Hormones are an integral part of the body’s daily functions but with age their levels can decline, which may require hormone replacement therapy and testing. A fluctuation in hormone levels can manifest in increased fatigue, sleep loss, weight gain, and many other symptoms. Restoration to a hormone imbalance can often alleviate those symptoms and may provide individuals with a higher overall quality of life.
If you believe you are experiencing multiple symptoms indicative of a possible hormone imbalance, it is a good idea to visit an urgent care or doctor’s office. By working closely with patients, medical professionals can take in the patient’s medical history, assess their current health situation, and if needed may recommend hormone and metabolism testing as well as genotyping. With a thorough review of their health underway, patients often feel more confident in the pathway ahead that can lead to optimal health.
What is hormone testing?
Hormone replacement therapy and testing are becoming increasingly common in today’s medical arena. Fortunately, hormone testing can be as easy as getting a physician’s order for the proper bloodwork. From there, patients can have the bloodwork done at the urgent care if they have a lab, or they can visit the closest lab. Their bloodwork will be drawn and analyzed before yielding the results, which will then be given to the ordering physician. After reviewing the results, doctors may recommend hormone replacement therapy to even out a hormone imbalance.
How Metabolism May Be Assessed
Metabolism can be assessed by evaluating tests that measure levels of hormones such as dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and cortisol. Cortisol levels are usually in direct correlation with an individual’s stress levels. A physician may also examine your cardiovascular health and its possible impacts (or lack thereof) on your metabolism. The comprehensive results of these evaluations and exams typically paint a fairly accurate picture of the state of your metabolism.
What is Genotyping?
Genotyping is a term that means investigating the genetic makeup of an individual. By learning about genetic markers and mutations specific to an individual, a physician can better direct them toward a safe path for hormone replacement therapy and testing.
The Basic Building Blocks of Hormone Replacement Therapy and Testing
When it comes to hormone replacement therapy and testing, there are several evaluations your physician may order before beginning treatment. These processes are not limited to, but may include:
- Genetic Testing. The saying that knowledge is power seems to hold particularly true when it comes to genetic testing. By defining the body’s genetic predisposition, a physician can more accurately pinpoint current and future hormone and metabolic risk factors.
- Micronutrient Blood Testing. Micronutrient tests evaluate the nutritional components in the body. These tests will measure the levels of various vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and antioxidants in our blood cells. The presence of the right micronutrients in the body helps it to produce more effective levels of vital amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Telomeres are part of the sequence of mammalian chromosomes. A telomere’s specific length can be crucial to chromosome health, especially as it relates to aging.
- Apolipoprotein E Genotyping. Sometimes referred to as APOE testing, this test takes a closer look at the various roles of the protein, particularly its relation to cholesterol and triglycerides. Results of this test may provide important information about risk factors and how an individual’s body handles dietary fat.
- MTHFR Genotyping. MTHFR is an enzyme that helps with the metabolism of folate and homocysteine. If the body experiences high levels of homocysteine and low levels of folate, it can negatively impact the body.
- Prothrombin Genotyping. Prothrombin is actually a protein made by the liver that assists blood in properly clotting or coagulating. An individual with a prothrombin gene mutation could be at risk of getting blood clots. This information can be crucial to an individual’s hormone replacement therapy plan.
- Factor V Leiden Genotyping. Factor V Leiden is considered to be a mutation of a blood clotting factor that can raise the risk of an individual having an abnormal blood clot, particularly in the lungs or legs. The presence of Factor V Leiden can impact hormone replacement therapy, particularly for estrogen supplements.
- BioTE Hormone Replacement Therapy. This type of hormone therapy centers around the introduction of bioidentical hormones which can help relieve effects and symptoms of a hormone imbalance.
Be sure to speak with your physician about conducting these tests before hormone replacement therapy and testing ever begins. Together, these tests will give a physician a more accurate picture of the makeup of the building blocks of your body, some of which could affect the successful outcome of hormone replacement therapy and testing.
How Urgent Care Can Help with Hormone Replacement Therapy and Testing
If you believe you might be experiencing a hormone imbalance or could be at risk of doing so, it is best to bring it to your physician’s attention. However, many patients say that despite having the need to see their regular doctor, their doctors can be booked for months, making a timely appointment unlikely.
Fortunately, many urgent care clinics offer hormone replacement therapy and testing and do not necessarily require an appointment. While many clinics will accept some appointments, many of their patients arrive as walk-ins. Be sure to call your urgent care clinic to see about stopping by for a consultation.
In addition to appointment and walk-in flexibility, urgent care centers also tend to have longer weekday hours than many doctor’s offices and often feature some weekend hours as well. For an individual who works a nine to five job, these extended hours can make all the difference in finding time to attend to their personal health.
Don’t put off taking control of your health if you suspect you may benefit from hormone replacement therapy and testing. Creating a pathway to good health can literally be a life changing experience.