Hey, you crazy nutfaces!!!
Recently I got some hormone tests done just for kicks, and I decided to share the results with you – and the recommendations I got from 2 health professionals about what I should do.
The reason I’m sharing this is because I think it’s interesting, I stay up all night reading about this stuff on other people’s blogs because it fascinates me. So I figure, why not pay it forward? This kind of thing is why I started a blog.
Blood AND saliva tests – I did both. I got a test that I could do at home, that Nicole recommended I get.
Why did I get these tests?
I am eternally curious, I love experiments, and Nicole got me really excited about testing my hormones. I found out they affect EVERYTHING – energy levels, PMS symptoms, sex drive, skin, weight, mood, etc!! I usually have pretty strong PMS symptoms each month (cramps, moodiness, fatigue, etc). So, yo, I wanted to know!
Also, a year ago I got my thyroid (TSH) tested and it was high, meaning my thyroid was a little slow. I was curious to see where it was at, and to also test my Free T3 and Free T4, which I’d never done before but we always recommend to people at Dr. Lipman‘s office, where I work as a health coach. It gives you a MUCH more accurate description of how you’re thyroid is functioning if you get all of them (TSH, Free T3, Free T4).
Yes, pricking my own finger was COMPLETELY terrfiying. Me + needles!!! I almost couldn’t do it.
But then Joel told me to take a cold shower so I did. And then I re-read this blog. And then I put on this song. And I did it!!!!! Btw, I listened to that same exact song when I had to prick my finger for an at-home blood type test a couple of years ago too. I’m type O+, in case you’re interested.
Tests I got:
Progesterone to Estrogen ratio
Cortisol (morning, noon, night)
Free T4 (thyroid hormone)
Free T3 (thyroid hormone)
TSH (thyroid hormone)
TPO (thyroid antibodies)
Click the photo to enlarge test results.
FIRST OFF — one thing to note – 1 year ago, my TSH (thyroid hormone) was 3.8, which was high. Now it’s 0.9 (optimal)!!! WTF? I spoke to Nicole about it and she asked me what changes I’d made in the past year. The biggest change is that over the past year since I’ve been working for Dr. Lipman I’ve been eating more paleo, and I’ve definitely been at least 90% gluten free. I wasn’t eating much gluten before, but I wasn’t focusing on cutting it out, either. I was definitely eating more grains/legumes and eating a MUCH more vegetarian diet before. Since eliminating gluten/grains/legumes (for the most part) and introducing more high quality animal products, my TSH changed big time, for the better.
Gluten can impact your thyroid / immune system even if you don’t have celiac disease. Did you know that?
Here’s what Nicole said about my test results:
Estradiol is totally fine.
Progesterone is low but I have not seen normal progesterone in any one of my clients, ever. Because it is low and your estradiol is normal, the ratio of estrogen to progesterone is off so that means you are estrogen dominant. Technically, just another way of saying that you have low progesterone.
Your DHEA-S is good too. DHEA is the father hormone to estrogen and testosterone, if it is low then you might have low testosterone and estrogen. It’s also called the fountain of youth hormone because it is highest in our 20s and typically declines by 50% by the time we are in our mid-40’s.
Your morning cortisol is low, but I see that you took the test later in the morning, closer to 9am than 8am. This can influence the results. I know you’ve been going to sleep late, so this could influence morning cortisol.
Your midday cortisol was high, did you do a Barry’s Bootcamp class that day by any chance? (no, but I drink a lot of caffeine… -jenny)
Your afternoon and evening cortisol looks okay to me, they are normal.
Your T4 is good according to the reference range, but I also look at another reference range that I’ve gotten in my training. Technically your T4 should be in the upper third of the reference range, and yours isn’t far off. I am going to say it is okay.
Your T3 is within range here as well but might be considered a little low by my other reference range which states it should be 3.0-4.5, again I don’t think this is a huge deal.
Your TSH is also good according to this range and good according to my other range that states it should be below 2.0.
TPO is a measurement of thyroid antibodies. If it is high it indicates that you likely have some kind of food intolerance, usually gluten. Yours is totally fine.
Your Vitamin D is 40 and ideally you want it to be between 40-50 so yours is good! As I said before you are the only person I’ve tested who’s vitamin D is okay!
I am inclined to agree with what Chris Kresser says about replacing hormones. In all of my training, the recommendation is to use supplements like Vitamin C and Vitex/Chaste Tree Berry (an herb) before going the route of bio-identical hormones, which can be suppressive to the menstrual cycle function.
The less suppressive therapies are a better option to try raising progesterone, and if those don’t work then progesterone cream is in order. Also, progesterone cream should only be used after ovulation for the last two weeks of your cycle since it can suppress ovulation if taken all month long.
For balancing hormones in general, I look at blood sugar balancing, gut health, liver health, adrenals and the stress response, and of course the production of sex hormones from the ovaries.
My recommendations would involve balancing blood sugar, and that is done through the use of a blood glucose monitor (I know how much you hate needles, but if you’re willing it would be very good to see where your blood sugar is in the am and after each meal). This can tell us what is throwing it off and what foods to remove or add in.
Liver and gut detoxification are huge because your liver is responsible for breaking down excess hormones and by-products and if it isn’t functioning properly – there are two stages to breakdown – then this could impair your hormonal health too. A great liver/gut detox.
If your gut lining is compromised (and I would say most people’s are to some extent), then your body isn’t assimilating the nutrients you are taking in and ultimately doesn’t have the building blocks to make hormones. Fix your gut.
And then we have nervous system, HPA axis and adrenal health – this is the most important part, but stress management is hard for so many people.
As you can see, hormones are everything.
What am I doing about it?
- I spoke to Dr. Lipman about it too, and he recommended I try the progesterone cream, so I’m trying it out. Nicole said it should probably take about 3 months/3 cycles for my body to adjust to it.
- I’m also taking a DIM supplement to detoxify my body of any excess estrogen, recommended by Nicole
- I’m staying as paleo as possible (and definitely gluten free as much as I can)
- I’m tracking my temperature each morning with a digital thermometer so I can become an expert on my menstrual cycle
- I’m drinking magnesium tea at night, which is supposed to be good for hormone balancing too
- I’m texting, calling and Skyping with Nicole at all hours of the day with questions. 😉
Because, little dudes…I wanna feel optimal all the time!!! Don’t you?
Ugh, I’m so obsessed with learning about hormones now.
If you’ve read this far, that’s dedication.
Questions, comments? Let’s hear it!