If you have symptoms that lead you to think your hormones are out of balance, Dr. Northrup says there are some blood tests you should consider asking your doctor to give you.
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
"A high FSH, combined with irregular periods, is the best indicator that you have entered perimenopause," Dr. Northrup says.
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
"Thyroid problems and menopause often go hand-in-hand," she says.
Dr. Northrup also recommends a blood test for other hormone levels—estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. However, she cautions that the results of these tests can fluctuate for a variety of reasons, including the time of day you are tested and your lifestyle. "The best advice is to stay in tune with your body, eat right, get enough sleep and limit caffeine and alcohol," Dr. Northrup says. "All of these things can affect hormone levels."