Menopausal Hormone Panel: Patient Overview
Literally, menopause means the cessation of the monthly menstrual cycle; it signals the end of a woman’s natural childbearing years. Menopause is neither a disease nor an illness—it is a natural and usually gradual change in glandular function. It has its origins in the beginning of menses and culminates in a series of hormonal changes that result in the cessation of menstrual flow. This transition produces a variety of bodily manifestations and symptoms, due to changes in the production of hormones and the timing of their release.
The right balance of hormones is important to long-term emotional, mental and bodily health
Various body parts undergo change and can produce one or more of the following symptoms:
- Bleeding irregularities
- Vaginal dryness
- Hot flashes or sweats
- Changes in sex drive
- Nervousness or irritability
- Mood changes
- Skin aging or cosmetic changes
- Altered fat and carbohydrate metabolism
What Can You Do About It?
There are several therapeutic options which may minimize or even eliminate many of the symptoms:
- Treat symptoms using synthetic hormones without hormone-level testing.
- Treat symptoms using natural hormones without any testing.
- Treat and correct symptoms using natural hormones with testing for hormone levels before and after treatment.
Hormone levels from woman to woman can vary from 200% to 1,500%!
What Do We Test For and What Does It Tell You?
We test for male and female natural hormones. One, two, six or eight of them, depending on your need. We utilize your saliva as a sample for measuring hormones, such as testosterone, DHEA, progesterone, estriol, estrone, estradiol.
The brain-derived regulating hormones FSH and LH, are also measured to help assess efficacy of control and feedback between the brain and ovaries. Measurement of FSH and LH is included in the expanded panel, the ePostM™ as well as in the ePeriM™.
Saliva hormone values reflect the tissue concentration of your hormones. Blood and serum contain the total hormone, but your tissues are only bathed with the active or effective fraction as found in saliva. Active fraction measurements are superior to blood and urine measurements both in diagnosis and treatment.
How Can We Help You?
Let us take a common example:
A woman suffers from several symptoms—migraines, hot flashes and emotional fragility. She is having irregular periods, one every 6-8 months. Her doctor treats her with natural estrogens, but he does not do any testing to determine quantities or types of hormones that will meet her specific needs. The symptoms are under control, but her risks are increased.
Risks of treatment without actual testing of hormone levels includes:
- Increased blood pressure
- Endometrial cancer (uterine cancer)
- Fibroid growth
- Gallbladder disease
- At least twice the risk of breast cancer over 15 years
What could we have found out if we had tested her saliva hormone levels? We would have known that she has too much estrogen, not enough progesterone to balance the estrogen, low DHEA and marginal testosterone.
But she felt good on the estrogen, many will say. Yes, however, the silent killers (cancer, blood pressure, heart disease) rarely make anyone feel badly at the start. Her best course is a new treatment plan, designed around the objective saliva hormone measurements.
Ask your healthcare provider for the Menopausal Hormone Panel™ (PostM™) or the expanded panel — ePostM™—to measure your hormones.
Arbitrarily given hormones may deal with the symptoms while posing other serious health risks
How Do You Benefit?
There are five distinct ways that you can benefit from using the saliva tests in the Menopausal Hormone Panels™:
- They are more affordable than blood or urine tests. Blood testing for six hormones costs $300 more than saliva testing.
- The collection procedure spares you the pain of venipunctures with a needle.
- Results are more clinically reflective of your hormone status and needs.
- Results can lead to an individualized and customized treatment plan using natural hormones.
- You will minimize overdosing and underdosing. This will ensure that you use only the proper hormones in the appropriate amounts.
With salivary hormone testing, guesswork is a part of the past.
- The Post-Menopause Hormone Panel™ (PostM™) helps determine the risk of disease in your breast or uterus, and also allows for individualized recommendations on how to minimize this risk.
- Taking hormones without analysis and a determination of the true need for specific hormones entails unnecessary risk of possible serious side effects.
- The correct hormone panel along with the assistance of your doctor will aid in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.
- Our test helps you know for certain whether you are in menopause or in perimenopause
For more information or to schedule a Menopausal Hormone Test call the office for a Free Consultation with Dr. Widenbaum.