Do You Need Hormone Replacement Therapy?

 woman hormone therapy

 Posted 5/9/16 by Catherine Henderson


I hear it everyday: “My hormones are all out of whack, I just know it!” I would venture to

guess that about 80% of women think that their hormones are out of balance. So how

do you know if you are truly experiencing an imbalance?


Do you have an imbalance?


1. It's Possible.  If you think you are out of balance, you are probably right. Hormones and the ways they affect your body are complicated and it doesn’t take much to get things “out of

whack”, especially in today’s world of high-stress, fast food, and chemical overload.


2. Common Symptoms. There are certain symptoms that are tell-tale signs like, irregular menstrual cycles, weight gain, mood swings, migraines, hot flashes and night sweats...just to name a

few. There are some hormone abnormalities that we can detect based only on your

symptoms (and can sometimes recommend helpful OTC medications or



3. Just test it! By far, the best way to find out if you have a hormonal abnormality is to take a

hormone test. Which is our main topic today- because there are lots of different ways

to get tested and people always ask me which way is best.


Blood Test

Let’s talk about blood testing first. This is the MOST commonly used testing method,

mainly because of the cost and convenience. But don’t be fooled; just because it is the

most common method doesn’t mean it is the best. Some hormones in blood are protein

bound, which makes them inactive and a blood test measures both the free and the

bound hormone. Unfortunately, the amount of bound hormone can vary widely from

one person to the next. So we need to look for a test that only measures the free/active

hormone. For this reason, blood levels do not get my highest recommendation

(although, there are some cases where blood levels are useful).


Urine Test

My favorite testing method is the urine test. I use this test to evaluate almost all of my

patients before they begin hormone replacement therapy. The first benefit is that is only

measures “free” hormone levels, so you get a more clear picture of the hormone that is

available for your body to use. Also, this test gives us some insight into hormone

metabolism, methylation, breast cancer risk and so much more! It is a little more

tedious than the blood test because you complete it at home by collecting 4-5 urine

samples at specific time points during the day. Most of my patients agree that the data

we get from this test is well worth the additional effort on your part. Finally, this test

really helps me to tailor a treatment to your body’s needs because I have so much more

information to work with.


Saliva Test

The last method I want to tell you about is saliva testing. This is the test we like to use

after you have started HRT. Saliva testing is the best way to measure your free

hormone levels once you start using medications because it most accurately measures

how much of the medications are actually reaching your tissues, which is where all the

action happens.



If you are interested in having your hormones tested, email me at and I can help you get started today!


2422-J Danville Road SW
Decatur, AL 35603
Ph: 256.353.1121


2422-J Danville Road SW
Decatur, AL 35603
Ph: 256.353.1121



2422-J Danville Road SW
Decatur, AL 35603
Ph: 256.353.1121

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