing what hormones you have out of balance is a very dangerous endeavor. A lot of opposite hormonal imbalances have the same symptoms! Plus, it is possible to have BOTH Estrogen Dominance and high Testosterone (I do)! A lot of resources you find for free online will talk about increasing your Estrogen because you are showing signs of high Testosterone. This can not only cause cancers but make you feel worse! Symptoms are so similar, without test results, there is no way to guess.
You might not even have problems with Estrogen, Testosterone, or Progesterone. Your symptoms may stem from Thyroid and/or Adrenal dysfunction. This is why I recommend getting the proper hormone test + a full Thyroid and Adrenal test.
How to Properly Test Your Hormones
What you are looking for is a test that is cycle-long (or about 35 days if you do not have a menstrual cycle). Rather than a useless snapshot, you’ll get a chart that shows how your hormone will rise and fall throughout your cycle. You’ll also get your average levels in different parts of your cycle.
So for example, if you are normal most of your cycle, but your Estrogen spikes during ovulation. This would cause a toxic overload of Estrogen. You would then only need to up anti Estrogenic supplements right before ovulation until menstruation begins.
While there are many tests that have popped up with dried urine samples as a testing method, there is one that by far is the most accurate. Unfortunately, you may have to save up for this one. Testing can be upwards of $550+. Yup, I paid for that.
It hurt, but once I had such comprehensive date in my hands I never felt more empowered! Not only can I tailor my supplements to MY INDIVIDUAL HORMONAL IMBALANCE, but I have tailored it to my CYCLE NEEDS.
The Test I Recommend
The test I recommend is the DUTCH Cycle Mapping Complete Bundle Female Only $600 You can see how detailed the report will be on a sample here. What they do NOT show you is you can have their on staff doctor go over your test and make recommendations. YASSSSS!!!! That’s where you get the meat. So much good information, I cannot recommend it enough. At first, it was very overwhelming. They included a LOT of notes. I was pretty messed up and I had to sit there and break down each bit of information and look up supplements for each issue. That alone took a few months. They normally give that to your provider if they ask, so no idea if they will pass that along to you, but always ask for it.
What I found from my DUTCH test
My test showed that I was both ESTROGEN DOMINANT and had very high Testosterone and DHEA. I found that I did not go down the pathway that gave me high DHT at all. So taking a DHT blocker wouldn’t help my hair loss in my temples. I also learned that DIM wouldn’t lower my Estrogen, I need other herbs and supplements based on the pathway my Estrogen went down. I also learned that by going down the path it was going down, it could give me osteoporosis, but if I took did anything to change pathways it could go down a pathway which would increase my cancer chances. It’s a complicated test. I highly recommend looking up their website and seeing the videos they have on the test and interpreting results.
If you need functional medicine practitioner to look over your results and give you real advice on supplements and diet for your individual needs, we provide this service HERE.
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Get to the comments
Let me know if you have already taken this test or a similar one. What were your results? Where you able to find supplements to help your imbalance with the information from the test?