Why Should You Test?

Let us take a common example:

A woman suffers from several symptoms—migraines, hot flashes and emotional fragility. She is having irregular periods, one every 6-8 months. Her doctor treats her with natural estrogens, but does not order any tests to determine quantities or types of hormones that will meet her specific needs. Her symptoms are under control, but her risks are increased.

Risks of hormone replacement may include:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Endometrial cancer (uterine cancer)
  • Fibroid growth
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Increased risk of breast cancer

What if we had tested her saliva hormone levels?

We would have learned that she has too much estrogen, not enough progesterone to balance the estrogen, low DHEA, and marginal testosterone.

Her best course is a new treatment plan, designed around her own objective saliva hormone measurements.


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Postmenopause and Perimenopause Panels: Patient Overview

Literally, menopause means the cessation of the monthly menstrual cycle; it signals the end of a woman’s natural childbearing years. Menopause is neither a disease nor an illness—it is a natural and usually gradual change in glandular function. This transition produces a variety of bodily manifestations and symptoms, due to changes in the production of hormones and the timing of their release.

These natural hormonal changes can produce one or more of the following symptoms:

Endocrine

  • Bleeding irregularities
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Hot flashes or sweats
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Urinary incontinence

Nervous system

  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness or irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Mood changes
  • Depression
  • Memory loss or difficulty concentrating

Metabolic changes

  • Skin aging or cosmetic changes
  • Bone loss or osteoporosis
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Weight gain
  • Altered fat and carbohydrate metabolism
  • Atherosclerosis

Know Your Hormone Levels

The Postmenopausal Hormone Panels use accurate, noninvasive salivary testing to evaluate hormones that play a role in female reproductive function. These tests provide insight into factors that may contribute to common menopausal symptoms and are useful for monitoring hormone levels in women on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. The Postmenopause Hormone Panel (PostM) uses a single saliva collection and is ideal for women who no longer have menses (> 1 year). The Perimenopause Hormone Panel (PeriM) uses two saliva samples collected about two weeks apart and is the preferred test for women experiencing early signs of menopause such as infrequent or unpredictable menses.

Your saliva samples are used to test:

  • Estrone (E1) – The predominant estrogen in postmenopausal women. A significant portion of estrone production takes place in fat cells, and elevated levels are associated with an increased risk for certain types of cancer.
  • Estradiol (E2) – Produced in the ovaries, fat cells, and adrenal glands, this form of estrogen has the strongest activity. Estradiol levels decrease after menopause, which may contribute to bone loss, hot flashes, and other symptoms.
  • Estriol (E3) – The least potent of the three estrogens. Measuring levels of estriol is important for evaluating overall estrogen status.
  • Progesterone – Produced in the ovaries, levels of this hormone decline around menopause. Progesterone is important for maintaining a healthy endometrium in a normal menstrual cycle.
  • DHEA – A hormone produced in the adrenal glands, DHEA is a precursor to estrogen and testosterone.
  • Testosterone – Usually considered a male hormone, testosterone plays an important role in maintaining muscle mass, bone density, metabolism, energy, and libido. Elevated levels are associated with symptoms such as hair loss, acne, and facial hair growth.
  • Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) – A hormone released from the pituitary gland in the brain that regulates estradiol production by the ovaries. An increase in FSH can be one of the earliest signs of menopause.
  • Luteinizing hormone (LH) – Another pituitary hormone, which regulates progesterone production and plays an important role in ovulation.

Why saliva instead of blood?

For hormones to be active, they have to exist in their free state. In blood, most hormones are bound to proteins and are therefore inactive. It can be difficult to determine how much of a hormone measured in serum or blood is free and actually available to your cells. In saliva, hormones are only found as the free fraction representing the active hormone level.

Convenient, simple, thorough

Collection is noninvasive and painless. Saliva samples can be conveniently collected from your home, office, or other location.

How Do You Benefit?

There are five distinct ways that you can benefit from using the saliva tests in the Menopausal Hormone Panels:

  1. They are more affordable than blood or urine tests.
  2. The collection procedure spares you the pain of blood draw with a needle.
  3. Results are more clinically reflective of your hormone status and needs.
  4. Results can lead to an individualized and customized treatment plan using natural hormones.
  5. You will minimize overdosing and underdosing. This will ensure that you use only the proper hormones in the appropriate amounts.

The right balance of hormones is important to long-term emotional, mental and bodily health.