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Blood spot is ideal for measuring hormones and other analytes such as sex hormones, insulin, blood lipids, Vitamin D, thyroid hormones, and elements like magnesium. It offers distinct advantages over serum because it eliminates the need for a blood draw – saving patients time and money.
Dried blood spot is “whole” blood drawn from the end of the finger. This is mostly capillary blood as opposed to blood drawn from the arm, which is venous blood. The former contains nutrients, hormones, and oxygen to feed the tissues. The latter is partially spent of these life-giving components and is returning to the heart, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract to pick up another load.
Second, dried blood spots are comprised of whole blood complete with blood cells, whereas serum is the watery component that remains after lab technicians separate blood cells from venipuncture blood (i.e., blood drawn from veins using a syringe). Therefore, any hormones bound to any removed blood cells during the separation process are lost. Consequently, test results from blood spots reflect a more accurate assessment of your correct capillary blood hormone levels than test results from serum. Since capillary blood is what feeds the cells of your body, hormones detected in capillary blood reflect a more accurate assessment of hormone levels that affect your body’s tissues.
Yes and no.
The answer is “No” when hormones are produced within the body (endogenously), or are slowly delivered into the body with a transdermal patch (e.g., estradiol patch) or by pellet insertion. In these situations, hormone test results are remarkably similar from finger-stick dried blood spots and serum. In fact, hormone ranges established for blood spots are nearly identical to those of serum.
The answer is “Yes” when steroid hormones are delivered rapidly into the body through the skin or mucous membranes (e.g., topical or sublingual estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone). When hormones enter the body through the skin or mucous membranes, capillary blood and tissue levels far exceed the levels seen in venous blood. So when topicals or sublinguals are used for hormone supplementation, blood spot testing (using capillary blood from the finger) is a more accurate representation of the amount of hormone delivered to tissues.
If you are taking HRT, including birth control, test results will depict your body’s hormone levels under the influence of these administered hormones.
Use care if you are applying hormones topically with your hands. Topical hormones can concentrate in the fingers when hormones are applied with the hands, resulting in false high results. It may take 12-24 hours for the hormones in the hands to equilibrate with other tissues in the body. Therefore, when using topical hormones, rub them in without using fingers (e.g. wrist to wrist) for at least 2 days prior to collection. Refrain from using anti-aging creams that may contain hormone traces. It is important to continue to use the hormones as usual during this time; just avoid hand exposure. For additional information on collection when using hormones, see the Blood Spot Testing Collection Instructions in your test kit.
Patients may continue using these medications on the day before and the day of collection.
Morning samples, usually collected shortly after waking up, provide a more consistent baseline for hormone assessment.
While aiming for days 19-21 of your cycle can provide optimal results, I want to emphasize that obtaining data outside of this range can still offer valuable insights. Just try your best to get close to testing on days 19-21.
If you are taking spironolactone, test results will depict your body’s hormone levels under the influence of this medication.
It’s generally recommended to wait until you’re feeling better before undergoing hormone testing. Illnesses, especially viral infections, can lead to changes in hormone levels due to the stress response and inflammation.
If you have recent lab results, it’s beneficial to share them with your healthcare provider at Moment. We recommend having a comprehensive hormone profile so you can receive a treatment plan.
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