Symptoms of depression, fatigue, mood swings, sexual dysfunction, sleeplessness and weight gain may all be indicators of hormonal imbalance. In addition to its obvious benefits, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), a common intervention, may have adverse effects including increased risk of cancer and other diseases. The ability to establish baseline values and carefully monitor hormone level changes is crucial in successful application and regulation of HRT.
This assessment provides measurements of 14 important hormones to help physicians in diagnosing hormonal imbalance and suggesting a program of hormone replacement therapy, as needed.
The Kronos Science commitment to research and development assures that it will remain in the forefront of key assay development and interpretation, especially as it relates to HRT.
Cortisol – the primary hormone secreted by the adrenal gland; has a broad spectrum of physiological effects, ranging from supporting the blood pressure and promoting normal circulation to helping the body defend itself against outside stress. Cortisol also is important in regulating the body’s glucose and fat metabolism. It is a catabolic hormone which, in excess, promotes the breakdown of lean body mass and the accumulation of body fat.
DHEA-Sulfate – provides important regulatory functions for the immune system, optimizing cardiovascular function and improving cognitive function.
Dihydrotestosterone – the primary male sex hormone; is responsible for determining male sexual characteristics and development. In women, it has an important role in improving libido and cognitive function.
Estradiol – the primary female sex hormone responsible for women’s sexual development; has been shown to provide valuable effects in promoting optimal bone health, cardiovascular health, cognitive function and, possibly, the prevention of dementia. Other benefits include the improvement of skin quality, maintenance of women’s sexual health and a decrease in the risk of incontinence.
Estrone – is one of the three major naturally occurring estrogens. Estrone is produced primarily from androstenedione originating from the adrenal cortex and gonads. In premenopausal adult women, the ovary secretes more than 50 percent of estrone. In prepubertal children, men and postmenopausal women, the majority of estrone is derived from peripheral conversion androstenedione. Interconversion of estrone and estradiol also occurs in the peripheral tissues. Estrone is the second most potent estrogen and is in metabolic equilibrium with estradiol, the principal circulating estrogenic hormone.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) – is produced in and released from the anterior pituitary gland under hypothalamic control. In women, it promotes maturation of the ovarian follicle, which produces estrogen. As estrogen levels rise, luteinizing hormone (LH) is produced. Together, FSH and LH induce ovulation. In men, FSH stimulates spermatogenesis. In addition, it increases the sensitivity of testicular Leydig cells to LH, which, in turn, controls testosterone production. FSH aids in the differential diagnosis of hypogonadism, infertility, menstrual disorders and various other age-related conditions.
IGF-1 (Insulin-like growth factor) – is a surrogate marker for growth hormone. Levels of IGF-1 have been shown to correlate closely with growth hormone levels. Growth hormone deficiencies in adults have been shown to correlate with increased total body fat, decreased lean muscle mass and decreased energy and mental acuity.
Insulin – is a hormone secreted by the beta cells of the pancreatic islets. It is secreted in response to elevated blood levels of glucose, amino acids, fatty acids and ketone bodies. It promotes the efficient storage and utilization of these fuel molecules. Insulin promotes glycogen, protein, and lipid synthesis, and inhibits gluconeogenesis, glycogen degradation and lipolysis. The major type of pancreatic failure is Type 1 diabetes mellitus. It is characterized by insulin deficiency. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by increased fasting insulin and insulin resistance.
Luteinizing Hormone (LH) – is a gonadotropic hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary gland under hypothalamic control. In women, LH initiates luteinization in the ovary. Together with FSH, LH induces ovulation. The surge in blood levels of LH is often used as evidence that ovulation has occurred. The corpus luteum develops from the ruptured Graafian follicle under the influence of LH. In men, LH stimulates the secretion of androgens and increases the production of testosterone. Testosterone, along with FSH, influences the development of spermatozoa.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) - is a protein produced by cells in the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of this protein in the blood. It is normal for men to have low levels of PSA in their blood, however higher than normal levels can indicate benign (non-cancerous) conditions of the prostate or prostate cancer. The risk of benign prostate conditions and prostate cancer increases with age in men. The PSA test cannot distinguish between benign prostate conditions and prostate cancer; however it serves as a simple initial screen for prostate trouble.
Progesterone – an important hormone in women’s health helps to minimize menopausal symptoms and optimize healthy bone structure.
Prolactin – is a pituitary hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. It stimulates breast development and milk production in females. Prolactin is part of the normal work up in the diagnosis of pituitary tumors, menstrual irregularities, impotence, and infertility. Can be added to the Hormone assessment panel.
SHBG – a circulating protein that specifically binds the sex steriod hormones. Results of this test, in conjunction with the measurement of other parameters, provides information on the bioavailability of the sex hormones.
Testosterone, Total – is the most potent, naturally secreted androgen. In postpubertal males, testosterone is secreted primarily by the testes with only a small amount derived from peripheral conversion of androstenedione. In adult women, it has been estimated that over 50 percent of serum testosterone is derived from the peripheral conversion of androstenedione secreted by the adrenal gland and ovary. The remainder is from the direct secretion of testosterone from these glands. The majority of circulating testosterone is bound by sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). A smaller portion is bound by albumin. Only 1-2 percent exists in the circulation as free or unbound testosterone.
Testosterone, Bioavailable – Bioavailable testosterone is now performed by calculation using the Total Testosterone, SHBG, and Albumin values.