Hormone Testing: What to Check and WhyOct 13, 2021
Whenever I meet with a new client, the first thing we always talk about is testing. It’s probably one of the most common questions I get in my DM inbox as well. Women want to know which hormones could be out of whack, what’s causing their symptoms, and WHY. The good news? A lot of hormones can now be tested at home!
With most of my clients, I like to look at lab work every 3 months and in today’s newsletter, I’m going to share with you what biomarkers and hormones we check. There are three major areas that women want to see results in or symptom relief from, so I broke it down into three different categories for you to take these to your doctor and ask for certain testing. If you’re going to do any treatment with bioidentical hormones or medications, I recommend making those decisions based on blood serum levels you have to do in a doctor's office. The at-home testing is more for tracking trends over time.
For overall health, I like to look at all things from heart function to inflammation levels, your liver for detox purposes, and pretty much everything in between. Those tests often include:
- CBC (determines general health status and looks for infections, immune function, deficiencies, and more)
- Liver function panel (including AST, ALT, GGT, ALP, and bilirubin to assess proper elimination and detoxification)
- Lipid Panel (looks at HDL, LDL and triglycerides to assess the risk of cardiovascular disease)
- C-Reactive Protein (market of inflammation)
- Vitamin D (important for all body functions including immune, bone, mood, and metabolism health)
- Hematology Panel (looks at your iron, iron-binding capacity, and ferritin to evaluate the quality of your blood, whether or not you have anemia which is common in women of reproductive age and malnutrition)
Women can’t lose weight or a creeping number on the scale despite a constant diet when they complain of weight. The first things I like to look at are
- Fasting Insulin
- Fasting glucose
- Growth hormone
- A full thyroid panel (including TSH, free T3, free T4, reverse T3, and antibodies)
Research has shown that when women struggle to maintain their weight in their 30s, one or a combination of these factors are likely off.
Your sex hormones control your skin, have an impact on your weight, can dictate your mood and your fertility, so ensuring they’re in balance is really important. Sex hormones that I test are
- Cortisol (your main stress hormone which impacts all of the other hormones - I Iike a 4 point test for this)
- Estradiol (what builds your lining and has a major impact on weight, fertility, and mood if not in balance with progesterone)
- Progesterone (measured on day 21 of your cycle)
The last three are important to look at if you’re struggling with infertility, irregular periods, or early signs of menopause. Women out there do bioidentical hormones, so having all of these tests done and making sure you’re only taking what you need is extremely important.
So WHEN should you test your hormones?
I really recommend testing to measure your baseline if you’re starting to feel any symptoms at all but if you’re symptom-free, starting at age 35 is a really good place to look at what you’re baseline is. I know so many clients whose doctors are unwilling to run these full panels and if this is the case, I really recommend finding a new doctor. Knowledge is power and knowing your baseline and what you’re working towards is so critical.
When we’re talking about different hormones, many of them have to be measured on different days if you’re still menstruating. For example, if you’re looking at fertility, you want to check your estradiol and FSH on day three of your cycle. For progesterone and to see whether or not you’re ovulating, you can check progesterone levels on day 21 of your cycle.
I hope that this has given you some good insight on where to start if you’re feeling off in any way. You can check out my 4-month WBK health and hormones course to learn more about testing based on your symptoms and how to test for specific conditions. From there, I teach you how to heal whatever imbalance may come out of your lab work.
For 20% off the WBK Course, use code “wbknews”, click here!