Hormone levels from saliva
Steroid hormones are all produced from cholesterol and are divided into five different groups: progestin like progesterone, glucocorticoid e.g. cortisol, mineral corticoid e.g. Aldosterone, androgens e.g. Testosterone and estrogens e.g. estradiol. Steroid hormones are able to cross the blood brain barrier. Their duration of effectiveness lasts from a few hours to several days, after that they are broken down by the liver. The production of steroid hormones is controlled by the peptide hormones of the pituitary gland, which in turn is controlled by the hypothalamus.
Steroid hormones are in the blood almost completely bound to hormone binding proteins and in this form are a biologically inactive reservoir. Not even 5% of the entire hormone concentration is available in its free and biologically relevant form. The saliva hormones represent this active, biologically freely available component of the circulating steroid hormones. They represent the present hormone activity, whereas the total hormone level in serum, can be compared to a reservoir of hormones from whom free and active hormones can be regenerated. Due to secretion dependent fluctuation of the carrier proteins the saliva hormone levels are not comparable with the serum blood levels. The serum blood levels are more of a long term analysis, whereas the saliva levels are a snapshot of the momentarily present levels.
The saliva hormone measurement, cannot replace or be called superior to the serum blood test for steroid hormones. Depending on the question you want answered one or the other method is more suitable.
The serum blood method is methodically uncomplicated and indicates the amount of hormone available over a long time frame. The saliva test is more suitable for dynamic examinations such as functional tests.
Saliva Test kit 1 - Stress profile morning and midmorning cortisol value, plus morning DHEA
Cortisol is a so called activity or stress hormone. The cortisol level influences our protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism to supply us optimally during periods of activity and stress. As well as that it changes the mental reactivity and interferes with the immune defence. Cortisol is produced in the adrenal cortex and regulates the mineral and water balance in the kidney. The function in regard of the metabolism is the mental wellbeing, the immune function and the regulation of growth. It is produced in the second half of the night, so that it is available in the morning, for the daily activities and stresses. In the morning cortisol concentration is higher and in the evening it is lower. Therefore we are awake and alert in the morning and in the evening time we are tired. It is therefore the most important stress hormone that is released during psychological and physical stress situations. In times of continuous stress, the cortisol levels are always raised. If the situation is prolonged then the adrenal gland and/or the pituitary gland and hypothalamus cannot maintain the high hormone levels.
A consequence of the exhaustion of the adrenal glands is the reduction of pre-hormones progesterone and DHEA also. DHEA is an important counterpart of cortisol and important for stress tolerance. Therefore all the positive traits of the two hormones disappear and the androgen and estrogen hormones which are manufactured from them will be reduced too. Therefore if under stress you lose your desire for sex.
Many different medical conditions are aggravated by this hormonal situation:
- Hay fever
- Multiple sclerosis
- Adrenal exhaustion
- Metabolic syndrome?
- Other conditions
Saliva Test kit 2 - Oestrogen dominance (Estradiol & Progesterone)
In many women too little progesterone is produced in the ovaries. And further progesterone in a sort of antagonist to estrogen. Both hormones have to be present in a certain ratio to each other, to have balanced hormone levels. If progesterone is too low, then oestrogen influences the body too strongly. It is literally dominant. The same is the case, when an actual estrogen deficiency is present, for example during the menopause. The determining factor here is, if the progesterone deficit is even greater than the estrogen deficit.
The following symptoms can be an expression of estrogen dominance:
- Marked desire for sweet foods
- Dry mucus membranes
- Low libido
- Hot flashes
- Breast tension
- Weight gain
- Water retention
- Swollen feet
- Cycle disturbances of various types
- fertility problems
- cycle irregularities
- fibromyalgia, obesity
- thyroid problems
Saliva Test kit 3 - Night time waking (Cortisol & Melatonin)
- Sleep disorders
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Chronic progressive multiple sclerosis
- Menstrual irregularities
- Mental health problems