Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) Serum Test
The SHBG Serum Test helps in evaluating the status of a patient's androgens (male hormones).
Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), is a protein produced by the liver. It binds tightly to the hormones, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), testosterone and estradiol (an estrogen), transporting them in the blood in a metabolically inactive form. The amount of SHBG in a patient's blood is affected by sex and age, increased or decreased testosterone or estrogen production. It can also be affected by diseases and conditions such as obesity, liver disease, and hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Adult males test SHBG and testosterone levels to help determine the cause of infertility, decreased sex drive and erectile dysfunction, especially when total testosterone results are found inconsistent with clinical signs.
The SHBG test is typically used to help evaluate whether a person has an excess or deficiency of testosterone.
Increased SHBG levels may be seen in:
- Liver disease
- Eating disorders (anorexia nervosa)
- Corticosteroids or estrogen use (hormone replacement therapy and oral contraceptives)
- Decreased sex hormone production (hypogonadism)
Decreases in SHBG are seen with:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Androgen (steroid) use
- Cushing disease
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