Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Making Sense of Hormonal Profiles


Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues or organs. They work slowly, over time, and affect many different processes, including
• Growth and development
• Metabolism – how your body gets energy from the foods you eat
• Sexual function
• Reproduction
• Mood

The need

Hormonal profile is recommended in women if they experience any or all of these symptoms–
o Inability to conceive
o Skipping of periods without being pregnant.
o Irritability, bloating, headaches, breast swelling or mood swings in the week prior to menstruation.
o Erratic menstrual cycle

Hormones evaluated
A hormonal investigation evaluates the functioning of these hormones.
o Prolactin– a hormone released by one of the pituitary glands
o LH—Lutenizing hormone helps regulate the menstrual cycle and egg production
o Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)– a hormone synthesised and secreted by gonadotropes in the anterior pituitary gland.
o Progesterone– a hormone involved in the female menstrual cycle, pregnancy
o Estradiol– evaluates menopausal status and sexual maturity.
o Testosterone– the principal male sex hormone.
o FT3, FT4 and TSH—These tests diagnose the functioning of the thyroid gland, one of the largest endocrine glands in the body

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