July 25, 2016
Top Tips to Make the Most
of Salivary Hormone Testing

Saliva is often considered to be the superior medium for hormone testing. The greatest advantage of saliva testing is its ability to measure free, biologically active hormone levels. Another important advantage is the ability to accurately monitor topically applied hormone creams. In fact, saliva is the only way to accurately monitor the body's response to transdermal supplementation. Saliva testing is relatively easy for patients and providers alike, but from time to time patients make mistakes in their paperwork, or in the timing of hormone use before testing, which results in less comprehensive interpretation of the reported hormone levels. In order to optimize the information gained from salivary hormone testing, please consider these top tips:

  • Make sure your patient completely fills out all paperwork, including date of birth, date of last menstrual period, and the symptom questionnaire and hormone supplementation history.
  • If your patient is supplementing with hormones and you wish to monitor her response to supplementation, advise her to carefully read the instruction booklet found in the test kit. Focusing on the dosage interval guidelines in the instruction packet will enhance the utility of the test results. Note: dosage intervals differ for various routes of administration, i.e. transdermal, oral, sublingual, injection, etc.
  • If you are interested in seeing what your patients’ endogenous hormone levels are, have them stop supplementation for at least 72 hours. If less than 72 hours, supplementation ranges will be applied.
  • If your patients are using topical hormones, avoid contaminated samples by advising them to wash their hands and face before collecting samples, avoid face creams, change towels, and wipe down all surfaces which could have been touched with contaminated hands.
  • If a spouse or other member of the household is using transdermal hormones, minimize the risk of transference by taking similar precautions. Family members can inadvertently expose others in the home via hormone residue on faucets, counter tops, sheets, towels, or even the remote control!
  • When testing endogenous cortisol secretion (baseline cortisol levels), it is recommended to discontinue hydrocortisone supplementation 4-5 days prior to saliva collection. Additionally, steroids such as inhalers (prednisone) and creams (cortisone) can skew salivary cortisol results. Be aware that even if the tester is not using a cream him or herself, trace amounts of topical cortisone cream from household exposure (children, animals, elderly) may be enough to affect levels.
  • Familiarize yourself with the concept of reference ranges and supplementation ranges. The reference ranges used by Labrix list the ranges for "healthy" people as set by the test kit manufacturer. Our supplementation ranges are based on the work of Dr. John Lee. Supplementation ranges, such as the Pg/E2 ratio, are part empirical and part physiological, i.e. are based on how much hormone a healthy/youthful endocrine gland produces. Dr. Lee began this process by working with patients - treating with progesterone cream at physiologic dose ranges and tracking symptoms. By observing when symptoms disappeared and, in the case of progesterone osteoporosis improved, he was able to establish ideal ranges for supplementation.

The doctors at Labrix are always available to answer questions as they arise, so please call us if patients are unsure about the collection process in any way. By working together, we can ensure you will receive the most comprehensive information for your patients.

Labrix Clinical Spotlight Series:
Sexual Dysfunction in Women

Labrix' Director of Clinical Services Robyn Kutka discusses clinical approaches to identifying and treating sexual dysfunction in women as a part of our Labrix Clinical Spotlight Series

Labrix Core Training

Join the hundreds of practitioners who have attended Labrix live training events and learn more about these exciting opportunities directly from a Labrix attendee and Dr. Jay Mead, Medical Director and co-founder of Labrix.

Core Training:
Portland, OR
August 6, 2016

Labrix will be conducting its annual Core Training in Portland, OR. Registration is $150 and upon completing this one day training, you will receive a $100 credit on your testing account. Register for Portland Core Training today.

Core Training:
Chicago, IL
October 8, 2016

Labrix staff physicians will be in Chicago on October 8th to present Core Training. Registration is $150 and upon completing this one day training, you will receive a $100 credit on your testing account. Register for Chicago Core Training today.

St. Louis, MO
July 28-31, 2016

Labrix co-founders Dr. Mead and Dr. Lommen will be speaking at the at the Council on Diagnosis and Internal Disorders in St. Louis, Missouri, this summer.

Hilton Head, SC
September 16-18, 2016

Labrix will be in South Carolina for the Restorative Medicine conference on September 16-18. Come chat with our booth representative and learn more about testing with Labrix.