You should see your gynecologyst if you suspect you have a hormonal problem. Some ways you can tell if you have a hormone problem are missed or irregular periods, weight gain or being overweight, acne in the lower cheek and jaw area, facial hair, excessive sugar cravings. Make sure you find someone that does a really thourough exam because a lot of doctors will just shrug it off and say "many women experience this blah blah" but it could actualy be something serious like ovarian cysts, or even some other reproductive condition like PCOS.
My x-gyn refused to order hormonal testing for me. She was too concerned that her office would not get reimbursed for the services.
My PCP ordered the hormonal tests (after I nearly burst into tears) and a sonogram of my ovaries to rule out PCOS. I didn't have any of the symptoms described above, just early onset persistent acne.
My hormonal tests came back normal so she referred me to a derm. My thought was "oh no here we go again" as I had been to many many derms before w/o results. This derm was a younger doc and was willing to let me try Spironolactone even though the hormonal tests were normal.
Spironolactone has been a wonder drug for me. I take a low dose and have had no side effects. But I really had to be persistant in order to get it.
U4IA if my gynecologist will not order the hormonal testing can my dermatologist order it? Also does the doctor just send you to a lab to have the tests done or can they do it in their doctor's office? I just saw my gynecologist in march so do you think I would have to go for another appointment for her to order them?
sweetgirl you should see your gyno and get a full exam not just a hormone test. Because lets say that you have cysts on your ovaries but you are still having a regular period that month, your hormone test may still come back normal. It sounds like you already went to your gyno so maybe she gave you a thorough exam already but I just wanted to add this incase. I am lucky my dermatoglogist used to be a gynecologist!! The first thing she asked me when I came in with acne a few years ago was if I was having regular periods! It's good to rule out every possible thing.
A hormone test is just a blood test so any doctor can do it - I know when mine was done I had gone to my college clinic because of the acne and the derm (smart guy) ordered that as the first thing - to eliminate the possibility that I had too much testosterone (for a female) and that that was what was causing it - it came out negative hence I never got the miracle cure but I'm blubbing.... to answer the question for men, I think you'd just take the blood test though I doubt that any man wants a testosterone regulator?!!!
There are specific tests for hormone testing. In some cases, like mine, the doctor did not give me all the tests and so it is still undetermined.
For women you need tests for the following:
I would suggest you check out a poly cystic ovarian syndrome web page (there are many out there)to verify my info (I might have missed one).
Secondly, (and this could include men.....)it may be that your hormones are within normal ranges. The problem is your skin may have too high a level 5 alpha reductase enzyme in it. 5 alpha reductase enzyme converts testosterone to a super strong form of testosterone (called DHT. Dehydro-testosterone). This DHT is what causes baldness, acne, hirsutism...Basically all the bad stuff.
I know that I fall into this catergory. My hormones are probably normal levels, I just have a high amount of 5 alpha reductase in my skin.
Exactly, while any doctor can give you the tests, ONLY those that are specifically trained to detect abnormalities will be more sensitive to your concerns. Sometimes all a female needs is a female doctor to notice that obviously there's something wrong, but if your doctor won't help you (men too), then you should visit one that specializes in Endrocrinology or Internal Medicine. Of course they'll run a variety of tests to help rule out or pin point a possible problem.
You should also make a list of any other problems (physcial, mental, emotional) that you have and a list of problems that occur within your family because if you do have problem, it MAY run in the family & those other problems could actually be a symptom of a Much Larger Problem.
Having excess sugar cravings can be a problem because if you feed those cravings through either candy, white sugar, white bread, white rice, etc, you will spike your insulin levels. However if you really do have those cravings your body is trying to tell you something.
IF you are a Diabetic this is a good thing except that some diabetics don't make any insulin so adding sugar would have no effect. However if you are a Diabetic 2, spiking your insulin would enable you to convert that sugar into glucose to provide the energy your body needs (ever feel tired, phyically weak?). The problem comes if you are a another form of Diabetic 2 or Insulin Resistant because you ARE making Insulin, BUT your body isn't able to recognize that you are.
Hence, you eat more sugar and other bad carbs (maybe lectins), and you spike your insulin levels even more. I'm not 100% certain about this one (still doing research) but Insulin will spike Androgen and Luteinizing Hormones. So now you've just spiked your LH and that will ALSO increase your Androgen. Therefore you've now "doubled" (using that loosely) the amount of Androgen you have in your system by just eating the wrong foods.
This can lead to Hyperinsulinemia, Hypoglycemia, Hyperglycemia, Hypoinsulinemia, IR etc.... However PCOS is directly related to Insulin Resistance (Syndrome X, Stein-Leventhal Syndrome). You can be Hypoglycemic, IR, PCOS, etc without actually being deamed Diabetic I or II.
Yes, there's MANY ways that the above problems can occur but basically there's a problem with either your pancrease (secreates insulin) or there's a enzyme malfunction that won't enable your body to abosrb the glucose, or your insulin can't convert the sugar into glucose. Yes, it's all very confusing, but what' I'm not 100% certain about is if we can produce excess insulin and NOT have a hormonal spike if we
A) have food to turn into glucose available or
B)we are able to absorb the glucose that's produced or
C) we suppress our sensitity to androgen (Saw Palmetto, Spirinolactone,etc)
D) we decrease Androgen Production (other than reduce insulin, I don't know how yet)
So Carbs = glucose and Protein = Insulin. Therefore I suppose that's why we can eat a combination of Complex carbs WITH Protein to balance out the above. However if you ingest Much More of one than the other, you may become either Hyperglycemic or Hyperinsulinemic (more breakouts, etc--could lead to hypoglycemia).
Just a side note: Alcohol can make this situation worse. Excess drinking (alcoholism) can cause Hyperglycemia, while occasionaly drinking will cause temporary Hypoglycemia.