Hormones are chemical substances in the body that act a bit like messengers and they are incredibly powerful.
Did you know that having a blood test done for hormones may not not provide much insight, especially if you already are having hormonal issues. These can include:
- Breast cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Hair loss
- Hair growth in the wrong places
- Challenging menopause such as anxiety, high blood pressure
So why is this happening? Part of the reason is poor nutrition, poor lifestyle habits, lack of sleep, stress and forgetting about oneself until it gets a bit too 'late'.
But there is hope!
The traditional route is to have a blood test done and check the hormones. There are a few things worth noting about blood tests for hormones. If all you have is a blood test a nutritional therapist can make the most of one, he/she will look at the liver enzymes, the iron (ferritin and free), electrolytes, various proteins such as albumin but one can make the most from what they have. However, there are times when more than a blood test is required.
A blood test picks up bound and unbound hormone levels. Bound is inactive and unbound is the active version. So how does one know how much is actually active and how much is 'held' back? You don't. You can get the Serum Hormone Globulin (SHBG) levels tested which would give an indication as to how much hormone may be bound, but it is not very accurate. This SHBG binds the hormones and thereby makes them inactive.
So what use is the test if you are just being told, 'all is within normal range' and yet you are struggling with PMS, or hormonal migraines, infertility issues, hot flushes, maybe diagnosed with breast cancer? You are not at the mercy of your hormones, there is hope.
We have several types of oestrogens? The basic ones are Estradiol, Estrone and Estriol, also known as E2, E1 and E3 respectively. However, these are not differentiated in a blood test. Some of these oestrogens are not so 'kind', as they are more 'cancer' promoting if they hang around for too long, specifically ESTRADIOL. These different types of oestrogens have different 'strengths' and knowing which oestrogen is present and at what level is it present vital for hormonal health. Utilising such tools/tests in practice, allows the practitioner to truly personalise a nutrition and lifestyle programme for their clients.
At the New School Of Nutritional Medicine we dive into the various types of oestrogens and teach about the more 21st century relevant functional tests that not only determine the levels of various oestrogens but their metabolism.
Imagine a diagnosis of breast cancer (or any other hormonal dis-ease), ideally one would want to know:
any specific 'oestrogens'?
how much of that oestrogen is being made?
once the oestrogen is made (from cholesterol in a roundabout way) is it actually being 'heard' by the body (receptors)?
once it has done it's job, is it being detoxed effectively?
are the phase 1 and 2 moving swiftly?
how about the oestrobolome (the gut microbiome health)?
How about the cortisol? Any stress?
How is progesterone looking? It is if you will 'oestrogen's dance partner'
There are tests that can look at all of the above?
There are urine tests, saliva tests that are more meaningful and relevant. The urine tests even give an indication to B12 level markers, glutathione level markers to name a couple.
There are various tests, from gut stool analysis, whereby a stool sample is analysed for microbiome agents, gut health parameters such as calprotectin, sIgA, elastase etc
Imagine before a teenager decides to go on the birth control pill, she has a full comprehensive hormone test done which helps to determine if that pill is 'suitable' for her biochemical individuality.
Can she detox it efficiently? Are there any methylation issues, that may slow down detoxification of oestrogen in phase 2. Could her biochemical individuality with the pill play a part in the development of cancers such as breast cancer, or later infertility etc
Why is the main stream health care system not using these tests? Can you imagine if they did? People who see a practitioner that implements these tests into their practice and interprets them well, would be called a modern day miracle healer, infertility resolved, PCOS resolved, PMS resolves, hot flushes resolved, diabetes type 2 resolved! Sometimes it is simply about using the correct tool for the right 'job'. Nothing miraculous. Nothing unusual, just simple biochemical individuality being honoured. These tests are useful for determining if HRT is suitable or not or how much is suitable, which one is suitable etc.
We implement the teaching of various functional tests into our part time 2 year integrated nutrition diploma. One of the tests includes the DUTCH plus test. Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones (DUTCH). This also includes what we
call the stress test, which is simply collecting saliva samples through the day to see if the cortisol is showing up, and how is it showing up? Is the cortisol being metabolised or just 'hanging around' creating insulin resistance?
We believe these tests are valuable tools for 21st century practitioners in these times. We live in a different world to even 5 years ago. We are equipping our students for the times ahead, whilst our medical system is still lagging behind.
Integrarive Nutritional Medicine Diploma
We also have a team of practitioners if you would like to book a session see HERE.
The team at the New School Of Nutritional Medicine.
Learn about the Founder & Principal of the New School of Nutritional Medicine, Dr Khush Mark PhD HERE.