What is a DUTCH Hormone Test and Why Do You Need One? With Dr. Erin

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We have a very special (return!) guest with us today! Dr. Erin is back on the podcast. In episode 20, she talked about healing and balancing your hormones naturally. Go back and listen because it’s a good one!

Today, we’re talking to Dr. Erin about Dried Urine Tests for Comprehensive Hormones (DUTCH) testing. First of all, what is the DUTCH test? Who is it for? What does it cost? How does it help? All your questions will be answered in this episode!

What You’ll Learn in This Episode:

  • What is the DUTCH test?

  • DUTCH testing for women

  • Cost of a DUTCH test

  • Hormone imbalance symptoms

What is the DUTCH Test?

DUTCH testing is unique because it goes a little bit deeper in identifying some of the hormonal imbalances that could be happening. It helps us get more of a complete picture of the patient’s hormone levels that are right in front of us. Those are things we typically can’t see in serum, saliva, or blood testing alone.

DUTCH testing looks at the metabolite levels of hormones. So, we get a comprehensive look at all of the major hormones, and those hormones are the ones we think of when it comes to hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone). But it also looks at the metabolite levels of those hormones. Hormones don’t dissolve well in water, so they can’t pass directly into the urine themselves; they need to be broken down in the liver and kidneys to form these smaller, more water-soluble particles so we can see them in the urine. Metabolite levels are just the broken-down forms of hormones.

In a DUTCH test, we look at the adrenal glands. The adrenal testing they do combines urine and saliva, which gives you kind of a more comprehensive panel. You can see the pattern of your cortisol throughout an entire day’s scan. It’s super helpful if you’re working with someone or are someone who has any kind of HPA access dysfunction (sleep issues, stress issues, blood sugar imbalances, etc.). It’s a very comprehensive test.

DUTCH Testing for Women

I’m estrogen dominant, and I would always ask my doctor if we do a blood test. They were not open to DUTCH tests at the time. I was still using insurance and I wasn’t in a place in my life where I was willing to pay out of pocket for better, more comprehensive care, which I should have done a long time ago. Not everyone is in a position to do that. I found online that you could do a serum test. If you do it at a very specific time in your cycle, there’s a mathematical equation you can do based on that blood test to figure out your estrogen-to-progesterone ratio.

But, the blood serum test isn’t as accurate as a DUTCH test because our cycle is ever-changing. It can cause some issues if you’re not ovulating. If you don’t know when you’re ovulating to create that progesterone spike, if you do serum blood, you’re not going to see it. For the DUTCH test, we like to do it between days 18 and 22. Generally speaking, that’s when you are going to ovulate and should see that spike in progesterone. We can see what’s really going on. We have a little bit more flexibility in that window, which makes it a lot easier for patients who are struggling with this and trying to get answers.

There have been plenty of times when Erin has women do serum testing at different points throughout their cycle, and they look wildly different compared to the DUTCH test. This is because Erin had a little more flexibility and a little more time to work with them through it.

A DUTCH test tells you so much about your cycle and the way your hormones go up and down. Is it doing what it’s supposed to? I think doctors are so resistant to the DUTCH test. I don’t think I’ve ever met a traditional Western medicine doctor who does it.

It’s one of the most beautiful things for women to do for themselves. You do the test one time and get so much information from it. Erin very rarely has to run extra tests on people or have them get a serum test to double-check. You take one test, and you learn so much about your body.

Cost of a DUTCH Test

The DUTCH complete test (which is the most standard one) gives you a ton of information. Erin does this one quite often with women, depending on what they have going on. It starts roughly at $250-$300. Back when I first got it done, I was not in a place to be throwing money around. But I feel like for that price, it’s worth it. It gave me what I needed to heal.

I really believe this: Had I never figured out I was estrogen dominant and started working towards a protocol to help me detox that extra estrogen, I wouldn’t have been able to put my Hashimoto’s into remission. I wouldn’t have understood the underlying issues that were happening and what to do about it. Many other women feel like no one’s going to give you the answers that you need. It’s a devastating feeling.

Hormone Imbalances

I have multiple friends who get some sort of disorder every time they get their period. They get deeply depressed or are incapacitated during their period. I know women with endometriosis who are trying to get pregnant.

We know only 10% of all diseases are genetic, so there are all these other exposures at play. But once you’ve been exposed and you have these issues, women go looking for answers from their doctor. They believe they can trust them since they’re a doctor. But the only option they’re getting is to go on birth control. I’m not going to sit here and say birth control is evil. I think there are reasons to go on birth control, but this isn’t one of them.

So you go on birth control, and it stops you from ovulating. It suppresses all your hormone imbalance symptoms. Whatever it was that caused your symptoms to begin with, you’re now ignoring it and it’s going deeper and deeper. But you’ve just put a band-aid on it. Whenever you rip that band-aid off, all hell breaks loose.

Every time Erin hears someone’s story, it lights a fire in her and makes her so angry because she doesn’t blame women; she blames a system that doesn’t understand women. It doesn’t give women a chance to advocate for themselves. When you are trying to get to the root cause of an issue and explore options, you get told, “This isn’t the way that we do it. This isn’t how it’s going to go.”

Erin was put on birth control, and she didn’t know it shut off ovulation at the level of her brain (because who knows that?!) How does that impact our brains in the future? How is that impacting our brain’s ability to talk to the rest of our body, like our thyroid and adrenals? She was on it for so long that when she quit, her brain got confused. That’s why she had a horrible reaction to her own progesterone. Her body started overproducing because it was used to this synthetic hormone for so long.

She’s worked with some women who also have autoimmune progesterone. Some women suspect they have it, but you won’t know what those levels are until you invest in DUTCH testing. It needs to be more accessible and something that’s recommended as soon as a woman says they’re having certain symptoms. Erin has had women explain that they are literally debilitated and can’t get out of bed when they start their cycle, and they’re told it’s normal and common. It might be common, but it’s definitely not normal.

All these symptoms are our internal alarm system. Every symptom you have is your body triggering an alarm to say something is wrong. Listen to and trust your body! You know when something is wrong. Your bodies don’t lie to you. It’s telling you something you need to hear for a reason.

Advocate for yourself and do what you can to find out what’s going on. Find the people who are going to support you and listen to you. Our bodies are resilient. You cannot take all the stress out of your life, and your body should be able to handle some stress. You cannot get rid of all of the endocrine-disrupting toxins in your life. Your body can handle some disrupting toxins. Our goal should be to get to a point in our health, mindset, and nervous system where our body doesn’t go into overdrive but can handle it. Invest in your health. If you’re experiencing hormone disruptions or crazy symptoms during your cycle, invest in a DUTCH test.

Erin works with women who are struggling with PCS, extreme fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, depression, low libido, and stress. Message Erin on Instagram if you have any questions about the DUTCH test.

About Dr. Erin

Dr. Erin’s passion is serving pregnant mamas and kiddos of all ages. She struggled with the repercussions of endometriosis and long-term management with birth control. She tried everything to heal herself, but when she came up empty-handed every time, she decided to take matters into her own hands. She dove into massive amounts of research, worked side by side with some of the best holistic doctors, and eventually healed her body! She uses that information to serve women and help them regain their fertility, vitality, and health.

Visit her website

Follow her on Instagram

Related Episodes

Episode 15: Holistic Healing & Hashimotos with Dr. Hannah Lindsey

Episode 20: Balance Your Hormones, Naturally with Dr. Erin

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