Updated: Jun 9, 2020
Have you ever wondered if your hormones were off? Honestly, it’s common that women wonder if their hormone levels are off because they may have struggled with getting pregnant, mood swings, thinning hair, painful periods, no period (also known as amenorrhea), fatigue, PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) or have always struggled with weight. This is just a short list of reasons why women might question their hormone levels. Honestly I’ve questioned my levels for a few years now but didn’t feel like my symptoms were “too bad”.
Over the last year I’ve come across a lot of patients who struggle with anxiety, depression, migraines, painful periods and other hormone related symptoms. And to be frank I’ve been shocked by the number of females who struggle with the first two. We live in a society that medicates so we don’t feel those symptoms and don’t get me wrong…I don’t want you to struggle with those symptoms either and I’m not looking to take you off those medications. When it comes to your medication(s) that is something you need to work with your primary physician on. It hurts to know that there are so many people (not just females) who are on medications for anxiety and/or depression when it might be something with their hormone levels. I bring this up because female bodies are much more complex and different than male bodies. Males cycle through their hormones in a day, whereas females cycle through their hormones in about 28 days. Hence why males can just wake up each day and power through things and women on the other hand have days where they feel the need to eat a pan of brownies, drink a pitcher of margaritas and then a week later feel like running a 5K. So let me get more into what I’ll be testing…your hormones of course!
In the last week I’ve started offering DUTCH testing, which stands for Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones. This isn’t something you’ll do in the office. The test takes 4 urine samples to see where your hormones are throughout the day. Honestly the test is really cool! It shows you not just sex and adrenal hormones but also their metabolites, meaning we can see where those hormones are breaking down within the body (hence the comprehensive in the name). I was a little surprised when I received my test back!
So let me break down more what exactly it tests because I can tell you until the cows come home that it tests hormones but if you don’t understand why then what’s the point! Here are the different hormones the DUTCH test looks at:
Sex Hormones and Metabolites
Estrogens and Metabolites
Androgens and Metabolites
Daily Free Cortisol and Cortisone
Cortisol Metabolites and DHEA-S
Organic Acid Tests (OATs)
Vitamin B12 Markers
Vitamin B6 Markers
Oxidative Stress / DNA Damage
One of the main reasons I’m excited about this testing is because it will give a big picture how your cortisol levels are moving throughout the day. From a chiropractic stand point I’m always looking at how stress shows up in the body, for instance with symptoms, posture, and muscle tension. Overall I’m looking at the function of the body because if there is too much stress, which can come from physical, emotional or chemical stress, then we start to have a body with dysfunction. This test allows us to look at the body through another lens to help with healing.
Once we receive the test results back then we can take a look at how we can improve hormone levels through chiropractic care, nutrition, exercise, and supplements. There is a lot that goes into the testing and a number of reasons why it is important to look at your hormone levels through a comprehensive test, which I’ll be sharing more here on the blog and through social media.
If you have specific questions about your health and your hormones, please don’t hesitate to ask! If you have the question then I’m sure there are at least 5 others who have the same question but haven’t asked!