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When we are
testing for hormones we really want to know what is going on inside of
our cells, because that is where our health is. Salivary
levels of hormones actually reflect the levels of hormones inside our
cells better than blood levels do. In blood hormones come
three different ways. One part is “free” – floating around in
blood, not bound to anything , and ready for the cell to take up and
use. This is the part of the hormone we want to know
about. Regular labs don’t test for the free portion of the
hormone. When blood hormone levels are checked, the lab tests
for the “total” value of the hormone. The total value is made
up of the free portion, plus a portion of hormone bound to big carrier
proteins which can’t get past the cell membrane, so can’t be used by
Saliva glands excrete their contents, so more of what is on the inside
of the cell is now in our saliva, and saliva doesn’t have carrier
proteins. This is why saliva levels of hormones are a better
baseline test than blood.
test that your practitioner typically orders costs $165.00 and is not covered
by insurance. It covers most of our major hormones including
cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA.
Many patients can get reimbursed in part by their insurance company if
they submit their receipt to their insurance carrier as an “out of
network lab expense”.