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Which Hormones Need Testing?

Hormones tested in Saliva:

The major sex hormones to assess are estradiol, progesterone and testosterone. The main adrenal hormones are DHEA and cortisol. These five hormones will provide crucial information about deficiencies, excesses and daily patterns, which then result in a specifically tailored treatment approach and one far more beneficial than the old “shotgun" approach. Below is a brief description of each of these five hormones:

Estrogen: The body produces three types:

Estrone(E1) Is in equilibrium with E2 and therefore can be approximated by knowing the E2 level. There is no need to supplement with E1. In fact, metabolites of E1 are thought to be carcinogenic.
 
Estradiol(E2): The strongest form of estrogen and when deficiency exists it causes: hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, memory loss and emotional lability. It is best supplemented topically because PO supplementation is known to reduce Growth Hormone levels.
 

 Estriol(E3): Considered the weakest estrogen, but also the protective estrogen. Is used widely to treat vaginal dryness/atrophy and as a safe estrogen replacement for breast cancer survivors. It is generally added whenever E2 is supplemented in the form of "Bi-est" (most often in a 1:4 ratio of E2 to E3). The recent medical literature strongly suggests that estriol is most helpful for autoimmune conditions, e.g., multiple sclerosis.

The form used in past hormone replacement therapies is estradiol, often in the form of concentrated pregnant mare’s urine (premarin). It is a proliferative (causes growth) hormone that grows the lining of the uterus. It is also a known cancer-causing hormone: breast and endometrial (uterine) in women and prostate gland in men. It will treat menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia and memory-loss. With the bio-identical formulas estriol is matched with estradiol (biest) to provide protective effects and additional estrogenic benefits. The other major protector in keeping estradiol from running amok is progesterone.

Progesterone is called the anti-estrogen because it balances estradiol’s proliferative effects. It is considered preventive for breast and prostate cancers as well as osteoporosis. In addition too little progesterone promotes depression, irritability, increased inflammation, irregular menses, breast tenderness, urinary frequency and prostate gland enlargement (BPH).

Testosterone is produced from the ovaries and turns into estradiol within the ovaries, which is a sign of healthy ovulation.  When testosterone levels are too high, as seen in women with PCOS, the follicles and egg quality are poor.  High testosterone also interferes with ovulation, which can cause cycles to become irregular.  High testosterone s partially stimulated by insulin levels.  The proper level of testosterone is necessary for bone health, muscle strength, stamina, sex drive and performance, heart function and mental focus.

Dhea-S is one of the primary hormones in the body and serves as a precursor to testosterone and estradiol, Low levels of DHEA-S can lead to lower estrogen levels and changes in the immune system.  High levels of DHEA-S are often associated with higher insulin levels, higher testosterone levels and PCOS.  DHEAS can be measured to help diagnose tumors in the cortex of the adrenal gland, adrenal cancers, and to help rule out other issues such as causes of infertility.

Concentrations of DHEAS are often measured, along with other hormones such as FSH, LH, prolactin, estrogen, and testosterone, to help diagnose polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and causes of infertility. Cortisol is your waking day hormone (highest in the morning and lowest at night). It is necessary for energy production, blood sugar metabolism, anti-inflammatory effects and stress response.

Some of the common imbalances identified through testing include estrogen dominance, estrogen deficiency, progesterone deficiency, androgen (testosterone and DHEA) excess or deficiencies, adrenal dysfunction and adrenal fatigue.

Cortisol is a primary adrenal hormone, is produced in response to stress, and like all hormones, balance is critical
Low levels of cortisol prevent optimal thyroid function at the cellular receptors, but high levels can inhibit thyroid function and ovulation. - See more at: http://www.zrtlab.com/blog/entry/struggling-with-infertility-part-2-hormones-tested-in-the-zrt-fertility-profile#sthash.DSVL6cwh.dpuf
. Low lwvels of cortisol prevent optimal thyroid function at the cellullar receptors, but high levels can inhibit thyroid function and ovulation. 
Low levels of cortisol prevent optimal thyroid function at the cellular receptors, but high levels can inhibit thyroid function and ovulation. - See more at: http://www.zrtlab.com/blog/entry/struggling-with-infertility-part-2-hormones-tested-in-the-zrt-fertility-profile#sthash.DSVL6cwh.dpuf
Low levels of cortisol prevent optimal thyroid function at the cellular receptors, but high levels can inhibit thyroid function and ovulation. - See more at: http://www.zrtlab.com/blog/entry/struggling-with-infertility-part-2-hormones-tested-in-the-zrt-fertility-profile#sthash.DSVL6cwh.dpuf
Low levels of cortisol prevent optimal thyroid function at the cellular receptors, but high levels can inhibit thyroid function and ovulation. - See more at: http://www.zrtlab.com/blog/entry/struggling-with-infertility-part-2-hormones-tested-in-the-zrt-fertility-profile#sthash.DSVL6cwh.dpufLow
Low levels of cortisol prevent optimal thyroid function at the cellular receptors, but high levels can inhibit thyroid function and ovulation. - See more at: http://www.zrtlab.com/blog/entry/struggling-with-infertility-part-2-hormones-tested-in-the-zrt-fertility-profile#sthash.DSVL6cwh.dpuf
Low levels of cortisol prevent optimal thyroid function at the cellular receptors, but high levels can inhibit thyroid function and ovulation. - See more at: http://www.zrtlab.com/blog/entry/struggling-with-infertility-part-2-hormones-tested-in-the-zrt-fertility-profile#sthash.DSVL6cwh.dpuf
Low levels of cortisol prevent optimal thyroid function at the cellular receptors, but high levels can inhibit thyroid function and ovulation. - See more at: http://www.zrtlab.com/blog/entry/struggling-with-infertility-part-2-hormones-tested-in-the-zrt-fertility-profile#sthash.DSVL6cwh.dpuf

ESTROGEN AND PROGESTERONE:

Estradiol and progesterone are 2 hormones that are often tested together. When you test these 2 hormones together we also provide you with a Pg/E2 ratio. This ratio allows you to determine if you (male or female) have “estrogen dominance".  estrogen dominance is a risk factor for breast cancer and osteoporosis in females and prostate gland enlargement and cancer in males.

The term “estrogen dominance" is less related to the amount of circulating estrogen and more related to the ratio of estrogen to progesterone in the body. Menopause and PMS are not the result of estrogen deficiency; although, estrogen levels do decline during the latter phases of a woman’s reproductive cycle. More relevant is that the estrogen levels drop by approximately 40% at menopause or during periods of stress while progesterone levels plummet by approximately 90% from premenopausal levels. It is the relative loss of progesterone that causes the majority of symptoms termed estrogen dominance. The disproportionate loss of progesterone begins in the latter stages of a woman's reproductive cycle, when the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle begins to malfunction. The malfunction is initiated when the corpus luteum, the primary source of progesterone, begins to lose its functional capacity. By about age 35, many of these follicles fail to develop creating a relative progesterone deficiency. As a result, ovulation does not always occur and progesterone levels steadily decline. It is during this period that a relative progesterone deficiency, or what has become known as estrogen dominance, develops.

Typical Symptoms of estrogen dominance Include:

  • Irritability/Mood Swings
  • Depression
  • Irregular Periods
  • Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
  • Vaginal Dryness
  • Water Retention
  • Sleep Disturbance
  • Hot Flashes
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Short-term Memory Loss
  • Weight Gain

The Progesterone/Estradiol (Pg/E2) reference ranges are optimal ranges determined by Dr. John R. Lee MD. While they are not physiological ranges, they are optimal values for the protection of the breasts, heart and bones in women, and the prostate in men. Salivary values within these ranges have been shown by Dr. Lee to decrease both breast and prostate cellular proliferation, thereby providing protection to these vital tissues.

Ref: ZRT LAB

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The Canary Club is an educational advisory group with a team of medical advisors headed by Richard Shames, M.D.