Suspect Adrenal Fatigue? Here’s What’s Next.
Anyone struggling with a chronic illness knows how frustrating it can be to go from specialist to specialist searching for answers and still not find the root cause of all their symptoms.
Doctors often order a bunch of invasive testing. When you get the results, still nothing is definitive. It’s absolutely frustrating.
Which Assessment Is Best for You?
Your symptoms are a good indicator of what is happening with your stress response system. They will begin to tell the story.
But in order to determine definitively now if you have Adrenal Fatigue, having the results of ten test values is necessary. Those results also tell us in what stage of dysfunction you fall and how serious it is.
There are three common ways to test adrenal hormone levels; blood, urine, and saliva. With so many adrenal testing options out there, it can be hard to determine which to choose.
Let’s clear up the confusion.
Blood, Urine, or Salivary Testing?
Most blood and serum tests look only at the level of hormones present in a person’s tissues. These are known as “bound” hormone levels.
Saliva testing looks at the “unbound” hormone levels also known as “free fraction” hormone levels, which are the hormones available for use in our body’s tissues.
Free fraction levels give me a better picture of the hormones that are actually influencing the tissues, rather than just the level of hormones that are present in the tissues.
There are also some other advantages to doing a saliva test over blood or urine testing:
- Collection does not require a blood draw and there are no risks to you
- Saliva collection is convenient and can be done from home (or work, since the samples are collected throughout the day)
- When properly stored, saliva samples are stable for several weeks
- With an accuracy of 92-96%, saliva testing is more accurate
- Saliva testing is more affordable
- The ability to collect more than one specimen, unlike a single blood draw, so I can get the snapshot of your full day into night
The Cadillac of Adrenal Salivary Testing
The majority of other adrenal hormone tests look at only four samples of cortisol—a few may also test for DHEA—but there are several other values That need to be evaluated before determining your exact stage of dysfunction.
This superior test gives me the following:
- Cortisol: These four samples help me evaluate the stress response.
- Insulin: I need this to investigate blood sugar control, commonly dysregulated in Adrenal patients.
- DHEA/DHEA-S: This test lets me determine the degree to which other hormones may be affected by cortisol changes.
- Secretory IgA: With this result, I’m able to evaluate the toll of stress on your immunity.
- 17-OH progesterone: This value helps me determine the underlying causes of abnormal cortisol levels.
- Gluten antibodies: With this, I can identify an immune response to gluten.