I received this question from a 43 year old woman.
I’ve been seeing my doctor for about three years now and she recently did about $1800 worth of testing. How will I know when my hormones are balanced? I hate the night sweats, hot flashes that make my entire head sweat like crazy, and the stupid emotions that like to be on a roller coaster.
Does your doctor have any clinical goals in mind for you? Three years is a long time to stay with a doctor who hasn’t been able to help you with basic hormone deficiency symptoms. I see she does some testing, what does she do with the testing? What exactly is she monitoring and trying to achieve?
That's a lot of testing for not having a clear direction of what you are trying to do. For example, when I test for hormones, I am looking for specific numbers to be in particular ranges and if they are not, then the hormone adjustments made by the hormone doctor are designed to get those numbers in those ranges.
Part of the problem doctors have with balancing hormones for women is they have no real specific clinical or lab goals in mind. Because I've been a clinical hormone coach for so long, I've seen how women respond to the various levels of hormones and know what levels women do well with and which ones they do not. Your doctor should have the same mindset.
Estrogen and FSH for example, need to be in a specific ranges for women to consistently feel good mentally and physically. If this is ignored, then it's all nothing but a crap shoot at your expense.
The day you test for hormones is important as well as hormone levels predictably vary throughout the cycle so testing on Day 13 of your cycle is different than testing on Day 18 of your cycle.
Ask your doctor what ranges are they trying to achieve with you, what their plan is to achieve those ranges, and when they anticipate you achieving them. If they look at you like a deer in headlights when you ask these questions, your treatment will be like running on the exercise wheel of symptoms management with low does treatments heading nowhere. And it may be in your best interest to find a hormone specialist who can answer these questions for you without stuttering.
Btw, optimal ranges for estradiol is 350-550 when tested on Day 13 of your cycle. I hope this helps. The more you know about what needs to be done to get your hormones balanced, the greater success you'll have with getting them balanced.