Answers to Your Questions About Saliva Hormone Level Tests and Menopause
Q: What is a saliva hormone test and why do I need one?
A: A saliva hormone test is a test done using the saliva to evaluate your hormone levels instead of drawing blood. These tests are often recommended by doctors to determine your exact hormone levels. They are also less stressful and easy to do; you can collect the saliva for saliva hormone test yourself in the comfort and privacy of your home and just send it to the lab for analysis. Saliva hormone tests do not require a prescription, or expensive doctor's visits!
Q: What is the difference between a saliva hormone level test and a blood hormone level test?
A: A saliva hormone level test can be more accurate than a blood hormone level test, which is why it is becoming the more commonly recommended exam. In fact, the saliva hormone test is the test recognized by the World Health Organization and the type of test suggested by Dr. John Lee. Saliva hormones are very stable and the samples do not need to be refrigerated. Blood samples, on the other hand, are suggested for those who cannot create the level of saliva needed to complete the collection process. We are now offering easy blood spot tests as an alternative to saliva tests.
Q: Why should I take a hormone level test?
A: Low hormone levels can mean that you are entering perimenopause or menopause, in which case you can start a natural hormone replacement program for any discomfort you are facing. However, there are cases where low hormone levels indicate a medical problem and you may need to seek medical attention. A doctor might order a hormone level test to rule out certain conditions, or to diagnose you correctly. Hormone level tests are not just for menopause.
Q: Can I test my hormone levels at home?
A: There are now highly accurate home test kits you can do to collect your samples without needing to visit your physician. These are saliva, and/or blood spot or urine hormone level tests. You take a sample and send it to the lab where it is carefully analyzed and you are sent the results. Many women prefer this method because it allows you to collect your own sample, even if your doctor is not interested in checking your hormone levels.
Q: Does a low hormone level result mean that I am in menopause?
A: Usually, but not always. Low hormone levels occur for a variety of reasons and may mean that you are in perimenopause or menopause.
Q: What happens if my hormone levels are low?
A: Low hormone levels affect you in different ways, depending on which hormone is dropping. Low estrogen levels can put you at risk for osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Higher estrogen than progesterone levels and/or low progesterone levels lead to estrogen dominance and the resulting issues such as hot flashes, night sweats and other uncomfortable conditions.
Q: If I have low hormone levels, can natural hormones help?
A: Natural hormones, namely progesterone, are a big help in reducing symptoms caused by low hormone levels. Avoid synthetic hormones which can cause a large number of unpleasant side effects. Natural progesterone has been demonstrated to be extremely successful without dangerous side effects.
You do not need to wait until your test results are in to begin to use natural progesterone. A natural progesterone cream is an easy way to help you with balance. It is easily applied to the skin in areas where it can be quickly absorbed.
Q: Are there herbs I can take for low hormone levels?
A: Low hormone levels can cause a variety of unpleasant challenges, including hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia and irritability. While herbs may not replace the hormones, they can work with your progesterone cream to help give you relief.
Blends of black cohosh, red clover and chasteberry are all useful in easing hot flashes and night sweats while chamomile and valerian root can help with insomnia. EstroRenew is a custom blend of herbs prepared specifically for perimenopausal and menopausal women.
©Alternative Medicine Network 2009
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