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Demystifying Hormone Imbalance: A Guide to Symptoms and Lab Analysis

Updated: Mar 20

As we grow older, it's understood that our hormone levels undergo changes. However, the timing and manner in which these changes occur vary greatly from person to person, influenced by factors such as family history, lifestyle choices, and environmental stressors. I've encountered instances where women in their 30s exhibit symptoms suggestive of early menopause, and men experience a rapid decline in libido and exercise recovery. Standard serum bloodwork for hormone assessment offers a broad overview of hormone levels but lacks the specificity required for targeted hormone management. Consequently, many patients receive blood hormone tests only to be informed that "everything looks good." Typically, serum bloodwork involves a single collection, providing a snapshot of hormone levels at a specific moment. However, for hormones like cortisol, which exhibit natural fluctuations throughout the day, this approach inadequately captures the daily pattern.

Moreover, serum hormone tests do not delve into hormone metabolism and breakdown, which can be crucial. The presence of specific hormone metabolites is directly linked to hormone effectiveness and potential toxicity.

DUTCH - A Comprehensive Look Into Your Hormones


The Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones (D.U.T.C.H) is an advanced assessment tool designed to explore the intricate realm of reproductive hormones and their metabolites, pinpointing areas of hormonal imbalances with precision.

Among the women and men I encounter, many are juggling multiple roles as dedicated mothers or driven professionals, often prioritizing others and their projects over their own well-being. These demanding circumstances can significantly impact hormone levels and cortisol production.

Cortisol, our body's primary "stress response" hormone, is secreted by the adrenal glands through a process known as the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal-Axis (HPA-Axis) cascade. The Dutch test offers insights into adrenal health by analyzing the diurnal (daily) cortisol pattern, assessing cortisol production upon waking, midday, evening, and before bedtime, allowing us to detect potential HPA-axis dysfunction. Additionally, the DUTCH test examines cortisol metabolites in urine, offering a comprehensive view of how your body metabolizes cortisol.

Furthermore, the Dutch test provides a detailed breakdown of sex hormones, shedding light on how your body processes and eliminates them, while also offering insights into your methylation capacity. This valuable information informs dietary adjustments and potential supplementation recommendations to optimize your hormone pathways.

5 Reasons You Want to Take the DUTCH Test

  • For women undergoing hormone replacement therapy, the Dutch test serves as a valuable tool for monitoring the levels of hormones utilized. Particularly effective for oral progesterone, vaginal hormone creams, patches, and pellets, this test offers comprehensive insights into hormone balance.

  • This is the best test to check for the risk of breast cancer.

  • Additionally, the Dutch test assesses melatonin levels, a hormone crucial for inducing relaxation and sleepiness, as it is produced approximately 2 hours before bedtime. Understanding your melatonin levels can be instrumental in identifying appropriate treatments for sleep-related issues.

  • Furthermore, the Dutch test measures DHEA-S levels, an important hormone produced by the adrenal glands known as the "feel-good" or "Vitality" hormone. Low levels of DHEA-S can result in fatigue, decreased muscle mass and bone density, depression, muscle soreness, weakened immunity, and diminished libido.

  • Many women experience symptoms of estrogen dominance, such as PMS, heavy bleeding, menstrual cramps, fibroids, and endometriosis. This condition occurs when there is an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone levels, coupled with inefficient clearance of old estrogens from the body. The Dutch test not only evaluates estrogen and progesterone levels but also provides insights into estrogen metabolism. A healthy estrogen metabolism facilitates effective binding and elimination of estrogens, thereby reducing symptoms of estrogen dominance.

  • Moreover, the Dutch test offers a comprehensive assessment of adrenal function, crucial as stress accumulates throughout life and sex hormone production declines with age. Inadequate adrenal support can lead to insufficient cortisol output, resulting in increased abdominal weight gain, blood sugar issues, and fatigue.

What does the DUTCH COMPLETE test measure?

  • Estrogen

  • Progesterone

  • Testosterone

  • Melatonin

  • Free cortisol pattern

  • Total and metabolized cortisol

  • Neurotransmitter metabolites

  • Estrogen metabolites

  • Androgen metabolites

  • Nutritional organic acids

  • Oxidative stress

A DUTCH test is a great option if you are struggling with these symptoms:

  • Weight-loss resistance

  • Infertility

  • PCOS

  • Insomnia and sleep disturbances

  • Fatigue

  • Acne

  • PMS or PMDD

  • Painful or heavy periods

  • Poor stress tolerance

  • Anxiety, depression, mood swings

When assisting a client experiencing these symptoms, I conduct a thorough analysis of their symptoms alongside the results from the DUTCH Complete test. Based on this assessment, I implement precise hormone interventions designed to safeguard long-term hormone health, address aging-related issues, and enhance overall bodily function.

If you're experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms and are interested in learning more about functional labs, feel free to schedule a complimentary consultation with me.

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