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Together, these tests offer an in-depth look at how well your hormones are supporting your lifestyle. We not only test for the five key hormones that can affect your menstrual cycle, ovulation and ability to become pregnant but also check all thyroid hormones essential for optimal heart and muscle function, digestion and brain development, and regulating the body’s metabolic rate.
This is what the test will measure:
Estradiol is the main form of estrogen found in a woman's body and is the most potent of the three naturally produced estrogens. It plays a vital role in the reproductive system and the regulation of a woman's menstrual cycle, as well as many other areas including bone strength, heart health, metabolism and nerve health. Estradiol levels start to fall as a woman enters perimenopause, causing a range of what can be debilitating symptoms. The reduction in estrogen at the time of menopause has been linked to the development of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
Prolactin is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland in your brain. Although it is often present in non-pregnant males and females, prolactin’s main role is to produce milk. The chemical dopamine regulates the concentration of prolactin in the body, and its levels can be raised in response to stress. However, the main use of this test can be to identify problems with fertility or irregular periods.
Low levels of prolactin are not usually a cause for concern, but high levels can be caused by several factors. In women, prolactin can affect the ability to conceive because it prevents the ovaries from making the hormone, estrogen.
DHEA-s is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, and its levels are an indicator of adrenal function and exposure to stressors. Its production is highest in the late teens to early 20s and declines gradually with age. Low DHEA-s can result in reduced libido and general malaise, while high DHEA-s can have masculinizing effects on women because it metabolizes androgens, including testosterone.
Normal cortisol production shows a healthy ability to respond to stress. Low cortisol levels can indicate adrenal fatigue and can leave the body more vulnerable to poor blood sugar regulation and immune system dysfunction. Constant exposure to stressors has serious implications for long-term health, including an increased risk of cancer, osteoporosis, and possibly Alzheimer’s disease.
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
Baseline FSH levels typically increase with age due to diminished ovarian reserve, and over time more FSH is needed to stimulate ovarian function. A normal FSH level may imply a person with a uterus has an appropriate egg quantity for their reproductive stage.
Luteinizing hormone (LH)
LH is responsible for the stimulation and maturation of ovarian follicles in the ovaries. In women, LH levels rise naturally around the time of the menopause, highlighting the reduced function of the ovaries as well as the reduction in estrogen and progesterone production.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone, or TSH, is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland and is responsible for controlling the production of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4. The hormone TSH is considered the most sensitive marker for screening for thyroid diseases and conditions.
T3 (triiodothyronine) is a hormone produced by the thyroid gland. While it is less abundant than T4, T3 is considered the more active of these two thyroid hormones. Together, these two thyroid hormones help determine the rate at which every cell in the body uses energy.
T4 (thyroxine) is the predominant hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Together, T3 and T4 help determine the rate at which every cell in the body uses energy.
T3 exists in two forms in the blood: Bound T3, which is attached to proteins that help transport T3 through the body, and Free T3, the less abundant form, that circulates unattached. The T3 total test, the most common type of T3 blood test, measures both the bound and free forms of T3.
Total T4 measures both bound and unbound T4. and is a measure of the total amount of thyroxine in the blood, which is primarily produced by the thyroid gland. A total T4 test can help diagnose hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, monitor thyroid hormone replacement therapy, and identify thyroid problems in children. It can also provide insight into the overall health of the thyroid gland and help guide further diagnostic testing or treatment.
After its release from the thyroid gland, T4 is converted to T3, which is an active thyroid hormone, or to rT3, which is considered an inactive form. The rate and ratio of T4 conversion to either T3 or rT3 depend on the body’s metabolic needs.
Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Antibodies
Thyroid peroxidase antibodies are antibodies that can bind to thyroid enzymes, suppressing thyroid function. If TPO antibodies are elevated, this could be suggestive of an autoimmune condition.
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