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Addison's Disease Message Board

Addison's Disease Board Index

Hey zoe, nice to meet you! My friends call me TK.

I want to first off send my sympathy to you and all your countrymen and women there in the UK regarding the recent bombings in London. I know that in the US we are praying for all of you and keeping you close in our thoughts. I personally, will never forget the support you all showed us after 9/11.

Anyhoo: As for the tests you question, I'm going to post the info I gleaned from the .Net and I'm just going to paste it from my "Scrapbook" that I have in my browser and then I'll kinda add my thoughts to what I posted. K?

(just gotta let you know, I had to break this up into multiple posts, it was a bit long! sorrry :( )

[B]In addition, levels of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHGB) are elevated, which has the effect of decreasing libido, sexual response and energy levels.[/B]

[U]What is Androstenedione?[/U]
[B]Androstenedione is a natural hormone which is a direct precursor to testosterone. [/B]

[B]Recent data regarding the effects of androgen therapy on libido and sexual function in women and the clinical development of a testosterone patch for women raise a number of questions regarding androgen administration in women. We need to better define an androgen deficiency syndrome and differentiate between hormone replacement and pharmacologic use of hormonal therapy. Research is needed to determine in which subsets of women androgen administration is effective. In addition to androgen effects on libido and sexual function, other endpoints, including bone, body composition, cardiovascular risk, breast tissue and brain effects require study. Finally, the long-term safety of androgen therapy in women needs to be established.

Because the ovaries and adrenals are the primary sources of androgens in women, disease or iatrogenic

intervention which compromises the function of these glands may result in hypoandrogenemia. Bilateral oophorectomy has been demonstrated to result in a 60% reduction in serum testosterone in premenopausal women and a 50% decrease in postmenopausal women, suggesting that the ovaries produce approximately half of circulating testosterone in women, with the other half derived from adrenal precursors. In contrast, more than 90% of DHEAS is produced by the adrenal glands. Therefore, bilateral oophorectomy and/or adrenal insufficiency result in a marked diminution in circulating testosterone, with a reduction in DHEAS also observed in women with adrenal insufficiency. Women with hypopituitarism, particularly those with both hypoadrenalism and hypogonadism, have severe androgen deficiency, including decreased testosterone, free testosterone, androstenedione and DHEAS. Medications that suppress ovarian function, such as oral contraceptives, and those that suppress adrenal function, including glucocorticoids, also reduce androgen levels in women. Oral estrogens, even at low doses, reduce free testosterone by increasing SHBG levels.

Our studies on the developmental function of the neurosteroid dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and DHEA-sulfate (DHEAS) indicates that they are distinct neurosteroids: DHEA stimulates axonal growth from specific populations of neocortical neurons while DHEAS stimulates dendritic growth from those cells. DHEA, but not DHEAS, also affects differentiation of hindbrain cholinergic neurons.[/B]

[U]The Test[/U]

1.How is it used?
2.When is it ordered?
3.What does the test result mean?
4.Is there anything else I should know?

[U]How is it used?[/U]
[B]DHEAS levels are not routinely measured. Unless you have symptoms that warrant its use, you will most likely never have a DHEAS test done. DHEAS, testosterone, and several other androgens are used to evaluate adrenal function and to distinguish between androgen secreting adrenal conditions from those that originate in the ovary or testes. DHEAS can be measured to help diagnose adrenocortical tumors (tumor in the cortex of the adrenal gland), adrenal cancers, and adrenal hyperplasia (which may be congenital or adult onset) and to separate them from ovarian tumors and cancers.

Concentrations of DHEAS are often measured, along with other hormones such as FSH, LH, prolactin, estrogen, and testosterone, to help diagnose polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and to help rule out other causes of infertility, amenorrhea, and hirsutism.

DHEAS levels may be ordered, along with other hormones, to investigate and diagnose the cause of virilization in young girls and precocious puberty in young boys.

[U]When is it ordered?[/U]
[B]DHEAS may be ordered, along with other hormones, whenever excess (or more rarely deficient) androgen production is suspected and/or when your doctor wants to evaluate your adrenal gland function.

It may be measured when a woman presents with symptoms such as: hirsutism, alopecia (hair loss), amenorrhea, infertility, acne, increased muscularity, and decreased breast size. It may also be ordered when a young girl shows signs of virilization, such as hirsutism, a deep voice, or when a female infant has ambiguous genitalia wherein the clitoris is overgrown, but the internal female organs usually appear normal.

DHEAS may also be measured when young boys show signs of precocious puberty - the development of: a deeper voice, pubic hair, muscularity, and an enlarged penis well before the age of normal puberty.[/B]

[U]What does the test result mean?[/U]
[B][U]NOTE:[/U] A standard reference range is not available for this test. Because reference values are dependent on many factors, including patient age, gender, sample population, and test method, numeric test results have different meanings in different labs. Your lab report should include the specific reference range for your test. Lab Tests Online strongly recommends that you discuss your test results with your doctor. For more information on reference ranges, please read Reference Ranges and What They Mean.

Low levels of DHEAS may be due to adrenal dysfunction or hypopituitarism - a condition that causes decreased levels of the pituitary hormones that regulate the production and secretion of adrenal hormones. Normal DHEAS levels, along with other normal androgen levels, may indicate that the adrenal gland is functioning normally, or (more rarely) that the adrenal tumor or cancer present is not secreting hormones. Normal levels of DHEAS may be seen with PCOS, as this disorder is usually related to ovarian androgen production (primarily testosterone).

Elevated levels of DHEAS, in conjunction with elevations in such tests as 17-ketosteroids (which measures androgen metabolites in urine) and 17-OH progesterone may indicate an adrenocortical tumor, adrenal cancer, or adrenal hyperplasia. Increased levels of DHEAS usually indicate the need for further testing to pinpoint the cause of the hormone imbalance, but do not often stand alone for diagnostic purposes.
[U]Is there anything else I should know?[/U]
[B]DHEAS levels are normally high in both male and female newborns. They drop sharply shortly after birth, then rise again during puberty. DHEAS concentrations peak after puberty, and then, like other male and female hormones, the levels tend to decline as we age.[/B]

[B]DAX-1 is the gene responsible for adrenal hypoplasia congentia in humans. (a protien) dosage-sensitive sex reversal = DAX-1[/B]

[B]adj : relating to genes or characteristics or conditions carried on the X chromosome; "an X-linked mutation" [syn: X-linked][/B]


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