Feeling generally unwell and lacking in energy can often be related to an imbalance of the hormones. This is particularly true for women and I ave frequently said to my patients” if you think it’s your hormones it probably is. Let’s measure them”
This situation can occur at different ages but is particularly so as women approach or are going through the menopause. At this time it can be useful to measure oestrogen and progesterone as there can often be a situation of oestrogen dominance. This imbalance can also occur in younger women and is a risk factor for breast cancer.
Why hormone testing?
Lack of energy in both men and women can be due to a thyroid problem. To have a full picture of thyroid function it is necessary to measure TSH, T4 and T3. The T3 is often not done but is so important as it is the active form of thyroxine.
Another time when hormone imbalance can cause a problem is in relation to fertility. If the balances of oestrogen and progesterone are not correct it can cause infertility and miscarriage. A modern problem where measuring a hormone can help relates to a woman’s anxiety as to how long she can delay giving children. Measuring ones Anti mullerian hormone can give an indication if a woman’s ovarian reserve.
It is often difficult to obtain the hormone testing one feels one needs. This may be due to various problems. It may just be difficult to arrange an appointment at your practitioners or at the laboratory on the specific day the test needs to be done, for example testing for ovulation. It can also be a problem if your practitioner or the laboratory used does not routinely do the test you want done, for example it may be difficult to obtain TSH, T4 and T3 when checking a thyroid problem. Also some practitioners are reluctant to repeat tests frequently or even consider some unnecessary, for example Anti Mullerian which is the Hormone that indicates ovarian reserve.
Up to now some of these could be checked with saliva testing but this involved long delays in obtaining results as the samples were sent abroad. There is now another solution to this problem. There are micro blood kits. These can be done by the patient at home. The blood is obtained by finger pricks, the blood us put into shall bottles and sent to the laboratory. The results are usually available within 72 hrs.
If you are interested in blood testing to establish which hormones you may need, then these kits can be obtained from Harley Place Screening who will also offer interpretation of the results. For information on costs and appointments email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0207 223 5049 Mondays only between 9.30 and 4pm.
For symptoms relating to low thyroid, oestrogen dominance, and whether you may also need progesterone and oestrogen the following may be helpful: