These tests measure the impact of hormone imbalances that might affect your overall health.
Testosterone – Total testosterone is measured to detect hormonal levels in men and in women to evaluate for abnormally low levels of testosterone in men and for masculinization or polycystic ovarian syndrome in women. Low testosterone in men is related to increases in abdominal fat, blood pressure and cholesterol, which can be involved in increasing heart disease risk. The opposite is true in women, for whom high testosterone levels may be related to increased heart disease risk.
SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) – A protein that attaches to three sex hormones (testosterone, DHT, and estrogen). Although SHBG binds 3 hormones, the hormone that is critically important in this test is testosterone. SHBG controls the amount of testosterone that your body tissues can use. Too little testosterone in men and too much testosterone in women can be a sign of disease.
FTI (free testosterone index) – A calculated value based upon total testosterone and SHGB. The FTI is the amount of the “working” testosterone.
DHEA-S (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate) – A male sex hormone that is present in both men and women and is made in the adrenal glands, a small gland located on the top of the kidney. It is associated with the development of male secondary sexual characteristics. The DHEA-S test is used to help identify abnormal adrenal function.
Estradiol – Primarily produced in the ovaries in pre-menopausal women and in the testicles in men. It is mainly used to evaluate the health of the ovaries. Estradiol is associated with assessing hormonal imbalances such as infertility, menopause, and abnormal menstrual periods, and is also used to monitor pregnancy, bone metabolism, and metabolic conditions.
LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) – LH and FSH are hormones associated with reproduction, such as the release of an egg from the ovary in women and testosterone production in men. These tests are used to evaluate the function of ovaries or testicles.
Progesterone – Progesterone is a female hormone produced by the ovaries during release of a mature egg from an ovary. This test is commonly used to help determine the causes of infertility.