As a gynecologist working primarily in the field of hormone replacement for the past 8 years, saliva testing is an integral part of how I treat my patients. In my OB/GYN residency, I was taught to prescribe as Dr. Utian says: start with low doses and increase according to symptoms. Well, it just plain doesn’t work to do it that way. Without testing patients’ hormone levels, it is impossible to determine if a patient’s symptoms of hair loss are from low estrogen, high cortisol or low thyroid. All three hormonal imbalances can lead to the same set of symptoms. How can I as a physician know which one to treat and how, when I don’t even know where they stand hormonally? It’s difficult to make an assessment based on symptoms alone. Dr. Utian is advocating a “one-size-fits-all” model of medicine that just isn’t practical. Using saliva testing, I can customize therapy for each patient and then I can follow the test results to assess the therapy in addition to monitoring the patient’s symptoms. This method has proven to be far more effective with my patients.
I do use ZRT saliva testing as mentioned in the article and have found it to be a very reliable and cost effective way to determine hormone levels in my patients. As mentioned in the article, there have been several studies confirming the efficacy of saliva testing and it does look at free hormone levels, which are the levels that are available to bind to hormone receptors in the body. Saliva levels for cortisol are essential for diagnosing abnormal adrenal hormone levels and scientific research has proven it to be an acceptable substitute for blood testing. Since cortisol levels need to be measured at specific intervals throughout the day, saliva is certainly preferable to blood from a scheduling and patient acceptability and tolerability standpoint and has been shown to be just as efficient.
Saliva testing is a proven, reliable method that has worked exceptionally well in my practice and has proven to provide information that is vital to the care of my patients.
-Jennifer Landa, M.D., Orlando Bioidentical Hormones Expert, Cheif Medical Officer, BodyLogicMD
To read the full article, go to: Wall Street Journal