Why the Dutch Hormone Test is beneficial for hormone imbalance in Australia
Why the Dutch Hormone Test is beneficial for hormone imbalance in Australia
- What is the Dutch Hormone Test Australia?
- What can the Dutch Hormone Test tell us?
- The conventional medicine approach to hormone imbalance
- Balancing your hormones naturally
“DUTCH Hormone Test in Australia is a complete game changer in the functional medicine landscape, and far superior to saliva hormone testing in most circumstances.” Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac. Available in Australia through Advanced Functional Medicine.
Hormonal imbalances have become increasingly common with today’s fast-paced modern lifestyle. In addition, certain hormones decline with age, and some people experience a more dramatic decrease than others.
Many women struggle to understand the reasons for their challenging health symptoms, which can be wide-ranging and confusing. Often, they discover their hormonal health is not optimal and an imbalance of hormones can be the culprit.
The Dutch Hormone Test tests reproductive and adrenal hormones, as well as melatonin and oxidative stress. It is an effective, evidence-based way by which to understand the root causes of your symptoms and begin to create a treatment pathway to return you to health.
Common symptoms women experience at different times in their lives include:
- abnormal menstruation (heavy/painful periods)
- decreased sex drive
- mood swings
- anxiety and depression
- breast tenderness
- hormonal weight gain
If you experience any of the above, the Dutch Hormone Test may uncover some hormonal causes for your symptoms.
What is the Dutch Hormone Test Australia?
DUTCH stands for Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones. Hormone testing in Australia is most commonly performed by blood tests (known as serum tests), and occasionally by saliva or urine tests. The downside of blood and saliva tests is that they do not measure cortisol rhythms and estrogen metabolism, not do they track hormone replacement as they are not sensitive enough to detect different levels of estrogen.
The Dutch Hormone Test Australia requires a small amount of urine to be collected on filtered paper four times a day to measure hormone metabolites from the dried urine samples. It only requires one collection so it’s much more convenient and you can do it in the comfort of your own home.
It is the most comprehensive test to evaluate your sex and stress hormones. It measures hormone levels metabolites (metabolites are breakdown products of these hormones) and specific nutrients (which are necessary for our body to use the hormones).
The importance of these groups of hormones is that they play a vital role in many aspects of our life that if left unbalanced, they can wreak havoc in our bodies and leave us feeling anxious, tired, moody and fatigued. 
Hormones measured in the test include:
This test also measures cortisol and cortisone rhythms and levels, and estrogen metabolism pathways.
What can the Dutch Hormone Test tell us?
Cortisol production issues
We need balanced cortisol output to regulate blood sugar levels, metabolism, sleep, energy and inflammation.
The DUTCH test ”gives you a comprehensive look at cortisol production by your adrenal glands. Saliva adrenal testing only measures the free fraction of cortisol, which is around 1% of your production. The DUTCH measures free and total (metabolized) cortisol for a better look at overall production. Metabolized cortisol comprises 80% of your total production and is a better marker of overall adrenal health. A saliva panel doesn’t offer this deep dive and many a woman has been told she has “adrenal fatigue” when her overall production of cortisol is fine.” 
Testing the adrenal hormones provides specific information about how to support stress and sleep issues, by specifically looking at the HPA axis (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) adrenal-brain communication.
Fertility problems, poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
This test is beneficial for people suffering from fibroids, PMS, irregular periods, painful periods, anxiety, moodiness and endometriosis. It provides a comprehensive picture of how the adrenal and reproductive hormone imbalances may be contributing to these problems.
Understand how hormone replacement therapy is working for you
This test works well for oral progesterone, vaginal hormones, patches, pellets and injections. Note that this is only for hormone replacement therapy, not hormonal birth control pills.
How your sleep is affected
By checking melatonin levels, we can assess how your sleep patterns may be affected. Melatonin can be low and related to your sleep problems, or it can be normal.
Gives you a good picture of DHEA levels
This “feel-good” hormone produced by your adrenal glands. It also is the precursor to estrogen and testosterone. When low, it can cause fatigue, decrease in muscle mass or bone density, depression, aching joints, loss of libido and lowered immunity. The DUTCH test measures DHEA and DHEA-S. DHEA-S is a sulfated form of DHEA. If DHEA-S is lower than DHEA, this may indicate inflammation in the body.
Identifies estrogen dominance
Estrogen dominance is one of the most problematic hormone imbalances that modern women face today. This occurs when you don’t have enough progesterone to balance out your estrogen and is very common in perimenopause.  Estrogen dominance occurs when we have too much oestrogen in the body and is relative to the other sex hormones, such as having too little progesterone to balance it out. Estrogen dominance can be a factor in endometriosis, PMS, painful periods, fibrous breasts, fibroids, tender breasts, moodiness, and more. It can also make perimenopausal symptoms significantly worse.
Understand how estrogen is being metabolised through the liver
This is important for understanding how we are clearing estrogen from the body. If you don’t metabolize estrogen well, you risk estrogen dominance, as well as risks of estrogen-related cancers such as breast, cervical and uterine cancers. We can also see the methylation pathway of estrogen when doing the DUTCH test, which can tell if there are nutrient deficiencies or an MTHFR gene mutation, which would then need to be addressed in order to maximize health. 
If you have thyroid or insulin resistance problems
Although the DUTCH test doesn’t measure thyroid hormones or insulin, it does measure the relationship of free to metabolized cortisol. This can help your Functional Medicine Health Practitioner identify the need to conduct further testing for thyroid or blood sugar. Low metabolized cortisol together with high free levels suggests poor cortisol clearance and the thyroid governs this process. High metabolized cortisol compared to free cortisol can indicate insulin resistance.
Why you’re having issues getting pregnant
A clear indication that hormonal dysfunction may be occurring, is an inability to conceive despite no physical impediments and no prior known health conditions/ age-related issues. If the body’s sex hormones are not regulating, then it is nearly impossible to conceive naturally.
The DUTCH Hormone Test Australia will identify all the reproductive hormones and highlight whether they are in range at the appropriate times of the month. For example, you want your progesterone levels to be high in the luteal phase (second half of your cycle) as this indicates ovulation. This is invaluable as it can paint a picture as to where something along the monthly cycle may not be happening as it should. 
The Dutch Hormone Test Australia can also find out if:
- You are deficient in the three B vitamins that are most commonly low: B12, B6 and Folate.
- You are undergoing oxidative stress (“rusting” in your body, which damages your cells, your DNA and your mitochondria).
- Your neurotransmitters show dopamine and first responder stress hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine).
- You need glutathione, which is the dominant antioxidant that your body makes. You will not detox well or use omega 3 fats properly with low glutathione. 
The conventional medicine approach to hormone imbalance
Conventional medicine’s answer for most hormone imbalances is synthetic hormone medications in the form of birth control pills or HRT (hormone replacement therapy). These medications, however, can increase your risk for reproductive cancers, heart disease, and liver toxicity. They can also disrupt thyroid dysfunction and lead to Candida overgrowth.
They also do very little to address the underlying cause of the imbalance and instead leave you dependent on potentially harmful pharmaceuticals.
Balancing your hormones naturally
Your hormones are involved in every aspect of your health. You need them in very specific amounts for your body to function optimally.
Hormonal imbalances may increase your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other health problems.
Aging and other factors are beyond your control but there are many steps you can take to help your hormones function optimally. Consuming nutritious foods, exercising on a regular basis and engaging in other healthy behaviours can go a long way toward improving your hormonal health.
How we can help
The benefit of the Dutch Hormone Test is that it gives you a more complete picture and overview of the key components your body needs to both produce and utilize your hormones. It is a great complement to the blood test your doctor ordered for you and can help identify the root cause of issues you may be having. 
At Advanced Functional Medicine, we can create a treatment plan tailored to you, based on your hormone levels and also how you metabolize or break down your hormones. Call our number or get into touch with us via the form below to find out more about how we can help you access a Dutch Hormone Test and help balance your hormones.