Basic Female Hormone Panel The philosophy of functional medicine is focused on supporting the body’s individual and unique state of health and well-being. Hormones are the language of our body. This specific language follows a feedback system that travels fluently and continuously throughout every cell in our body to maintain homeostasis (health). Another way to think about it is when our hormones are out of balance, so is our immune system. Several of the same steroid hormones are measured in both the male and female panels because each gender should have a have a balanced amount of the hormones being evaluated. Emotional stress may inhibit the natural production of estrogen and progesterone. Eating food high in protein or saturated fats may increase estrogen and progesterone production naturally whereas diets high in processed foods or exposure to environmental toxins may decrease the production of female hormones. When hormones are out of balance there is an increase in cardiovascular disease, metabolic imbalances, and cancer. To be more specific, research has demonstrated when testosterone levels are low; there is an increase in Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, cardiac disease and the development of chronic muscle wasting.
This panel includes Total Estrogens, Progesterone and Testosterone Woman/Child.
• Estrogens are responsible for giving women their female characteristics, maintaining blood supply to the skin, make menstruation possible and stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, which increases mental alertness. Three types of estrogens are present in significant quantities in the blood, estradiol, estrone, and estriol.
• Progesterone is also known to have an effect on sleep, respiration, mood, appetite, learning, and memory. Progesterone is a neurosteroid, which means it is neuroprotective. Progesterone supports the normal development of neurons in the brain and has a protective effect on damaged brain tissue. It is important to assess thyroid function when evaluating progesterone levels. Thyroid hormones sensitize cells so progesterone can be readily used. If cells are not exposed to enough thyroid hormones, progesterone cannot enter the cells.
• Symptoms of decreased levels of testosterone may include a change in libido, depression, and cognitive decline. Healthy levels of testosterone are associated with cardiovascular protection, decrease in inflammation, decrease in anemia, decrease in cognitive decline and risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.
It is important to know that a Zinc deficiency lowers testosterone levels. Remember, hormone evaluations are highly individual. Hormone testing is one component considered when evaluating hormone status.
It is important to have a qualified health care provider working with you while you explore your hormone needs.
For more information on labs, please review each lab under the Individual Lab tab.
Test Preparation For Optimal Results:
If possible, it is best to have these labs collected early in the morning. For comparison purposes, have subsequent labs collected close to the same time.
Test Turn Around Time:
Your health care provider should evaluate a deviation from normal ranges.