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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]


[U]Thyroidal Antibodies[/U] [I]I assume your doc is testing both adrenal antibodies as well as Thyroid antibodies. I couldn't find too much listed on the Adrenal antibodies, but here is a whole list of the Thyroid antibodies! Lots eh?[/I]
[B]Thyroid Hormone Nuclear Receptor Antibodies
* Thyroid Hormone Nuclear Receptor-alpha 1 / beta 1 Antibodies
* Thyroid Hormone Nuclear Receptor-beta 1, A / B Domain Antibodies
* Thyroid Hormone Receptor Antibodies
* Thyroid Hormone Receptor (beta) Antibodies
* Thyroid Hormone Receptor a1 / a2 Antibodies
* Thyroid Hormone Receptor Ab 4 Antibodies
* Thyroid Hormone Receptor alpha 1 Antibodies
* Thyroid Hormone Receptor alpha 1 / 2 Antibodies
* Thyroid Hormone Receptor alpha 1, 2 Antibodies
* Thyroid Hormone Receptor Alpha 2 Antibodies
* Thyroid Hormone Receptor Alpha-1 Antibodies
* Thyroid Hormone Receptor beta Antibodies
* Thyroid Hormone Receptor Beta-1 Antibodies
* Thyroid Hormone Receptor beta-2 Antibodies
* Thyroid Iodide Transporter (TIT) Antibodies
* Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies
* Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Antibodies
* Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Antibodies
* Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) Antibodies
* Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) a Antibodies
* Thyroid Stimulating Ho
rmone (TSH) Alpha Antibodies
* Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) b Antibodies
* Thyroid Stimulating Ho

rmone (TSH) Beta Antibodies
* Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) intact Antibodies
* Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Alpha (hTSH-a) Antibodies
* Thyroid Stimulating Hormone alpha (TSH a) Antibodies
* Thyroid Stimulating Hormone alpha (TSHa) Antibodies
* Thyroid Stimulating Hormone beta (hTSH-b) Antibodies
* Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Beta (hTSH-) Antibodies
* Thyroid Stimulating Hormone beta (TSHb) Antibodies
* Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Receptor Antibodies
* Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, beta (TSHb) Antibodies
* Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, intact (TSHintact) Antibodies
* Thyroid Stimulating Hormone-Beta (TSH-b) Antibodies
* Thyroid Transcription Factor Antibodies
* Thyroid Transcription Factor 1 (TTF-1) Antibodies
* Thyroid, Lung Epithelial Marker (TTF-1) Antibodies
* Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone Antibodies[/B]

[U]immunoglobulin[/U] [I]I threw this in there because Ig readings are very common when testing certain protiens and antibodies[/I]

[B] A specific protein substance that is produced by plasma cells to aid in fighting infection. Some immunoglobulins (gamma globulin) take part in various immune responses of the body to bacteria or foreign substances (allergens, tumour or transplanted tissue). Examples include IgG, IgM, IgA, IgD and IgE.[/B]

[U]autoantibody[/U] [I]FYI[/I]

[B]Antibody that reacts with an antigen that is a normal component of the body. Obviously this can lead to some problems and autoimmunity has been proposed as a causative factor in a number of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. [/B]


[B]Substances which are capable, under appropriate conditions, of inducing a specific immune response and of reacting with the products of that response, that is, with specific antibodies or specifically sensitised T-lymphocytes, or both. Antigens may be soluble substances, such as toxins and foreign proteins, or particulates, such as bacteria and tissue cells; however, only the portion of the protein or polysaccharide molecule known as the antigenic determinant (epitopes) combines with antibody or a specific receptor on a lymphocyte.[/B]

[U]autoantibody [/U] [I]This is the definition of an "AUTOantibody".[/I] [B]An antibody that reacts with the cells, tissues, or native proteins of the individual in which it is produced.[/B]

OKAY! These are some excerpts from various sources, one being the webiste I listed in my original post, and the definitions are simply taken from the online Medical Dictionary.

There are some references to "gonads" (male glands) and "x-linked" substance which basically deals with the X Chromosone. I don't know what relevance the "x-linked" tests have for women but I'm sure your doc would know. It seems to me when I was reading that some of these tests that indicate an "x-linked" result runs the gammet of both men and women. Know I know that "gonads" deal with the men! LOL

I'm thinking that your doc is looking for some kind of Adrenal Insuffinciency disorder, Thyroid Dysfunction, Addisons, or some other hormonal disfunction i.e. glandular like your ovaries, putitary etc.

We women have testosterone, and it plays a heavy part in our libido. Men's and women's testosterone reading numbers are entirely different. I think we range from 1 - 15 (????) I know mine is low at a 4. I have my test somewhere! LOL While men's numbers are in the hundreds.

Have you been complaining of low libido or any of the symptoms that accompany Adrenal Insufficiency disorder, Thyroid dysfunction (either hyper, hypo or one of the many other Thyroid dysfunctions? Obviously your doc is looking for something hormonal that may be caused by a glandlular malfunction. Which will cause your whole system to totally misfire! It simply goes wacko when our hormones or glands are not working in sync. I recently had an ultrasound on my Thyroid where they found two lesions. I'm awaiting a referral to an Endo now. It is a long and tricky process to nail down exactly why you feel "badly".

Be patient. Ask the doc lots of questions. Get your test results. I see someone else has given you a good website to get your labs read. Take your test to your doc and go over them TOGETHER. IMO that is the best way to understand your labs. They are so confusing! But if you go along with your doc line by line it does make things clearer. If something is "flagged" or "borderline" ask about it! Look over your test before you see the doc. Highlight any "flags" or "borderline" numbers. The normal range readings will always be within the parenthises, i.e. (.80, 2.35) Any number before these parenthises that falls within this range is considered "normal", although you may be borderline high or borderline low, if so ASK about it!
T4 Free 1.2 (.80-1.8) The numbers before the () is your result, the
T-3 Free 317 (230-420) numbers within the () are the "normal" range
TSH 1.32 (.40-5.5) for that particular test.

I hope this helps more than confuses you! LOL
I'm happy to help if I did, great, if not, well, I DID learn something about getting my DHEA tested regarding my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and that
hydrocortisone may help my libido!

Good luck zoe and keep us posted okay. Find ONE board to post your results on though! LOL That way I don't have to hunt you down! LOL ;)


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