To diagnose a hormonal deficiency, it is necessary to consider symptoms as well as the results of laboratory testing and hormone testing. For instance, blood tests may not pick up mild cases of low thyroid hormone, so we look for telltale symptoms, including slow metabolism, fatigue, hair and eyebrow loss, dry skin and poor memory. Many such patients get relief by using bioidentical thyroid HRT, even when lab test results appeared normal.
Conversely, some patients with hormonal deficiencies may not have obvious symptoms. Without treatment, they may develop serious health problems. For example, low testosterone (in men and women) increases the risk of heart disease and depression. In such cases, laboratory testing is vital.
- Saliva testing accurately measures the free hormone levels of cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), the three estrogens, progesterone, and testosterone.
- Urine testing can measure free levels of more than a dozen hormones, as well as metabolite (metabolized hormone) levels that provide additional information about endocrine function.
- Blood testing measures free levels of testosterone and the three thyroid hormones and total circulating levels of most other hormones.
Talk with Dr. Stengler, Dr. LaBeau and Dr. Williamson about bioidentical HRT if you experience several of the symptoms within any of the sets below or if lab tests indicate a hormone deficiency. Note: Except for symptoms that obviously apply to only one gender, these symptoms can affect both sexes.
- Cortisol: Fatigue, poor memory, weakened immunity, low blood pressure, poor blood sugar control, low resistance to stress, inability to gain weight.
- DHEA: Autoimmune disorders, weight gain, increased abdominal fat, bone loss, fatigue, depression, poor memory, insomnia.
- Estrogen: Hot flashes, vaginal dryness, incontinence, loss of skin elasticity, poor memory, depression.
- Growth Hormone: Weakened muscles, reduced muscle mass, bone loss, reduced skin elasticity, wrinkles, increased abdominal fat, weakened immunity, fatigue, anxiety, depression, low libido, insomnia.
- Melatonin: Insomnia, disturbing dreams, weakened immunity.
- Pregnenolone: Autoimmunity, Poor memory, depression, joint pain.
- Progesterone: Irregular periods, hot flashes, uterine fibroids, cystic breasts, weight gain, water retention, insomnia, anxiety, low libido, prostate enlargement.
- Testosterone: Joint pain, hot flashes, reduced skin elasticity, bone loss, reduced muscle mass, weight gain, increased abdominal fat, high cholesterol, fatigue, depression, low libido, vaginal thinning/dryness.
- Thyroid Hormone: Fatigue, weight gain, constipation, arthritis, hair/eyebrow loss, dry skin, low body temperature, high cholesterol, poor memory, depression, low libido.