Hormones in our body are important. They are vital in many important functions in our body. To have balanced hormones is having an overall good feeling about yourself. This is important for your moods as well as having a healthy mind and body. Hormonal imbalances will give you quite the opposite experience. If you are feeling a little bit different from your usual self, then you should know how to test for hormone imbalance to see if you will be needing help in that area.
To know if you might be experiencing a hormone imbalance, observe if you have been feeling the following symptoms: hot flashes, acne or oily skin, depression, heavy or painful periods, irregular periods, irritability, low libido, memory lapses, mood swings, night sweats, poor concentration. If you have been experiencing a majority of these symptoms, you should then consult your doctor and ask for tests.
The standard tests for a hormone imbalance are blood, urine, and saliva tests. These will help the doctor evaluate if the glands responsible for producing hormones are properly functioning particularly for estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. It is important that you do these tests to see if you are having a hormonal imbalance which should be addressed right away.
Upon visiting your doctor, he will be asking you a series of questions and may even let you answer a questionnaire pertaining to symptoms that you may be experiencing. He will also be asking you about your medical history.
Some doctors will do a physical examination and request to review your medical records. You have to consider that a hormonal imbalance is not a little problem. It is a big deal and should be treated with the utmost concern.
A test for a hormonal imbalance will then be requested. There are usually three types, and each type has its own strengths. So depending on what you may be feeling, a specific test will be decided by your doctor.
Blood tests are usually the standard procedure for anything concerning your sugar and cholesterol levels, kidneys, and liver condition. However, it is the least favorable in detecting a hormone imbalance. In any case, blood results can help in assessing your situation.
Before your blood test, you will be required to fast for at least 14 hours.
Abstain from eating anything. It’s always best to fast in the evening so when you wake up, you can go straight to the testing center and eat afterwards.
You can drink water, but no other beverages such as coffee, milk, or juice are allowed.
If you are a diagnosed diabetic, tell your doctor about this, and he should give you other instructions.
Once in the testing center, the phlebotomist will draw blood from you and will have it analyzed at the laboratory.
Urine tests are usually the most accurate among the three tests. Depending on your doctor’s instructions, you may be repeating this test several times. Usually, it involves 24 hours of collecting your urine samples.
It is best to have this test done close to the blood test you did. However, you cannot have urine testing done if you did the fasting for the blood test. A suggestion is to do the urine test before you start fasting.
To collect urine, use a recommended sterilized, plastic container. Prepare this on the day that you will collect your urine sample.
The first urine of the day should be discarded and shouldn’t be used.
You should avoid collecting urine before any events of defecating.
Also avoid risks of contamination like pieces of toilet paper.
Bring to the laboratory the collected urine as soon as possible. If not, you should place it inside the refrigerator.
The saliva test is probably the newest method recommended by the World Health Organization. It is easy to do plus it involves no pain like pricking in your skin.
Saliva tests are usually done with a test kit. You can purchase one, or your doctor can order it and have it sent to your home.
Fill out the paperwork that goes with the kit. You can refer to your doctor’s prescription in providing other data.
The kit will have a series of instructions on how to properly take the sample. Follow the directions accordingly.
Usually, you shouldn’t eat two hours before the collection of saliva as well as refrain from brushing or/and flossing your teeth. The best time is always in the morning.
Go through the checklist provided to ensure you have done all that is required.
Label everything and use the return envelope included in the kit to send the sample to the laboratory.
Once all requested tests are complete, wait for the results to be done. The longest is the saliva test which takes about ten days.
Consult with your doctor for the next steps depending on the results. If you are indeed suffering from a hormone imbalance, your doctor will be giving you a prescription and some lifestyle modifications to correct the problem.
These different ways on how to test for hormone imbalance have their own strengths and weaknesses. Depending on your doctor’s observations, he will decide which, if not all, is best for you. Do not take a hormone imbalance lightly for it may lead to a more serious disease if not treated right away.