Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Making Sense of Hormonal Profiles

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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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