In defense of saliva hormone testing: the battle of spit vs. blood

Last week the talking head TV doctors were at it again,  spinning and disparaging the accuracy and validity of saliva hormone testing despite decades of use by health care providers around the world to detect and correct hormone imbalances.  This kind of noise gets louder every now and again, emanating mostly from well-paid spokesmen for big-Pharma contracted to uphold the status quo.

By that of course, I mean the continued use of synthetic HRT (albeit at lesser doses but nevertheless a far cry from the bioidenticals Dr. Oz and other forward thinking providers now favor and tell us to INSIST upon if we want to prevent breast cancer, heart disease, blood clots and stroke) AND blood testing. Naysayers would have you believe that blood is the ONLY way to measure hormones accurately in EVERY person on the planet, despite the fact that unlike standard blood tests, saliva measures bioavailable, active hormone levels that any savvy practitioner will tell you, more closely correlates with patient symptoms. Not to  mention that it accomplishes this task non-invasively, without the needles that can raise stress and skew results…indeed that is why saliva testing remains the gold standard for collection of cortisol stress hormones.

Thousands of reputable MDs, NDs, NPs, PAs, endocrinologists, (and I might add, a growing number of Ob-GYNS) etc., use saliva testing to quantify hormone levels as do scientists and researchers  in the field. The World Health Organization for one, has used salivary testing to run cross-cultural comparisons of hormone levels in women living in industrialized vs. third world countries.
As to why this issue rears its head from time to time, to be fair it has to be said that many traditional MDs are not yet familiar with  the ranges and measurements used in saliva testing which differ from the standard blood test. Hence they are not comfortable interpreting a saliva test result or its’ validity. But this is no excuse for being indifferent to evidence of benefit, or as someone once said, being down on what one is not up on.

Looking sideways at the benefits of saliva testing is a disservice to those who stand to benefit

To make a long story short, the saliva hormone test provides invaluable information millions of people are using to shed new light on a persistent problem, rebalance their hormones naturally, and improve their health, energy and longevity. As the former Director of Education at ZRT Laboratory, I saw its benefits in action and heard from clients every day who told of persistent symptoms relieved, weight lost at last, mojo restored, divorce postponed for good! By the time I moved on from ZRT into my own hormone consultancy we had tested nearly 2 million people – the numbers speak for themselves.

Have you had your hormones tested in saliva and experienced the benefits of easy collection, easy monitoring and information you were able to use to make a difference in the way you think, look and feel? If so, please chime in ….and comment on our blog in defense of saliva!


Filed under Candace Burch, Hormone Imbalance, Hormone Replacement Therapy, Women's Health & Happiness

7 responses to “In defense of saliva hormone testing: the battle of spit vs. blood

  1. Margaret

    It’s incredible that people don’t bother to read the research studies where saliva hormone levels are relied upon for accurate hormone analyses. There is no other stress-free, simply way to collect a sample that gives a true indication of biologically available hormone in the body. When will these people start reading the literature instead of regurgitating what pharma-sponsored boards are telling them to say? It’s truly disgusting how they twist the facts.

    • candacebwell

      Amen Margaret and if anyone knows this to be true its YOU. Let it be known to our followers that you are a seasoned scientific writer/researcher who KNOWS the scientific literature. It is out there on the ZRT website for starters ( and no argument there needs to be much more of it, so it’s encouraging to know that you are currently working on a study with one of the prominent researchers in the field, using salivary hormone testing as the methodology. Doctors who scoff at the evidence, distort the facts, or continue to operate in the no-fact zone because they have not taken the time to read the literature do a disservice to the patients that stand to gain so much.

  2. It was so easy! And I was not aware of issues you brought up in your post. Thanks for the continued education – I had no idea the numbers were in the millions.
    I do however, know what it has done for me; how easy it was to test; and the results of hormonal balance in my life. Before hormonal balance I was all over the map – I wanted to sleep all the time, cried in the middle of vacuuming for no reason whatsoever, gained weight (especially around my midsection) and would inexplicably drift off in confusion in the middle of a meeting. This was not something I was used to, and I didn’t know what was happening to the ‘me’ I was used to being. I went through a simple procedure with saliva testing, got the results, and took the steps toward hormonal balance. I became myself again! I have lots of energy, feel emotionally centered, lost weight, and like you said….feel like I have my mojo back. Stress-free saliva testing was an easy and accurate return to myself!

  3. I suffer from a host of menopause symptoms and I tried to get my gyn to use a saliva test to determine my hormone levels. She blew it off and said that they weren’t as accurate as blood. But the blood test is not giving her a true idea about how bad my imbalance is. So she is wanting to just randomly by trial and error I guess, try some hormone therapy. I am suffering a lot and have been with these symptoms and am to the point where I can’t stand myself with the moods. Would it do any good to insist on the saliva test, or would it be a waste of time with her because she probably wouldn’t know how to read it correctly?

    • candacebwell

      I can’t tell you often we hear this from women like yourself who can not get the answers they need to relieve the symptoms they are suffering with…the blood test again is not telling the whole story, and cannot provide that specific information needed to measure active hormone levels that can be matched up with symptoms to tailor the treatment to YOUR individual needs….by the way, therapy to correct hormone imbalances is not just about taking hormones, but about specific lifestyle improvements as well….a whole person approach to balance….SO the good news is that you have several very good options here and one very bad one which is to let your doctor GUESS how best to treat you….this is when women risk getting overdosed and put on therapies they don’t really need. I would agree that if your current physician is down on saliva testing she is not likely going to know how to read and interpret the results….I would suggest one of two paths: 1) find a physician to work with in your area who routinely uses saliva hormone testing and bioidentical/holistic approaches in her/his practice OR 2) purchase a test kit online and partner with a hormone health counselor who can interpret your results and point you in the direction of support supplements and lifestyle changes you can put in motion yourself. If saliva hormone test results reveal that you could benefit from prescribed hormone therapy a hormone health coach can help you find a savvy practitioner or you can go to women in balance ( to find a provider in your area. You might also check to see if you have a Metabolic Weight Loss Center in your area ( as they provide saliva test kits and consulting in combination with their weight loss program. If you decide to order a test kit online ZRT sells kits on several sites – the best deal cost wise is at Canary Club ( and they can also set you up with a health consultant to help you understand your test results and take next steps.
      I hope this helps…keep us posted on what you decide to do…you are not alone in this and yes you CAN find safe natural solutions for symptom relief. You GO GIRL, we are rooting for you!!

  4. Tammy

    Be your own advocate, speak up to your doctor and demand sputum testing or find one that can! Take back your life! ZRT sputum testing for hormone relacement worked for me!!!!

    • candacebwell

      Amen to that Tammy, Hormone testing is absolutely fundamental to uncovering hidden imbalances that sabotage our health energy moods libido weight, our intrinsic sense of well being. Correcting imbalances through testing is lifechanging and we who do it, have done it and continue to monitor our levels KNOW it works!

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