DUTCH Results and Next Steps
So I finally got the results from my hormone testing. Not as cut and dry as I'd hoped for, but illuminating nonetheless. Having read through the results of these tests for numerous clients, I at least had a general understanding of what I was looking at. What's great about the DUTCH is that it not only shows your general hormone levels for estrogens, testosterone, progesterone, DHEA, cortisol, and melatonin, but it shows how your body is metabolizing and using said hormones.
The good news is that I have sufficient DHEA (which feeds other hormones and also counters cortisol) as well as testosterone. And even better is that my higher testosterone is metabolized/methylated well and not being used for androgenic things like hair loss/acne/cancer. This is partly due to genetics as well as my many years of lifting heavy weights.
The not-so-good news is that my estrogen and progesterone are nearly nonexistent. In fact I've seen women in their late 50's who have better estrogen levels than I do. Sigh. We are talking really, really, low. It's doubtful that my weight is the only culprit here, and I'll need to do another blood test to confirm what is going on. The lab recommended that I take Vitex (chaste berry) for 90days and see if that helps jumpstart my cycles again. Vitex is not a hormone replacement, but it helps boost your own endogenous production of both estrogen and progesterone in women and even testosterone in men. What's good was that I seem to be metabolizing my estrogen down the least carcinogenic pathway (at least for Phase 1 detoxification), but not doing so great with Phase II. This is where the body is able to eliminate. So I'm also adding in some methylation support.
When I asked if they thought I might be perimenopausal, they were not sure. Basically, I'll try the Vitex for 90 days, then if no period I'll test my AMH (anti mullerian hormone), LH (luteinizing hormone), and FSH (follicular stimulating hormone) which all together will give me insight into how close to menopause I may be getting. They were also concerned that my thyroid numbers were low (from previous blood work) and suggested I increase my dose, even if that means losing a little weight. It's impossible to get hormones balanced unless thyroid is optimized. So I'll be calling my GP this week to work on that as well.
What the lab did tell me was that with my small frame and low estrogens, I should consider hormone replacement treatment (bioidenticals of course) as soon as possible. They were concerned, just looking at my labs (all by phone) that I'd be at risk for osteoporosis. Well, they sure hit the nail on the head with that one. Anyway, they're right, and once I get a full picture of what my hormones are doing (by beginning of Fall) I'll be able to make a decision about how to best do all this...