How do you know what your hormonal levels are?
Different practitioners use different tools to measure hormones but the most common are standard blood tests as well as potentially saliva testing or 24 hour urine testing. It is important to note the blood test is a snapshot of what hormones are in your blood at the time of the test, saliva testing is also a snap shot but of saliva not serum. Lots of doctors like to use both of these along with a symptom questionnaire that allows them a three pronged approach to assessing imbalances.
What happens after the testing?
Next you are seeing your practitioner for an initial assessment where they will take a look at your tests, find out about your symptoms and put together a prescription that will be sent to the pharmacy to be custom made.
Usually practitioners are prescribing for 3 months at a time. You usually need another set of blood testing and a shorter follow up appointment to ensure the progress of balancing is on target. You must realize it is not an overnight process and often it can take 6 months or more to get the balance you need. This is why practitioners often ask you to come back every 3 months for monitoring and dosing adjustments in your first year.
How do I know if its working?
What is the most important part of this entire process for you, the patient?
Symptom relief! Night sweats, hot flashes, depression, mood swings, sleep issues, weight gain, thinning skin, brittle nails, libido...the list goes on and on and only some of them maybe be describing you, but really what is important is the relief. Feeling like your old self again. Balanced vs imbalanced is pretty much a game changer for all the patients we have worked with on BHRT. So write down how you feel before you start so you can track your progress yourself. Remember you know your body best.