Hormone #2 Essential Blood Test Panel, Women
The Hormone #2 Essential Blood Test Panel, Women screens for hormone imbalances related to menopause.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Hormone #2 Baseline Blood Test Panel, Women, to screen for hormone imbalances related to menopause or decreased estrogen and progesterone production. Menopause is the point when a woman no longer has menstrual periods. This typically starts when a woman reaches her 40s. At this stage, the ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and producing most estrogen and progesterone. Usually, a woman is diagnosed with menopause when she has gone without a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. Since changes in hormone levels cause menopause symptoms, this panel may help screen for potential hormonal imbalances related to the condition.
This Hormone #2 Baseline Blood Test Panel, Women includes:
Estradiol - is a group of hormones primarily responsible for developing female sex organs and secondary sex characteristics. There are three main estrogen fractions: estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3). Estradiol (E2) is produced in women, mainly in the ovary. In men, the adrenal glands and testes are the principal sources of estradiol. In women, normal estradiol levels provide for proper ovulation, conception, and pregnancy, promote healthy bone structure, and regulate cholesterol levels.
Progesterone - is a steroid hormone whose primary role is to help prepare a woman's body for pregnancy; it works with several other female hormones. Since progesterone levels vary predictably throughout the menstrual cycle, multiple (serial) measurements can help recognize and manage some causes of infertility. For example, progesterone can be measured to determine whether or not a woman had ovulated when ovulation occurred and to monitor the success of induced ovulation.
Cortisol - is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Production and secretion of cortisol are stimulated by ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone), a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, a tiny organ located inside the head below the brain. Cortisol has a range of roles in the body. It helps break down protein, glucose, and lipids, maintain blood pressure, and regulate the immune system. Heat, cold, infection, trauma, stress, exercise, obesity, and debilitating disease can influence cortisol concentrations.
FSH and LH - the pituitary gland in the brain makes the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Control of FSH production is a complex system involving hormones produced by the gonads (testes), the pituitary, and the hypothalamus. Both estradiol and progesterone help the pituitary control the amount of FSH produced. In men, FSH stimulates the testes to produce mature sperm and promotes the production of androgen-binding proteins. As a result, FSH levels are relatively constant in males after puberty. Luteinizing hormone (LH) is produced by the pituitary gland located in the brain. Testosterone provides negative feedback to the pituitary and the hypothalamus, helping to regulate the amount of LH secreted.
Testosterone, Total, and Free - measures total and free testosterone hormone levels in the blood to detect an abnormal level or hormone imbalance. Testosterone is the primary hormone for developing male physical features and reproductive functions. Individuals should note that women also make testosterone but in much smaller amounts in the ovaries and adrenal glands. There are two significant forms of testosterone in the body commonly measured to help diagnose specific health problems: free and total testosterone. Free testosterone is the active or unbound form of testosterone that acts as a receptor to cells in the body. However, total testosterone includes unbound and bound testosterone attached to proteins (SHBG or albumin).
Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA,S) - is an androgen, a male sex hormone in the blood of both men and women. It plays a role in developing male secondary sexual characteristics at puberty. The body can metabolize it into more potent androgens, such as testosterone and androstenedione, or change it into the female hormone estrogen. DHEAS is produced by the adrenal cortex, the outer layer of the adrenal glands, with smaller amounts made by women's ovaries and men's testes. DHEAS secretion is controlled by the pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and other pituitary factors. Since the adrenal glands primarily produce DHEAS, it is helpful as a marker for adrenal function. Cancers, Adrenal tumors, and hyperplasia can lead to the overproduction of DHEAS. While elevated levels may not be noticed in adult men, they can lead to amenorrhea and visible virilization symptoms.
Thyroid Panel with Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) - Thyroid function is critical to your metabolism and affects your energy level, heart rate, weight control, and more. The thyroid-stimulating hormone is produced in the pituitary gland and stimulates the production of thyroid hormones. The TSH helps identify an underactive or overactive thyroid state. This comprehensive evaluation of your thyroid hormone levels includes T-3 Uptake, T4, Free Thyroxine Index (T7), and Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH).
Free T3 - normally represents only approximately 5% of the thyroid hormone. Like thyroxine, it is almost entirely bound to the carrier proteins, with only 0.25% of the total being free. Measurement of Free T-3 is of value in confirming the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism when an elevated free or total thyroxine level is found. Abnormal total and free tri-iodothyronine concentrations can appear in T3 toxicosis in normal thyroxine levels. Free T3 levels are not affected by carrier protein variation.
Free T4 - is the active form of thyroxine and is a more accurate reflection of thyroid hormone function. The free T4 test is thought to be a more accurate reflection of thyroid hormone function, and, in most cases, its use has replaced that of the total T4 test. A total T4 or free T4 test is primarily ordered in response to an abnormal TSH result. However, sometimes the T4 will be ordered along with a TSH to give the doctor a complete evaluation of the adequacy of the thyroid hormone feedback system. These tests are usually ordered when a person has symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
IGF-1 - is produced in the liver in response to stimulation by growth hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. This insulin-like growth factor level is used to evaluate growth disturbances and monitor treatment with growth hormones.
When should I order a Hormone #2 Baseline Blood Test Panel, Women?
Individuals may order this panel if they have experienced symptoms related to menopause or hormone imbalance. Common signs or symptoms associated with menopause include:
- Hot flashes or night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Irritability, mood swings, or mild depression
- Dry skin, eyes, or mouth
- Breast tenderness
- Worsened premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Irregular periods
- Increased heart rate
- Joint and muscle pain
- Decreased sex drive
- Difficulty concentrating or memory lapses
- Weight gain
- Hair thinning or loss
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