Accurate Saliva Hormone Testing and Bio-Identical Balancing for Men and Women
With over 15,000 salivary tests ordered and thousands of patients helped, New Image is one of the leading centers for saliva testing and bio-identical hormone balancing in the world. Find out exactly how stress has altered your delicate hormone balance and replace what is missing…
- Female Cyclic Symptoms and Heavy Periods
- Menopause and Peri-Menopause
- Thyroid T3 Replacement and Antibody Testing
- Diagnosis and Treatment of Adrenal Fatigue
- Andropause and Male Testosterone Replacement
The changes above and the symptoms in our Stress Symptom Test are NOT normal aging. These are caused directly by our body’s inappropriate reaction to chronic stress. Stress makes us sicker, gain more weight, and never have our full complement of energy and brain power. Yet the medical establishment is ill-prepared to test, diagnose, and treat these hormone imbalances because they do not fit the diagnosis of “disease”. We have the greatest health care system in the world to treat obvious conditions like cancer and broken bones. The problem is that the establishment is terrible at treating the ravages of stress on our bodies until it becomes a much bigger problem. This is the single biggest oversight in all of medicine and Dr. Zengo has resisted the movement toward stimulants, antidepressants, and sleeping pills for over a decade both at New Image and in his national medical training lectures.
Read a Typical Patient's Story
As a 38 year old with three young children, I was at a point of desperation when I received news of yet another illness to add to my list of many. It was fibromyalgia. I became determined to change my health by changing my diet. Three months into my gluten-free and dairy-free diet it became evident that my diet was not my only problem. My body was broken. Although I had some improvement in my pain symptoms and some success with weight loss, I needed help.
I found that help at New Image with Dr. Gregory Zengo. Through hormone testing Dr. Zengo discovered deficiencies in a number of areas. He has taken steps to correct those deficiencies through the use of both medicine and vitamins. In addition, he prescribed a diet plan that enabled me to lose 17 pounds in just 3 weeks. I have tried repeatedly to lose weight in the past and nothing worked until now. But even more amazing than the weight loss is that I feel wonderful. Most all of my symptoms are gone. I have Dr. Zengo to thank for such an amazing and rapid recovery.
C.W., Athens, GA
Are You Suffering From…
Decreased Sex Drive
Abdominal Fat Gain
New Onset Depression
Tired in the AM or PM
Loss of Drive
Inability to Lose Weight
…Then you could have a Stress-Induced Hormone Imbalance
The New Image Path to Wellness
Saliva Testing and Stress Hormone Balancing Program
Bio-Identical Medicine means replacing EXACTLY what the body is missing due to age, stress, or both. This non-drug form of therapy means there are no side effects since the therapy is not a foreign substance in the body. Bio-identical therapy restores balance, and we can prove that balance is restored by checking subsequent hormone levels. When was the last time someone offered you an Ambien level, Premarin level, or a Zoloft level? Those levels don’t exist. BHRT medicine is simply more precise. Unlike many drugs, the breakdown metabolites of these natural hormones are also active in the body, and serve to support many more unseen pathways. For example, giving Zoloft for depressive symptoms can suppress the natural sleep hormone Melatonin. Testing and giving back the right amount of a serotonin precursor instead can support Melatonin production.
Many patients use this kind of testing and treatment to come off of stimulants and antidepressants which never helped in the first place. At the conclusion of testing, many patients realize that they do not have any “diseases”, but they learn about their very real, and measurable, stress-induced imbalances that are directly responsible for their symptoms.
All office visits are billable to most private insurance plans except Kaiser and Ambetter. We accept HSA cards for payment. For patients without insurance or have high deductibles, we have low cost live and even cheaper online visits for your ongoing care and needs.
At your first visit, you will meet with Dr. Zengo to discuss and prioritize your symptoms over time. Based on this initial assessment, the appropriate testing will be ordered. This can include blood tests for detailed thyroid function ($50 if not billed to insurance), salivary adrenal and gonadal performance ($105-$219), GI testing ($319), and/or Neurotransmitter testing ($209).
Your results will be reviewed at your second visit and targeted bio-identical therapy will be prescribed. This often involves nutritionals and vitamins. In some cases, bio-identical hormones will be prescribed. Some of these will be available at your local pharmacy since many bio-identical hormones are still regulated as prescriptions even though they are not “drugs”. Others will need to be compounded creams and all of our patients are eligible to receive compounded prescriptions at a deep discount from our in-house compounding lab.
At follow-up visits every 6-12 weeks, progress is assessed using many indicators. Only rarely will repeat salivary testing be necessary in the first 6 months. Many patients graduate our program and no longer need any prescription therapy after 12 months. Others who continue with our program (menopause, andropause, and more chronic cases of higher stress exposure) typically need repeat salivary testing every year and thyroid testing after every medication or dose change.
BHRT Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does This Cost?
There are clinics all over Atlanta who do not take insurance and cost you over $1,000 to get in the door. They do a bunch of unproven, expensive, high-profit testing followed by a prescription of proprietary supplements that can set you back hundreds of dollars a month.
All of our office visits are billable to insurance. We do not bill Medicare but offer low cash pay pricing. Yes, our salivary kits are much cheaper than the ones you can buy online. Nobody in the entire country offers these tests cheaper than we do for our patients. The majority of patients do the $219 saliva panel and the thyroid bloodwork (billed to insurance) at the first visit.
No compounded cream we sell costs more than $40 per month. All of our testing and supplements are priced well below advertised list prices, and you are never required to purchase anything from our office. We have the most economical, yet complete approach to stress-induced hormone imbalances anywhere. You cannot afford NOT to find out your stress hormone levels and learn the simple steps to fighting back the stress-induced symptoms we so often write off as aging.
Why Test Hormones in Saliva?
Salivary Hormone testing was first described in 1959. There have been over 1,000 papers published that have confirmed the validity of salivary testing for steroid hormones in saliva. Steroid hormones include all hormones produced by the adrenal gland, the ovary, or the testes. Steroid hormones are made in very small quantities throughout the day and tend to be 98-99% absorbed in their first pass through our circulation. Therefore most of the hormone we make or absorb into our bodies at any given moment never makes it into the vein that we draw blood from. Venous blood is like the trash of the circulatory system, and precious free steroid hormones are not thrown into the trash by our bodies. So any attempt to measure any steroid hormone in the venous blood, may not reflect the true body tissue levels where the hormones are supposed to work.
There is a capillary bed in the saliva gland so the newly made steroid hormones will be deposited into the gland (as they are absorbed by every other key body tissue) and then into the mouth to be accurately measured. We use salivary hormone testing to obtain accurate baseline hormone levels and also to monitor our patients dosing while on bio-identical hormone therapy to ensure that we have restored the normal balance that stress has taken away.
What is Bio-Identical Therapy
Bio-Identical hormone therapy involves replacing a missing hormone to achieve normal levels by giving back the exact missing hormone in the proper dose. In order to know what hormone and what dose to give, we need accurate testing of levels, and this is why salivary levels are so important for Cortisol, DHEA, Estrogens, and Testosterone. And why we also need more thyroid testing than the standard TSH level.
But we take Bio-Identical Hormone therapy to another level. Our experience has enabled us to find the ultimate balance between the restoration of normal hormone levels and the relief of symptoms. Other clinics can relieve symptoms very rapidly using Bio-Identical Hormones but they use doses that are anything but bio-identical. The doses in these pellets and injections are borderline toxic. This form of hormone overdose leads to a feeling of well-being and symptom relief for a few short time, then the symptoms often return even worse as the body becomes addicted to the hormone, craving higher and higher doses. Any provider that does not administer repeat salivary testing while on therapy is not ensuring your health and protecting you from potential overdose. Patients at New Image are not overdosed. We do not use hormones as drugs like the expensive Anti-Aging centers and the drug industry.
About the Adrenal and Adrenal Fatigue
The adrenal gland is our first responder to stress. It is also one of the most ignored glands by conventional medicine. Emergency conditions that cause an extreme over production or underproduction by the adrenal gland (Cushing’s and Addison’s diseases) are rare and treated aggressively by endocrinologists. However, more subtle elevations and depressions of adrenal function are still not recognized by many physicians as a treatable condition. Research over the last 100 years has shown that conditions induced by stress….. adrenal over-activity and adrenal fatigue are very real and treatable entities. We even have research linking stress-induced adrenal fatigue to chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, “adult ADD”, cancer mortality, and early death from heart attack.
We have also established that the 4-point salivary cortisol test is a valid indicator of adrenal status during the entire day. Since its discovery in 1959, this test is truly the closest thing we have to a test for your stress level. Elevated cortisol in the early stages of stress can result in mental fog, overeating, weight gain, inability to fall asleep, and anxiety. Interestingly, chronic stress that leads to adrenal fatigue also has similar symptoms except that victims tend to have mental fog most of the day and struggle to get through the day both mentally and physically. It is estimated that 60-80% of American adults have some kind of stress-induced adrenal imbalance. And this is why the establishment of medicine will never treat adrenal fatigue as a disease. It is just too common, so they just attribute adrenal fatigue to “normal aging”.
Almost every adult American with any symptoms on the hormone checklist owes it to themselves and their family to get tested and optimize their adrenal function with simple treatments that can improve energy, sleep quality, and mental clarity in weeks to months. The best thing about this treatment is that adrenal dysfunction is not a disease and does not require a lifetime of treatment. So what are you waiting for? Most patients who feel like they are “getting old” in their 30’s-50’s most likely have stress-induced adrenal fatigue. Get your stress test now!
Why Include Thyroid Testing with Salivary Hormone Testing?
Cellular metabolism depends on the thyroid gland for its regulation. The delicate regulation of the thyroid can be upset by stress in its many forms. Often this stress masks the diagnosis since the most common diagnostic test, the TSH level often remains in the normal range. In addition to using a strict and very narrow “bullseye” range for your TSH, we depend on Free T4 and Free T3 levels to make our diagnosis. We also check for thyroid-attacking autoantibodies and help these patients before they become symptomatic. We have treated over a thousand patients with thyroid replacement whose results are in the “normal range” for TSH with outstanding improvement of symptoms.
Our treatment includes such options as giving T3 or the more complete thyroid substitute, Dessicated Thyroid (Armour, Naturethroid, NP) instead of just Synthroid or Levothyroxine. If you are one of those patients who were diagnosed hypothyroid and are just not feeling better on your therapy, you owe it to yourself to get tested and see if something in your treatment regimen is missing.
In addition, adrenal dysfunction can also bring the thyroid function down with it. That is why testing all systems at the same time yields the fastest and most dramatic results.
About Female Hormone Balance Over Time
Did you know that there is no drug FDA-approved for female hormone imbalance either in menopause or before? That’s right. Menopausal pharmaceutical hormones are FDA approved only for treatment of hot flashes, not for restoring a normal balance. The only treatments for PMS—antidepressants and birth control pills and not even approved for the treatment of PMS! Bio-identical medicine has the only real and rational correction of the causes of menopausal and premenstrual symptoms.
The ovary in women is responsible for puberty and eventually is responsible for menopause. The drug companies have misunderstood ovarian function forever, and have spread this misunderstanding to the medical community. Drug companies have maintained that PMS is treated with antidepressants and that menopause is a condition of estrogen deficiency that needs to be replaced with high potency hormone pills. Stress, even a small amount, can upset the delicate ovarian balance long-term. It is hard-coded into our DNA. A stressed mammal should not reproduce and that leads to changes in progesterone and testosterone more than estrogens in many cases.
Our philosophy, which has been backed up with decades of research and salivary hormone testing, is that balance between the ovarian hormones estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone can lead to cyclic symptoms in the years leading up to menopause, and most symptoms attributed to menopause in later life. Too much estradiol, too little estradiol, or too little progesterone can all contribute to hot flashes, vaginal dryness, breast tenderness, PMS, irregular periods among other symptoms. Testosterone is also an important female hormone that can preserve bone and be cardioprotective. It’s proper testing and replacement is a cornerstone of all of our treatments. Therefore, accurate testing of all 3 major ovarian hormones is needed to find the true deficiency that needs to be treated.
Moreover, adrenal stress can filter down to the ovary and reduce the ability to ovulate and produce the necessary cyclic ovarian hormones in the proper ratios. So testing of all major systems at the same time is essential for the proper diagnosis and treatment of any ovarian hormone deficiency. So if you have any symptoms that you think are related to menopause, don’t just take a pharmaceutical and adjust the dose based on symptoms. Get tested first and give back only what is missing to begin feeling better, naturally!
About Male Hormone Balance Over Time
The testes in men are responsible for the production of sperm, but also the production of testosterone. Men make about 10 times the testosterone that women do and do not typically have a distinct change in hormone production that declines with a decline in fertility. A decline in testosterone can be gradual over time, however, some men have a relatively sharp decline in testosterone levels as early as their 20’s which can be easily detected in saliva long before the levels in blood may decline. This condition, known as Andropause, is often accompanied by imbalances in adrenal and thyroid function. It is crucial that all systems be tested since men with multiple hormone imbalances will NOT feel better with testosterone replacement alone, or may end up being overdosed. Overdosing testosterone will lead to more estrogen production, and subsequently and increased risk in estrogen-dependent cancers.
Therefore, our approach to men is the same as our approach to women. Test the major systems and correct all hormone imbalances with effective bio-identical doses and not overdoses. Every male with a borderline or low testosterone level and symptoms of Andropause deserves to feel the benefits of a testosterone level at the upper end of the range, and New Image has over a decade of experience of doing this for men of all ages.