DUTCH Plus Or DUTCH Complete (which hormone test is best for you?)

DUTCH Plus or DUTCH Complete? This is one of the top questions that I get asked and in this article and video below I will help you decide if the DUTCH Plus vs DUTCH complete hormone test is right for you.

If you are reading this you probably already have heard about the DUTCH hormone test and the many benefits and now you just want to work out which test you should do, but if you are new to this type of test here is a brief explanation.

What Is The DUTCH Hormone Test?

DUTCH stands for Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones and the main focus is on measuring the sex hormones and the adrenal hormones, but there are also 9 organic acid markers that are tested (they just added 3 new organic acid markers)

The DUTCH test is done at home and it involves the collection of 4-5 samples throughout the day to measure the changes in cortisol and cortisone. 

The DUTCH test uses urine and saliva to measure the hormones as well as how the hormones are getting metabolized. The urine samples are collected on special paper and allowed to dry, which is why the test gets the DUTCH name (it has nothing to do with the country, in fact, the testing is done in the U.S). 

The DUTCH hormone tests can be beneficial for both men and women to help understand their hormone levels.

This video gives you a detailed comparison of both DUTCH tests!

 DUTCH Plus OR DUTCH Complete versus blood or saliva test

The main benefit of the DUTCH test over blood or saliva testing is that you can get much more detail on the DUTCH test when you compare this to both blood and saliva testing.

Blood tests for hormones still have their place and I use them regularly when I am just after the basic markers like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, plus the pathology test will also assess LH and FSH which are the messages from the brain to make hormones.

However the DUTCH test will measure the sex hormones plus how they are getting metabolized, this is important as it can help to explain "why" someone may have high estrogen levels.

A blood or saliva test may identify estrogen dominance but the DUTCH test will measure the phase one and phase two detox pathways and this will help to understand why the hormones are high - is the body making too many hormones or is the body not processing the hormones efficiently via the detox pathways.

Knowing this information can help to target a specific treatment plan to address hormone imbalances.

Plus blood tests and saliva tests cannot test the Organic Acid markers and this information can help to know the best way to treat as well as why you maybe experiencing different symptoms.

So now that you know "what" the DUTCH test is let's talk about the two main options you have when you order the DUTCH test.

The original DUTCH complete versus the DUTCH Plus!

The DUTCH Complete Panel

The DUTCH complete test assesses the hormones using urine samples. These samples are collected on a special litmus paper and left to dry overnight before they are sent back to the lab for assessment.

The DUTCH Complete test is the original version of the DUTCH test.

Research has shown that using urine to collect hormone samples is accurate, and the 4 point urine collection is comparable to a 24 hour urine collection to assess the total cortisol production over the day.

The sex hormones and adrenal hormones are measured using urine samples and this has been validated in research as being as accurate as blood testing which is considered the gold standard for sex hormones.

The DUTCH Complete is ideal for anyone experiencing

  • Fertility problems, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fibroids, PMS, PMDD, irregular periods, painful periods, fluid retention, skin issues like acne, anxiety, depression, changing moods, and endometriosis.
  • An imbalance in the sex hormones and detox pathways may be the underlying cause and understanding these results can help to formulate a treatment plan to get your hormones back on track. 
  • Hormone replacement therapy. This test works well for oral progesterone, vaginal hormones, patches, pellets and injections. This is only for HRT and not hormonal birth control pills - if you are taking the pill then you will not get an accurate measurement of the estrogen/ progesterone levels but it is still ok to do if you are wanting to measure adrenal function and the Organic Acid markers.
  • Men with fertility problems, low libido, erectile dysfunction, low mood, low energy or possible low testosterone, excess estrogen levels, hair loss (because of excess 5a-DHT) and skin issues.
What-does-the-DUTCH-Complete-hormone-test-measure

The DUTCH Complete Cost

The best price for the DUTCH test is $395 when you order directly from Planet Naturopath HERE

The DUTCH Complete test retails for $499 USD plus shipping costs when ordered directly from Precision Analytical, but at Planet Naturopath we get a special practitioner price of $395 USD including shipping.

The best value is to order the DUTCH test with a one-hour consultation to help you understand the results plus get a treatment plan to help you improve your hormone health.

*Contact us to find out about international shipping rates, generally there is an additional $30 shipping fee to send to most countries.

The DUTCH Plus Panel

The DUTCH Plus panel is the new version of the DUTCH test and the only difference between the two DUTCH tests is the way that the adrenal function is measured. I have highlighted the differences between the two tests below so for now I will focus on the advantages of testing adrenal function with both urine and saliva samples.

The Plus version of the test was developed in response to research on the importance of the cortisol awakening response, commonly known as C.A.R

The CAR is the change in cortisol that occurs in the first hour after waking up in the morning and is the most important time to assess free cortisol levels.

Cortisol naturally rises in the morning and then slowly decreases during the day, this is the natural rhythm of cortisol - but how quickly cortisol rises, or does not rise can give a number of clues into your health.

The DUTCH complete measures the C.A.R but not in the same detail as the DUTCH Plus which uses saliva samples to assess the awakening level and then measures the cortisol levels 30 minutes and 60 minutes later.

A suppressed CAR in the morning is associated with morning fatigue, that feeling where you need two cups of coffee before anyone can talk to you! This could be caused by a number of things including sleep apnoea, blood sugar issues, depression or chronic stress.

An elevated CAR does not always mean more energy, but is associated with anxiety that feeling that you are running on nervous energy and that extra cup of coffee in the morning may not be helpful.

*Saliva testing for free cortisol has been around for a while but most labs will do a waking sample, midday sample, evening sample and bedtime and this misses the most important aspect of testing free cortisol levels which is the cortisol awakening response.

The DUTCH Plus Cost

The best price for the DUTCH Plus test is $495 when you order directly from Planet Naturopath HERE

The DUTCH Plus test retails for $650 USD plus shipping costs when ordered directly from Precision Analytical, but at Planet Naturopath we get the special practitioner price of $495 USD including shipping.

The best value is to order the DUTCH test with a one-hour consultation to help you understand the results plus get a treatment plan to help you improve your hormone health.

*Contact us to find out about international shipping rates, generally there is an additional $30 shipping fee to send to most countries.

DUTCH Plus Or DUTCH Complete (main differences)

DUTCH Plus or DUTCH Complete

There are more similarities between the DUTCH Complete and the DUTCH Plus test than their are differences.

The DUTCH Plus and the DUTCH complete both assess the sex hormones exactly the same, including the hormone levels, and how they are getting metabolized.

Both tests measure all of the Organic Acid markers exactly the same, there is no difference between either test.

The big difference between the two tests is how they measure adrenal function and the changing pattern of cortisol and cortisone throughout the day.

The DUTCH complete uses urine samples only while the DUTCH Plus uses a combination of urine and saliva samples. 

So both tests measure the total cortisol and cortisone production with the urine samples, while the DUTCH complete test uses the urine samples to also measure the rhythm of the cortisol. Using urine to measure the cortisol rhythm is not as specific as saliva but for most people, this is all they need as it still gives a general overview of the cortisol awakening response (commonly called C.A.R)

The DUTCH Plus uses urine and saliva for testing the total and free cortisol. The saliva collection is done at 5-6 intervals throughout the day and it gives a more detailed assessment of the C.A.R.

Both tests have the option of providing a middle of the night sample if you have trouble sleeping or experience insomnia then it is a good option to do this collection. (but don't wake yourself up with an alarm to test as this will not be a natural reading) 

This is where the DUTCH Plus is more specific as it will tell you the cortisol levels at the time you have woken up, while the Complete test will be a urine sample and it will give the cortisol level from the previous few hours.

So if you suffer from insomnia or fatigue is your main issue (especially in the morning) then the DUTCH Plus maybe the best option for you, but if you are mainly testing the sex hormones and wanting to get a good overview of your adrenal function then the DUTCH complete is probably the best option for you.

DUTCH Plus OR DUTCH Complete? For most people the extra $100 expense to do the DUTCH Plus is not worth it.

DUTCH Plus or DUTCH complete organic acids

3 new markers on the Dutch Hormone Test.

The DUTCH Cycle Mapping Panel

The DUTCH cycle mapping test is for women only who are still getting their menstrual cycle, so if you are menopausal or not getting a cycle then the Cycle Mapping test is not for you.

For most women doing the DUTCH Complete or DUTCH Plus test is the best option, but if you are having fertility issues, hormonal problems throughout the cycle (not just PMS) or simply want the most comprehensive test then combining the Cycle Mapping test with the DUTCH Complete or the DUTCH Plus is the best option.

The Cycle mapping test tracks estradiol, estrone and progesterone levels every day from day 7 of your cycle until your period arrives. The lab will then report back on the key 10 days of this period so you can see how the estrogen levels rise to indicate ovulation, the spike in progesterone afterwards, plus making sure you are not estrogen dominant in the luteal phase of the cycle.

The-DUTCH-Cycle-Mapping-Test-

Still undecided on whether the DUTCH Plus or DUTCH complete is the best test for you? Another option is to schedule a consultation and we can help you decide if this is the best option for you.

Already done the DUTCH Plus or DUTCH complete test? We can help you with interpretation of the results and more importantly help you with a treatment plan so you can optimize your hormone health, and overall health.

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