Salivary hormone testing is a simple, non-invasive way to measure hormone levels. These can be run in women and men, and can test a variety of hormones, including adrenal health parameters, as well as all stages of a hormone cycle, and diurnal rhythms.
Salivary Hormone Testing enables a non-invasive way to assess hormonal imbalances that lead to chronic stress, anxiety, fatigue, burn out, abdominal weight gain, mood swings, hot flashes, decreased libido, menstrual irregularities, prostate enlargement, and fertility difficulties. These tests are available for both men and women.
Hormones must pass through the salivary glands to enter into the salivary system, which means that a saliva hormone level measures the delivery of free hormones before they reach the tissues. In contrast, a blood hormone level reflects hormone that has not yet been delivered to tissue. Because saliva reflects what actually gets into tissue instead of what might eventually go into tissue, it is an excellent reflection of a tissue’s bioavailable hormone level.
What is Salivary Hormone Testing?
Evolve Naturopathic Vitality Centre offers a variety of salivary hormone testing for both men and women at various stages of life.
The Salivary Hormone Test is a simple, accurate and non-invasive saliva-spit collection test used to determine hormonal imbalances in the body and can be done from the comfort of your home after determining the most appropriate test. Individualized assessments provide the context for understanding your full clinical picture and how various hormones are interplaying and affecting your underlying physiology and clinical presentation.
What does a Salivary Hormone Test Measure?
Salivary hormone testing measures the delivery of hormones to tissue (cells) from the various reservoirs circulating in the blood. Salivary hormone collection reflects hormone concentrations that are actually being delivered to the tissues rather than measuring what might eventually get into tissues. Free hormone levels measured in blood serum are known to underestimate bioavailable hormone levels, so measuring free hormones in blood serum may not accurately reflect what is actually being delivered. The salivary hormone measurement therefore better reflects the bio-availability of hormones to the tissues.
What are the Benefits of Salivary Hormone Testing?
Once a hormone imbalance has been uncovered an array of Naturopathic modalities can be instituted to assist your body in balancing the underlying conditions by regulating hormonal rhythms.
At Evolve Naturopathic Vitality Centre our therapies range from nutritional and lifestyle recommendations, herbal medicines, homeopathic medicine, acupuncture, and supplementation depending on the case presentation. Saliva testing can also be used to approximate whether hormone levels are too high or too low as a result of treatments and provides valuable insights into carefully monitoring and adjusting levels accordingly as treatments and conditions evolve.
What Salivary Hormone Tests are Available?
There are multiple test panels available that will be determined after an initial naturopathic work-up.
The main tests are the following:
The Adrenal Function Panel is one method for measuring an individual’s ability to cope with stress via cortisol and DHEAs hormone release.
There are three major stages to the Stress response, and this panel will indicate and approximate the level to which your body is operating. Each stage carries differing implications into the functioning of the overall system and potential health risks.
Alarm Stage: The stress alarms are sounding. This alarm stage stimulates the adrenal glands to pump out stress hormones in order to instigate the fight, flight or freeze response.
Resistance Stage: produces higher than normal levels of cortisol to stimulate the conversion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates into energy, so the body can adapt to stress. However, a prolonged Resistance Stage leads to a maladaptive and sustained rise in cortisol leading to increased risk of developing stress related diseases. Symptoms of elevated cortisol may include: feeling tired but wired, difficulty sleeping, anxiety and can interfere with progesterone and testosterone leading to other hormonal imbalances.
Exhaustion Stage: The exhaustion stage is representative of adrenal glands that are no longer able to mount a suitable response to stress. Depletion of the adrenal glands reduces production of cortisol, DHEA and aldosterone. Symptoms of this stage may include fatigue (particularly morning fatigue), increased susceptibility to infection, decreased recovery from exercise, allergies, hypoglycemia, feeling drained and burnt out, depressed, low sex drive, hypokalemia, hyponatremia and tissue dehydration.
Our lives have become complexed. There are chronic stressors and time limitations which fuel our stress responses.
It is important to identify and balance our stress responses so we can move through life gracefully and keep our systems in a state of balance.
Research is revealing that stress is a primary culprit in many disease states. Testing adrenal hormones can determine our level of adrenal dysfunction so proper treatment plans can be tailored to address the corrective mechanisms necessary to treat at the proper level of imbalance.
There are several different female hormone panels available at Evolve Naturopathic Vitality Centre. The appropriate panel will be selected after the initial consultation and history taking with Dr. Cheryl D’Costa, BPHE, ND to ensure the most appropriate panel is selected.
Female Hormone Panels can provide valuable insight into the effects of hormone replacement therapy, cyclical fluxes, assessing the effectiveness of oral contraceptives/ birth control pills on hormone function and to assess specific hormone dominances in relation to presenting symptom picture & clinical presentation.
The Female Hormone Panel provides an excellent overview of female hormone balance and measures the following hormones;
Female hormonal irregularities can contribute to a large array of conditions. These can range from PMS, heavy or painful periods, spotting, menstrual irregularities, anovulation, endometriosis, fibroids, breast tenderness, fibrocystic breast disease, ovarian cysts, infertility, perimenopause, menopause and mood swings.
Imbalances can contribute to the following hormone-related conditions:
An Estrogen Metabolism Ratio Test is available via urinary testing.
This test measures the ratio of estrogen metabolites and provides valuable information into the differential levels of protective vs. non-protective estrogens in relation to breast and prostate cancer risks.
Male Hormone Panels assess the underlying hormonal status in men.
Men can suffer from hormonal imbalances too and can go through a period of time in which they experience Andropause.
The majority of men become aware of the effects of stress, and as they age begin to see prostate function changes.
They are equally susceptible to hormone transfer from skin to skin contact if their partner is on hormone replacement therapy.
There are certain conditions in men, where we may need to assess a broader category of hormones in different clinical presentations.