Until recently, the only means of measuring hormone levels was through blood serum. Blood testing has its limitations, however, which is why saliva testing is gaining popularity.
SALIVA HORMONE TESTING IS:
- ACCURATE. According to Aeron LifeCycles Clinical Laboratory, about 95 percent of hormones released into the bloodstream attach themselves to proteins. Once bound to a protein, hormones can't do their job. The remaining, unattached hormones are bioavailable, meaning they can affect targeted organs. Blood testing measures total hormone content without distinguishing between the two, whereas saliva testing measures only active hormones.
- TIMELY. Saliva collection can be done numerous times over the course of a day to measure hormonal fluctuations.
- PAINLESS. No needles involved; you simply spit in a tube.
- USEFUL. Physicians can monitor the impacts of hormone replacement therapy and adjust dosages accordingly. Saliva testing also helps physicians select the best form of treatment—cream, patch or pill—and where to apply on the skin if using a subdermal form.
- CONVENIENT. You can collect saliva samples yourself at home.
- PROMISING. Saliva testing may also be an effective way to measure the efficacy of phytoestrogens found in foods and herbs.