THE adrenal hormone test
The Precision Analytical DUTCH hormone test has an adrenal component, a sex hormone component, or a combination. Here I’m referring to the adrenal component.
This is a test for “adrenal fatigue,” more accurately called HPA-D, which stands for hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunction.
The DUTCH Adrenal Hormone test is very easy to do. The directions are extremely clear. You take four urine samples at four different times of the day, and they don’t have to be on the same day. Then you simply fold up the dry test strips and mail off the kit with six stamps.
Why do this test? For what symptoms?
Your results will end the guesswork about whether or not the root cause of your symptoms is due to adrenal fatigue (HPA-D). This can include any of the following symptoms:
- Second wind late at night
- Trouble sleeping soundly
- Wake up in the morning feeling groggy, tired, or unrested
- Difficulty recovering from exercise, exhausted from exercise of any type
- Energy slumps throughout the day
- Need caffeine throughout the day to function
- Anxiety, worry
- Chronic connective tissue problems that are slow to heal
- Frequent colds and flus
- Difficulty regulating blood sugar
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Exhaustion since a trauma, including death of a loved one
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Menopause symptoms
- Hypothyroid symptoms or diagnosis
Wonder if you have HPA-D? Take this self-assessment:
Why this urine test, and not blood or saliva?
This test reveals information about two adrenal hormones and how they metabolize: Cortisol and DHEA. Urine is the only way to see these metabolites. You also see your 24 hour cortisol rhythm, which is important in assessing adrenals. This test tells you:
- If you have adrenal fatigue (HPA-D)
- The type or stage you have – is cortisol too high or low? What about DHEA?
- What does your 24-hour diurnal cortisol rhythm look like? Is it low during the day (think fatigue)? High at night (wired at bedtime)?
- Do you have a problem metabolizing cortisol out of your system? Or keeping free cortisol at optimal levels?
Why test for adrenal fatigue at all?
You may have thought you have adrenal fatigue and tried various things to help. Unfortunately, with guessing rather than testing, often what you take is not on target with your specific HPA-D pattern. You may be wasting your money or you may be treating yourself inappropriately. For example:
- You may be taking something that lowers cortisol when you need more.
- You may need more or less cortisol during certain times of day, and not be gearing your treatment in the right direction, at the right time of day.
- Herbs that work on the HPA axis have different properties according to the herb. You don’t know if the herb matches your presentation. It may be too stimulating or too sedating.
- It’s possible you don’t have HPA-D at all, and your symptoms have a different root cause! I see this on a regular basis.
Functional and integrative practitioners who use the DUTCH adrenal hormone test are looking for specific patterns of HPA-D, not adrenal fatigue. We recognize that adrenal function is part of a complicated neuroendocrine system that is controlled by the brain. We are looking for how this axis is functioning, this communication or network between the brain (hypothalamus and pituitary glands) and the adrenal glands.
In essence, why do this test? If your HPA axis is not online, it will affect all of your neuroendocrine systems: your thyroid, insulin metabolism, all sex hormones, your energy, and your brain. With the specific results of the test, you can fine-tune your treatment exactly according to your needs. You can find out what is needed for sleep intervention, daytime energy, stress, and more.
Healing from adrenal stress
You can’t just take supplements for adrenal stress, although the right ones will certainly help! You need to attend to lifestyle factors as well, such as how you perceive and deal with stress, how you move, and how you sleep.
I’d love to hear your comments below,