Hormone Testing Q & As

hormone testing q and aWhich is Best, Saliva or Blood Spot?

Q: Which is the most accurate way of testing, a saliva test or a blood spot test? I don’t have any problem with creating enough saliva, but I would prefer to do whichever test is better.

A: They’re both highly accurate, so it just depends on whether you prefer to spit or do a finger stick. Personally I find the blood spot tests easier than spitting, but some people don’t like to stick their fingers!

Oral Progesterone and Continuing Symptoms

Q: I am currently taking 100 mg of prometrium capsules and .05 mg of Vivelle Dot patches. It stopped the flashes but has not addressed bloating, weepiness, chin hair, weight gain, and breakouts. Will taking the Blood Spot Profile I test tell me what else to take and are the results accurate if I am on bioidentical hormones currently?

A: Even though that is a relatively low dose of estrogen, the oral progesterone (capsules) may not be delivering enough progesterone to your cells to oppose the effects of the estrogen (Vivelle). Remember, your liver is dumping up to 90% of the oral progesterone before it even gets into your cells, so you may only be getting 10 mg, which may not enough to oppose that amount of estrogen.

You might want to consider finding a bioidentical hormone doctor or using some progesterone cream, which you can find at most health food stores, or you can get it from a compounding pharmacy.

In our book Dr. John Lee’s Hormone Balance Made Simple you’ll find lots of help with learning more about what hormones are out of balance based on symptoms.

Bloating, weepiness and weight gain are usually symptoms of estrogen dominance, while chin hair and breakouts are usually symptoms of excess testosterone.

If using progesterone cream doesn’t help with your symptoms, the Hormone Profile I can help you get a better handle on your hormone imbalance. When you’re using bioidentical hormones, the blood spot test is a highly accurate and useful way to measure them.

Urinary Tract Symptoms and Hormones

Q: I have had ongoing UTI symptoms but according to the lab work I don't have an infection. Do you have any recommendations? I cannot continue with these UTI symptoms forever!

A: Have you tested your hormone levels? Estrogen deficiency can cause and/or aggravate UTI problems. A vaginal estriol cream can be very helpful. Low testosterone can also cause/aggravate UTI problems. Here’s an article about estriol.

Husband with Possible Low Thyroid Symptoms

Q: What test would you recommend for a 28-year-old married male, overweight, high blood pressure, migraines, anxiety attacks, some insomnia, dry skin, male pattern baldness, back problems, doesn’t tolerate cold weather well, etc. The doctor didn’t think it’s low thyroid, but doesn’t that sound like a thyroid problem somewhat? Thanks for any help.

A: A thyroid test might be a good place to start. You could also make good case for a testosterone deficiency. He may want to start by testing his T4 (one of the thyroid tests) level, and his estrogen, testosterone, DHEA and cortisol.

Men, Migraines and Hormones

Q: Do you have any information on hormones and migraines in men? I know some of the causes for women but this is the first time I’ve come across a man who has migraines a lot. Thanks for your help.

A: Men can also be estrogen dominant, but instead of the progesterone/estrogen ratio being off, it’s the testosterone/estrogen ratio. In men who are overweight, particularly with abdominal obesity, the fat cells are usually making estrogen. Estrogen is a pro-inflammatory hormone, so it makes sense that it may be associated with migraines, just as it is in women. Men make a small amount of progesterone, and it also plays a role in opposing the effects of estrogen.

I’ve seen research showing that men who have migraines have a higher risk of heart disease, and more specifically high blood pressure and Type A personalities. There’s also some new info out that nerve damage in the forehead can cause migraines, and they’re using botox and facial surgery to correct it.

Being hormone-oriented, if I were a man with migraines I’d suspect estrogen dominance and have my hormone levels checked! Here's where to find the Male Hormone Profiles.