Testing Hormone Levels
The following are tests and biological markers that can be used to test hormone levels:
Saliva Testing It has been shown that saliva testing is the most accurate measurement of the body’s availability of the hormones Cortisol, DHEA, Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone. Saliva testing is much more specific and correctly identifies the level of hormones at the cellular level, in contrast to a serum (blood) test, which measures the level of hormones circulating in the bloodstream.
Serum or Blood Testing Most serum testing measures the level of “free” hormone (the hormone that can easily enter the cell), the level of the “total” hormone (the hormone attached to substances that carry hormones in the bloodstream), or a calculated combination of both free and total levels of hormone. It is not an accurate reflection of the bioavailable hormone (the amount of hormone that is active in organs and tissues).
Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Testing FSH is frequently used to determine the hormonal status of premenopausal women who may complain of hot flashes, mood changes, or other symptoms. The FSH test should not be used as an accurate measure of sex steroid hormone production or as an indication of reproductive status for most women, because the level of FSH fluctuates widely during the decade before menopause.