Since there are 3 different types of Estrogen, E1 (Estrone), E2 (Estradiol) and E3 (Estriol)... Should you test just one? Or what?
For the most simple rule of thumb: You ALWAYS need to test Estradiol (E2). That is our main Estrogen... so it's always part of the equation.
Estrone (E1) is the OTHER main Estrogen you need to keep a handle on. This is because it can increase your Estradiol (E2), AND it also is the Estrogen your body still produces AFTER menopause - through FAT cells.
High levels of Estrone (E1) are ALSO associated with higher rates of Breast Cancer.
So here are the 5 general guidelines to help you decide if you need to ADD Estrone (E1) and / or Estriol (E3) to your Estradiol hormone testing.
- Add the test Estrone (E1) if you are overweight. Not just a little overweight... but significantly overweight - say BMI 30 or greater. Since fat cells produce Estrone, the higher body fat you have the more likely you have higher Estrone.
- Add the test Estrone (E1) if you are lax on your diet and don't eat a good amount of vegetables, eat out frequently, eat fried foods frequently, or drink more than 1 glass of wine or alcohol nightly or excessive amounts on weekends. These diet habits can increase Estrone levels.
- Add the test Estrone (E1) if you are exposed to numerous Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals such as BPAs, Dioxins, Parabens, Phthalates, PBDEs (Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers), Atrazine (herbicide), Heavy Metals (Lead, Mercury, Arsenic), PFCs (Polyflourinated Chemicals), Organophosphate Pesticides, and Glycol Ethers.
- Add the test Estrone (E1) after being on Bioidentical Hormones for a minimum of 3 months to make sure you are not converting the Estradiol (E2) to Estrone (E1) more than converting the Estradiol (E2) to our safer, weaker Estriol (E3).
- For interest... you can add Estriol, (E3), IF and ONLY IF you are using a bioidentical hormone of Estriol. DON'T add the test Estriol (E3) if you are currently not using bioidentical hormones.
That would be a waste of money because your levels are likely to be low both before menopause and normal or low after menopause since the only time we make Estriol of any reasonable amount is when we are pregnant.
Generally we don't really care about levels of Estriol too often since Estriol is the Estrogen we should NOT worry about. In fact the only time I add Estriol (E3) is when I want to see how well someone is absorbing their E3 supplement and compare it to how well they are getting rid of their Estrone (E1).
I also might add Estriol (E3) when a woman has a bad diet, high toxin exposure profile from occupational, location, or hobby exposure, to analyze the conversion pathways.
Estriol (E3) should only be elevated when you are using Estriol (E3)- and this is what you want to see - a higher Estriol (E3). So if you aren't using it, there's no reason to test it.
I hope this is helpful!
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