Hormones & Adrenal Testing
Hormones such as progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone are all effectively evaluated from salivary test samples. This is similar to the testing for adrenal hormones such as cortisol and DHEA to give an accurate representation of sex hormone (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) and adrenal hormone balance.
Salivary testing is convenient in that it can be collected in the privacy of your home without the hassle of doing blood testing, and with regards to cortisol values is more representative of real time production throughout the day. For example, cortisol is produced at different levels during the day (highest in the morning and lowest in the evening) and being able to collect four saliva samples over a 24 hour period of time provides detailed information about adrenal production of cortisol and its effect on overall hormone balance.
Another benefit to salivary testing is each hormone that is tested is measured as the free fraction of that hormone. The free fraction is the physiological active form of a hormone. When many hormones are produced in the body, they are often bound to specific carrier proteins which renders them relatively inactive until they are released from that hormone. The unbound protein form of the hormone is called “free” and is the form that functions at the cellular level. Most blood sampled hormones are not being tested in their free form unless specifically ordered that way from a doctor.
Finally, testing for sex hormones, along with adrenal production of cortisol and DHEA provides information about what hormones may need to be replaced with various supplements or hormone replacement therapy. In order to accurately dose hormone replacement therapy and/or health supporting supplements it is always best to know where starting levels are of these important hormones.
Related: Hormone Imbalances