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When is the best time to test for hormone imbalance?

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By Sofia Health Staff on May, 13 2024
When is the best time to test for hormone imbalance?

In this episode of Sofia Unfiltered, Riley talks to Heather Wolcott, a Holistic Nutrition Consultant and National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach with over 20 years of experience 

Tips to Sleep Better

When clients approach Heather with goals like weight loss or increased energy, her holistic approach emphasizes the importance of sleep. She highlights a case where a young woman struggled with discipline and weight management until addressing her sleep habits. Heather explains that sleep is crucial for brain function, as it allows for detoxification through the glymphatic system and facilitates restorative processes like deep sleep and REM cycles. 

She warns against the disruptive effects of alcohol and over-the-counter sleep aids, emphasizing the link between poor sleep and various health issues, from obesity to mental health disorders. In a practical sense, improving sleep quality led to notable improvements in emotional well-being and cognitive function for Heather's client, demonstrating the significant impact of sleep on overall health and performance.


Debunking Sleep and Hormones Myths

Heather addresses common myths about sleep and hormones, particularly focusing on melatonin. While melatonin is essential for regulating sleep-wake cycles, she emphasizes that it is a signaling molecule, not a sleep aid, and its exogenous use may only marginally impact total sleep time. She warns against routine melatonin supplementation, especially for those in reproductive years, as it can suppress sex hormone production and potentially stunt growth, as seen in a case shared by a friend. Heather underscores the importance of understanding how hormones like melatonin influence overall health and the need for caution in their use, as they play a significant role in regulating various bodily functions beyond just sleep.


Why Is It Important To Understand Your Hormones

Heather explains the importance of understanding hormonal fluctuations throughout the menstrual cycle, highlighting how different phases affect energy, exercise preferences, and nutritional needs. She emphasizes the necessity of aligning lifestyle choices with these hormonal changes to support overall health.

Additionally, Heather recommends comprehensive blood tests to establish baseline hormone levels and assess overall health. She suggests advanced lipid panels for a nuanced understanding of cholesterol, fasting insulin tests for insight into metabolic health, and comprehensive thyroid and hormone panels to provide a complete health assessment.

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What's The Optimal Timing For Hormone Imbalance Testing?

The best time to test for hormone imbalance is during the luteal phase, typically around day 19-21 of the menstrual cycle for women with regular cycles. This phase ensures stability in hormone levels, particularly for estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Testing during this period provides a comprehensive understanding of hormonal fluctuations and imbalances, allowing for accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plans.


The Role Of A Health Coach

Riley and Heather discuss the importance of advocating for one's health, especially when seeking comprehensive lab tests and personalized care. Heather emphasizes the value of establishing baseline hormone levels and suggests various tests, including advanced lipid panels and fasting insulin tests, to assess overall health. They also highlight the role of health coaches in providing support, accountability, and guidance in navigating the complexities of healthcare options. Heather emphasizes the need for credible sources and cautions against relying solely on online information, emphasizing the importance of seeking qualified professionals for guidance.


More from Sofia Health

Check out the full episode of the Sofia Unfiltered podcast, "How to Sleep Better with Heather Wolcott (Pt. 2)", available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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Disclaimer: The Sofia Unfiltered Podcast by Sofia Health is for general informational and entertainment purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing, or other professional healthcare services, including the giving of medical advice. No doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this podcast or materials linked from this podcast is at the user’s own risk. The content of this podcast is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard or delay in obtaining medical advice for any medical condition they may have. For any health concerns, users should seek the assistance of their healthcare professionals.

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