hormone testingHow exactly do you know if your hormones are imbalanced? When is it time for hormone testing? Hormonal imbalances are multi-faceted disorders, which means they can be brought on by a wide breadth of factors including your diet, stress levels, toxin exposure, medical history and more. Functional testing can help identify and address which factors are contributing to your hormonal issues so that an appropriate and natural protocol can be prescribed.

5 SIGNS YOU SHOULD GET YOUR HORMONES TESTED

While there are many signs and symptoms, (and many overlapping root causes) here are some of the most common ones we see at The Movement Boutique:

SIGN 1:
HIGH STRESS LEVELS

If you are experiencing a high volume of stress in your life, you may want to consider having a comprehensive evaluation of your hormone levels. When we experience an overload of stress (mental, emotional or physical), we can overtax our adrenals. This can often lead to the disruption of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol which have downstream effects on sex hormones. Many people don’t realize that stress that adds up, over-exercising or an extreme diet can also cause excess stress on your body and interfere with your hormones. Hormone testing can reveal a lot.

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As a starting point, we always suggest implementing stress management techniques like yoga, stretching, deep breathing or meditating.

SIGN 2:
SLEEP ISSUES

We don’t do our body any favours by staying up late. Many people will speak of the length of the sleep as the quality, but believe it or not, 8 hours of sleep from 2am-10am, is a very different quality from 8 hours of sleep from 10am-6am. Daylight plays a big role in this, as it helps our bodies secrete the necessary hormones required to make us sleepy, and stay asleep (let alone what makes us hungry again if we stay up too late – needing a snack!). A lack of this high quality sleep can disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm, which can contribute to hormone imbalances and affect everything from your mood to your immunity to your energy levels. You see, our hormones work on a strict schedule. Studies even show that a lack of sleep is one of the main contributors to high cortisol levels. Hormone testing can help reveal a lot of information related to your health.

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Try limiting blue light exposure and priming your environment for a good sleep! And those relaxation techniques we just mentioned? Try implementing them at night before you go to bed.

HORMONE TESTING SIGN 3:
SYMPTOMS OF ESTROGEN DOMINANCE

Although PMS symptoms like irregular/heavy periods, mood swings, acne, cramping, bloating, cravings etc. is often poked fun of and seen as “normal” or “typical”, they are actually your body’s way of telling you that something is off. Although PMS itself is associated with women, both men and women can experience irregularities when it comes to their sex hormones (like estrogen, progesterone, DHEA and testosterone). Estrogen dominance, for example, can cause certain symptoms and occurs when either your body is producing too much estrogen or you’re not getting rid of it properly. In women, this often looks like weight gain, cramping, heavy periods and breast tenderness. Symptoms of estrogen dominance in men can include gynecomastia (enlarged breasts) and loss of muscle mass.

 SIGN 4:
DIFFICULTY LOSING WEIGHT

We all know someone who has struggled with weight fluctuations or difficulty losing those last 10 lbs, but did you know that your hormones could be the culprit? When our cortisol is elevated for example, which can be brought on by life stressors, it sends a message to your body to STORE fat rather than burn it. Imbalances of our insulin (the hormone that controls our blood sugar levels & fat storage) can also contribute to weight issues. In circumstances such a this, it can be very helpful to have a qualified functional medicine practitioner test exactly where your hormone levels are at and guide you on a customized weight loss journey.

HORMONE TESTING SIGN 5:
GUT ISSUES

Studies show that our gut plays a significant role in regulating our hormones. That shouldn’t be a surprise considering the health of our gut impacts everything from our digestion to our immunity! A lack of beneficial bacteria, for example, can cause increased inflammation throughout the body and make us more susceptible to things like PMS.

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Adding gut-supporting foods like dark leafy greens, resistant starches, and lots of plant fibre diversity can be a great starting point.

In addition to the DUTCH test for hormone testing, we also use the comprehensive GI Map stool test in our functional medicine program to get an in-depth snapshot of a patient’s gut health and microbiome. We offer FREE consults if you are interested in finding out more about our functional testing.



HOW TMB CAN HELP

Book a consultation to learn more! Let’s face it, as ladies, there are “hormone rules” to live by! We can teach you how to get in sync with your hormones and optimize them to feel your move, feel and look best.


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dr shalini bhatThis article is excerpted from our weekly TMB Magazine — an exclusive subscriber only publication that is packed with all sorts of in-depth latest study breakdowns, functional medicine insights and wisdom from Dr. Bhat and her team.

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