By Dr. Janine MacKenzie I rely on urine hormone testing for my female patients with hormone imbalances. This includes women who are noticing changes in their cycles around peri-menopause, those struggling with menopause symptoms, those with anxiety, those with fatigue, women struggling with fertility, and women with PCOS or endometriosis. In fact, most women can benefit from this type of testing.
One of the main reasons I love urine hormone testing so much is the completeness of the results helps me tailor a treatment plan specifically for my patients’ hormone needs. Since it is a very comprehensive test, I get actionable information about their specific imbalance. This test looks at almost all hormones I am interested in (the only other hormones I generally want to know would be thyroid function hormones, LH, and FSH, depending on the case).
For me, the added value in this testing is the illustration of patterns of imbalance. In women, our hormones fluctuate throughout the month, but our body expects that. When there are imbalances beyond what we expect, that is where we feel symptoms. This test illustrates if there is global excess or global deficiency or further imbalances, with some hormones being in excess and others being deficient. In all those cases, the patient will notice symptoms of excess, deficiency, or imbalance. For me, the numbers on the urine hormone test aren’t as crucial as the patterns created by knowing the results of all the hormones.
At Cheam Wellness Group, we offer the DUTCH test as our option for urine hormone testing.
What does the DUTCH Complete Hormone Test measure?
This test measures 37 different metabolites and gives 43 data points of information.
The list of hormones measured is:
Adrenal/stress hormones - Cortisol and cortisone rhythms (4 data points for each plotted on a timeline curve to give a picture of the daily pattern), DHEA-S, metabolized cortisol
Estrogen and its metabolites – Estradiol, estrone, estriol, 16-OH estrone, 4-OH estrone, 2-OH estrone, 2-methoxy estrone
Progesterone’s breakdown products a-pregnanediol and b-pregnanediol
Androgens including DHEA-S, testosterone, etiocholanolone, and androsterone
The patterns we can see include:
Liver detoxification via the CYP1A1 enzyme
5 alpha-reductase activity
Balance of estrogens, androgens and progesterone
Balance of cortisol and cortisone and total cortisol production
Why is it important to measure all these hormones?
I love the urine hormone test for the adrenal health picture it paints. Seeing the pattern of the cortisol rhythm comparison of cortisone rhythm gives an understanding of your HPA axis (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal), which is vital for understanding your stress response and how your stress response has impacted you over time
Hormonal imbalance conditions like PCOS, fibroids, endometriosis, PMS symptoms, menopause, and peri-menopause can benefit from testing by determining how the hormones metabolize and what pathways we can support to create more balance. The test can also monitor hormone levels if you are taking hormone replacement therapy.
By knowing all the estrogen and estrogen metabolite numbers, we get a picture of how your liver is working to clear excess estrogens out of your body, and we can ensure this is happening safely to reduce your risk of estrogen-related cancers
Also, urine hormone testing gives us markers of:
Three different B vitamins – B6, B12, and folate
A marker of oxidative stress (think of rust in your body), which causes damage to your DNA, and provides an indication of glutathione status, which is your body’s main antioxidant
Neurotransmitters including dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine
This is one of the most straightforward tests to collect. There are four to five timed urine samples collected on filament paper, just like a pregnancy or ovulation predictor test. These strips are then dried for 24 hours and then packed up. It’s easy and very discreet to collect.
This test is also useful for male patients, as they can also have hormone imbalances. The bulk of my practice is based on women’s health and female hormone imbalance, but there is still a lot of value in this test for men’s health.
Dr. Mackenzie works with her patients to help them achieve balance in their lives and their health. Her medicine and health approach involves digging a little deeper and looking for the root cause of the problem rather than just treating the symptoms.