DIAGNOSTIC TESTING FOR MENOPAUSE
Conventionally accepted medical approaches of assessment for this condition may include a Pap smear, blood tests to determine hormone and cholesterol levels, and a bone density measurement. It is important to have a thorough discussion with your healthcare provider regarding the benefits and risks of different options for reducing symptoms and health risks associated with menopause.
If vaginal bleeding resumes unexpectedly once menopause has occurred, your healthcare provider may consider a test called an endometrial biopsy. In this test (performed in the office), a gynaecologist takes a sample of the uterine lining (the endometrium) and examines them under the microscope for abnormal changes.
- Blood tests to determine hormone and cholesterol levels
- Saliva testing
- Bone density measurement
- Pap smear
- If vaginal bleeding resumes unexpectedly once menopause has occurred, an endometrial biopsy may be performed
We offer the following medical tests at the clinic for hormone testing:
Essential Estrogen Urine Test helps to evaluate how estrogen is being processed in the body. The tests yield clinical insight into many estrogen-dependent conditions and provide important tools for monitoring dietary, lifestyle and hormone therapies.
Comprehensive Thyroid Assessment is a comprehensive analysis of thyroid hormone secretion and metabolism, including central thyroid regulation and activity, peripheral thyroid function, and thyroid autoimmunity. This serum test allows the practitioner to pinpoint commonly occurring imbalances that underlie a broad spectrum of chronic illness.
Bone Resorption Assessment is a simple, direct urinary assay of pyridinium crosslinks and deoxypyridinoline, useful in identifying current rate of bone loss, lytic bone disease, and efficacy of bone support therapies.
Adrenocortex Stress Profile examines 4 saliva samples over a 24-hour period for levels of cortisol and DHEA, imbalances of which are associated with ailments ranging from obesity and chronic fatigue to immune deficiency and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Male Hormone Plus Profile analyzes four saliva samples over a 24-hour period for levels of testosterone. Elevated levels suggest androgen resistance, while decreased levels can result from such causes as hypogonadism, hepatic cirrhosis, lipid abnormalities and aging. The comprehensive profile includes the Adrenocortex Stress Profile and the Comprehensive Melatonin Profile to reveal how testosterone is influenced by cortisol, DHEA, and melatonin.
Female Hormone Profile (Rhythm Plus) analyzes eleven saliva samples over a 28-day period for the levels of ß-estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone, providing clues about menstrual irregularities, infertility, endometriosis, breast cancer, and osteoporosis. The comprehensive profile includes the Adrenocortex Stress Profile and the Comprehensive Melatonin Profile to reveal how the sex hormones are influenced by cortisol, DHEA, and melatonin.
Menopause Profile examines three salivary samples over a 5-day period to determine levels of ß-estradiol, estriol, estrone, progesterone, and testosterone for women who are menopausal. The comprehensive profile includes the Adrenocortex Stress Profile and the Comprehensive Melatonin Profile to reveal how the sex hormones are affected by the influences of cortisol, DHEA, and melatonin.
Comprehensive Melatonin Profile analyzes three saliva samples for the secretion pattern of this important hormone. Melatonin imbalance has been associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder, infertility, sleep disorders, and compromised immune function.
Blood hormone panel analyzes all the female hormones – 3 estrogens, testosterone, prolactin, follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, additional testing can be done if requested by the patient.
Hormones are constantly changing. Usually the hormones work with each other through a feedback mechanism. Hence if one hormone is off balance, other hormones get affected through the feedback loop.
Saliva testing is an easy, painless, and reliable way to measure bioavailable hormone activity. Saliva hormone levels best approximate the amount of hormone actually working at the cell level because hormones must pass through cells of the saliva gland before entering saliva. Blood testing, on the other hand, measures both bioavailable and unavailable (protein-bound) hormone, and may not reflect the actual activity of the hormone.
HORMONES THAT CAN BE TESTED
Estrogens (there are 3 kinds: estradiol, estrone, estriol) they are important for the health of the female reproductive tissues, breasts, skin and brain. Excess estrogens can cause fluid retention, weight gain, migraines and over-stimulation of the breasts, ovaries and uterus, leading to cancer. Insufficient estrogen levels can lead to hot flushes, vaginal dryness, rapid skin aging, urinary problems, excessive bone loss and possible acceleration of dementia. In men, excess estrogen relative to testosterone may have a role in prostate problems.
Progesterone acts as a hormonal balancer of estrogens and other steroid hormones. In men, progesterone can influence prostate health.
Testosterone is involved in maintenance of lean body mass, bone density, skin elasticity, sex drive and cardiovascular health in both sexes. Excess testosterone in women (especially when estrogen declines in menopause) can cause some of the 'androgenic' symptoms such as scalp hair loss and facial hair growth. Testosterone metabolites contribute to male-patterned baldness and prostate problems.
DHEA plays an important role in tissue regeneration (skin, bones and muscles) and it is the principal sex hormone precursor in both men and women. DHEA levels decline with age.
Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. Cortisol plays an essential role in immune function, helping the body fight inflammation; however, chronically elevated cortisol levels (from stress or other medical problems) suppress the action of the immune system leading to frequent infections. Chronic stress or nutrient deficiencies can lead to low cortisol levels and result in low blood glucose (hypoglycemia), excessive fatigue, and increased susceptibility to infection.
Melatonin is the major regulator of circadian and biorhythms (sleep and wake cycyles) in the body and has influence over nervous system, hormonal and behavioural functions of the body. It is produced during the dark phase of night and is affected by natural and artificial light, electro-magnetic energy, exercise, seasonal changes, metabolism and aging. It also regulates body temperature, female hormones, cardiovascular and immune function. More recently it has been shown to have anti-cancer effects. Those with interrupted sleep patterns, menopausal symptoms, travel often and who work night shifts may be low in melatonin.