How to diagnose a hormone imbalance

How to diagnose a hormone imbalance

October 07, 2019

Hormones are critical for your health. They help regulate essential bodily functions, such as mood, sleep, and immune support.

 

Produced in the endocrine glands, these potent messengers move around your bloodstream giving commands to tissues and organs.

 

When hormones become imbalanced, even a small amount, it can have serious effects throughout your whole body. But how do you know if you have a hormonal imbalance?

 

This article covers how to diagnose a hormone imbalance the right way.

 

Tests and diagnosis

While not one single test can diagnose a hormone imbalance, there are a few different choices. The first step is to make an appointment with your doctor to start the initial diagnosis.

 

Be prepared for your healthcare professional to ask detailed questions about your symptoms and how long you’ve experienced them.

 

Blood test

Since most hormones can be detected in your blood, your hormone doctor will send a blood sample to a lab for analysis. Once the results are in, your doctor reviews levels of the following hormones:

  • Estrogen
  • Progesterone
  • Testosterone
  • DHEA
  • Cortisol

Also, your blood test may show how well your thyroid and ovaries are functioning. If not, additional tests may be needed. 

 

Ultrasound

Another standard test to diagnose a hormone imbalance is an ultrasound.

 

An ultrasound looks inside your body using sound waves.

 

The images of the uterus, ovaries, testicles, thyroid, or pituitary gland provide critical information for your doctor to determine whether you have high or low hormone levels.

 

Pelvic exam

Pap smears help doctors feel for any concerning lumps, cysts, or tumors for women. They’re a semi-invasive way to check for any irregularities.

 

Men can have their scrotum checked for any lumps or abnormalities, too.

 

Other tests

In some cases, you need more advanced examinations. Some of these include:

  • Thyroid scan
  • Sperm count
  •  X-ray
  • MRI
  • Biopsy

Ask your healthcare professional for more information.

 

Treatment Options for Hormonal Imbalances

When beginning the process of hormonal imbalance diagnosis, the process may take longer than expected. If you have a hormonal imbalance, there are a few different treatment options.

Estrogen therapy

Estrogen is a vital sex hormone that helps regulate a women's menstrual cycle.

 

When you have low or high levels of estrogen, you may experience painful symptoms, such as hot flashes, unexplained weight gain, and vaginal atrophy. A small dose of estrogen cream may help alleviate these symptoms.

 

Progesterone therapy

Similar to estrogen therapy, progesterone therapy replaces the missing hormone. It’s available in cream, gel, and capsule form.

 

Testosterone therapy

As men age, levels of testosterone decrease. Testosterone supplements in patch, gel, or cream reduce symptoms associated with low testosterone in men.

 

In addition to hormone therapy, men and women can make healthy changes to their diet, undergo regular exercise, and drink plenty of water.

 

Suffering from an imbalance of hormones lowers the quality of your life. The good news is that there are healthy lifestyle choices and hormone supplements to help alleviate your symptoms.



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