Hormone Testing with a Naturopathic Doctor
Hormone testing can be helpful in guiding treatment plans in some cases. It can tell you which hormones are higher than ideal, which ones are lower than ideal and which ones are normal. This can tell me which herbs, nutrients, dietary and lifestyle changes to recommend. Sometimes it’s obvious what needs to be worked on and we can skip testing. Sometimes it’s not as clear and testing provides guidance.
Cases that I may use hormone testing for are:
– Periods that are irregular and difficult
– Menopause that isn’t responding well to my usual treatments
– Challenging PMS cases
– Difficulty losing weight when there is a suspicion that hormones are involved
– Major fatigue, brain fog and other symptoms when there is a suspicion that hormones are involved
There are different ways that I test hormones. One way is the usual blood test that most family doctors do as well. Another other option is to test saliva. There are pros and cons to both.
Blood hormone tests have been accepted by the medical community for longer than saliva tests. There is a good amount of research supporting them.
Some MDs and NDs have raised concerns about only relying on blood tests for hormones. Sometimes blood test levels and saliva levels line up with each other. Other times I find that patients with normal blood test levels have saliva levels that are not ideal. These saliva levels often match with the symptoms the patient is experiencing.
In order for hormones to enter saliva, they may need to travel into cells/ tissue first. This may not be the case for hormones in the blood stream. Some think this means saliva better reflects the levels of hormones that are actually acting on your cells/ tissues. I won’t be able to explain all the biochemistry here. You should know that research on saliva testing is still ongoing. Opinions on it may change in the future.
It used to be that tests run by naturopathic doctors were not covered by insurance companies. Lately, more insurance companies have been covering testing. The only way to know for sure is to contact your insurance company and ask.
If you need some help managing your hormones book an appointment or free 15-minute consult today.
Dr. Samantha Dass is currently a naturopathic doctor working at Holland Landing Health Centre in East Gwillimbury, Ontario, which services Holland Landing, Newmarket, Aurora, Keswick and Bradford areas. If you are interested in naturopathic services please contact Holland Landing Health Centre at 905-853-7900 or via e-mail at [email protected]