How Can I Check My Hormone Levels At Home?
Hormones are chemicals produced in the endocrine glands. These chemicals are responsible for controlling various organs and processes in the body. If there is even a slight change in the level of hormones in your body, you may face adverse effects. You may wonder “how great would it be if I can check my hormone levels at home”.
A hormonal imbalance entails having high or low levels of a certain type of chemical. Hormones can actually be considered as ingredients to a recipe. The final product will only turn out good if all the ingredients are added in the perfect proportion. If a single ingredient is too little or too much, the recipe will not turn out the way it is supposed to.
The human body goes through hormonal changes at different stages in life and that is normal. However, improper functioning of the endocrine glands can cause hormonal changes.
How Can You Look Out for Hormonal Imbalance?
The level of hormones in your body can significantly impact your overall health. If a certain type of hormone is in excess or short supply, it will have an impact on your health. The symptoms that you experience will depend entirely on which glands are not functioning properly.
However, there are a few common symptoms to look out for. While these symptoms may be associated with a bunch of other reasons, it is best to get a checkup:
- Weight gain without any explanation or sudden weight loss
- Severely dry skin
- Heightened sensitivity to heat or cold
- Frequent bowel movements or constipation
- A hard hump between the shoulder blades composed of fatty tissue
Apart from these common symptoms, individuals often experience irritability, anxiety and depression. Unexplained change in mood, anxiety and being irritated all the time are classic symptoms of hormonal imbalance.
What Causes a Change in Hormones?
Hormone fluctuation in the body is a natural process. The fluctuation in levels could be due to age, pregnancy, puberty or menopause. Men also experience changes in hormones due to age. But there are certain medical conditions that can result in a shift in hormone levels.
What Causes an Imbalance In Hormones?
Hormone imbalance can be the result of various issues. There may be an underlying medical condition that is causing a shift in the level of hormones. Also, you may be taking medicines that are causing a change in your hormonal balance. At times, even minor stress can cause hormonal imbalance.
In women, polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS is a leading cause for hormonal imbalance. The changes in hormone levels due to PCOS come with a whole different set of symptoms, which include irregular periods, darkening of skin, excessive hair on face and chin and weight gain.
Men also go through hormone imbalance. Changes in the hormone levels for men are usually caused by low levels of testosterone. Since testosterone plays a vital part in men’s health, low testosterone levels can result in complications. Common symptoms of low testosterone include breast tissue development, erectile dysfunction, loss of bone mass, reduction in body hair and infertility.
Why Is It Important To Keep Hormone Levels in Check?
A balance in the level of hormones in your body is vital to your health. Even a slight imbalance can have adverse effects and cause severe health issues. This is why it is important to keep a keep a track of your hormone levels. Typically, you can visit the doctor every now and then and undergo testing.
But that may not always be the best way to go about it. Therefore, you should check hormone levels at home. This may sound like a complicated process, but in actual checking your hormone levels on your own is actually quite simple.
Testing Kits in the Market
You will find a variety of hormone testing kits in the market, which you can use. Each testing kit is for a different type of hormone so you just need to select the appropriate kit for the hormone you wish to test. Let’s look at a 3 common kits that will enable you to check hormone levels at home:
1. Finger Prick Kits
These types of kits actually collect a blood sample. A kit comes equipped with a prick so you may draw blood and a collection method. Most kits even come with a postage and packaging material. All you need to do is collect a sample of your blood and mail it to the lab by using the packaging and postage material provided. Once the lab receives the blood sample, they will test it for hormone imbalances and get back to you within a few days. Both men and women can use this testing kit.
2. Urine Strip Test
Urine strip tests are for testing female hormone, typically ones associated with fertility. They provide quick results and are simple to use. These strips work on the same principle as pregnancy tests. All you need to do is collect your urine sample in a clean glass or plastic cup and dip the strip in it for a few seconds. Once done, you will have the result within a matter of minutes.
3. Saliva Testing
One of the most popular methods to check hormone levels at home is the saliva test. This test works in a similar manner as a prick test, except for the fact that you need to send a saliva sample instead of blood. The kit comes with a collector in which you need to spit and mail the sample to the lab. Once the lab receives the sample, they will perform the test and mail the results back to you. Many believe, that saliva testing is the most accurate and recommend this method.
In most cases, making a few lifestyle changes can treat your hormonal imbalance. But you won’t be able to make those changes unless you know the problem. With a variety of hormone testing kits available in the market, it is extremely easy to check hormone levels at home. Remember to should check your levels periodically!