n the world of hormone therapy and testing it is vital to have a reliable way to collect data on hormone levels.
The DUTCH hormone test is a reliable, efficient, and easy way to test for hormone levels. While there are many hormone tests out there, there are many benefits to the DUTCH hormone test that make it unique.
This article will provide a comprehensive overview to the DUTCH hormone test including what it is, how to take it, the research behind it, the benefits, what it tests for, how it compares to other tests, and how the results are used.
DUTCH Hormone Testing
DUTCH hormone testing stands for Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones. This is a urine test where 4 samples of urine are collected over the span of 24 hours. Instead of the urine being collected into a cup and sent to a lab, the urine is collected onto a sheet of filter paper where it is left to dry before being sent off to the lab.
The test is used to measure a variety of hormones including free cortisol, cortisol metabolites, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and melatonin. These levels can be helpful to a healthcare provider to monitor how well hormone replacement therapy is working and to get a baseline of your hormones.
How To Take the Test
Taking the test is easy and convenient. There will be detailed instructions included with the test, however, this is a brief overview of the test instructions.
When you take it will depend on if you have a menstrual cycle. For men and non-cycling or postmenopausal women you can take it any day of the month. For women with a menstrual cycle you should take the test between the days 19 and 22 of a 28 day cycle, unless it is for the adrenal panel only in which you can collect any day.
To collect the sample you can either urinate directly onto the filter paper or urinate into a clean cup and dip the filter paper into it. Once you have collected the sample onto the filter paper you can leave it open to dry.
There are a couple considerations about when to collect the samples. The first collection should be done around 5 pm and you should not drink any fluids 2 hours before collecting. The second collection is at bedtime the same day at around 10 pm, again do not drink fluids 2 hours before collecting. The 3rd sample should be taken the next morning within 10 minutes of waking up. The 4th sample should be taken about 2 hours after waking, but do not drink any alcohol caffeine, or more than one cup of fluids before collecting it.
Benefits of DUTCH Hormone Testing
DUTCH hormone testing has a few large benefits compared to other methods of hormone testing. For one it is very simple to use and can be done in the comfort of your own home. Gone are the days of having to take time off of work to attend appointments for lab work. There is also no need to have a medical degree to follow the instructions and it is completed in less than a few minutes per collection. It is also a great option for those who have a fear of needles because they do not need to get a blood test to check their hormone levels. Another great benefit is that it is easily customizable to get the hormones tested that you want and need with nearly the same process of collection.
Where Can You Get The Test?
There are a few ways to get your hands on the DUTCH hormone test. The first way is to purchase the test individually through the DUTCH test website. You are able to purchase all versions of the test including the adrenal, sex hormones,cycle mapping, cortisol awakening, DUTCH plus, and DUTCH complete. Another way to purchase the test is through a DUTCH provider. These providers are associated with DUTCH and have a wealth of knowledge related to hormone replacement therapy and the DUTCH testing system. After connecting with one of these providers you can purchase the test through them for ease of purchase. After you purchase and take the test you will get a report sheet with your results to review and share with your provider.
What Hormones Does it Test for?
The DUTCH test has multiple options for which hormones are tested. Each test assesses for a different array of hormones and can be chosen based on which levels you need and want to know.
The DUTCH adrenal test tests for a variety of hormones that are released by the adrenal glands. The hormones tested for include daily free cortisone pattern, daily free cortisol pattern, cortisol metabolites (a-THF, b-THF), cortisone metabolites (b-THE), and DHEAs. If you are looking for a simpler test then the cortisol awakening response test may be a better fit. This tests only for the awakening response of cortisone and cortisol, instead of including the metabolites and DHEA. The results of this test can determine if replacement is needed of the adrenal hormones and how the adrenal glands are functioning.
One of the most popular hormones tested for are sex hormones. The sex hormones that are tested in the DUTCH sex hormone metabolites test include extensive estrogen metabolites, extensive androgen metabolites (testosterone, DHEAs, DHT, and more), and progesterone metabolites (b-Preganediol, a-Pregnanediol (2)). These sex hormones are influential to sexual functioning, bone health, reproduction, musculoskeletal health, and more. Ensuring that these levels are in the proper range are very important to the overall health and well being of the individual.
There are also cycle tracking tests that measure estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA-s, cortisol, and more. These monitor the individual hormone cycles of women to help those with ongoing symptoms such as monthly migraines, fertility issues, or PCOS.
Melatonin is another hormone that can be tested through DUTCH testing. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep. Melatonin is usually released by the pineal gland in the brain to signal that it is time to go to sleep. However, with so many disturbances in today’s world such as cell phones and televisions it is common to have interrupted melatonin release cycles. This test can help to track the release of melatonin to determine if supplementation could be beneficial.
How Does It Compare With Other Tests?
So why would you choose the DUTCH test over other well known hormone testing methods such as saliva, blood, and other urine tests?
Beginning with saliva there is one missing piece when it comes to saliva testing. In saliva tests there are no cortisol, estrogen, or androgen metabolites present. This means they are missing valuable data regarding hormone levels.
When it comes to blood or serum it is unable to get cortisol levels throughout the day, unless they are being hospitalized. Blood tests are also unable to collect data on hormone metabolites.
Other urine tests, most commonly the 24 hour urine test, don’t do well with collecting daily levels of cortisol and can have frequent user errors.
In addition to the 24 hour urine test they also have to do saliva testing to collect cortisol levels.
To avoid these issues the DUTCH test creates an easy test to gather all of the information without the need to introduce additional saliva testing.
What Are the Results Used For?
While it is interesting and fun to know your hormone levels, ultimately the largest use for DUTCH hormone testing is to collect baseline data and ongoing data for hormone therapy.
In hormone replacement therapy it is important to know what the hormone levels are as you go through treatment. This can help the healthcare provider to adjust the dose of hormone that is being taken. If the levels from the test come back too high it is an indication that a lower dose may be needed and vice versa. The easy collection and results reports make this test great for the ongoing hormone test levels needed for endocrine therapy.
Overall the DUTCH hormone test is a comprehensive test for sex hormones, adernal hormones, and melatonin. It offers a user friendly collection method that can be done anywhere and easily shipped for analysis. It can provide necessary guidance to providers regarding treatment with hormone replacement therapy and allows them to identify and address any underlying problems.
If you are interested in DUTCH hormone testing you can purchase it individually or speak with your healthcare provider to get more information.