A person’s hormone levels can typically be measured by using saliva test for hormone kits. Many medical professionals prefer this type of hormone testing for their patients because it’s convenient and non-invasive.
With saliva testing, you’ll be able to figure out the amount of bioavailable or active hormones in your body. Hormone deficiencies are easier to detect through saliva samples, which are usually collected upon waking up (it’s during this moment that most hormones are actively moving around and doing their work).
If you suspect that you have a hormonal imbalance, saliva tests can help you identify if your symptoms are related to any hormonal excesses or deficiencies based on your free hormone levels.
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal imbalance comes in various forms, and each type has its own set of symptoms and warning signs. The most common types of hormonal imbalance that men should worry about are oestrogen dominance and decreased testosterone levels.
Here are some signs to watch out for:
Oestrogen Dominance – External Symptoms
Oestrogen Dominance – Internal Symptoms
Oestrogen Dominance – Psychological Symptoms
If you’re dealing with 2-3 symptoms from each of these lists, you may be experiencing oestrogen dominance. You have an increased risk for this condition if you smoke or have trouble losing weight.
Low Testosterone Levels – Physical
Low Testosterone Levels – Psychological
Most Common Causes of Hormonal Imbalance
Getting our hormones out of balance may largely be due to our lifestyle, but it may also be due to external factors that we have no control over. If you have been doing or experiencing any of the things below, then it might be a good idea to perform a saliva hormone testing at home.
1. Eating the Wrong Types of Food
It should come as no surprise that food, particularly of the unhealthy kind, largely contributes to the occurrence of modern health problems. Here’s a list of what you should avoid:
2. Doing Too Much Exercise and Eating Too Little
Anything that’s too much or too little can be a factor that tips off your hormone balance. Doing the wrong kind of exercise too much and crash dieting usually spells disaster for your system, even increasing your cardiometabolic risk.
Your exercise and food habits should work in tandem with your hormones, not fight them. Reaching balanced hormone levels can be as simple as employing the right fitness routine and diet.
3. Dealing With Stress
Being constantly stressed can be all it takes to throw your hormones out of whack.
When your body finds itself in a state stress, it boosts the synthesis of cortisol, often referred to as the primary "stress hormone". In the short run, this is beneficial, helping you to adapt, fight, or flee the dangers. If the stress persists, however, the detrimental effects of cortisol on your other hormones become a problem.
For instance, it is a confirmed fact that increased cortisol levels supress testosterone production in men.
4. Ingesting Too Much Toxins
An excessive intake of toxins can be a heavy blow to the human liver. These can come in the form of chemicals, alcohol, heavy metals, conventional medications, and what not. They usually enter the body through food, drinks, and mdrugs but also can be due to our polluted environment.
One of the most important roles of the liver is breaking down excess oestrogen in the body. When your liver deals with too much toxins, it generally results in oestrogen dominance.
The aging process can also contribute to hormonal imbalance.
Testosterone levels in men decrease as they grow older. Oestrogen levels, on the other hand, decline at a slower pace. The levels of testosterone and oestrogen then become disproportional.
Incorporating strength training into your weekly routine can boost testosterone levels as well as eating magnesium-rich foods. Examples of these include dark leafy greens (spinach, kale), fish (tuna, mackerel), pumpkin seeds, unroasted nuts (almonds, walnuts, and cashews), bananas, avocados, and dark chocolate.
Hormones and Healthy Living: How to Strike the Balance
Hormonal imbalances are commonly treated with hormone therapy, but the first step to a longer-lasting solution can be as simple as knowing your body’s hormone levels through hormone testing.
A good saliva test kit is a great choice if you do not have access to a local lab. Choose one that covers more than just salivary cortisol—go for something that also checks estradiol and steroid hormones (this kit for testing saliva from ZRT Laboratory is a good choice).
In most cases, you wouldn’t have to resort to medications right away if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and then confirm you have a hormone imbalance. You can try assessing your current lifestyle first and see if it’s actually the one factor doing damage to your internal balance and hormone health.