What can go wrong with our hormones and what can we do about it? But before we answer this question let’s first take a look at what hormones are and why we have them.
Hormones In Both Male And Female
The word hormone comes from the Greek horman and means “to set in motion. Hormones are essential to your everyday health and well being, they cause reactions to occur in your body which many of your organs rely on . The pituitary gland which is located at the base of the brain and no larger in size than a typical garden pea, sends signals (hormones) to your organs and glands including the thyroid, liver, breast, pancreas ovaries, as well as other organs, all of which rely on these signals to get them working.
Hormones are also responsible for providing the body with energy as well as providing all the important chemical changes and reactions needed to considerably lower the threat of illness and diseases including cancer, heart disease and ailments such as Alzheimer’s.
Hormones in Medicines
There are many medicines that use hormones as their main active ingredient such as progestagens and estrogens which are prescribed for contraception (the pill), and steroids which are used for autoimmune diseases and respiratory disease. Insulin is commonly used by diabetics.
Determining Levels Of Hormonal Imbalance
Determining hormone levels is important in assessing whether there is a hormonal imbalance in the body. However, the question is how does one know their own hormone levels and get them treated if needed and in an appropriate manner?
The standard method of finding out hormone levels is by having blood tests or 24-hour urine tests which can be ordered by the physician. However, even non-invasive saliva tests can be done instead of a blood test. however you need to remember that, hormones present in saliva are much less in quantity when compared to the blood test method, but even so the saliva test produces highly accurate data that reveals the actual condition of the hormones.
The saliva test can be done at home and it provides graphical results of a person’s hormone levels, these tests have the ability to detect up to eight hormones. Once treatment is incorporated, the changing levels can also be shown on the same graph, helping the person understand the difference between the levels prior to and post treatment.
The saliva test is considered to be advantageous over the blood test, as it is non-invasive and painless and can be done anywhere at any time. Since the hormone levels, such as the estrogen, cortisol, progesterone and DHEA are usually highest in the morning hours; it is foro this reason why this test is better done in the morning.
The saliva test also proves to be far less expensive than a blood test and can be done multiple times to determine the changing hormone levels. All the changes brought on by changes in diet, reduction in stress, acupuncture, herbs or exercises can be monitored to see which factors have a better effect on the hormones.
There is another test called the Adrenal Stress Index (ASI,) which determines whether the hormonal imbalance and weight gain is being caused by an adrenal gland imbalance, this test is used to evaluate the functioning of the adrenal glands by following hormone levels for 24 hours continuously. For this test, saliva samples are taken four times in a single day and they help in determining whether all the three stress-related hormones are secreted in correct proportions to each other and at the correct time.
It is likely that tests will have to be done to determine whether a person is suffering from hormonal imbalance and if so, how severe is the condition and what the hormone levels are in the body, knowing this helps in getting the appropriate treatment, such as detoxifying the body of all toxins.