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Female / Women Hormone Symptoms

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What can the Female / Women Hormone Profile tell you about your health?
A simple test you can take at home can reveal important information about your health - and possibly change your life.

Hormones: Your Body's Messengers
Hormones are chemicals your body produces to regulate various functions. They do so by sending important messages and signals to various organs and tissues. When they work harmoniously, your body behaves in a predictable way. But if there is too much or too little of any one hormone, then imbalance occurs and you can begin to feel that something is wrong. Wanted pregnancies don't happen, the discomfort of PMS makes the days before menstruation very difficult, or menstruation may occur irregularly or not occur at all. This is when an accurate assessment of hormone balance can mean all the difference in the world--and is the reason Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratory created the Female Hormone Profile.

Sex Hormones and the Bodies of Women
The most important groups of hormones for women are estrogens (especially -estradiol) and progestins (like progesterone). In a healthy female body they balance each other so phases of the menstrual cycle occur regularly. When one is going down, the other is going up. Their synchronized cycle repeats about every month (25 to 35 days). When the balance between estrogen and progesterone is lost, your body may act in unpredictable ways. When everything works normally, the menstrual cycle goes through appropriate phases. For the first 10-16 days, a woman's body is getting eggs ready for fertilization (pregnancy). Follicles grow in the ovaries. The tissue in the womb prepares for a fertilized egg. If eggs are fertilized, then the menstrual cycle is suspended for the nine months of pregnancy. The body automatically produces appropriate amounts of both estrogen and progesterone. These in turn stimulate secretions for nourishing the fertilized egg. If fertilization doesn't occur, the nurturing environment created in the womb rapidly changes. Hormone levels drop off quickly after about two weeks, the womb cleanses itself through menstruation, and the process is ready to repeat again.

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When Imbalance Occurs
If sufficient estrogen is not available in the first two weeks of the menstrual cycle, eggs are not stimulated to develop. This condition is known as anovulation which simply means that the body is not producing eggs. When anovulation occurs repeatedly, it can cause infertility. A year of unprotected sex without pregnancy occurring usually indicates the condition of infertility. Prior to menstruation, an imbalance of progesterone and estrogen can produce physical and emotional discomfort for women. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) can result in bloating, headaches, mood swings, and irritability. Too much estrogen, in relation to progesterone, or visa versa, throws the body into a severely imbalanced state. The experience of missing menstrual periods for months in a row can also result from hormonal imbalance. Amenorrhea is a failure of menstruation for six months in a woman with previously normal menstrual cycles. It is a condition most common in women undergoing high intensity athletic training or stress, who aren't making enough progesterone to trigger their menstrual cycles. When it's time to move beyond the child-bearing years, women's estrogen levels should gently fall, telling their bodies to cease preparing an environment for fertilized eggs. When menstruation stops abruptly, menopause brings with it some uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings. Estrogen depletion can also accelerate bone loss and increase risk of heart disease. Natural or pharmaceutical hormone replacement therapy can alleviate many of the symptoms. But if a woman takes too much estrogen to replace this loss, the estrogen overload can lead to other health problems, even cancer of the uterus or breasts.

A Comprehensive Testing and Targeted Therapy
There are safe and effective ways to synchronize hormone production, but health care practitioners first need to know your hormone levels throughout the monthly cycle. The Female Hormone Profile from Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratory analyzes eleven saliva samples taken at two- to three-day intervals over a 28-day time period. Based on the patterns, health care practitioners can recognize abnormal levels and deviation from the normal balanced menstrual pattern. The Female Hormone Profile test report includes a graphic profile, giving amounts of -estradiol and progesterone on each day saliva was collected. Using this information, clinicians can precisely monitor estradiol and progesterone activity. The patterns accurately revealed on the Profile are then compared to normal patterns. In this way, the Female Hormone Profile from Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratory provides your clinician information critical for designing a treatment program that's right for you. It is often surprising how easy it is to feel good again.

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant for use as a diagnostic guide. Please consult directly with your physician for diagnosis and treatment options. Physicians may deem it medically necessary to order a single test or a portion of a profile.

Ask yourself:

If you answered yes to any of the following questions, you may want to ask your Health Care Provider about the Female Hormone Profile.

CLICK HERE for list of our Female Hormone tests


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