I recently became really fascinated with hormonal imbalances so I wanted to share my hormone testing journey. Before I get started, I want to preface this post by saying that I am by no means a hormone expert. I am just sharing my experience with all of you in the hopes that it might be helpful!
It all started when I randomly decided to listen to the Often Ambitious podcast episode with Candace Burch on my drive home from a facial. The episode covered topics like the negative impact that hormonal birth control has on women’s health, PMS, supplements and hormonal imbalances. I had just stopped taking birth control about a month before listening to the episode because I was having some negative side effects (hormonal migraines, bloating, irregular periods etc) so it was very timely. My mind was honestly blown after I listened to it, and I’ve basically been telling every woman I know about it ever since. I highly suggest that you listen to the episode because it’s full of so much useful information.
When I come across a topic that I find interesting, I always do a ton of research on it. I found out that so many issues can be linked to hormonal imbalances. Things like migraines, weight gain, fatigue, irritability, infertility, irregular cycles, hair loss can all be caused my hormonal imbalances.
Through my research I came across Live Well Testing, a company that offers all sorts of testing that can be done from the privacy of your own home. As a busy mom, this seemed like the perfect solution for me so I reached out to them. They were so kind and informative and agreed to send me an at-home Hormone Vitality Test Kit Complete+ in exchange for my honest review. I was really excited to be able be provided with real measures of my body’s wellbeing below the surface to figure out how I can get my hormones balanced.
The test arrived at my doorstep in a small box complete with detailed instructions, paperwork to fill out and small vials for the saliva. The paperwork required me to list my current menstrual status and it had a checklist where I could check-off all of the symptoms I had been experiencing.
I was surprised that there were several guidelines to follow so I wasn’t able to do the actual test for a few days.
- If your periods are regular, the test has to be taken on the 19-21 day of your cycle
- Stop using any anti-aging creams 3 days prior to taking the test
- You can’t eat or drink anything (other than water) for two hours prior to taking each saliva sample
Day of the Test
I waited until the 19th day of my cycle and made sure not to eat anything or brush my teeth before taking my first sample of the day. The first sample is the largest vial so it took me about 20 minutes to be able to fill it. The second vial was taken at work around 10am, the third was taken at 6pm (before dinner) and the last vial was taken before bed. I made sure to set alarms on my phone for each test so I would remember not to eat (which was hard for me because I’m always snacking at work haha).
I took the test on a Friday so I froze the vials and shipped them back on Monday.
The Results & the Consultation
About a week later I received an email with my results (so convenient right?!). The results confirmed what I had suspected-that my progesterone levels are low. The results also gave me my cortisol (stress hormone), DHEAS, testosterone and estradiol levels.
I set up a time to go over the results with one of their doctors and we were able to speak a few days after I received them. Dr. Abulhosn went over my results and explained everything in a way that was easy for me to understand. He was so helpful and really took the time to answer all of my questions. He told me that everything looked good other than my low progesterone levels and that I should focus on that. If you guys are interested, you can read about some of the symptoms of low progesterone here. He also mentioned that they might just be low because I recently got off of birth control so it might just take my hormones a few months to go back to normal. One of the common causes of low progesterone is estrogen dominance but because my BMI is within a healthy range, Dr. Abulhosn didn’t think that was the cause of my low progesterone levels. He suggested that I try a few methods to naturally increase my progesterone levels, which I loved. I also found it interesting that he said not to re-test my levels for another six months since that’s how long it can take to get your hormones balanced.
Increasing my Progesterone Levels
After speaking with Dr. Abulhosn and doing some additional research, these are some of the things I will be trying in the next few months:
- Meditation-stress largely impact your ability to maintain a hormonal balance and meditation is a natural way to reduce your stress levels
- Diet-eating foods that support your bodies production of hormones can help to regulate your hormone levels. I will be trying Magnesium rich foods (nuts, tofu, legumes and avocados), foods rich in Vitamin B6 (salmon, eggs, carrots and Zinc-rich foods (shellfish, seeds, whole grains and veggies).
- Chaste Tree Berry-this supplement is supposed to stimulate the secretion of Luteinizing Hormone from the brain, which then stimulates ovaries to produce progesterone
- Magnesium supplement-taking 50mg at night can help with adrenal health, which is essential for healthy hormone production
I know this was all a lot of information, but I wanted to make sure I was sharing all of the details. I encourage you all to do your own research and seek help from a hormone expert. I highly recommend Live Well Testing, and I think all women should get their hormone levels checked out!
I also created a story highlight on my Instagram called ‘Hormone Testing’ where I will be sharing any updates!