What Should I Expect From First-Time Hormone Testing?

Hormonal imbalances can be incredibly disruptive to a person’s well-being and health. It is often only when these problems are experienced that many people recognize the very vast range of functions, feelings, and activities that these potent chemicals control. For both women and men, hormonal changes that begin to occur during the late thirties and early forties can lead to joint discomfort, decreased sexual drive, changes in vision, bone density loss, an increased risk of heart disease, and many other unwanted developments. First-time hormone testing gives doctors a chance to see how these and other changes are affecting an individual’s health, and how these developments can be effectively mitigated.

During an initial hormone test, blood work will be performed at a specific time of day to account for natural daytime fluctuations that naturally occur in gland functioning. These tests are usually recommended when several symptoms of hormonal balance have already been identified. The results will determine whether or not an imbalance actually exists, which hormones are lacking, and which hormones are being produced in excess. After having one or more blood vials drawn, you will be sent home to await your results. The process is simple and virtually pain-free. Moreover, for those struggling with discomfort and other health problems, the results of these tests and the knowledge supplied can be very empowering.

Factors That Can Impact The Results Of A First-Time Hormone Test

The blood level for certain hormones can change considerably at different times of the day. For instance, testosterone and cortisol tend to be at their highest levels first thing in the morning. Moreover, during a dynamic hormone test, certain hormones that you are given in advance of blood work can trigger a gland response that reflects natural daytime variations. This can be seen in the adrenal gland’s response to synacthen, which is often most extreme during the very early hours of the morning.

For women, hormone levels are also greatly impacted by the phase of the menstrual cycle. As such, it is usually best to schedule these appointments during the follicular stage or the first half of the menses. This is the time during which abnormal and normal levels of hormones can be clearly distinguished. When testing for ovulation, however, progesterone should be measured on day 21 of the cycle, which falls directly in the luteal phase or the second portion of the cycle.

While you might want to ignore the pre-testing recommendations of your doctor, you should know that even small changes in a recommended routine can render this process useless. This includes failing to take medications that your doctor has prescribed, and according to prescription, or attempting to take additional medications ahead of testing in order to make up for missed doses. It is also important to provide your physician with clear and accurate information pertaining to your health history, your menses, and any other factors that may be relevant to your outcome. Call us today at 205-352-9141.

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