I order a range of hormone tests at the clinic. Not every woman needs to have hormone levels checked as some imbalance patterns are clear enough through their symptom presentation. However, if there are distinct hormonal concerns there’s reason to incorporate hormone testing as part of the overall investigation. Now more than ever I’m relying on urine testing over blood and saliva. Why?
1Urine is able to supply us with information blood and saliva cannot. It provides a window into hormone metabolism and hormone breakdown products. Much of the risk associated with estrogens promoting cancer is due to estrogen metabolites, not the estrogens themselves and we have naturopathic protocols to manage these metabolic pathways. Measuring hormone levels in urine, as well as the resulting by-products (metabolites) is a simple, non-invasive way to better understand our risks and make educated decisions about hormone therapy.
2The sample collection is less tedious than saliva collection. It takes patients 15-20 minutes to collect 1 saliva sample, whereas the urine test collection is as simple as urinating on filter paper 4x in one day, letting samples dry, then mailing them to the lab.
3Urine samples collected throughout the day provide a more accurate representation of the ebb and flow of hormones through the day.
When is a good idea to consider urinary hormone metabolite testing?
In cases where someone has:
-A family or personal history of breast cancer, regardless of whether or not there are symptoms of hormone imbalance
-An abnormal finding with mammography or thermography where cancer has been ruled out
-Symptoms of hormonal imbalance such as weight gain and insomnia
-Symptoms of PCOS, such as acne and excess facial hair
-Symptoms of menopause and considering bioidentical hormone replacement therapy
Hormone testing ranges in cost from $120 to $500.