3 min|Dr. Alex Chan
DUTCH Complete Test: What the heck is it and how can it help me?Biohacking
Hormone optimization is a key component of health and biohacking.
Standard serum bloodwork to assess hormones will give a very general hormone overview but doesn’t provide details that allow for more specific hormone management. This is why many of my patients get blood hormone testing and they are told “everything looks good.” Specifically, serum bloodwork is most often done as a single collection and so it represents only 1-time stamp of hormone levels. For hormones, like cortisol, that naturally fluctuate throughout the day, this single collection poorly represents the daily pattern.
As well, serum hormones do not provide details on hormone metabolism and breakdown. This information can be critical as hormone utility and toxicity is related to which hormone metabolites are actually present.
The DUTCH Explained
The DUTCH (Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones) Complete by Precision Analytical is easy for patients to collect as it requires just four or five urine samples over a 24-hour period of time. Basically, you pee on a strip of testing paper, let this dry and then the sample is preserved for several weeks allowing for good specimen stability. The analytical and clinical process is rigorously validated to verify accurate results. The DUTCH Complete looks at both sex and adrenal hormones along with their metabolites and some key organic acids.
For both men and women, it’s recommended to collect the DUTCH Complete on a day of average stress, work and sleep schedule. Men are able to collect this on any day, whereas women who are still menstruating regularly should aim to do the collection during the luteal phase of the cycle (generally between day 18-22 on a typical 28-day cycle). For women with irregular cycles or those who are menopausal, there are still good testing options using the DUTCH Complete or a similar test by Precision Analytical.
And the results?
The results themselves are very detailed. The adrenal evaluation provides a multi-point assessment that reports cortisol patterns throughout the 24-hour test. I first interpret the overall pattern looking to see if cortisol levels are high or low globally and then at specific times of day. If the cortisol level is abnormal we can start correlating this to symptoms like fatigue, insomnia, metabolic changes and others. The sex hormone profile gives us information on which forms of hormones are present. Certain forms of estrogen are more carcinogenic and associated with breast and gynecologic cancers, whereas others are more cancer protective. Also, seeing the total hormone breakdown lets us understand if your body is properly using the hormones it’s producing.
As we age, we know our hormone levels change but when and how these hormones change is unique to each person given their family background, lifestyle and other environmental stressors. I have had women in their 30’s experiencing symptoms that indicate early menopause and men whose libido and exercise recovery showed rapid decline. We correlated these symptoms with the results of the DUTCH Complete and made strategic hormone interventions to preserve long-term hormone health, manage ageing and optimize body function.
The DUTCH Complete is a cornerstone test of our Integrative Biohacking Program and when used in conjunction with the other testing and health analysis it can be a game changer. Understanding your body is one of the key tenants of Biohacking so let’s unlock this information and use hormones health to your advantage.