By Alane Palmer, ND, CNC and Russell Shein
Hormones are essentially messengers in the body that initiate various processes. They are secreted from different glands into the bloodstream, carried to an organ or system, and then they jump start their relevant processes. Hormones are created and secreted from various glands in the body, including the thyroid, pituitary, ovaries, testes, and adrenals. These hormones need to be in balance with each other, and even slight imbalances can cause tangible differences in your health and well-being.
There are two common ways to test for hormones – a blood test and a saliva test. The difference between these has to do with which number of hormones you are looking for. Blood is a transport system in the body, as such it can only show us the hormones currently in transit in the body. While this does serve as important information, it only shows us what is currently in use rather than the big picture of hormones in the body. Saliva testing, however, shows what is currently stored in the body or the “free and available” hormones in the body. For generally looking at the big picture of hormone levels, saliva testing is the optimum test for hormone imbalance. Saliva is easier to collect as well, it is noninvasive, and it lasts much longer than blood does making it easier to test.
One way we utilize saliva testing is when there is an issue with weight loss. Many times we find high levels or hormones that are stuck in the tissues of the fat cells and until these are dealt with weight loss can be compromised.
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Medical disclaimer: Testing cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All test results are to be used as educational materials and as a guide to help support your overall health and wellness. Always discuss health concerns with your medical doctor.