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Are Your Hormones Off the Chart?

If your energy is low, it may be the result of out-of-whack hormones, so talk to your doc about getting you hormone levels checked.

 We all have these hormones in our body, in different amounts. See what each kind of hormone does for your body.

Hormones

DHEA-S Level: Dihydroepiandrosterone sulfate is a steroid hormone that the adrenal glands, brain (and testes) produce. It’s a precursor hormone. Other steroid hormones, like estrogen and testosterone are made from DHEA-S. These levels often decrease as men age.

Testosterone: It’s the chief male hormone, and secreted by women’s ovaries to a much lesser extent. Levels should be checked if shaving frequency or libido (in men) has changed.

Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG): This is the flatbed truck for your sex hormones. This protein transports estrogen and testosterone to other places through your blood. During transport, the hormones are so tightly bound to SHBG that they’re temporarily unavailable.

QUIZ: Sexual Satisfaction

Albumin: This important protein transports sex hormones, but binds to them less tightly so they’re available and active. It also helps body fluid distribution.

Bioavailable Testosterone (calculated): Simply, this testosterone is available for biological activity in the bloodstream. Measuring this testosterone level helps determine if there’s enough to get the job done.

IGF-1 Level: The liver makes this hormone and is directly related to the growth hormone. Insulin-like growth factor (somatomedin) is a protein hormone similar in structure and function to insulin, but it has higher growth-promoting activity than insulin. It stimulates the growth of various cells, including bone, muscle and cartilage. Factors known to cause variation in the levels of IGF-1 and GH in serum include genetic makeup, time of day, amount of sleep, gender, age, stress levels, exercise status, waist size, disease state, estrogen status and race.

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