my hormone testing and results

Hi friends! Hope you’re having a wonderful week so far. Keep those giveaway entries coming! I’ll have a new one up tomorrow. 🙂

For today, I thought I’d share the long hormone post I’ve been chipping away at for the past couple of weeks. This is a friendly reminder to keep in mind that I’m only sharing my experience. If you feel like something is off/wrong, please visit your doctor. 

A couple of months ago, I interviewed Candace Burch for the podcast and loved chatting with her. She’s such a wealth of knowledge and her experience is specifically geared towards women’s hormones. Her knowledge and background really impressed me, so when she offered to do a complimentary hormone test and consult, I immediately said YES. 

Candace Burch Instagram

I hadn’t had my hormone levels tested in years – since just after P was born – so I was interested to see how things had changed. In the past, when I was solely working with Dr. Flynn (who was also on the podcast!) he was helping to boost my hormone levels and regulate my stress hormones. After P was born, everything was OFF – he said I had great hormone levels.. for a post-menopausal woman – and I started a supplement routine with him. I took the supplements until we came to Tucson for a bit and then stopped. I was feeling terrible (which I mostly think was the inflammation from my implants because that’s when they really started hurting) and he helped me with supplements again after my surgery. I think that the ones he recommended truly helped with my recovery.

Flash forward to present day, and I’d been feeling pretty good. My energy is more stable throughout the day from eating balanced and regular meals (yay, macro counting!), and I’ve been crushing my workouts. The only thing that bothered me was that I was pretty tired all of the time. I chalked it up to wrangling two small kiddos and all of the tasks associated with that, plus lack of sleep since they wake me up literally every night, and figured it was my current normal status. Even so, I expected my hormone levels to come back with a gold star and go on my merry way.

MY OTHER VIDEOS

Not so much.

They weren’t terrible.. but they weren’t great.

At first glance everything looks ok: estrogen in the right zone and testosterone in the right zone, but the low progesterone-estrogen level concerned me a little. A normal level is around 100, and mine was a 26. Dr. Google taught me a lot about estrogen dominance (which is indicated by this low ratio) and when I read the symptoms, I nodded my head the entire time.

This is where we get to the TMI part of the post (please feel free to skip if you’re not into cycles/PMS chitchat).

I’ve struggled with horrible PMS and mood swings my entire life, which only stopped when I was on birth control for 12 years. Before and after my birth control days, the week before my cycle, I’d spend it feeling anxious, depressed, moody, and weepy. Aka kind of a hot mess. I thought this was normal PMS, but the symptoms I experienced definitely felt more extreme. (It’s a huge reason why they put me on birth control when I was 12. My cycle was horrible, painful, and I had such bad PMS symptoms.)

Candace spent a little under an hour chatting with me about the results of my test, and another interesting factor was my stress levels. I was pumped to see that my stress levels were super low even though I have a lot going on. Unfortuantely, they’re low enough to be considered sub-optimal. My body is so used to being stressed that it doesn’t respond adequately anymore, which equals adrenal fatigue.

Here’s a little bit about adrenal fatigue and what it is (from this site)

Your adrenal glands produce a variety of hormones that are essential to life. The medical term adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease) refers to inadequate production of one or more of these hormones as a result of an underlying disease.

Signs and symptoms of adrenal insufficiency may include:

Fatigue

Body aches

Unexplained weight loss

Low blood pressure

Lightheadedness

Loss of body hair

Skin discoloration (hyperpigmentation)

Adrenal insufficiency can be diagnosed by blood tests and special stimulation tests that show inadequate levels of adrenal hormones. 

While I was talking to Candace, she gave me so many awesome lifestyle tips for working with the adrenal fatigue and estrogen dominance (which she said is mild):

– Eat cruciferous vegetables to help get rid of excess estrogen

– Really focus on self care: sleep, making time for things I enjoy, encourage gentle exercise to balance out more vigorous classes, find ways to manage stress, etc.

– Nourishing the adrenals (I’m using this and love it, and get B12 through nutritional yeast on my eggs)

Adrena soothe

Magnesium oil to help with anxiety and sleep

– Supplements! I’m taking a mix of new and old supplements: chaste tree (which I’ve taken on and off for years, and it initially helped regulate my cycle after going off birth control almost 10 years ago), Adrena Soothe, DIM, and Calcium-D Glucarate. 

Supplements

(If you’re considering adding supplements to your routine, talk with your doc about the right dose for you)

Before chatting with Candace, I’d never heard about DIM and Calcium-D Glucarate. The DIM supplement is equivalent to eating 2 lbs of cruciferous vegetables and can help to flush the excess estrogen out of the body. The Calcium-D Glucarate helps to support the liver in getting rid of excess waste. Before I added these two supplements, I ran it by some of the medical professionals I work with, and they all recommended giving them a try. 

After two weeks on these supplements, I’m feeling AWESOME. I don’t have that heavy tired feeling hanging over me, and haven’t napped in two weeks (which is huge). Before this, I’d nap once or twice a week with P because I felt like I couldn’t make it throughout the day. I also feel more centered and productive.

Last week, instead of hitting the gym for HIIT and strength, I decided to enjoy a more restorative day and hiked Sabino Canyon. I’ve added yoga back into my routine on a consistent basis and feel like I’ve found a solid fitness schedule between my personal workouts and teaching classes.

Sabino

My mood has been so much more stable, and I wanted to wait a couple of weeks to see how the PMS stuff fared. I got my cycle, and the week before it arrived, I didn’t spend it feeling sad, on edge, and weepy. It was seriously incredible. I was like, “Oh this is how normal people feel! This is so pleasant.” 

So there’s my story! It’s always changing and evolving, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn more, nourish my body, and am crossing my fingers for improved levels when I re-test in a few months.

This post isn’t sponsored in any way, and this isn’t an affiliate link, but I asked Candace if she’s hook you up with a special code if you’ve been considering getting your hormone levels checked. Enter the code GINA at checkout to get $100 off any of her packages.

Have you ever had your hormone levels tested? What’s something you do in your daily routine that has a huge impact on how you feel?

Have a wonderful day and I’ll see ya soon!

xo

Gina 

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28 Comments

  1. Laura on December 4, 2018 at 8:48 am

    What type of a doctor did you visit for this type of testing? Is it someone like an endocrinologist or OB/GYN, or more of a holistic/integrative medicine type of practice? Or something else?

    • Fitnessista on December 4, 2018 at 9:37 pm

      you can ask your OB/GYN, or primary care for a hormone panel, but the problem is that they might not test everything or know how to interpret it exactly. the test i did with candace was a saliva test, and she’s an expert at analyzing all of the results

  2. Nicole on December 4, 2018 at 9:42 am

    Love that you’re sharing this! I’ve been going through my own hormonal journey the last year or so, and there’s just not enough women talking about this. I’m also estrogen dominant and needed to support my adrenals (who were working so hard to help balance me for so long!). Love to see how many options there are, I’m using a different combination of supplements but have found that eating lots of cruciferous veggies (I’ve just been on the kale/cauliflower/brussels sprouts train over here) and adding 1-2 tbsp of ground flax everyday has been a game changer! Thanks again for sharing your tips. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on December 4, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      i agree – i wish more women talked about it, especially about what works! i bought some flax, but i’ll try using it more often 🙂
      xo

  3. Sue on December 4, 2018 at 10:04 am

    I was looking at the tests/packages offered and the code you gave only resulted in $50 off, not $100. Kind of a bummer! Does it only apply to certain packages? Thanks for any help you can offer!

    • Fitnessista on December 4, 2018 at 10:11 am

      Just sent an email- hopefully it will be updated soon!

      • Fitnessista on December 4, 2018 at 12:44 pm

        Coupon works now 🙂

  4. Juliana on December 4, 2018 at 11:56 am

    Oh thank you so much for posting this! I have been dealing with some hormonal stuff too and it’s so nice to have more tools in the ole toolkit!

    • Fitnessista on December 4, 2018 at 9:35 pm

      these things we go through, right?but we’re lucky there’s so many amazing products out there

  5. Caitlin on December 4, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    What a great post! I’ve been working with your other podcast guest- Ali Damron (since I live in Denver), and I have high estrogen and low progestrone. It’s been helping a lot!

    http://www.themilestraveled.com

    • Fitnessista on December 4, 2018 at 9:34 pm

      i’m so so glad to hear! ali is amazing

  6. Crystal Howard on December 4, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    Have you tried the magnesium spray on the girls? Based on the amazon reviews, I was thinking the lotion might be a little better for sensitive skin. Just wondering if this would help my 3 year old sleep a little more soundly. She tends to thrash around a lot…
    Thanks!!

    • Fitnessista on December 4, 2018 at 9:31 pm

      i haven’t but i think they’d hate it because it burns a little. livi would literally act like she was on fire. let me know if you try the lotion!

  7. Clare @ fitting it all in on December 4, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    Really interesting!! This is what you were telling me about at lunch:) That Adrenal Sooth adaptogen combo looks great!! I’ve been meaning to find a way to get some ashwaganda and reishi into my life:)

    • Fitnessista on December 4, 2018 at 9:31 pm

      yes, this is it! i’m loving it so far

  8. Emily on December 4, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. I know I have a hormone imbalance; my Dr told me. I know my progesterone levels have been too low for years. And PMS is a nightmare and has been since I was in Jr high. I’m 40 so things will start getting even more interesting before too long. I’ve read about DIM before but have been hesitant to try it. I think I may pursue it now. I appreciate your sharing.

    • Fitnessista on December 4, 2018 at 9:29 pm

      i was nervous about trying it, too. i read every review online and finally decided to go for it. if you decide to try it, just remember to drink a lot of water and stay well hydrated and take it just after eating. <3

  9. Sheila Kini on December 4, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    I was just curious if the calcium supplement was causing constipation (sorry for the persona; question) – I was having issues with a calcium supplement and the doctor recommended I stop for a bit.

    • Fitnessista on December 4, 2018 at 9:28 pm

      nope! there’s actually a small amount of calcium in it (it’s like 5% DV)

  10. Mayacook on December 5, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Thank you for sharing everything, I’ve been wondering about having such but they are soooo expensive ☹️. I’ll check with my OB…

  11. Meaghen on December 7, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    Gina… this post moved me to tears! I’ve just started charting my cycles (two charts in), and two days ago was told I likely have low progesterone, because I’m ovulating super late. I have been reading everything I can get my hands on, and have started reaching out for help. I have actually been intending to email you on exactly this topic, to seek your advice. (Partly because with your wide range of knowledge, I really trust your ability to point me in the right direction. And because my mom passed away five years ago, and since she’s no longer here, I really feel the need for mom advice!) It helps so much to know I’m not alone in this. Right now my big question is – do you recommend saliva testing over blood/urine testing?

    • Fitnessista on December 10, 2018 at 1:48 am

      thank you so much for reading and i hope that you’ll be able to get some answers that help you!!
      saliva testing and blood testing are both great, but if you do blood testing, if they do a full panel, they need a lot of blood! i think it was like 8 vials for me? i’d just make sure you get a professional who is adept at understanding the results <3

  12. Michelle on December 8, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Thank you for sharing this. I have had reasons to think (both with my own experience and family history) that I need to get my hormones checked, but when I have asked my doctor and even an endocrinologist, the endocrinologist’s response was “hormone levels vary so much from day to day a blood test won’t tell us much”, which made me wonder if he was arguing against his own profession, aside from feeling like my own concerns were being ignored! I feel like I need to find a local specialist like Candace who will actually listen to my concerns, and maybe look into saliva testing. Your post makes me feel like i’m not crazy.

    • Fitnessista on December 10, 2018 at 1:45 am

      you’re definitely not crazy. doctors are amazing at what they do (and i’m SO thankful for them), but when it comes to hormones, i feel like it’s very rare to find a physician who will give you a full hormone panel, and then actually explain what it all means, especially when so many hormones work together. whenever i’ve had hormone tests done by a regular doctor, the results come back “normal” because they only test like 3 levels.
      i hope you get some of the answers that will help you!

  13. adrianna on December 8, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    excellent and insightful post, Gina! I’ve been referred to a hormone specialist to get checked out bc all things have been kinda jank for years now. still have not made the appt though…but this inspired me to get. on. it! really good info, girl 🙂

    • Fitnessista on December 10, 2018 at 1:41 am

      i hope you can get some of he answers you need! it’s frustrating for things to feel off, but now know what’s going on
      xoxo

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