D U T C H Hormone Analysis
D U T C H hormone testing. DUTCH is an acronym for dried urine test for comprehensive hormones. This private test is a staple in our practice for assessing hormonal status in women and men. It encompasses a large portion of the working pieces to understanding how your hormone is being utilized in the body. Are there adequate levels of hormone circulating? Are the active forms being generated properly? Are they being excreted properly? Are the precursors for hormones being converted properly? It provides not only a comprehensive profile of hormones, but a comprehensive look at daily patterns, important conversion steps and excretion.
The test is collected via urine strips. The strips are then dried for a 24 hours period and sent to the lab to be analyzed. Dried urine does not compromise accuracy, but provides a more convinent means of collection than blood draw, saliva or urine samples. The timing is set up to parallel saliva collection providing the same important cyclical information.
WHAT is it TESTING?
Basic Hormones Sex and Adrenal.
DHEA, Cortisol ,Estrogens, progesterone, testosterone
Melatonin (for sleep and important when looking at cortisol).
The importance of the collection times allows us to see the full picture of function for our cortisol. The metabolites from the hormone metabolic pathways provide important insight into how you are metabolizing hormones and if your hormones are being used adequately and appropriately.
Additionally, it shows how hormones are converted into their active form, allowing us to have a better idea of the root cause of hormonal imbalances.
Using estrogen as an example the DUTCH test provides a baseline of the three forms of estrogen in the body, the active form, and the two lesser active forms ( however still relevant). It also shows the estrogen metabolites, which give us an indication of which excretion pathway and subsequent elimination of estrogen the body is using.
1- The Protective and preferred pathway of estrogen metabolites, we want this to be in range, and the most active pathway. This demonstrates that enzymes and nutrients are sufficient enough to keep hormone levels relatively stable and balanced and detox of estrogens is functioning optimally.
2- The Toxic Pathway is one we hope to see in a low to minimal range. When estrogen is being broken down through this pathway it is being metabolized into a toxic metabolite that causes DNA damage which can increase risk of cancer. When this pathway is high is demonstrates poor clearance of estrogen. Treatment is focused on reducing the production of this metabolite and encouraging proper breakdown into the pathway mention above (protective).
3- The Proliferating Pathway. When estrogens are being shuttled more frequently into this pathway, it suggests the body is having a hard time detoxifying the estrogen and breaking it down fully to be excreted. This estrogen is not as toxic, however the poor clearance of estrogen commonly lead to symptoms of estrogen dominance i.e menstrual cramps, heavy periods, clots, tender breasts and acne.
WHO would benefit from this test? This comprehensive test is not necessary for everyone. It is limited to people who are symptomatic. That being said, we have been finding more and more that most women have come to accept a lot of hormone symptoms as the norm for their monthly cycle. Anyone struggling with heavy periods, irregular periods, spotting, painful menses, breast changes and tenderness with menses, extreme fatigue, trouble sleeping, acne, anxiety and depression that is notably hormone and cycle related, this test would be a beneficial jumping off point.
WHY test? Ultimately this test allows us to provide a comprehensive, effective and individualized treatment plan for each patient. This test provides such informative information we are able to address the root cause of the hormonal imbalance and correct it on a nutrient and biochemical level. This allows not only for symptom management but resolution of the problem. This aligns with our naturopathic approach of treating the root cause of conditions to help with resolution and prevention of further health concerns in the future.
Book Now to learn more about if this testing is right for you!
- The EASTND Naturopathic Docs