What are hormones?
They’re the most powerful molecules in the body and travel via the blood to control cell growth, development, protein synthesis and our metabolic rate. We need optimal levels for health and quality of life
Hormone levels are stable throughout your 20’s and 30’s, so you’re able to wake up in the morning with energy, hold down a full time job, find a partner, have a sex drive, make a baby etc. But then you notice …
Joint pains upon standing
Struggling to wake up in the morning
Trying not to fall asleep at your desk (it’s called the post-lunch slump: glazed eyes, yawning, sinking into the chair!)
Needing a few extra cups of caffeine
These are signs of hormonal imbalance. The hormones gradually decline after the age of 35, leading to loss of ‘feeling normal’. People just don’t feel 100%.
Hormones help us to grow properly, but they also help the Nervous, Cardiovascular and Immune systems, the ability of the skin to stay supple and youthful, plus the Skeletal, Muscular and Endocrine system.
Males may experience erectile dysfunction, low sex drive, premature greying or balding, low energy, anxiety, palpitations, erratic sleep patterns.
Females can experience PMT, heavy painful periods, exhaustion, difficulty conceiving or carrying full term, hot flushes, vaginal dryness, menopausal symptoms.
In mainstream medicine, Blood tests often show as ‘normal. ‘Normal’ means that everything is within range. The problem is that hormonal ranges are huge. Take DHEA for example, the ranges for a female are 65-380 and 280-640 for a male. If one happens to be on the low end, one would be more likely to experience poor memory, lower levels of estrogen and testosterone and lowered immunity. ‘Normal’ does not mean OPTIMAL and this is the point most people seek help.
The NHS blood results for the thyroid gland often only test TSH and T4, but this does nothing to assess for the ability to convert Free T4 to Free T3, which is the active hormone. People still experience symptoms of low thyroid energy (cold hands, exhaustion, weight gain/loss, headaches, constipation), even when on Levothyroxine, if they cannot effectively convert the Levothyroxine to Free T3.
Through their GP, women may be offered chemically synthesised hormones such as Premarin, Provera or Methyltestosterone (HRT). There is on-going controversy about HRT and the side effects, and many people are reluctant go down that route.
Bio-identical hormones are still synthesised (created) but are an identical formula to human hormones. We prefer to call it ‘Hormonal Restorative Therapy’, as it uses a multi- hormone approach, along with the right supportive nutrition. Bio-identical hormones have the correct molecular structure as the hormones present in the body. They have the same action at the receptors, the same metabolism and the same elimination. The Bio-identical hormones are non-toxic with no side-effects, only effects (although at the wrong dosage they would have side-effects).
In order to use Bio-identical hormones, the proper dose needs to be determined by a blood test. At the correct dose there are no interactions with drugs or allergic reactions and they help to restore youthful physiological levels of hormones.
I thought only a doctor could prescribe Bio-Identical Hormones?
Absolutely! You will be overseen by Dr Martin J. Kinsella MBChB, BDS, BACD of Re-enhance.com who is registered with the General Medical Council.
So, if you’re feeling exhausted, gaining weight, lacking in drive (both sex drive and ambition), feeling the cold/heat, experiencing niggles, feeling anxious or just not feeling 100% then order your kit and let’s find some answers
If you are local (Wilmslow, Cheshire) then please arrange for a blood draw with us (info below).
If you are out of the area, please call us to order a ‘Bio-Identical Hormone Testing Kit’ which will be sent to your preferred address. You will be required to take this to a phlebotomy centre- this may be your local doctor, nurse, clinic or hospital – anywhere that will agree to draw your blood (there will usually be a charge for this).
Several phials of blood are filled and then either posted immediately in the supplied envelope, or the samples refrigerated until able to post. The samples should arrive within 5 days of the blood draw (clinic open Tuesday-Friday only). The Test Kit contains a Consultation form which needs to be returned with the samples.
What is tested for?
Women and men are tested the same, although in varying ratios :
Sex hormones: Progesterone, iE2 (oestrogen), Testosterone.
Energy hormones (adrenal glands): Cortisol, DHEA.
Metabolism hormones (thyroid gland): Free T3, Free T4, TSH, Total T4, Antithyroid Peroxidase antibody (TPO Ab), Antithyroglobulin Antibody (TG Ab). Please note Reverse T3 is not tested for, but can be at an additional charge.
Reproductive hormones: FSH, LH2.
Nutrients: Vitamin D, B12, Folate, Several markers for Iron, PSA (a marker for male prostate issues), Homocysteine (a measurement for heart disease), SHBG (elevated levels can indicate free estrogen, instead of bound).
Full Biochemistry for liver and kidney (30 markers)
Full Haematology for red and white blood cells (12 markers)
What do these mean and why are they tested?
The sex hormones are useful to know in cases of infertility, lack of periods, heavy periods, intermittent periods, lack of sex drive (libido) to see if peri-menopausal or menopausal. Often the ratio is incorrect between progesterone, oestrogen and testosterone so women seem to carry a spare tyre around their middle, have mood swings, feeling irritable, angry or tearful.
The energy hormones are cortisol and DHEA and they help to maintain brain function and mood balance. DHEA in particular helps to improve insulin sensitivity.
The metabolism hormones relate to the thyroid gland. Symptoms that there may be an imbalance here are Fatigue, Feeling cold, Poor memory, Constipation, Weight gain, Shortness of breath, Abnormal sensations, Heavy periods, Hoarse voice, Poor hearing. Signs that there may be an imbalance here are Dry course skin, Cool extremities, Myxedema, Hair loss, Slow pulse, Limb swelling, Delayed relaxation of tendon reflexes, Carpel tunnel syndrome, Abdominal swelling (ascites).
If the results show a need for Hormone Restorative Therapy then suggestions will be made on the report for Bio-identical hormones, as well as supportive nutrients. The hormones come in various forms:
Capsules – DHEA, Pregnenalone, Melatonin, Progesterone.
Tablets – Hydrocortisone, Armour thyroid (dessicated T3 and T4).
Creams/ micronised gels – Testosterone, Progesterone, Biest (a combination of two estrogens; estriol and estradiol), Triest (a combination of three estrogens; estriol, estradiol and estrone).
What is the process and how long does it take to receive the results?
Please telephone to book a ‘Half hour blood draw for Bio-Identical Hormones’. Your email address will be required and the relevant comprehensive forms sent to you in advance. Please complete these and bring to your appointment. A £50 deposit will be taken at the time of booking which is refundable with 24 hours notice of cancellation. The total cost for the Bio-Identical Hormone Test is £375. This includes the blood draw and 1/2 hr consultation, Dr Kinsella’s interpretation with any Bio-Identical Hormone Suggestions, plus a Naturopathic Interpretation should you wish to take a more natural approach. The Naturopathic Interpretation looks at patterns forming from all of the results, and utilises herbs, nutrition and low-dose hormones to create the desired effect of balancing the body system and hormones.
The blood results and reports will be received within 10 days and you will be contacted via email with these results attached.
As laboratory reports are extremely comprehensive, you may feel they require some simplification. If you would like to go through the report in greater detail, we suggest booking a 30 minute appointment in person at our Clinic or by telephone or Skype, at an additional charge of £35. Call us on 01625 54 9000.
Is there anything I need to do beforehand?
Please continue with any prescribed medication from your GP, but if taking Levothyroxine please refrain from taking it on the day of the test, until after the blood draw.
Concerns over cholesterol or triglycerides– please fast for at least 6 hours prior to the appointment.
Males– the test can be taken on any day.
Menstruating females – please schedule the blood draw for Day 21 of your cycle (21 days after first starting with a bleed).
Females on the Contraceptive Pill – the test can be taken on any day of your cycle.
Irregular cycle, yet menstruating – as close to what you may perceive to be Day 21 of your cycle.
Possibly menopausal and not had a cycle for a few months – the test can be taken on any day.
Menopausal and not had a cycle for 12 months – the test can be taken on any day.