Hormonal imbalances are increasing in women, causing irregular periods, mood swings, fatigue, weight gain, and more. Poor eating habits, exposure to toxins, and stress can create these imbalances, leading to significant health problems. If you’re reading this, you probably know that. I always tell folks to work with a functional medicine practitioner to TEST and not GUESS the root cause of any hormone imbalance. And then y’all ask me what test to ask for specifically. And today I’ll tell you. There is a test that can provide valuable insights to understand the complete picture of hormones!
The DUTCH test
For most of my clients, I run the DUTCH test. Why do I love this test so much of all of the functional labs we do in my practice? I’ll tell you – it gets results! It gives you a crystal clear picture of what is happening hormonally. And it gives us a really good stepping stone off to where we need to go in terms of attacking how we feel from multiple directions.
Picture this… If you went to your physician and you were complaining of anxiety and low libido, they’d probably do a blood test, right? That’s a classic way of analyzing a patient’s symptoms. Well, the DUTCH test is actually urinary testing.
The Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones (DUTCH test) is a functional medicine test designed to assess hormone imbalance. The test measures hormones and hormone metabolites from dried urine samples. Instead of measuring only a particular hormone and its average level, the DUTCH test shows how the body metabolizes hormones. It provides information about cortisol levels, estrogen metabolites, progesterone, and testosterone levels.
A cortisol problem
Estrogen and progesterone are like a pendulum swing. If you’ve got high estrogen, sometimes you’ve also got low progesterone, and ironically, the testosterone is in the normal range. Here’s the whole point of diving in – I want to see cortisol, ladies! I have yet to work with a woman who doesn’t have an issue with cortisol, meaning making too much of it – elevated cortisol – or making none of it.
Lower cortisol is very common among women because it’s an adrenal issue that is often masked as other things. Meaning you go to the doctor and you have the same symptoms – it’s almost ironic that you can have symptoms of hypothyroidism! But really, it’s lower cortisol, it’s the HPA axis – you guys, these symptoms overlap!
The DUTCH test tests your cortisol over an entire day
There’s so much information from this test that you wouldn’t get from a blood sample. The DUTCH test is a comprehensive examination of the body’s hormone levels, indicating not just hormone status but the underlying hormonal issues that cause symptoms. Hormones are metabolized in the liver, and findings from the DUTCH test reveal how well the liver functions. This test provides vast information, including cortisol levels during stress, adrenal gland monitoring, neurotransmitter production, and sleep. Understanding these issues can give women the insight they need to know why they are experiencing hormonal imbalances and the right approach to a new wellness routine.
I highly encourage any of you ladies out there, whether you just had a baby six months ago, had a baby 16 years ago or never had a baby at all – if you’re not feeling like yourself, get tested.