Bioidentical Hormones, Hormone Imbalance

The Price of Spit

Natural Hormone Health Problem

Saliva in Test Tubes

Who knew spit could be so valuable?  What’s the price of spit you ask?  Well let me just tell you that my spit is priceless.

Several weeks ago I woke up one morning on Day 21 of my cycle and spent half an hour in bed spitting into a test tube.  I know test tubes may appear small but geez do they take a long time to fill up with spit!  If you’ve taken a saliva hormone test before you what I’m talking about.  You only learn how valuable each and every drop of your spit is when you actually have to produce a test tube full of it!

But that’s not the only thing that makes my spit priceless – the truth is my spit tells me things; amazing, important and insightful things.  Well not me actually but the lab tech and the doctor and then eventually I get the news too.  In fact, one of the ways that my doctor and I check on what my body is doing with the hormones I take and the ones my body produces is through occasional saliva hormone tests.

Yesterday I went to see my doctor to discuss my test results.  As we expected, my precious saliva revealed that my estrogen level is low and my progesterone is high.  My beautiful, blissful hormonal balance has been thrown off-kilter and in the craziest most unexpected way! Well, ok, maybe it’s not that unexpected – I’m very likely feeling the effects of peri-menopause. And while it’s a bit disheartening that after all my years of dealing with devastating hormone problems I only got a few short years with harmonious hormones – I feel like I am armed with all the resources I need to figure this out.

The discussion with my doctor revolved around how to deal with this new information.  I admitted that I did NOT want to take estrogen – bioidentical or not.  The reasons being:

  • my fear that being estrogen dominant my entire life already puts me at increased risk for breast cancer and endometrial cancer (read my post on estrogen dominance)
  • my blood test for breast cancer markers revealed that I am at the very top end of the “normal” range
  •  there hasn’t been much long-term research about bio-identical estrogen
  • there are ways to nutritionally support my body and my liver to help with hormones – food is always the best first medicine
I explained all of this to the doctor and this is what our conversation sounded like:
Me:  “You understand my fear don’t you?”
Dr. W:  (Looks me in the eye)  “Sonya, of course I do.  I care about you.”
(yes my doctor actually told me he cares about me – and I believe him!).
Dr. W:  “What’s the point of you taking something that causes you stress. I don’t want you to be stressed, our goal is for you to feel great! Let’s take you off all your hormones and see what your body will produce by itself.  It will be a good time for you to take a break from the bioidentical hormoens and then we will meet again in three months and decide how to proceed.”
Now I have to explain that after all these years the idea of my body producing anything resembling hormonal normalcy on it’s own is hard to believe! Even though I know that our hormones change throughout our life and in theory it’s all possible – I have serious doubts!
Me: “You mean now? Christmas is only one month away – in exactly one month my head might be spinning off my neck and My Beloved may be calling you begging you to give me back my hormones!”
Dr. W:  “I’m only a phone call away.”
Me:  “Are you going on holidays?”
Dr. W: “No, I’ll be around.”
Me: “What’s your cell phone number!?”
Dr. W laughs. He tells me he knows I have all the resources I need for me to be able to handle this and to put my hormones in the fridge (they will keep for up to 6 months).
I’ve had to come to grips that my hormonal utopia may have ended.  This time around it’s a bit different; it’s kind of comforting knowing that I’ve got Dr. W only a phone call away, My Beloved who is my biggest supporter, all the resources and information I’ve gathered over the years, oh and of course a fridge full of hormones!
So I’m ready to put my body to the test – without any hormones – I still can’t help but wonder if it will be a wild ride… If you’re you up for coming along for the ride to see how it turns out…sign up to get my blog updates.

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