Hormone testing can be invaluable when treating any condition with a potential hormonal connection. Traditionally, most hormone tests have been conducted with blood samples and this is currently what is offered in the conventional system. However, most research has shown that blood testing is not the most accurate or reliable method for all hormones. In fact, saliva hormone testing performed at home at specific times during the day has been shown to be the best way to evaluate many hormones.
Sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA are better evaluated with saliva samples because they better reflect the body tissue levels. Adrenal stress hormones like cortisol are better evaluated with multiple saliva samples due to their fluctuations and circadian rhythms. When the results of saliva hormone tests come back we are able to identify hormonal imbalances and provide the most appropriate treatment for the patient.
One of the most common questions patients ask is if we prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The answer is yes and no depending on the patient’s goals. Naturopathic doctors have the prescription privileges to prescribe HRT but this really should only be done in conjunction with proper saliva hormone testing. If we discover a deficiency or imbalance of hormones we can then choose whether HRT or another form of treatment to stimulate hormone production is most appropriate.