Why Use Saliva for Hormone Testing?

in Overall Health by

If you are curious about seeing where your hormone levels are at, you might want to think about getting some hormone testing done. Using saliva for testing purposes is quite popular and there are several important reasons why this is a good option.

It’s Non-Invasive

Blood tests mean needles and punctures, which may not be that appealing for everyone. Saliva collecting is painless and doesn’t require bleeding or Band-Aids. That’s a very big plus for a lot of people.

It’s Do-It-Yourself

Collecting a sample of saliva is simple and you don’t need a medical professional to do it. Unlike some other types of testing (like the popular DNA tests), you don’t just swipe the inside of your mouth with a swab though. You have to collect at least 2 to 3 ml of liquid in a tube for your sample. Don’t worry, your kit will have all the specific instructions so it’s not like you have to figure this out on your own.

By choosing a testing method that you can administer yourself, that means you aren’t tied to a local company or lab to work with. You can utilize any lab that offers shipping for kits and samples, regardless of where you or they are.

Another positive aspect of DIY testing is that you can arrange to have these tests done without having to discuss it with your doctor. If you are just curious about your levels without concrete medical evidence to a problem, it can be difficult to convince a doctor to perform tests.

It’s Accurate

It might seem a bit odd that hormone levels can be tested from saliva, but it really does work accurately. In fact, some saliva tests are more accurate than blood tests because only “free hormones” are detected. Some that are bound up with other proteins, and don’t do your body much good, are picked up by the blood tests.

You do have to specify which hormones (estrogen, cortisol, testosterone, etc) to test for with some kits, so don’t expect a complete panel with one single test.

Why Do Testing?

Let’s take a closer look at why you’d be getting hormone testing done in the first place. These are some common issues that people have, that can have their roots in hormone imbalances:

  • Sleep problems
  • Acne
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Forgetfulness
  • Weight gain
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue

If you are dealing with any of these things and can’t pinpoint the causes, try seeing where your hormones are at. For people over the age of 45, it can be even more relevant as many hormones start to decline and symptoms increase. You might be surprised to find that some of these annoying problems are easily treatable with hormone therapy.

Be aware though that if you buy your own kit through a testing lab, you will likely have to pay out-of-pocket for it. If you need to have insurance cover a hormone test, talk to your doctor instead.

Image Credits: Wikimedia