Last week I talked about why you should check your hormones if you have acne. This time I promised that I will tell you which of them will be tested and which methods.
So first of all, let's talk about the basic hormones that are useful to find out if you have acne.
- Estrogen (in particular, estradiol)
- Luteinizing hormone (LH)
Why do you want to test these hormones if you have acne
Progesterone, which is too low compared to estrogen (or progesterone, which is normal with too high estrogen), is a very common problem that can lead to acne, because it increases the activity of androgens in the skin. This accelerates the production of acne.
The low ratio of progesterone and estrogen is the key to the fact that the treatment and supplements to the prescription of estrogen will work better for you.
Testosterone, DHEAS and DHT are androgens, and they can directly lead to acne, so one or all of them are high – that's what you need to look for.
High androgens are the key to an androgen-based treatment and supplement plan that works best for you.
Note. Androstenedione is also an androgen, which often manifests itself as high in women with acne, although androstenedione seems to be almost always high when it is near low estrogen / progesterone levels and is most likely caused by this imbalance. This means that this type of acne responds better to a treatment like a dominant estrogen than an androgen based treatment.
Cortisol (your stress hormone level) is useful to determine if stress is the main cause of your acne.
Luteinizing hormone (LH) and prolactin are useful in order to know whether certain herbs should be taken as a treatment. In particular, Vitex chasteberry should not be used if your LH is high, but good, if your prolactin is high.
Insulin resistance can be a major cause of androgen-based acne, so, especially if you have high testosterone or are diagnosed with PCOS, getting your insulin test can definitely be helpful.
Testing hormones with a blood test
The most common method of testing hormones is a blood serum test. This is what you can do through your regular doctor.
Blood tests measure the so-called bound hormone – it is attached in the blood to SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin). When a hormone is bound, it cannot be used at the tissue receptor site. But the hormones acting on the receptor sites in the tissue are what actually creates the symptoms.
So in essence, this is not a good reflection of what actually causes your symptoms.
Again and again, I hear from women who obviously have a gamut of hormonal symptoms and a blood test that says that everything is completely normal. This is obviously not the case.
However, a blood test may be useful for some things. Testosterone is usually better tested through blood. And a blood test is where you find out about your LH and LSG and prolactin.
Therefore, if you can get a blood test from your doctor, then great. Do it.
But I do not think it gives a complete picture. Therefore, I also recommend that you test for saliva or urine.
Hormone testing with saliva test
Saliva tests check for more free, unbound hormone that is available for your tissue receptor sites. This means that it more accurately reflects your symptoms.
Saliva tests usually test all the hormones I mentioned above, with the exception of LH, prolactin and insulin.
The bad news is that ordinary doctors do not do this, and it must be paid privately through a laboratory or a practicing natural practice. Usually they cost about 150 dollars.
Kits can be mailed to you wherever you live, as long as you can send them back via courier with a two-day delivery.
It's also easy to do – just spit in some tubes.
Urine hormone testing
Testing urine is similar to saliva testing, except that it usually tests more hormones.
It can also be a little more accurate, especially if it is collected over a 24-hour period and is more stable if it is a dried urine test (which is better if you live internationally and you need to send it back – you have more time ).
But, it is also more expensive. And you also need to do it through a natural practitioner who offers it.
An example of this is the DUTCH test. This is a great test. If you can afford it and can find someone who does it and knows how to interpret it for acne, then I would recommend it.
For the most part, though, the basic saliva test, which tests the hormones I listed, does an excellent job. I believe I recommend this most.
Getting Insulin Tested
If you want to make sure that you have insulin resistance, you can do this through your regular doctor with a test called “Glucose Level in a Post.”
However, doctors can often live with tunnel vision, and they can be resistant to allowing you to do this if you are not overweight, have not been diagnosed with PCOS or have had diabetes in your family.
If you have every reason to believe that your acne may be associated with blood sugar levels, then click to take the test. If not, keeping blood sugar levels stable is a great acne strategy.
Other things to consider when testing hormones for acne
Please note that getting your hormones tested when you are on hormone birth control is rather useless. Synthetic hormones in it completely suppress and override your natural hormones.
Since hormone testing tests your natural hormones, he will most likely say that everything in all directions is small and does not give you anything too useful.
Another thing to note when saliva or urine analysis is that it is very important to have someone who understands acne and testing to help you interpret them. It's pretty useless to get a test back, I don't know what that means or what to do with the information, and your money will be wasted.
Ideally, a natural practitioner with whom you experience it will know how acne works and gives you good advice.
There is me, of course. For years, I helped my beautiful Love Vitamins to interpret my saliva tests in my Academy of Naturally Cleanse Skin.
Therefore, if you need my help, consider joining us. I also have a special bonus only for Academy members – they get an exclusive 30% discount on the saliva test through a specific company (i.e. Saliva Tests for $ 99).
Do you now feel more confident in testing your hormones?