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Hormone Testing

At Getufit Fitness & Nutrition in Chicago, IL we know that hormones control virtually all bodily functions. From digestion to stress response to the regulation of reproductive and sexual health, hormones must be in balance for the body to function at an optimal level. However, when an individual experiences hormone imbalances, many facets of their health can suffer. Learn more about the effects of imbalanced hormones, signs of imbalanced hormones, and how imbalanced hormones are diagnosed.

What Are Hormone Imbalances?

To put it simply, a hormone imbalance occurs when the body produces too much or too little of any hormone. There are various hormones that are involved in healthy functioning, including stress hormones, thyroid hormones, and sex hormones. Sometimes, hormones become imbalanced due to the natural aging process, and other times, imbalanced hormones may be caused by lifestyle factors such as an unhealthy diet and insufficient sleep.

Many people who have imbalanced hormones will experience chronic health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, musculoskeletal disease, and neurodegenerative diseases. It’s also common for imbalanced hormones to present along with nutrient deficiencies, mineral deficiencies, and gut infections. 

Signs of Hormone Imbalance

Because hormones are involved in most bodily processes, the signs and symptoms of a hormone imbalance will vary. People may experience hormonal imbalances differently depending on age, sex, health condition, stress, and many other factors. The primary endocrine system causing the hormone imbalance will also determine the severity of the symptoms. Some of the most common signs of a hormone imbalance include:

  • Weight gain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches and stiffness
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Increased or decreased heart rate
  • Heat or cold sensitivity
  • Sweating
  • Increased hunger or thirst
  • Frequent urination and bowel movements
  • Thinning hair
  • Dry skin
  • Depression and anxiety

Thyroid Hormone Imbalance

The thyroid gland produces hormones that determine how your body uses energy. Specifically, thyroid hormones may affect bodily regulation and metabolism. A thyroid hormone imbalance can present as hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). Both women and men can develop thyroid issues throughout their lifespans.

Hyperthyroidism typically causes bodily functions to over-perform. The signs of hyperthyroidism can include more energy, unexpected weight loss, anxiety, agitation, and sensitivity to heat. Hypothyroidism causes the body to slow down, so symptoms such as fatigue, constipation, weight gain, and cold sensitivity are all common.

Stress Hormone Imbalance

Cortisol is the main hormone associated with stress. People who have high cortisol are frequently irritated, anxious, and agitated. Signs of high cortisol can include low libido, irregular periods, weight gain, high blood pressure, headaches, GI issues, and much more. When stress hormones are imbalanced, people may experience tertiary imbalances with sex hormones that create additional symptoms. 

Sex Hormone Imbalance

Imbalanced sex hormones are usually determined by an individual’s assigned sex at birth. People who were assigned female at birth may experience estrogen or progesterone imbalances, while people who were assigned male at birth may experience testosterone or estrogen imbalances. Many sex hormone imbalances will affect reproductive and sexual health.

For people assigned female at birth, the signs of a hormone imbalance can include irregular or heavy periods, acne, hair loss, vaginal dryness, pain during intercourse, night sweats, and headaches. For people assigned male at birth, symptoms of a hormone can include gynecomastia, erectile dysfunction, loss of muscle mass, and hot flashes. 

Can Children Experience Imbalanced Hormones?

In general, imbalanced hormones are found more commonly in adults. However, some children may experience imbalanced hormones before and during puberty. Hypogonadism is a hormone imbalance that is caused by a lack of secondary sex hormones; in children, this condition may delay puberty. The signs of imbalanced hormones in children include:

  • Lack of developed muscle mass
  • Sparse body hair growth
  • Delayed menstruation
  • Gynecomastia
  • Delayed breast tissue development
  • Slow growth rate

How Is a Hormone Imbalance Diagnosed?

There are several tests physicians can use to diagnose hormone imbalances. Sometimes, a blood serum test can be used to assess levels of sex hormones, stress hormones, and thyroid hormones. A saliva test can also be used to measure hormone levels. However, more comprehensive tests such as the DUTCH test are considered more accurate. 


The DUTCH (Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones) test measures four groups of hormones, along with metabolites and important biomarkers. The DUTCH test will measure sex hormones, steroid hormones, adrenal hormones, melatonin, and oxidative stress biomarkers that are associated with degenerative diseases. The DUTCH test also analyzes organic acids that can identify vitamin and nutrient deficiencies, such as B12, B6, and glutathione, as well as neurotransmitter metabolites.

Not only does the DUTCH test give more accurate insight into the level of hormones and other important biomarkers in the body, but it can also be used to identify unique health risks. Measuring sex hormones with the DUTCH test can be an early screening for estrogen-related cancer and prostate disease. Assessing oxidative stress biomarkers can also help doctors identify breast and prostate cancer.

Can Hormones Be Rebalanced Naturally?

While some people may need to use medications to correct imbalanced hormones, this approach may not always be appropriate. Fortunately, this is not the only option. Making lifestyle changes is a holistic way to rebalance your hormones and improve your overall wellness. A unique treatment plan involving regular exercise, a well-balanced diet, healthy sleep habits, and other lifestyle changes can gradually restore hormonal balance.

Correct Imbalanced Hormones

Hormonal imbalances can occur throughout the lifespan of both women and men. Common hormones that may become imbalanced include stress, sex, and thyroid hormones. Tests such as the DUTCH test can give us a “big picture” analysis of various hormones and metabolites in the body so that doctors can create an effective treatment plan.

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