Hormone testing: Blood, saliva and urine tests


What is the best way to test hormones?

First of all, there is no one perfect hormone test. Blood, saliva and urine test all have their place. Different tests are appropriate for different things.

Blood testing is good for some things, such as detecting menopause and confirming ovulation, but blood testing cannot accurately measure hormone levels during hormone replacement treatment.

Saliva testing is better for monitoring hormone replacement, and it is also a good choice for assessing oestrogen dominance and cortisol. Saliva levels can be somewhat unreliable. Both blood and saliva tests have the disadvantage of being a 'snapshot' look at hormones that fluctuate greatly during day.

24-hour urinary hormone testing is a new approach. It has many  advantages. Firstly, it measures total daily hormone production and metabolism. This avoids inaccuracy due to fluctuations. Secondly, it measures hormone metabolites as well as primary hormones. Hormone metabolites are hormones that have been molecularly changed in order to be excrete from the body. Some metabolites such as 16-hydroxy oestrone are particularly risky for breast cancer.

Testing beyond hormones

Just knowing hormone levels is often not enough. Hormone balance and function is affected by other aspects of health, such as gluten sensitivity and inflammation. Your Naturopath will need to test for basic biochemistry, insulin balance, iodine, inflammation and more. Most of this is done by blood test, but some new urine metabolic testing is available.

Diagnosis by Symptom evaluation

Your symptoms and medical history give us the best information.  First consult is one hour to allow us time to gather this information.

You can start by checking your own hormones with our Self Assessment Quizzes.

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