Salivary hormone testing is an effective way to identify and treat hormone imbalances. Dr. Tina Marcantel is a naturopathic doctor in Gold Canyon, Arizona, who also serves the East Valley cities of Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, and the greater Phoenix area.
In this 3-part video Dr. Marcantel walks you through the results of a salivary hormone test, showing how the test can be used for identifying and treating hormone imbalances.
Well, let’s move on here.
Here we have testosterone we check for, we have DHEA. Those are more pronounced in the male but we do have some in the female and testosterone and DHEA are called androgens and they give us our get-up-and-go, they give us our strength, they give us motivation and drive and so we always look at that as well.
Now in the female DHEA can turn into testosterone so I usually like to give women DHEA and let the wisdom of their body turn it into how much testosterone they need, because a lot of times women get side effects with plain testosterone and especially when the other numbers are out of balance. So they can get side effects like hair on the chin or male pattern baldness such as that, even some acne, so just using DHEA and allowing the body to turn it into how much testosterone it needs makes a lot more sense.
The other thing that we look at here is cortisol. Now we can do one cortisol or we could do four. Cortisol is a stress hormone; it is released from the adrenal glands and it is so important for handling day in and day out stress, okay? Adrenaline is for like fight or flight–you get in a car accident or you have to run from something. That’s adrenaline, but cortisol is what we really look at because it’s for, again, day-in and day-out stress: going to work, personal stress, stress on the body, all of this stuff. So we want to check that and that tells us a lot about what’s going on with the adrenal glands.
So if, for instance, this particular test has morning cortisol that is really high. That cortisol, the elevated cortisol in the morning, is telling me that that person was probably flipping and flopping all night long, having insomnia and they–when people wake up wired like that they were releasing cortisol through the night and they probably didn’t have that good deep sleep.
And sometimes what happens is the cortisol is really high at a certain part of the day and then it goes down really low because the adrenal glands try to accommodate the stressors of the individual during the day, but what happens is the adrenals can get tired if that cortisol is always on because the person’s in stress most of the day. So a lot of times I will see the cortisol very high at a certain point of the day and then it’s very low at another time and sometimes there’s what we call “flatline” in which the cortisol is low all of the time because the adrenals or an adrenal fatigue–they’re very tired. The adrenals are still producing cortisol but at a much lower amount.
So these are all indications of the well-being of the patient by looking at all these hormone levels and people love to see this because when we go through the testing and we listen to what the symptoms are and we and we see how the symptoms that the testing results will line up with the symptoms and give us confirmation that the patient is really experiencing these signs and symptoms.
Many people have told me, “Dr. Marcantel, it’s not all in my head is it?” And I’ll say no, it’s not. We can confirm this with our hormone testing. And really, people are relieved to see this, even though the hormones are out of balance they are very relieved to see that there’s something there and there’s something we can do and again it’s a very sensitive test, very precise, and thus like I said, I can give a very precise protocol for that particular patient.