One of the coolest tools I get to use. The DUTCH test.
Before you jump to any conclusions, DUTCH stands for Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones.
As I’d like to think of myself as a hormone detective, I’m all over this test.
And because there is absolutely no way I can cover this entire test in one post, I’m going to focus on estrogen today.
Both the ovaries and fat (adipose) tissue are responsible for making majority of your estrogen. Estrogen is also made from androstenedione (derived from DHEA) and testosterone. Insulin resistance (and excess fat), stress and alcohol will increase aromatase, which results in more circulating estrogen. This isn’t ideal.
So, this test also lets me determine how well you’re metabolizing estrogen (note the blue, red and green arrows). 2-OH (see green arrow and pie chart) is considered the ideal pathway, whereas the 4-OH and 16-OH are considered proliferative, and potentially carcinogenic (specifically, may increase the risk for breast cancer).
If you happen to be a patient of mine, you’re probably sick of hearing me talk about this metabolism (I think it comes up in every visit I have with women #sorrynotsorry) - but it’s seriously important for keeping estrogen in check! Estrogen should be BALANCED.
The best thing about this? There is so much you can do through lifestyle and nutrition to keep estrogen in check.
Are you dealing with hormone imbalance? Or do you want further information on how to support proper estrogen metabolism?
Book a complimentary 10-minute consultation (meet & greet; in-person or via phone) to get some more insight into how naturopathic can help balance your hormones.
Androgens are often referred to as ‘male sex hormones,’ but they’re present in both men and women. When it comes to women, we hear the most about testosterone, DHEA-S and DHT.
Birth control is NOT the only option for painful (dysmenorrhea) and/or heavy periods (menorrhagia). And before jumping on a medication or supplement your HCP should always look into potential causes of extreme cramping – ie. endometriosis, fibroids, etc.
Prostaglandins are a major factor in menstrual cramps – once a month (when Aunt Flow comes to town) they cause uterine muscles to contract in order to release the uterine lining (endometrium). Prostaglandins aren’t bad (they are important for blood clots, inducing labour, etc.), but if certain prostaglandins are high in your cycle – this can predispose to more painful menstrual cramping.
So - the liver is responsible for detoxing alcohol. But it’s also important for metabolizing estrogen. In women, more than one alcoholic drink per day has been shown to increase circulation of androgens (ie. testosterone) and estrogens (1, 2) – this predisposes you to symptoms of estrogen dominance.
Are you taking your iron supplement with your morning cup of coffee or tea?
I’m excited to share that in an effort to increase accessibility to naturopathic care, I am offering virtual consults to individuals who live in rural areas of Manitoba.
Perimenopause: the hormonal shift, occurring over months-years, which transitions you into menopause. ‘Peri’ means “around” or “near”, so - you get the point.
We’re stressed out, right? Well, the increased cortisol produced by stress makes us hungry - hungry for carbs, sugar and fat (and not the good kinds, okay?). If we follow suit and eat like this all the time we start to feel fatigued (and in desperately hoping for a caffeine boost), moody and may even start to find that we don’t think as clearly (some will call this ‘brain fog’). And stress forces our body to utilize a significant amount of nutrients to produce the energy we need to respond - even if our stress is created by sitting in front of a computer all day.
Chronically stressed out? I won’t lie, me too.
But yikes, that eventually catches up to you. Cortisol (aka our stress hormone) is important for our functioning (and our ability to adapt to stress) – but too much or too little can be problematic.
Do you know how to deal with chronically elevated cortisol?
Taking your biotin pretty consistently and still losing hair?
Well, there’s a ton of reasons why your hair might be thinning out. Let’s investigate.
I’m willing to bet you’ve heard the term ‘PCOS’ before.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). The first thing I want to emphasize: it’s a syndrome – not all signs and symptoms show up in every individual with PCOS.
So, how do you know if you have PCOS?