Posts Tagged ‘testosterone tests for men and women’

Controlling Inflammation levels

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Inflammation is the body’s reaction to infections and it occurs to protect your body and  keep it healthy. There are two types of inflammation that may happen in your body: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation would be the “good” type of inflammation, as it helps your body heal by sending white blood cells to the troubled area. Acute inflammation also doesn’t last very long because your body typically heals quickly. Chronic inflammation does the opposite of acute inflammation, the white blood cells burn through healthy tissue or organs instead of healing your body. It is important to have your inflammation levels tested by getting a C-reactive protein blood test (CRP).  The CRP will be elevated if your body is dealing with inflammation.

The CRP test is not diagnostic, but it does provide relevant information to your health provider if inflammation is present.  The test results, along with other information from a physical exam can determine if there is acute or chronic inflammation occurring in the body.

Diet and exercise are the primary ways to beat inflammation.  Try to avoid processed foods which contain high amounts of sugar and fats.  Increase your level of activity.  This doesn’t mean you have to spend hours at the gym everyday.  Adding activity can be as simple as decreasing the amount of time you spend sitting, increasing walking and other activities throughout the day.

The CRP test is offered on our website: www.HealthOneLabs.com. You may read more about inflammation in this article.


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The blood test for Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) is usually ordered when total testosterone results are not consistent with a patient’s symptoms: decreased sex drive, infertility, erectile dysfunction for males and abnormal hairiness in females.   Typically, This test is ordered for males because it is suspected that there is a testosterone deficiency and has been validated by a testosterone total serum test or a testosterone total & free blood test.

hormone blood tests

Should I Order a Sex Hormone Binding Globulin Test?

Since the sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) is commonly used to determine a hormone imbalance – it is commonly ordered with other hormone tests such as testosterone, estradiol, prolactin and lutenizing hormone to evaluate a patient’s hormone balance.  SHBG and testosterone testing may be useful in helping to detect and evaluate excess testosterone production and/or decreased SHBG concentrations so this test is helpful if a hormone imbalance is suspected.

The SHBG results may suggest the following if you have increased levels of the hormone:

  1. liver disease
  2. hyperthyroidism
  3. eating disorders
  4. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) including oral contraceptives
  5. Decreased sex hormone production

The SHBG results may suggest the following if you have decreased levels of the hormone:

  1. Obesity
  2. Polycyctic ovarian syndrome
  3. Hypothyroidism
  4. Hirsutism
  5. Acne
  6. Cushing disease

The Scientific Explanation

Levels of SHBG are under the positive control of estrogens and thyroid hormones, and are suppressed by androgens. These influences dynamically control the liver synthesis of this carrier protein. Decreased levels of SHBG are frequently seen in hirsutism, virilization, obese postmenopausal women, and in women with diffuse hair loss. Increased levels may be present in cases of hyperthyroidism, testicular feminization, cirrhosis, male hypogonadism, pregnancy, women using oral contraceptives, and prepubertal children.

Elevated SHBG levels can be seen in elderly men, and are often found in patients with hyperthyroidism and cirrhosis of the liver. SHBG levels also increase when oral contraceptives or antiepileptic drugs are taken. Pregnant women have markedly higher SHBG serum concentrations due to their increased estrogen production. Decreased SHBG concentrations are often seen with hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), obesity, hirsutism, elevated androgen levels, alopecia, and acromegaly.

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Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.


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Both Men and Women Need Testosterone Tests

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What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a sex hormone produced in males in the testes and in females in the ovaries. It’s the hormone responsible for male secondary sex characteristics and sex drive.  In both sexes, testosterone plays a role in maintaining bone and muscle function.  The levels are significantly lower in women and children than in men.  Its levels also decline with advancing age.

testosterone chemical resized 600
Function

Since the pituitary gland is the “master” gland and regulates all other glands and hormones, it can directly affect hormone levels, including testosterone. During puberty, testosterone levels increase in boys and cause the voice to deepen, pubic hair to appear and muscle mass to increase.  It also allows for sperm formation in the testes.

Why Test for it?

Testosterone hormone level testing would likely be indicated in men if they are having trouble fathering a child, obtaining or keeping an erection, experiencing a low sex drive, or are depressed and fatigued without explanation.  Higher than normal testosterone levels in boys would be suspect if signs of puberty are occurring at an earlier than normal age or male secondary symptoms are appearing in females.

Why It’s Helpful to Know Your Testosterone Levels

Low testosterone levels would be the most common reason in men and women for a low sex drive.   High testosterone levels in men could be indicative of a tumor in the testes or prostate gland. In women, testosterone levels can be affected by abnormalities of the ovaries.  Abnormalities or growths in the pituitary gland  may also cause an increase in testosterone in either sex or effect bone density, increasing the chances of fractures.

Symptoms to Know

Low sex drive is the most common sign of low testosterone in both sexes.  A doctor may want to test for levels of this hormone, along with other hormones if a woman is experiencing irregular periods, having difficulty conceiving, or is exhibiting excessive body or facial hair. Low testosterone levels can also be sign of illegal anabolic steroid use, be a side effect of obesity or a sign of pituitary or hypothalmus inflammation.  Excessive amounts of testosterone can cause agitation and aggression.

Hormone levels can be quite sensitive and  dependent on other glands and  hormones. However, once identified, the levels are relatively easy to regulate with medication in pill or patch form.

Other Interesting Testosterone Facts

Both liver disease and alcoholism in males can decrease testosterone levels. Androgens and steroid drugs can also decrease testosterone levels.

Many men receive androgens for prostate cancer, so many men with advanced prostate cancer receive these drugs will have lower testosterone levels.

Drugs such as anticonvulsants, barbiturates, and clomiphene can cause testosterone levels to rise. Women taking estrogen therapy may have increased testosterone levels.

Types of Testosterone Tests

There are many testosterone tests, but for general screening the following are recommended:

Testosterone, Serum test

Testosterone, Total & Free test

Take control of your health.

 

Medical Disclaimer:  The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.  The writer is not a physician or other health provider.

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