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Everyone experiences stress at times, but how well we cope with stress depends on a number of factors, one of which is hormone balance. The body's experience of stress is carefully mapped out by a series of hormone responses.
Women of any age can be affected by hormone issues. Women who still have menstrual cycles may experience infertility, premenstrual syndrome, mood swings, anxiety, painful periods and other symptoms as a result of hormone imbalance. Women in peri-menopause and menopause often experience debilitating sleep disturbances, night sweats, hot flashes, accelerated bone loss and many other symptoms related to hormone changes.
Hormone imbalance affects men too - in fact, low testosterone is a common cause of irritability and grumpiness in men. If too much testosterone is converted to estradiol, decreased sex drive and increased breast size can result.
Thyroid hormones can also increase energy, help food move through the gastrointestinal tract and increase perspiration. Because its effects are so far-reaching, a lack of thyroid hormone can result in a number of health conditions including: Depression, fatigue, cold body temperature, arthritis and muscle cramps, headaches, weight gain, and poor reflexes.
Because more than 70% of disease is believed to be stress-related; early identification of the effects of chronic stress is an important step in reducing the incidence of chronic disease. Hair cortisol provides an objective measure of stress over time. Because it reflects cortisol production over a month or more, hair cortisol is less likely to be influenced by acute situational or individual stresses. In other words, hair cortisol measure the long-term impact of stress, rather than just 'a day in the life.
The Comprehensive Hormone Insights (CHI) is a detailed urine analysis that measures steroid hormones and their metabolites based on four samples collected over 24 hours. It provides insight into diurnal variation of cortisol levels at the same time providing results comparable to those obtained from a 24-hour collection.