Common Hormone Conditions
Interactions between the four hormones of the male panel are fundamental to health so hormone imbalances may negatively impact health. The following are examples of how hormone imbalance can affect health:
Testosterone and estradiol help build bone, while high cortisol tends to break down bone. High cortisol is of particular concern because it breaks down bone and interferes with the bone buildng action of testosterone.
Testosterone receptors are plentiful in the brain, so a lack of testosterone may result in decreased arousal response. Testosterone is also needed for muscle contraction, so low testosterone may result in poor erection quality Low testosterone may also lead to increased wait times between erections.
Because testosterone receptors are abundant in the brain, low testosterone levels often affect memory.
Apathy, Depression, Grumpiness
Our laboratory data show that approximately 3/5 of men with self reported symptoms including aggression, apathy, depression, irritabiliy and an inabiliy to cope have at least one out of range hormone result. It isn‘t clear whether restoring hormone balance will lessen these mood symptoms, but many men experience some relief from mood disorders when hormone balance is restored.
Men who carry extra weight around the middle have more of the enzyme aromatase, which converts testosterone to estrogen. Increased estrogen can lead to breast enlargement.
High levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, can cause unstable blood sugar levels and may increase sugar cravings.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
Most men over the age of 60 have signs of prostate enlargement, also known as BPH. Some researchers have suggested that low testosterone and/or high estradiol may be contributing factors in prostate enlargement.
Why Test Saliva Hormones?
- Saliva hormone testing is excellent at uncovering hormone imbalance.
- Saliva measures hormone that has actually made it into tissue, because hormones pass through saliva gland tissue before getting into salia. Blood measures hormones that might eventually get to tissue.
- Saliva collection is painless and easy to do at home. Blood collection requires a trip to the laboratory, and some hormones cannot be tested in blood (e.g. estriol).
- The stress of a needle puncture for blood collection tends to raise cortisollevels. Saliva collection is not known to raise cortisol levels.
Talk to your health care provider about having a salivary adrenal function test done.
**Description courtesy of Rocky Mountain Analytical