I have a health interest that from what I can tell seems to be largely ignored by the QS community. Maybe I’m wrong and if so someone please tell me where to find what I am looking for. Or, I hope that some brilliant Silicon Valley type entrepreneurs will see this and create something to meet the needs of myself and many others.
Like at least 40% of the adult female population, I suffer from uterine fibroids (benign growths in the uterus). One of the causes is excess estrogen especially compared to the levels of progesterone in the body. I would like to have an app/device to use a QS approach to track my hormone levels (ideally on a daily basis) and map them against factors like what I eat, what supplements I take, how much I exercise, how much I sleep, subjective measures of how my fibroids are doing (hurt or don’t hurt, feels hard or soft), ultrasound measures of the fibroids that I get from doctors’ visits, lifestyle changes like giving up dairy, etc. Plus tracking against the natural ebb and flow of fibroids with the menstrual cycle to see if my pattern is normal or not. With that kind of information, I could hone in on what makes the fibroids better or worse and then shrink those suckers!
This kind of information would be useful not just for uterine fibroid sufferers, but also for fertility, weight loss, health after menopause, and other things that many, many women care about. In other words, for all you potential entrepreneurs reading this, there is a lot of money to be made for someone who could create a product like this that would help women take charge of their hormonal health.
Theoretically I don’t think it would be that difficult. Indeed the ClearBlue Fertility monitor is a device that measures estrogen and luteinizing hormone using urine. http://amzn.to/1FOWA8C But this device doesn’t give the numbers I would need for a QS approach and doesn’t gather info every day of the month. But it does show that there ought to be some way to get my hands on hormone data on a consistent basis that I can work with rather than relying on expensive saliva tests that have to be sent to a lab.
What I meant by “this device doesn’t give the numbers” is “the device does not show any numbers.” It obviously is measuring the estrogen and LH levels, and giving output based on them, but does not show the measurements.
Yes I am aware of the various fertility tracking apps such as Glow. However, those do not measure hormone levels and provide the measurements. Instead they are usually measuring either basal body temperature or cervical mucus. Which are helpful for predicting ovulation for fertility purposes, but is not the hormone level information I am seeking.
I don’t know of anything available for this, but I know quite a few people who would be interested in it, especially for those of us who are in the pre-menopausal phase and have those moments of feeling crazy. Quantifying crazy hormones would be pretty helpful, actually…My husband would appreciate an app he could download to his phone to track them too, I’m sure.
I realize there are many contributing factors to fibroids, and others’ experiences may be different. Apparently women in my extended family have suffered with them too. I had an odd experience with them myself, which for me appears to have been weight related. For the past three years, I have maintained in a range between 130-135 lbs. I am 5’4" and 2 standard deviations above the mean for Lean Body Mass as measured by DEXA, probably a legit 22 percent body fat at 135, so all in all, fairly lean for a woman. At the end of my first pregnancy in 2004, I was told I had such severe fibroids I might never be able to get pregnant again. I weighed about 155 at the beginning of that pregnancy and topped out at 210 towards the end, so I was significantly overweight for me.
Seven years later, I had my son also by c-section. I started the pregnancy at 140 lbs and gained less, about 45 lbs which I lost within 6 months. We had planned a VBAC but he was transverse and didn’t stay put after the version because of cord entanglement, so unfortunately the repeat C was the only safe way to go. I asked about fibroids after the second c-section but was told I no longer had them. The other variables were age (obviously 7 years older with #2), exercise (I was weight training and walking much more during pregnancy #2) and sex of the baby (#1 is a daughter, #2 a son).
I hope we are moving towards a future where we can measure hormones more easily. I had a cortisol test at my NP last year but just getting that one saliva measurement was tough. I’d love to know what my hormone profiles are doing throughout the day and month.
WellTwigs just announced yet another fertility tracking app yesterday, but apparently their solution includes a device that measures two hormones from a urine sample (“Luteinizing hormone” and “Human Chorionic Gonadotropin”).
“Theoretically”, a device like this is not difficult at all, and the technology has been around for at least a few years if not a few decades. But practically, it’s rather difficult and expensive to fabricate, and even more difficult to sell. The FDA doesn’t encourage easily-accessible diagnostic information, so the best you can do is create a device for “research use only”, unless you want to go through the FDA certification process.
I’m curious: how much would you pay to have a reliable, on demand test for progestrone and estrogen? Is $10 per test too much? Assume that this test would give you the raw data (such as circulating ng/mL, or whatever) or at best data in graph form, and it was up to you to interpret and analyze it.
Considering that a test would need to be done everyday a one time fee for app or test would be most effective. Under $50 would make it accessible to anyone needing their information.
As a clinical trial a free app could be started to provide important data. Which could later supply information to medical industry and women word wide. This could provide both information for reproduction as well as mental health I formation.
Omg this would be so wonderful to have. I came across this forum cause I was looking for an app check my hormones levels which have been nothing but a nightmare for the last 10yrs. From sever depression to acne. I go from having the vertigo feeling to level headed after taking DIM and Soy Isoflavones during the day and it driving me crazy.Yes I would be willing to pay a one time fee to be able to check my estrogen/progesterone during the day. Hope someone comes up with something to utilize quick.
Long time lurker. I think what you guys are looking for is almost here. Check out www.miracare.com. It’s in-home hormone tracking that uses fluorescent immunoassays to track essentially any hormone or biomarker quantitatively to give you actual hormone concentrations. This is all in a small palm-sized device that automatically syncs to the accompanying app. The first product is for fertility but they will be releasing other test wands for a variety of other hormones!
Disclosure: I am on the Mira team. Just thought I would share an answer to all these questions. Something finally exists!!
(Sorry about the “if true” but I just finished Bad Blood, the book about Theranos - yikes.)
Seriously, Ive seen a number of projects in this area by credible people, some who have been participants in QS events, so I think it’s really coming along and it would be great to know more. Will you be at the conference in September?
I’m waiting for Mira to release the estrogen strips later this year, (and eventual progesterone strips). I’m also debating about just learning to run ELISA hormone assays in a lab at my campus (a lot of startup investment at first, but easy once streamlined as I have access to a lab). A few of my colleagues even suggested that there are probably enough women in the area to run assays for a lot of people, so I don’t have to wait weeks to make enough samples for an assay, and could split costs.
I also came across a device that apparently measures electrolyte concentrations in saliva and vaginal fluid that correlate with estrogen and progesterone levels, but I have no idea how accurate or validated it is (https://www.ovacue.com/why-ovacue).
Brief Rant: I think it is CRAZY there isn’t quick & affordable hormone testing for across a month at this point of scientific knowledge and available technology. Even through doctors, hormone testing is just ordered as samples from one or a few days out of the month, which tells you virtually nothing about the monthly cyclical behavior of the hormone levels. I’m glad that devices like Mira are coming out! But also, the fact that these tests and data, which are relevant to monitoring and managing so many different female health issues, will come from the tech startup industry before the medical industry, is nuts.