Menopause is a challenging time for many women with varying symptoms experienced during this transitional phase which is as a direct result of the declining levels of progesterone and oestrogen.
Why then would it help to have a comprehensive hormone test, you may ask?
There are a lot of good reasons why measuring all of these can help:
- Menopausal symptoms can so easily mask other hormonal imbalances which are then overlooked, namely
– Stress and sleep issues due to adrenal hormone imbalance
– Difficulty sleeping related to melatonin levels
– Fatigue, a decrease in muscle mass or bone density, depression, aching joints,
loss of libido, and lowered immunity caused by low DHEA levels
- To monitor your levels if on hormone replacement therapy especially oral
progesterone, vaginal hormones, patches, pellets and injections;
- To check for oestrogen dominance which could make peri-menopausal symptoms
- To see if you are metabolizing oestrogen adequately through your liver, to reduce your risks of oestrogen-related cancers such as breast, cervical and uterine cancer.
This quick and simple urine test consisting of 4 samples collected over a 24-hour period, which is done in the comfort of your own home, offers the most extensive profile of sex and adrenal hormones along with their metabolites. Additionally, the daily pattern of free cortisol is included, along with melatonin, a biomarker for oxidative stress and carcinogenesis, and organic acids. This unique combination of clinical information is not available by any other method.
It is important to note that although helpful, standard blood tests won’t measure your cortisol rhythms and oestrogen metabolism, and they will not track hormone replacement as thoroughly. They will also not shed light on adrenal, cortisol and sleep problems. This Functional medicine hormone test is the most comprehensive tool available and it can change your life.
A perfect case example that is 52 year old, peri-menopausal Mary (not her real name of course), who came to see me 6 months ago with severe hot flushes, fluctuating moods and irritability, and has been suffering from insomnia for the last 9 years. She is very fit, active, and eats a healthy diet. She is restless by nature, and has been under huge amounts of stress, including being a mother to 4, and has had to cope with many above average demands and challenges on a daily basis for many years.
Metabolic testing and Live Blood analysis were done at her initial consultation, these showed signs of liver and kidney strain, poor protein digestion and water regulation. I suggested that she do the comprehensive hormonal test and started her on supportive treatment while waiting for these results.
What information can we get from this test?
We can use this information to shed light on any hormonal imbalances to effectively provide the correct treatment. Your results will be unique to you and so your treatment plan will be tailored to you. It may involve lifestyle adjustments, help with sleep, and could include exercise recommendations or support for effective stress management. The use of supplements and herbs are often required, and have proven to have amazing benefits, and sometimes low-dose bio-identical hormones may be necessary for you.
Let me show you how peri-menopausal Mary’s results helped me to understand why she was struggling to sleep, and having hot flushes and irritability…
Secondly, her progesterone and oestrogen levels were on the low side, and I chose to start her on herbs, scientifically proven and approved for safe use for relief of Menopausal symptoms, with the additional of dietary recommendations to support healthy hormonal levels and to reduce inflammation.
Within only 10 days, Peri-menopausal Mary’s hot flushes, fluctuating moods and irritability had improved greatly. She also found that she was managing to fall asleep a bit easier, and was starting to feel less anxious when having to go to bed.
Reality is that when women having several symptoms of menopause are driven to see their doctors, they are usually blindly given hormone replacement therapy without doing the appropriate tests. It is just not possible to know what to target without knowing what is happening inside your body.
If your child was having recurrent fevers would it be wise to continually give Panadol and Nurofen? Or would you rather take your child to the specialist to run diagnostic tests, and find out what was wrong, so that they could find the cause and stop the fevers? The same goes for your body and especially your hormones….you need to do the diagnostics.
Hormones in peri-menopause and menopause are very complex and in order for practitioners to customise the best possible treatment plan and get you back on track, they will need to know what your levels are.