Saliva collection is painless and convenient, particularly when multiple samples are required.
Benefits of Saliva Hormone Testing
Saliva hormone testing can be used to identify existing hormone excesses or deficiencies. For example, finding out that a woman lacks sufficient progesterone to balance high estradiol levels or that high cortisol levels are interfering with the action of progesterone and testosterone. Once a hormone imbalance has been identified, nutritional or bio-identical hormone therapy may be indicated.
Stress is unavoidable, which makes stress management important for maintaining health.
Everyone experiences stress at times, but how well we cope with stress depends on a number of factors, one of which is hormone balance. The body's experience of stress is carefully mapped out by a series of hormone responses.
Fight or Flight
In an extremely stressful situation, the body releases bursts of the hormones cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline to prepare for a “fight or flight” response. High levels of cortisol free up stored energy to help the body physically resist or flee from physical danger.
Unlike the physical stressors of past centuries, our modern-day stresses tend to be less dramatic, but of longer duration. This means that cortisol levels may stay mildly elevated, resulting in symptoms like feeling tired but wired, difficulty sleeping, and anxiety. Excess cortisol also interferes with the action of other hormones (progesterone, testosterone and thyroid), creating more hormone imbalance and more symptoms.
With continued stress, the adrenal glands may become depleted from producing too much cortisol or may reduce cortisol production significantly in response to the detrimental effects of high cortisol.
Symptoms of low cortisol may include fatigue (particularly morning fatigue), increased susceptibility to infection, decreased recovery from exercise, allergies, low blood sugar, burned out feeling, depression and low sex drive. Other adrenal hormones can be affected, particularly aldosterone and DHEA. Low aldosterone may result in reduced sodium and potassium levels. Symptoms of low DHEA are not well defined, although low DHEA is often associated with chronic illness.
The right balance of hormones is important for women of all ages.
Women of any age can be affected by hormone issues. Women who still have menstrual cycles may experience infertility, premenstrual syndrome, mood swings, anxiety, painful periods and other symptoms as a result of hormone imbalance. Women in peri-menopause and menopause often experience debilitating sleep disturbances, night sweats, hot flashes, accelerated bone loss and many other symptoms related to hormone changes. The Female Panel helps healthcare professionals sort out the specifics of the hormone imbalance.
Other conditions associated with hormone imbalance include:
- weight gain
- depression, irritability, difficulty coping
- bone loss
- breast cancer
Saliva hormone testing is simple, accurate, and easily obtained. Five hormones make up the Female Panel: cortisol, DHEAs, estradiol, progesterone and testosterone. Interactions between these hormones are fundamental to health - which is why imbalances can have a significant impact on well-being.
Why Get a Female Panel?
Women with symptoms not relieved by mainstream medical interventions may benefit from having a saliva hormone test. Knowing your hormone levels and how hormones work together may help your clinician find the right hormone solution for you.