Hormone Saliva Testing is far convenient than Blood Serum Testing

Checking the hormone levels is very necessary for women. The concern starts to rise when the females face premenopausal and menopausal syndromes. In some other cases, often an individual needs to map the cycles of avail certain hormone therapies for the proper functioning of the organs.

The salivary assay techniques are the ideal ways to map and measure the concentration of specific hormones in the blood. This critical data is essential to detect diseases beforehand and avail related therapies for them. The hormone saliva testing procedures from BioHealth Lab are the ideal ways to collect a sample and generate critical data without using any invasive method.

Evaluation of common concerns

The critical data is used to measure hormone levels and evaluate the information with the common issues an individual is suffering from. The list of issues mentioned below can be related and diagnosed with the generated data.

  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Inconsistent periods
  • Infertility
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Unprecedented weight loss or gain

Why use hormone saliva testing?

The saliva testing methods are used to detect the level of hormones present in the saliva and understand the particular difference in the serum levels of hormones. The hormone level detected in the salivary sample shows the degree of bioavailability of the hormones. The degree of bioavailability will determine the cause behind the residing issues a patient is suffering from.

The available amount of hormones for bio-acceptance by the receptors can be easily detected by the saliva test. This available percentage of hormones is relevant clinically as it will be available for the receptors to pick up. The reasons why saliva testing is preferred are mentioned below.

  • The samples are easily collected or send without any hassle.
  • The hormone saliva testing methods do not involve needles or drawing blood. The test can be simply done by collecting the samples of saliva.
  • The best feature of the test is that it does not involve any prior preparation such as fasting. There is no particular time for collection. A patient can always collect a sample in any place.
  • There is no special requirement to preserve the samples.

Efficient way of hormone testing

The overall cost of the test is very low. The bioassay can be easily done as the hormones in saliva do not degrade easily at room temperature. It is less challenging than the serum testing techniques and can be conducted by the patient herself.

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hormone testing

A Comprehensive Guide To Female Hormonal Imbalances

Hormones are effective chemicals/particles that are the building blocks of practically every moment of a human life. Hormones are critical to keep up a man’s physical and psychological well-being. Imbalance in any of the hormones can prompt irritating and serious medical problems and can make your physical and emotional wellness go haywire. Albeit dismissed, hormones are the building pieces of a man’s health. It is a typical conviction that estrogen is the female hormone, while testosterone is the manly hormone; however, the two, men and ladies produce estrogen, testosterone and various different hormones. Regular female hormonal tests are important to make sure that all of the crucial life functions go on smoothly.

Problems Faced My Women Due To Hormonal Imbalances

As women start to age, hormonal imbalances start emerging and effecting the menstrual cycle and the general physical well-being. Pre-mature menopause or irregular periods and mood swings are the most common issues faced by women due to hormonal imbalances. Fat accumulation, acne, breast aches, migraine, loss of libido, burn-outs and PMS are other nasty issues that women face.

Estrogen dominance leads to excessive weight gain, acne, thinning skin, puffy eyes, brittle nails, and increased body hair. There is an extra risk of developing estrogen dominance if you have been a smoker, breast cancer patient, or have been undergoing hormone replacement therapies.

Low testosterone levels lead to fat accumulation is chest and belly, hair loss, pale skin, decreasing strength, dry eyes and infertility. Under eating and over exercising and stress are the most significant reasons behind hormonal imbalances.

BioHealth hormone testing

Methods Of Testing Hormones

The most common and effective methods of female hormonal tests are by serum tests, urine tests and saliva tests. Urine test is an extensive test method. All female hormones are effectively tested in these tests. However, the best option for female hormonal tests is salivary hormonal tests. In a saliva test, only the bio-active hormones get tested. Salivary hormonal tests are the most effective and accurate kind of female hormonal tests. Salivary tests include the testing of Testosterone, Estrogen and other most common hormones that cause the regular hormonal imbalance symptoms.

Achieving Hormonal Balance In The Healthiest Possible Way

It’s pitiful that hormonal irregularities are regularly ‘treated’ with hormonal substitution treatment. It’s normal for specialists to turn to anti-conceptive pills or other engineered hormones to treat your side effects. A considerable measure of indications caused by hormones can be settled normally by adopting a healthy lifestyle and eating habits before swinging to prescription. Consumption of the correct supplements and receiving the best way of life propensities is the best way to tackle your hormonal problems and feel great again.

Symptoms and Causes of Estrogen Dominance

Any hormone in man’s or woman’s body should be produced in an adequate amount. Too less hormones result in hormone deficiency and too much hormones lead to hormone dominance. Both deficiency and dominance result into health problems. In this article, we are going to cover the dominance of a primary female sex hormone ‘estrogen’. A good number of women are suffering from estrogen dominance.

Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance

Usually, women in their thirties and forties suffer from estrogen dominance. Both the body and brain are stimulated due to estrogen dominance. This causes the symptoms illustrated of the following table:

Lack of sex drive Fibrocystic breasts
Bloating (water retention) Hair loss
Irregular or abnormal menstrual periods Headache especially pre-menstrual headache
Breast swelling and tenderness Depression, irritability and mood swing problems
Cold feet and hands Weight and/or fat gain around hips and abdomen
Memory loss and foggy thinking Thyroid dysfunction
Fatigue Sluggish metabolism
(PMS) Premenstrual symptoms Trouble in sleeping/insomnia

Apart from the above symptoms, estrogen dominance is also linked to other health issues including breast cancer, infertility, ovarian cysts, allergies, uterine cancer, autoimmune disorder and increased blood clotting. Estrogen dominance also accelerates aging. However, some other conditions also show the same symptoms. Therefore, you should visit saliva testing labs for the diagnosis of estrogen dominance.

Causes of Estrogen Dominance

During a normal menstrual cycle, estrogen dominates for a fortnight leading up to ovulation. Progesterone during the last fortnight balances estrogen. Following are the symptoms estrogen dominance:

  • Obesity
  • Stress results into overproduction of cortisol, norepinephrine and insulin. This can cause adrenal exhaustion. This can also disturb the overall hormone balance.
  • Impaired immune function
  • Environmental agents
  • Eating low fiber diet with high refined carbohydrates can cause estrogen dominance. High quality fat and diet with low nutrients can also be a cause of estrogen dominance.

How to control estrogen dominance

  • Switch to a diet with high potency mineral/multivitamin combination.
  • Switch to a hormone balancing diet consisting of adequate protein, lots of vegetables and fruits, and healthy fat.
  • Get enough fiber.
  • Exercise regularly and burn the extra body fat.
  • Avoid drugs, alcohol and caffeine to detoxify your liver.
  • Reduce stress

Reducing stress and eating a healthy diet can help in controlling excess estrogen in the body. If you feel that something is wrong with your menstrual cycle, take it seriously and visit one of the saliva testing labs for diagnosis.

Woman Health – Effects Of Thyroid Disorders on Women’s Health

The thyroid gland produces several hormones that influence almost all important metabolic process in the human body. Most of the thyroid disorders are caused due to abnormal production of these hormones. Too much or too less production of these hormones can cause various harmless and life-threatening disorder. Goiter (enlarged gland) is a harmless disorder and it hardly requires any treatment. However, thyroid disorder can also cause life threatening cancer. Excessive production of thyroid hormone causes hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurs when thyroid hormone is produced in an insufficient amount.

Most of the thyroid disorders can be easily managed when diagnosed on time and treated properly. Just like other woman hormone disorders, thyroid disorders are also diagnosed with hormone test for women.

Causes of Thyroid Disorders

Hyperthyroidism

This thyroid disorder is caused when thyroid hormone is produced in excessive amount. Following are the conditions that cause overproduction of thyroid hormone:

  • Toxic Adenomas: In this condition, nodules are developed in thyroid gland. These nodules start secreting thyroid hormone and disturb the chemical balance of the human body.
  • Graves’ Disease: This is one of the major causes of thyroid hormone overproduction.
  • Subacute Thyroiditis: Leakage of excess hormone due to inflammation of thyroid gland causes temporary hyperthyroidism. This temporary hyperthyroidism may last from a few weeks to few months.
  • Cancerous Growths Or Pituitary Gland Malfunctions: This condition is rare. However, it can also cause hyperthyroidism.

Hypothyroidism

Insufficient production of thyroid hormone causes this thyroid disorder. Thyroid hormone is one of the hormones human body depends on for energy production. Therefore, hypothyroidism lowers energy levels in human body.

  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: It is an autoimmune disorder in which the body starts attacking thyroid tissues. That dead tissue does not produce any hormone.
  • Lithium: Lithium is also associated with the causes of hypothyroidism.
  • Removal of Thyroid Gland: Sometimes, the thyroid gland is chemically destroyed or surgically removed.
  • Exposure to Excessive Amount Of Iodide: The heart medicine amiodarone, cold and sinus medicines or some contrast dyes usually given before some X – rays also cause exposure to iodide.

Effects of Thyroid Disorder on Woman’s Body

Production of thyroid hormone plays an important role in woman’s reproductive system. The overactive or underactive thyroid gland has following effects.

Puberty and Menstruation

Thyroid hormone imbalance can cause abnormal puberty and menstruation. Sometimes, puberty and menstrual occurs early and sometimes late. Menstrual periods can be very heavy or very light. Thyroid disorders also result into irregularity in menstrual periods or absence of menstrual period.

Reproduction

Overproduction and underproduction of thyroid hormones may prevent ovulation. Underactive thyroid increases the risk of cyst development.

Pregnancy and Postpartum Thyroiditis

Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism during pregnancy is harmful to the fetus. Underactive thyroid gland can cause stillbirth, miscarriages, postpartum hemorrhage and preterm delivery. Overactive thyroid gland can cause morning sickness during pregnancy.

Menopause

Thyroid hormone imbalance can be a cause of early onset of menopause. Mood swing, hot flashes, lack of menstruation and inability to sleep are symptoms of hyperthyroidism mistaken for early menopause.

Almost all thyroid hormone disorder can be treated if diagnosed with hormone test for women. If you are experiencing the symptoms of any thyroid disorder then visit the nearest clinic for hormone test for women.

adrenal glands test

What is the difference between Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth And IBS?

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth’ and ‘Irritable Bowel Syndrome, both are digestive system disorders caused when there are some troubles in small and/or large intestine (bowel). Both disorders come with some common symptoms including:

IBS and SIBO common symptoms   

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea, acid reflux or heartburn
  • Mood disorders like depression or anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches

IBS Shows Following Symptoms That Are Different From SIBO

  • Changes in normal bowel movements, for example, you used to have two bowel movements a day but now you are having four bowel movements a day.
  • Changes in texture and color of stool
  • Loss appetite or feeling full
  • Sexual problems
  • Unpleasant taste in mouth
  • Muscle aches
  • Urgent or frequent need to urinate
  • Heart palpitations

Saliiva hormone testing

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth symptoms that are different from IBS

  • Belching
  • Food sensitivities
  • Joint Pain
  • Asthama
  • Skin problems like acne, eczema, psoriasis or rosacea

It is clear that most of the major symptoms of these two conditions overlap. A few other digestive disorders also show the same symptoms. Therefore, a doctor cannot rely on symptoms only to diagnose whether the patient is suffering from small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or irritable bowel syndrome.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth Diagnosis

SIBO Breath test is the most reliable test for diagnosing small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. This test detects the presence of two gases in the breath – hydrogen and methane. Our body cannot produce any of these two gases. However, bacteria can. A person suffers from SIBO when the bacteria in the small intestine are more than normal. This happens when bacteria from the large intestine move into the small intestine. The small intestine is a site where nutrients are absorbed. Food is not fermented in the small intestine. The bacteria overgrown in the small intestine produce these gases. So, if hydrogen and methane are detected in your breath, you are suffering from SIBO.

SIBo

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diagnosis

IBS is different from other digestive system problems. This condition does cause any structural problem in the intestine. So, this condition is hard to diagnose. No test can successfully diagnose this disorder. This condition is diagnosed by eliminating and observing symptoms. The doctor will ask following questions:

  • How many times you have to use the bathroom in a single day?
  • Is abdominal pain reduced after going to the bathroom?
  • Does eating a specific food cause changes in texture or color of the stool?
  • Do you feel gassy or bloated after eating certain meals?
  • Does exercise provide relief from the symptoms of IBS?
  • Do you have any food sensitivity or allergy

large intestine. Human anatomy

Six Signs of Digestive Issues Due To SIBO

Food is one of the basic needs of human. However, the food can serve your needs of energy only when it is digested properly. The digestion of the food is started right from the mouth. Every organ in the digestive system has an important role to play in the digestion process. Digestive system organs secrete special enzymes for breaking down the food and absorbing nutrients. Small intestine and large intestine are two of these digestive system organs. And, Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition associated with small and large intestines. More than 50% of the patients suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome also suffer from SIBO.

SIBO occurs when the bacteria from the colon (large intestine) is migrated into the small intestine. This condition is diagnosed with Bacterial Overgrowth Breath Test. The bacteria in the small intestine (small bowel) are overgrown due to poor enzyme production by the pancreas or low stomach acid. This causes symptoms including bloating, diarrhea or gas.

Six Signs That Tell That Your Digestive Problems Are Due to SIBO

  1. Your constipation is worsened when you eat more fiber.
  2. Taking antibiotics improves the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  3. Symptoms of celiac or gluten intolerance are not 100% resolved even when you are on a gluten-free diet.
  4. Taking probiotics containing prebiotics increase bloating and gas.
  5. Taking opiates or other pain medications can also develop chronic symptoms of constipation, gas, diarrhea or bloating.
  6. Blood test shows low iron in the blood.

Top 6 Symptoms of Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth

  1. Abdominal pain or distention
  2. Constipation
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Abdominal bloating and distension
  5. Excessive gas or belching
  6. Acid reflux or heartburn

Striking Out Leaky Gut

Small intestine bowel overgrowth causes local GI symptoms. On the other hand, leaky gut affects the entire immune system. One can suffer from both conditions simultaneously. Having SIBO for a longer period is likely to develop leaky gut.

50% of the patients having SIBO are also diagnosed with leaky gut. Most of the times, leaky gut is healed itself with the treatment of SIBO.

Bacterial Overgrowth Breath Test

Bacterial overgrowth breath test is used for diagnosing small intestine bacterial growth. Bacteria in the small intestine produce hydrogen which is exhaled in the breath. Lactulose Breath Test checks the amount of hydrogen in the breath. If the amount of hydrogen in the breath is more than normal then the patient is suffering from SIBO. Sometimes, urinary organic acid analysis and comprehensive stool analysis is also required.

If you are having some digestive system problems with the symptoms of SIBO, see a doctor for Bacterial Overgrowth Breath Test.

Woman Health – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the common problems caused due to hormone imbalance in women. This syndrome causes problems with periods. Getting pregnant becomes difficult when you are suffering from this syndrome. Delays in the treatment of this syndrome can cause other health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. This syndrome gets its name polycystic due to the growth of multiple small cysts on the ovaries. These cysts cause the hormone imbalance. However, the symptoms of this syndrome can be controlled for long-term.

Hormones trigger some specific processes in the body. Some examples of hormone imbalance due to PCOS are:

Sex Hormone Imbalance

Ovaries produce a little amount of androgens – a male sex hormone. Ovaries of a woman suffering from this syndrome produce more androgens. This can interrupt ovulating, grow extra body hair and acne.

Insulin Resistance

This syndrome affects the ability of the body to use insulin well. This increases the blood sugar level which further increases the risk of diabetes.

Causes of PCOS

Causes of this syndrome are still to be fully understood. However, genetics is a common factor. Therefore, this syndrome runs into families.

Symptoms of PCOS

The initial symptoms of this syndrome are mild. Following are the common symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome:

  • Increasing weight and problem in losing weight
  • Acne
  • Irregular periods
  • Extra body hair including facial hair
  • Thinning hair on scalp
  • Decrease in breast size
  • Deeper voice
  • Depression
  • Pelvic pain
  • Infertility

Diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Here is how a doctor diagnoses PCOS:

  • The doctor will ask questions about the medical history of the patient, menstrual cycles and other symptoms.
  • The doctor will do a number of tests like hormone testing to check insulin, blood sugar and other hormone levels. These tests will rule out other problems causing similar symptoms. Cysts on ovaries are diagnosed with ultrasound.

Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Healthy diet suggested by the doctor, regular exercise and weight control can minimize the unpleasant symptoms.

  • Walking is the best exercise. Also, try moderate and vigorous physical activity.
  • Eat a lot of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, beans, nuts and other heart-healthy foods. Avoid fried and cheeses foods and meat.
  • Losing even 4.5 kg of your weight will regulate the menstrual cycle and also get normal hormone balance.
  • Smoking increases androgen level in the body. Therefore, quit smoking.

Visit a doctor for hormone testing if you experience these symptoms.

Lactose Intolerance – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Lactose intolerance is a condition in which body cannot digest milk and dairy products. In the terms of biology, the body cannot digest lactose (a natural sugar in milk and dairy products). This is not a food allergy to milk. It is a different condition. This happens when lactose moves through the colon without proper digestion. Bloating, gas and belly pain are common symptoms of lactose intolerance. This condition is common among native African, Asian and South American adults. However, this condition is less common in European adults.

This condition is diagnosed using Lactose Hydrogen Breath Test. Milk and dairy products cause this problem. People suffering from this condition have to make some adjustments in their diets. This helps in avoiding discomfort. And, this also helps in getting enough calcium.

Causes of Lactose Intolerance

Small intestine produces an enzyme called lactose. This enzyme breaks down and digests lactose (milk and dairy products). Sometimes small intestine does not produce an adequate amount of lactose. This condition usually runs in families. Symptoms of this condition are experienced in teen or adult years. Small intestine stops producing lactase due to some short-term disease like stomach flu.

Similarly, lifelong diseases like cystic fibrosis can also cause small intestine stop producing lactase. In some cases, small intestine stops making lactase when a part of the intestine is removed surgically. This condition can be either temporary or permanent.

Cases are rare, but some newborns are born with lactose intolerance. They cannot eat any food with lactose. This condition is temporarily developed in premature babies. Once the small intestine starts producing lactase, the baby can digest lactose (milk and dairy products).

Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance

Depending on the amount of lactase produced by the intestine, this condition can be mild to severe. Symptoms of the lactose intolerance include:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Rumbling or gurgling sound in belly
  • Diarrhea or loose stools
  • Throwing up

Diagnosis and Treatment

Avoid milk and dairy products for several days. If you stop experiencing symptoms of lactose intolerance, start adding milk and dairy products in your diet. If symptoms of lactose intolerance come back, you are likely to suffer from this condition. You should visit a doctor for lactose hydrogen breath test. when you visit a doctor, he will ask some questions about the symptoms you are experiencing. Blood sugar test or lactose hydrogen breath test confirms lactose intolerance. This condition cannot be cured. You can control symptoms by avoiding foods causing this problem. Some dietary supplements can help in digesting lactose products.

Everything You Need To Know About SIBO

Being an essential part of our small bowel, bacteria perform various important functions. However, bacterial overgrowth in small bowel can cause several symptoms such as leaky guts. The small bowel connects large bowel and the stomach. The length of normal small bowel is 20 feet long. The number of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract varies. However, it is present throughout the tract.

The number of bacteria living in the small bowel is way less than the number of bacteria in the colon or large bowel. And, bacteria present in the colon are completely different from the bacteria living in the small bowel.

Bacteria in small bowel provide protection from ingested yeast and bad bacteria. The bacteria help in absorbing nutrients and also produce vitamin K, folate and a few more important nutrients. The bacteria also help in normal small bowel muscle activity. The movement of intestinal content depends on the small bowel bacteria. However, overgrowth of the bacteria is not good for the health of the small bowel.

Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth (SIBO)

SIBO Breath Test helps in diagnosing Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth. In this condition, the number of bacteria in the small bowel is increased. Apart from this, the type of bacteria might or might not be changed. In most of the cases, this condition is caused due to overgrowth of different types of bacteria. These bacteria are usually found in the colon. SIBO due to overgrowth of small bowel’s normal bacteria is less common.

Damage Caused by SIBO

  • SIBO affects the function and structure of the small bowel.
  • It damages the small bowel cell lining which affects the digestion and also the absorption of essential nutrients.
  • Damage to cell lining causes leaky gut.
  • Large molecules due to leaky guts enter the bloodstream and cause complications like autoimmune disease, food allergies or sensitivities, generalized inflammation and other immune reactions.

Common Symptoms of SIBO

If you experience one or more than one of the following symptoms then you should visit a doctor for SIBO Breath Test.

  • Abdominal discomfort/pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating and abdominal distention
  • Belching and gas
  • Constipation
  • Weight loss
  • Symptoms of vitamin deficiencies

SIBO Risk Factors

SIBO Breath Test helps in diagnosing SIBO. The risk factors of SIBO include:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Prior bowel surgery
  • Multiple courses of antibiotics
  • Organ system dysfunction

SIBO breath test on time helps in controlling and treating small intestinal bowel overgrowth. Therefore,

Woman Health – Female Hormone Imbalance Test

Proportional levels of hormones keep different systems of our body stable. Some hormones individually trigger an individual system and some hormones interact to trigger one or more than one systems. The entire system is adversely affected even when single a hormone is produced in excess or in a lesser amount. Hormone deficiency or excess can cause disorders and chronic symptoms. Imbalance of some hormones also increases disease risk.

For example, ovaries produce many hormones in women’s body. Estrogen and progesterone interact to control the menstrual cycle and reproductive system. Imbalance in these hormones can result in menstrual irregularities, breast diseases, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Hormone imbalance test helps in finding the cause of hormone imbalance.

Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance in Women

Following symptoms can help a woman in the self evaluation of hormone imbalance. She should visit a medical professional for the hormone test.

Acne or oily skin

 

Bloating

 

Decreased fertility

 

Weight gain

 

Bone loss

 

Tender or fibrocystic breasts

 

Depression

 

Vaginal dryness

 

Urinary incontinence

 

Excess facial and body hair

 

Poor concentration Sleep disturbances

 

Hot flashes

 

Night sweats Nervousness
Mood swings

 

Low libido

 

Heavy or painful periods

 

Loss of scalp hair

 

Memory lapses

 

Loss of muscle mass

 

Irritability

 

Irregular periods

 

Table: Symptoms Female Hormone Imbalance

There are adrenal glands just above kidneys. These small glands produce three steroid hormones including mineralocorticoids (aldosterone), glucocorticoids (cortisol) and androgens (DHEA/DHEAS). Cortisol is essential for the body to respond to daily stress. It also maintains blood sugar level and also boosts the immune system. Aldosterone is responsible for maintaining water and salt level. Androgen is a major source of DHEA in both genders.

Adrenal glands also produce testosterone in women. When adrenal glands are not secreting these hormones in adequate amount, a woman is likely to suffer from blood sugar irregularities, nervous system disorder, immune system disorder, body composition difficulties and high androgen.

Hormone test is the initial step to determine which hormone has gone out of balance. Saliva hormone test is the most reliable method for the hormone test. A woman can make use of hormone saliva test kit to take a saliva sample. Women can read our recent article to know How to Use a Hormone Saliva Test Kit for Saliva Test.  These saliva samples are then shipped to a medical professional for hormone imbalance test. It is important to achieve optimal hormone balance. When a woman experiences the symptoms illustrated in the table she should visit a clinic for the hormone test. She can also buy a saliva test kit to collect samples for hormone imbalance test.