Hormones regulate every bodily function from metabolism to appetite, so it’s no wonder that an imbalance can result in a number of issues.
Determining which hormones you are deficient in and in what amounts can be difficult, which is why a hormone imbalance test could be needed to check your levels.
What Is a Hormone Imbalance Test?
A hormone imbalance test is one performed by taking samples of the saliva or blood to check the levels of certain hormones such as cortisol, DHEA, progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.
Many believe that saliva tests are more accurate, as they measure the level of hormones in the cells rather than the amount circulating in the blood.
This is why leading researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) tend to use saliva testing in the majority of their studies.
Even so, blood tests are more accurate among women who are taking replacement hormones via drops, spray, or lozenge.
When Is One Needed?
You may want to consider a hormone imbalance test if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Extreme Fatigue that prevents you from working out.
- Frequent insomnia or difficulty falling or staying asleep.
- Mood swings and/or irritability.
- Unexplained weight gain, particularly around the midsection.
- Skin, hair, and nails that become brittle and thin.
Women, particularly those in menopause or post-menopause, may also notice symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats due to a reduction in estrogen production.
Men also experience a reduction in testosterone as they age, which can lead to reduced strength, difficulty concentrating, disrupted Sleep patterns, and sexual dysfunction.
Some hormones are more essential than others when it comes to losing weight and getting in shape.
A few of the hormones that might affect your level of fitness include:
Insulin – when insulin levels are out of whack, you have an increased risk for developing diabetes, and are also more likely to feel fatigued and experience weight gain.
Testosterone – appropriate levels of testosterone are needed in both men and women to help build lean muscle and shed fat.
Growth Hormone – numerous studies show that individuals who receive growth hormone injections are more likely to increase their lean body mass than others.
Progesterone – high levels in women can lead to fluid retention and weight gain, which is why many females report feeling bloated just before their cycles.
Estrogen – as a woman ages, her estrogen levels drop, leading to a decrease in bone mass.
Thyroid – the thyroid regulates body temperature, appetite, and metabolism, so a reduction in thyroid hormones could affect energy levels and cause weight gain.
Cortisol – also known as the “stress hormone”, too much cortisol in the body can affect your ability to build muscle.
A hormone imbalance test can check the levels of several different hormones.
As such, it is not unusual for people to discover that more than one hormone in their body is at the wrong level.
If you are eating right and exercising regularly yet are not noticing the results you would like, chances are that one or more hormones are not at the right level.
A simple hormone imbalance test can help you identify which ones so that you can then take the proper action to correct them.