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Hormone Panels

What are hormones?

Hormones are extremely potent chemical messengers in our body that exist in harmony with each other.  Much like a key unlocks a door, they act as signals to flip cellular switches  that  control growth, development, and all types of mental and physical functions throughout life. Men and women each have unique hormonal pathways and patterns which need to be in balance to keep body systems stable.  In women, the ovaries produce estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone which interact to coordinate a woman’s menstrual cycle during her reproductive years.  For men, the testes produce nearly 95% of all male testosterone and the adrenal glands supply the remainder along with small amounts of estrogen.

What happens when hormonal balance is thrown off?

When we encounter physical and emotional stress, and by the process of natural aging, hormone levels can easily go into disarray.  A minor fluctuation can set off an escalating chain of events that drastically disrupts your internal chemistry affecting mental function, mood, muscular capacity and many other basic functions.  Hormone deficiencies or excesses can also become toxic to the body resulting in periodic sickness or even chronic disorders.

Imbalances during reproductive years are common and can have noticeable affects on the mentrual cycle and fertility. During menapause, this is even more common due to the natural decline in estrogen. Aside from the many well known unpleasant symptoms like hot flashes and sleep irregularities, imbalances can also lead to more serious conditions like osteoporosis and autoimmune disorders.

Several conditions are well known to be associated with hormonal imbalance including:

  • polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • endometriosis
  • breast disease
  • menstrual irregularities
  • infertility

Symptoms of female hormone imbalance:

  • Acne or oily skin
  • Bloating
  • Bone loss
  • Decreased fertility
  • Depression
  • Excess facial and body hair
  • Hot flashes
  • Heavy or painful periods
  • Irregular periods
  • Irritability
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Loss of scalp hair
  • Low libido
  • Memory lapses
  • Mood swings
  • Nervousness
  • Night sweats
  • Poor concentration
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Tender or fibrocystic breasts
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Weight gain

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As a man gets older, testosterone levels fall and estrogen levels tend to rise.

Lower testosterone levels and other hormone imbalances can cause:

  • Bone loss
  • Decreased mental clarity
  • Decreased muscle strength
  • Decreased stamina
  • Decreased urine flow
  • Depression
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Hot flashes
  • Increased abdominal fat
  • Increased urge to urinate
  • Irritability
  • Low sex drive
  • Mood swings
  • Night sweats
  • Poor concentration
  • Sleep disturbances

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Hormone Snapshot
Saliva is collected throughout one day and sent to the lab for analysis.  The results provide a snapshot of hormone levels in your body and indications of anything out of proportion.  If imbalances exist, they can be corrected using supplements that act as hormone precursors to replenish any shortages.  In cases of severe hormone imbalances, natural bio-identical hormone creams can also be used to enhance a supplement regimen.

Menstrual Cycle Maps
This panel is used for menstruating women and measures levels of estrogen and progesterone throughout an entire menstrual cycle. Saliva is collected every other morning and sent to the lab for analysis at the completion of the term.  Cycle maps can dissect ovulation problems, causes of an irregular cycle, and issues with infertility and miscarriages.

Why use saliva instead of blood?
We use saliva because it provides the most accurate readings for hormone levels.  Blood tests are not reliable for gauging  biologically active hormone levels and therefore, may not give a complete and precise reading.

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Test Pricing and insurance
The test costs vary from $40-$200 and are paid directly to the lab. Our prices are much lower than other companies’ because we do not up-charge for any of our tests.  If your insurance carrier does not cover the test, you only pay the base cost directly to the lab. We encourage you to submit the lab receipt to your insurance carrier as many patients get fully reimbursed.

We do need an initial appointment first so that we can get a detailed health history and get to know you (we cannot legally run tests on people who are not our patients) but also we can customize the test to include the specific hormones that would be the most beneficial for you as the test is completely customizable. Depending on your concerns and goals, the panels that are best for you may be different than some other patients.

Furthermore, a big part of the initial consultation focuses on eating habits and food education so that you know not just what foods are best but also how to combine them and time meals properly. This is essential because food is the foundation to everything that we do and needs to be used in conjunction with the information that shows up in the hormone test.  We also look at the reasons why patients develop hormonal imbalances in the first place and work on not just fixing what comes up on the test but also healing your whole system to prevent these and future issues and optimize your overall health. This process of looking at the whole body guarantees the most success and the quickest results with your program.