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SALIVA TESTS
Pharmaceutical Quality
 

DHEA, Melatonin, Testosterone, Progesterone et DHT play a critical role in your body. As you get older and your hormone levels shift, the delicate balance required to keep you at the peak of health is upset.

Now there is a solution.

A simple, cost effective saliva test will give you an accurate profile of your hormone level, allowing you, if necessary, to make adjustments with natural hormone supplementation.

 
   Collection Supplies Provided:
  • Informational insert
  • Test requisition form
  • Sugarless gum to stimulate saliva flow
  • Collection tube and an identification label to adhere to tube
  • Plastic bag and protection cloth for the tube
  • Prepaid mailer (U.S. only)

 

 

Each kit is good to test only one hormone of your choice:

DHEA     ● Melatonin     Progesterone     ● Testosterone     ● DHT


 

$86.95 USD per kit

Hormonal kit


Quantity:
 

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Subjects found on this page:

Saliva collection
When to collect your saliva
How to collect your saliva
How to mail your saliva specimen
How often to test
About saliva testing
Why test saliva for hormones
What is a hormone
Some functions of your endocrine system
Aging and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
The first step in anti-aging medicine...  HRT
Your bone health
About saliva hormone results
What was measured
How to use the saliva ranges
Your test results
Your results and the ranges
Individual and physiological variability
Importance of the collection time
Location within the ranges if you are not supplementing
Hormone levels that fall at the low end of or below the established saliva ranges
Hormone levels that rise above the established saliva ranges
Expected levels from Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

 

Saliva collection

Note: Please read all of this section before beginning saliva collection. 

Saliva collection is simple and can be performed in your home at your convenience. Hormones in saliva are stable at room temperature for several weeks so there are no special needs in shipping to us. Just send your saliva specimen by regular mail to us in the prepaid mailer provided.
Patients outside the U.S. will need to provide postage.

 

When to collect your saliva

In general, the following guidelines are recommended:

Naturally Occurring Hormone Levels
For
all hormones level testing, the best time to collect saliva is in the early morning, preferably right after rising.
For Melatonin level testing, saliva collected at 3 AM (interrupting your sleep cycle) when the hormone peaks is best tested.


How to collect your saliva

Instructions:

  • For all hormones except Melatonin, saliva is collected generally in the early morning (AM) before brushing/flossing your teeth, eating, drinking or applying makeup. For multiple sample collections, refrain from brushing or flossing your teeth or eating within one hour of saliva collection.

  • Rinse your mouth at least twice with cool water, then chew the sugarless gum provided for 1-2 minutes, swallowing saliva as usual. You may continue to chew the gum during saliva collection but please do not spit it into the collection tube. If, for some reason, you are not able to chew the gum, saliva collection is still possible but may take longer.

  • Begin the collection. Remove the cap of the saliva collection tube and spit directly into the tube. Avoid touching the mouth of the tube with your hands. All the same instructions apply to Melatonin testing, except that it should be done at 3 AM.


Important: Hands can potentially contaminate the saliva during collection. Wash your hands
                  thoroughly with soap and water before beginning.

  • Fill the tube at least 3/4 full and cap, making sure the cap is on evenly and securely.
    It may take you a few minutes to generate sufficient saliva.

  • Neatly print your name, date, and time of collection on the peel off label and affix to the saliva tube.

  • Fill out completely  the requisition form enclosed with your collection kit. It is especially important to include the time and date of saliva collection and to list any hormonal products you are using. List each product separately and include preparation name, amount taken and time of ingestion or application.


How to mail your saliva specimen

Fold the white copy of the requisition form and place it in the prepaid mailer with the specimen tube wrapped with the yellow cloth in the small plastic bag . Close the mailer and strike smartly on a firm surface to secure contents. It is a good idea to put extra tape to close the end.

Send by U.S. mail. Patients outside the U.S. need to provide postage. Please remember to include the requisition form.

If you have any questions regarding collection or mailing of your saliva sample, please feel free to e-mail us at rajeunir@dheausa.com

 

How often to test

Monitoring Hormonal Needs with Saliva Testing

A baseline saliva hormone test done when you are in your thirties provides an excellent picture of your healthy, youthful hormone levels. These levels become valuable as potential target ranges when your hormones begin to diminish and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) becomes an option.

Yearly saliva hormone testing beginning at age forty allows you to track how quickly or slowly your hormone levels are shifting. Regular monitoring helps determine when it is appropriate to begin HRT (if that is your choice) and which hormones need to be supplemented.

Once you have selected your particular HRT, taking into consideration the variety of preparations, types of delivery systems and dosage, it is critical to monitor your newly-adjusted hormone levels with saliva testing to make sure you are taking the appropriate amounts.

Once HRT has been optimized, yearly testing will reveal any changes in your hormonal needs over time.

If, for any reason, you decide to alter your HRT, saliva testing will be extremely useful in assisting you to make decisions regarding your new HRT protocol.

 

About saliva testing

The knowledge that there are steroid hormones in saliva, and that they can be measured, has been around for more than 30 years. But it is only recently that technology has caught up with that information, making it possible to accurately determine levels of salivary hormones. Now, with specific antibodies for key steroid hormones, our laboratory can be an important partner in your quest for a longer, healthier and sexier life.

Until recently, steroid hormone level evaluations were carried out on blood samples, but blood collection has its limitations. It is invasive, expensive, and difficult to time precisely. Perhaps more importantly, blood hormone levels represent your body's total hormone content. Most blood hormones (about 95%) are bound to specific proteins which carry them through your bloodstream and can be considered the hormone 'storage' fraction.

The other 5% represents your free hormones - those available to move easily into your target organs and fulfill their functions. Your saliva contains these free hormones which can be easily measured to give an accurate picture of those hormones that are readily available to your tissue.

 

Why test saliva for hormones?

  • With the convenience and privacy of home collection, saliva hormone testing is non-invasive and economical.

  • Blood collection is sometimes very stressful while saliva collection is simple.

  • Saliva sample collections can be timed precisely which is critical for some hormones.

  • Multiple saliva collections can be taken in a single day to evaluate daily fluctuation.

  • Saliva testing is an accurate, flexible tool for adjusting and monitoring hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

  • Prepaid mailers containing your saliva specimen can simply be dropped into your nearest mailbox for delivery to us. This convenience is possible because saliva hormones are stable at room temperature for at least 3 weeks.

  • Saliva testing measures the levels of the free, bio-available hormones - those hormones which move freely into cells and carry out the body's critical jobs.

 

What is a hormone?

A hormone is a chemical messenger that circulates throughout your body telling your cells what to do. Hormones are produced by organs belonging to the endocrine system. Examples of endocrine glands are the pituitary, thyroid, thymus, pancreas, adrenals, ovaries, and testes.

 

Some functions of your endocrine system

  • Determines sex characteristics (male vs. female genitalia)

  • Enables a woman to become pregnant and carry a baby

  • Mediates sex drive

  • Enables individuals to build strong, healthy bones

  • Determines how slowly or quickly the aging process proceeds

  • Maintains the crucial balance between the body's electrolytes (important minerals such as sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium).

  • Monitors what’s going on in the environment, interpreting what a person sees and experiences, and translating the information into physical reactions which allow for adaptation to change and stress

 

Aging and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

The good news is that we are retiring earlier and living longer. Life expectancy for the average person has increased dramatically over the last several decades. At birth, life expectancy for the average female is 79 years, and for the average male is 72 years. Once reaching age 65, we can expect to live to 84 and 80 years, respectively, and if we make it to 75, the numbers increase to 87 and 85 years.

However, with living longer there are the serious issues of aging we must face. For one thing, our bodies aren’t what they used to be. There is a drop-off in our physical endurance with each succeeding decade of life. That 30-minute workout now takes 45 minutes.
Our knees have shortened that 5K run to 3K. We don’t sleep as well as we once did.
These are some of the changes that we notice.

But, there are changes taking place inside our bodies that we can’t see. At the cellular level, our hormone production begins to decline as we approach middle age. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, we begin to see the effects of this hormonal shift. We start to notice things like decreased energy, mood swings, memory trouble, decrease in sexual energy and desire, thinning hair, weight gain, and the list goes on.

In response to our concerns about how we age, the medical community has focused its attention on the link between the age-dependent decline of certain hormones and the quality of life we enjoy. Experts in anti-aging medicine believe that hormone supplementation significantly decreases the risk of many age-related diseases, therefore helping not only to extend our life, but also enhancing its quality.

Hormones play a critical role in our health and vitality. One of the best examples of this role is the diminishing levels of ovarian steroids at menopause which can lead not only to immediate symptoms such as hot flashes, but also to long term deleterious health effects such as osteoporosis and accelerated cardiovascular disease. More recently, it has been recognized that with age, men have decreasing amounts of testosterone and DHEA (important androgens) which may be associated with some of the debilitation that accompanies male aging. In response to increasing demands from an aging population and a great deal of scientific information, healthcare providers are recommending hormonal supplementation to help maintain vitality and quality of life.

 

The first step in anti-aging medicine...  HRT

When it comes to hormone replacement dosages, one size does not fit all. The way each person responds to replacement hormones is unique. What works well for one may be too much or too little for another. If a decision to begin HRT is made, a saliva hormone test can be an important guide for determining how much hormone should be taken.

Testing can indicate physiological benefit. For example, if a healthcare provider has prescribed a particular estrogen preparation and dosage, it is important to know whether the dose is correct. Too little estrogen will not address short term symptoms or give long term protection. Excessive estrogen supplementation can lead to recurrent vaginal yeast infection and/or bleeding, breast tenderness, headaches, thinning hair, weight gain and depression. 

 

Your bone health

Facts:

  • As a woman ages, her risk of developing osteoporosis is greater than her combined risk of heart attack, stroke, and cancer of the breast and uterus.

  • Millions of fractures associated with osteoporosis occur each year.

Such statistics are sobering, especially when considering how current treatment and medication can prevent this debilitating disease making many fractures related to osteoporosis avoidable. Every woman needs to be aware of her risk of osteoporosis.

The process of removing old bone and replacing it with new bone is called bone turnover or bone resumption.
Within bone, there are cells called osteoblasts whose function is to make or form new bone. There are other cells called osteoclasts that break down or reabsorb old bone. If bone breakdown is happening faster than bone formation, the net result will be an overall serious loss of bone - osteoporosis.

Until the age of about 30, the body builds bones efficiently. Then, as part of the aging process, bones begin to break down faster than new bone can be formed. In women, bone loss accelerates during menopause, when the ovaries stop producing estrogen - the hormone that arrests bone loss.

One significant benefit of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is protection against bone loss by returning estrogen levels to bone-protecting pre-menopausal levels.

Research has shown that post-menopausal women taking estrogen supplementation have about 50% fewer hip fractures and 75% fewer spinal fractures (the most common fractures related to osteoporosis) than those not taking an estrogen supplement.

 

About saliva hormone results

When you have your salivary hormones tested, you will be able to look at your results to determine your present hormonal status and see how to proceed in partnership with your healthcare provider. 

 

What was measured

Your saliva hormone values give you an excellent picture of your ‘free’ hormone levels. This free portion of your total hormones is extremely important because it is these hormones which are available to carry out critical jobs in different parts of your body. About 95% to 99% of your total blood hormones are bound to carrier proteins therefore not available to your tissues.

On the other hand, the remaining 1% to 5% is free to move into your cells and make changes. In general, if you have had blood hormones measured, these results reflect your total hormone levels and not the crucial ‘free’ fraction. Therefore you can expect your saliva results to be much lower than the blood values.

 

How to use the saliva ranges

Basically, the goal of saliva hormone monitoring is to determine whether or not hormone replacement therapy or another form of intervention is appropriate for you. If you are already taking hormones, testing will allow you to adjust dosages, both optimizing benefits and minimizing risks. The concept of hormone dosing and titration (dosage adjustment) is new and constantly evolving towards providing the optimal level of replacement for health and vitality.

Our current gender and age-based saliva hormone ranges are guidelines for targeting a hormone level that gives and sustains optimal health. Ranges given for postmenopausal and older populations are representative of normal,
un-supplemented hormone levels and not necessarily those which will provide maximum well being.

 

Your test results

The test results report form consists of the following:

  • Saliva hormone levels for the requested hormones

  • Graphic summary of hormone levels which is particularly helpful if you have tested the same hormone more than once

  • Easy-to-read age, gender and treatment specific Expected Saliva Hormone Ranges

  • Specimen collection time and date

  • Medical Director's signature and test report date

  • An Accession Number - used when communicating with the laboratory

 

Your results and the ranges

Our saliva hormone target ranges are based on a highly significant number of individuals representing each of the defined populations and provide an excellent means for comparison.

 

Individual and physiological variability

Some of the ranges may seem broad, but this variation aptly points out the wide individuality of hormone levels. For each of us, our baseline hormone levels reflect our sex, our age and our genetic background. Women have much higher levels of the estrogens and progesterone than men, and cycling women have higher levels than those of menopausal women who have ceased cycling. Men, in general, have higher levels of testosterone and DHEA than women, but in both sexes the level of each drops dramatically with age. Cortisol levels remain constant throughout our lifetime, regardless of sex or age.

 

Importance of the collection time

The ranges represent saliva hormone levels from specimens collected in the early morning. This fact is important because several of the hormones (such as testosterone, cortical and DHEA) express ‘diurnal variation’ which means that levels drop over the course of the day and are replenished by the body overnight.

If your saliva collection was not done in the early AM, it is important to make note of the time difference so it can be taken into consideration when evaluating your results. It is possible that your healthcare provider requested an alternative collection time to assess other aspects of supplementation so it is important to review timing factors. If that was the case, follow the recommendations of your healthcare provider.

 

Location within the ranges if you are not supplementing

For optimal health considerations, the ideal target within your appropriate saliva hormone range is from the middle to the high level. For example, if you are a 51-year-old postmenopausal woman and your testosterone value is 14 pg/ml, you might consider the possibility of supplementation.

 

Hormone levels that fall at the low end of or below the established saliva ranges

Saliva hormone levels below or at the very low end of the established range indicate sub-optimal values, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) should be discussed with your healthcare provider. HRT is available in a wide variety of hormonal preparations and dosages. They can be taken orally, through the skin, under the tongue or vaginally.

Ideal HRT target ranges should be established through a dialog with your provider. For example, if your testosterone or DHEA level is lower than your age-specific range, do you supplement back to your age range or, perhaps, back to a more youthful range?

 

Hormone levels that rise above the established saliva ranges

If any of your saliva hormone levels is above the range, bear in mind the following:

  • Hormone supplementation will cause high levels and thought should be given to decreasing the dose.

  • If your A.M. cortisol value is high, it could be the result of a single, stressful event.
    This elevation is a normal physiological response. But, chronically high cortisol levels can be harmful to long term health.

  • If any of your hormone values is higher than the range or falls within a much more youthful range (20 to 29 years), it is no cause for alarm and probably means you are healthy. However, if your result is exceptionally high, exceeding the physiologic range for a 20 to 29-year-old, it is a good idea to discuss this issue with your healthcare provider.

 

Expected levels from Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Oral HRT: Taken as tablets or capsules, oral HRT causes hormone levels to follow a cyclic pattern following ingestion which means that it is important to understand the timing interval between saliva collection and hormone usage.
Oral doses, on the average, result in peak levels about 2-6 hours following dosage, falling to the lowest, trough level between 8-12 hours.

The established ranges on the back of your test results reflect trough levels. Therefore, if you tested 4-6 hours after dosing, your levels will be higher than the expected range.

 




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