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Saliva Testing Results Expertise Please Saliva Testing Results Expertise Please

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  #1  
Unread 06-05-2002, 06:25 PM
Saliva Testing Results Expertise Please

Well, after over two months of going hormone less, I did the saliva testing and just got back my results. Originally, the doctor told me that when the results came in, he'd just consult with the compounding pharmacy and have a prescription mailed to me. Now he says he'd like to see me on Friday. At first, that annoyed me, but now that I've read the results, I do think we need to sit down face to face and go over them carefully. They are as follows:

Estrone--Average is 4.2 Normal (range is 0.0-9.0)
Estradiol--Average is 5.52 Normal (range is 3.00-12.00)
Estriol--Average is 42.7 High (range is 0.0-27.0)
Progesterone--Average is 295 Normal (range is 50-325)
Testosterone--Average is 74.8 Normal (range is 15.0-86.0)

DHEA--Average is 0.310 Low (range is 0.750-2.500)
DHEA/Cortisol is 0.04 Low (range is 0.08-0.25)
Melatonin--morning and evening levels were normal, midnight level was high (103.9, above the 16.0-100.0 normal range)

The wording of what the levels outside of normal indicate is pretty scary--cardiovascular disease, mood disorders, depression, reduced immunity, rheumatologic diseases, etc. Has anyone experienced similar levels and been treated for them or have more insight on what these levels most likely mean?

I am thinking my doctor will want me to do more testing and/or refer me to an endocrinologist. These results really surprised me. I expected to be low on one of the basic hormones and I'm normal on those and in fact high on the estriol. How can that be after two months with nothing? Will they continue to go down over time? Will I need to be tested again and again?

Trish, Kim M, Sherik, and anyone else who has knowledge, please respond.

Thanks so much,

Shirley
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  #2  
Unread 06-05-2002, 08:41 PM
Saliva Testing Results Expertise Please

Shirley,
I am curious how you are feeling on no hormones? If you are still producing normal estradiol levels then I would wonder where it is coming from. I would ask about the possibility of an ovarian remnant. I am not sure what the high estriol means. Given that your DHEA and Cortisol are low, it seems like more of an adrenal problem. I am guessing you feel tired from the levels but can't remember your posts to know if that is accurate. How is your general mood, any anxiety? What about sleep problems.
My saliva lab has different ranges so I can't compare to my own.

Becky in OHIO
  #3  
Unread 06-06-2002, 04:30 AM
Saliva Testing Results Expertise Please

Hi Becky,

I have actually felt pretty good, much better than I expected. I have sometimes been depressed and anxious, but exercise seems to squash those feelings pretty quickly. I have also been sleeping pretty well. I wake up once or twice a night because I'm hot or have to go to the bathroom, but then I go right back to sleep. I didn't know there could be such a thing as an ovarian remnant. I am taking Remifemin (black cohosh), acidophilus, and the other vitamins and supplements recommended (B, E, Calcium, D, magnesium, folic acid). I have had an ongoing UTI and have been taking Bactrim for a long time (now as a prophylactic). Actually the DHEA:cortisol ratio was low, but the wording said my cortisol was in the normal range (I forgot that in my post--sorry). Because the DHEA was so low, it brought the ratio down. I guess I do feel tired, but not overly. Again, I think exercise is helping. Of course, once I get hormonally balanced, I'll probably be amazed at how much more energy I have. (You know how you get used to energy levels.) Does that info help?

I searched on the Web for information related to these levels, but I guess you find worst case scenarios and the implications were very scary.

Shirley
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  #4  
Unread 06-06-2002, 04:33 AM
Saliva Testing Results Expertise Please

Becky,

Additional notes (you know how you think of things after you hit that submit button!):

Still no desire for sex/no sexual feelings at all
Still a good amount of brain fog

That's all I can think of right now.

Shirley
  #5  
Unread 06-06-2002, 05:10 AM
Saliva Testing Results Expertise Please

Shirley,
Based on your test results it would seem your testosterone levels are fine...It will be interesting to see what the doctor/pharmacist recommends but I would think DHEA for sure since it is clearly low, and maybe a small amount of estradiol. Did you ever have an FSH blood test? If you trully have ok estradiol levels then the FSH will not be high. If FSH is high it is the bodies way of trying to stimulate more estradiol. Also besides the possibility of an ovarian remnant some women are able to make enough estradiol from their adrenals. If you are exercising that might be helping that process. As far as the sex drive etc. Do you feel that you have vaginal dryness at all? If you do you might consider using vagifem which is a vaginal estradiol pellet. I have never tried it but have heard women rave about it.

Becky in OHIO
  #6  
Unread 06-06-2002, 05:38 AM
where to get this done

Could you kind Sisters please tell me where and how I can get a saliva test done? Thanks.....


  #7  
Unread 06-06-2002, 05:44 AM
Saliva Testing Results Expertise Please

Tina,
I get my saliva testing done through my doctor but there are ways to have it done on your own. Here are two links for you
http://www.aeron.com/
http://www.salivatest.com/

Becky in OHIO
  #8  
Unread 06-06-2002, 05:54 AM
Saliva Testing Results Expertise Please

Hi Tina,

I did my saliva test through my doctor with Great Smokies Diagnostics Lab (Asheville NC), but I believe you can do them on your own. Great Smokies has a website. The saliva testing was intimidating at first, but it turned out to be no big deal, just important to do the testing at the prescribed time with no food or anything other than water an hour before, etc. My test was the comprehensive menopause profile that tested all the things I mentioned in my post. It was expensive, $350. I had to pay that up front, but am hoping I can submit it to insurance and get part of it paid for. Different tests are done based on whether you still have your ovaries or not. Some others might post--I believe there are other labs that other folks have gone through. Good luck to you and keep us posted.

Becky--I did the blood testing previous to the saliva testing. That included FSH. That and everything else tested was within the ranges for a menopausal woman. My doctor said those results provided no real data, just that I was menopausal, which we already knew. Thanks so much for giving me feedback. I am going to look some more on the web for low DHEA info. Yes, I feel that I have vaginal dryness and I've read about Vagifem here. I hope that I can get some help tomorrow not just more tests. DH and I are getting ready to go on a special trip for our 20th anniversary to Maui and I would like it to be romantic. I know things aren't instant, but maybe the placebo effect would kick in as soon as I started taking something (a girl can hope).

Shirley
  #9  
Unread 06-06-2002, 08:36 PM
Saliva Testing Results Expertise Please

I don't know if anyone has ever mentioned it on this board, but I've read that adrenal glands often produce estrogen in the absence of ovaries.
  #10  
Unread 06-07-2002, 06:10 PM
Update--Doctor's Appt

Hi everyone,

Well, I went to the doctor. DH went with me. This doctor is just so wonderful. This is only the second time I've seen him, but he's just the best. He doesn't overbook. You never feel rushed with him. He speaks in understandable language. He's very warm and compassionate. (He even left the office for a few minutes to check on insurance billing for me and to call the pharmacist upstairs to see if she had something on hand for me.) My saliva results indicate that I have way too much estrogen even after being off hormones for 2 months, so possible my fat is causing it, my adrenal glands or making it via a conversion process (like y'all said), and/or the black cohosh I've been taking has also converted to estrogen. I have high levels also of testosterone and progesterone. Cholesterol can also convert to those two. My DHEA, the "mother" of all hormones, is way low. Low DHEA over long periods of time can contribute to tons of bad stuff: obesity (hmmm, who knows how long I've had this, maybe I have an excuse LOL), reduced immunity, rheumatologic diseases, cancer, etc. Stress can be a major cause of low DHEA.

So the doctor has advised me to start taking DHEA (I just picked some up OTC at the drugstore--even though it's OTC, you shouldn't take it without having your levels tested and being under a doctor's care), wean myself off the black cohosh, and continue losing weight. He plans to test me again in about 3 months, and of course I'm supposed to keep him posted. He thinks that my estrogen levels will go down to midrange and the DHEA will come back up and all will be more balanced creating a far healthier me.

As far as my UTIs, he said to try the Detrol (which acts as an antispasmodic) that the urologist gave me. If that doesn't work, he said that the urologist might have to look inside with a scope to make sure a stitch is not out of place with the bladder. (The urologist had already suggested this possibility.)

Bottom line, I'm feeling really positive about this approach. I guess my other doctors would have continued prescribing estrogen forever for me and it would have been the absolutely wrong thing to do. Thanks for listening and providing inputs. I'll post back in a few weeks to let you know how I'm doing.

Shirley
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