Last week I talked about why you should check your hormones if you have acne. This time I promised you that I would say which of them will be checked and by what methods.
So, first of all, let's talk about the main hormones that are useful to know if you have acne.
- Estrogen (particularly estradiol)
- Luteinizing hormone (LH)
Why do you want to check out these hormones if you have acne
Progesterone, which is too low compared to estrogen (or progesterone, which is normal with estrogen, which is too high), is a very common problem that can lead to acne, as it increases the activity of androgens in the skin. This increases acne production.
A low ratio of progesterone to estrogen is a clue that a treatment plan and estrogen supplementation will work best for you.
Testosterone, DHEAS and DHT are androgens, and they can directly lead to acne.
High androgens are the key to making your androgen-based treatment and supplement plan work better for you.
Note: Androstenedione is also an androgen that often appears high in women with acne, although androstenedione seems to almost always be high when it is found along with a low estrogen / progesterone ratio and is probably caused by this imbalance. This means that this type of acne responds better to treatments such as estrogen dominance than androgen-based treatments.
Cortisol levels (your stress hormone) are good to know to determine if stress is the main cause of your acne.
Luteinizing hormone (LH) and prolactin are useful to find out if you should take certain herbs as a treatment. In particular, Vitex Chasteberry should not be used if you have high LH, but it is good if you have high prolactin.
Insulin resistance can be a major cause of androgen-based acne, so especially if you have high testosterone or are diagnosed with PCOS, insulin testing can be helpful.
Testing your hormones with a blood test
The most common hormone testing method is a blood serum test. This is what you can do through your regular doctor.
Blood tests measure the so-called bound hormone – it binds in the blood to SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin). When a hormone is bound, it cannot be used at the site of a tissue receptor. But it is the hormones that act on the receptor sites in the tissue that actually create the symptoms.
In fact, this is not a good reflection of what is actually causing your symptoms.
Again and again, I hear from women who clearly have a set of hormonal symptoms and a blood test that says that everything is perfectly normal. Which is clearly not true.
However, a blood test may be useful for some things. Testosterone is generally better tested through blood. And a blood test is where you learn about your LH, LSH and prolactin.
So if you can get a blood test from your doctor, then fine. Do it.
But I do not think this gives the whole picture. Therefore, I also recommend an analysis of saliva or urine.
Testing Your Hormones with Saliva Testing
Testing your saliva tests for more free, unbound hormone that is available to your tissue receptors. 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, and you have to pay for it privately through a laboratory or some other specialist. Usually they cost about $ 150.
Kits can be mailed to you wherever you live, provided that you can send them back by courier with a two-day delivery.
This is also easy to do – just spit in the tubes.
Testing Your Urine Hormones
A urine test is similar to a saliva test, except that it usually tests more hormones.
It can also be a little more accurate, especially if it is collected within 24 hours, and more stable if it is a dry urine test (which means that it is better if you live abroad and you need to send it back – you have more time) .
But it is also more expensive. And you also need to do this 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 this and knows how to interpret it for acne patterns, then I recommend this.
For the most part, although the basic saliva test, which tests the hormones I have listed, will do a great job. I recommend it the most.
Checking your insulin
If you want to know if you are resistant to insulin, you would do this with your regular doctor using the Fasting Glucose Test.
However, doctors can often live with tunnel vision, and they may not be able to let you do this if you are not overweight, have been diagnosed with PCOS, or have diabetes in your family.
If you have good reason to believe that your acne may be related to your blood sugar, then do the test. If not, maintaining a stable blood sugar level is a great acne strategy.
Other Things to Know With Acne Hormone Testing
Please note that testing your hormones when you take hormonal birth control is pretty useless. The synthetic hormones in it completely inhibit and block your natural hormones.
Since hormone testing tests your natural hormones, it is likely to say that everything is low in all directions and will not give you anything too useful.
Another thing to note when analyzing saliva or urine is that it is very important to have someone who understands acne and testing to help you interpret them. Returning to the test is pretty useless, I have no idea what this means and what to do with the information, and wasting money.
Ideally, the natural practitioner through whom you are conducting it will know how acne works and give you some useful tips.
Of course there is I. For many years, I helped my favorite Love vitamins interpret their saliva tests at my Naturally Clear Skin Academy.
So if you need my help, consider joining us. I also have a special bonus only for members of the Academy – they receive an exclusive 30% discount on the saliva test through a certain company (i.e., saliva tests for $ 99).
Now do you feel more confident in testing your hormones?