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Estradiol Test Normal Levels: Know Uses & Procedure

Doctors leverage several tests to determine the underlying causes affecting fertility, puberty, menopause, and other concerns. The female hormone estradiol is one of the important types of estrogen. Estradiol test is a helpful test for women suffering from post-menopausal vaginal bleeding, infertility, or concerns about menstrual cycles. It measures the levels of estradiol in the blood. It also helps in studying the causes of night sweats and hot flashes. Women undergoing Hormonal Replacement Therapy (HRT) during menopause may need an estradiol test to assess the effect of HRT. Read ahead to understand what to expect from the estradiol test besides its uses and procedure. Importance of appropriate estrogens levels The hormone estrogen plays a vital role in maintaining a woman's health, from menarche to menopause. There are three types of estrogen hormones, each having a specific function during different stages of a woman's life. Estrone (E1): Occurring during the post-menopausal period Estradiol (E2): An important hormone supporting the development of reproductive organs, breasts, and outer genitals Estriol (E3): Has significance during the period of pregnancy Occasionally, a few problems arise because of abnormal estradiol levels, such as: Ovarian tumors Breast cancer Development of breasts in men (gynecomastia) Fluctuations in the levels of sex hormones or having an excess or inadequate amount of these hormones can significantly affect a woman's health. The hormonal imbalance may cause infertility, menstrual problems, post-vaginal bleeding, and menopausal symptoms. What is the estradiol test? Usually, doctors recommend estradiol test to study the development of an individual's sex characteristics. The test is helpful for both men and women because estradiol can affect the growth of both sexes. Detection of early or late puberty is an essential aim of the estradiol test. Monitoring hormone levels is crucial in transgenders undergoing feminization or women having problems with menopause who need hormone therapy. It is also necessary to monitor the effectiveness of infertility treatment in women. Estradiol is also released by the testes in men in small amounts, although the produced hormone level is lower than in women. In men, estradiol plays a significant role in the healthy functioning of the brain and sexual drive and the development of reproductive organs. Estradiol test for males helps doctors determine estradiol levels, as this helps prevent the early death of sperms.  Sudden stopping of the menstrual cycle may signal early menopause. An estradiol test provides insights into the onset or progress of menopause. The production of estradiol reduces during and after the commencement of menopause. Doctors can determine whether a woman is about to enter menopause or is going through the same. The estradiol test is vital for examining the functioning of ovaries. Women experiencing the following symptoms may have problems in their ovaries: Rise in the frequency of urination Loss of weight Pain in the pelvic region Pain in the lower abdomen Sudden fullness during meals Bloating Estradiol test [E2 Estradiol Serum Test] is usually one of the several tests for diagnosing many conditions affecting a woman's health. Doctors use the test results to correlate with other tests and clinical examinations before reaching the final diagnosis. Estradiol test - what to expect The serum estradiol test involves collecting a small amount of blood by puncturing the vein. An expert lab technician will use a small needle to withdraw blood from the individual's arm or wrist. It is normal to experience a pricking sensation as the needle punctures the vein to draw blood. The amount of blood depends upon the number of lab tests a doctor requests besides the estradiol test. The technician will provide a cotton swab or bandage to help the site of the injection heal. It may take three to five business days to receive the test results.  Checking estradiol levels at a particular time and day is vital because the levels fluctuate throughout the day and during the menstrual cycle. Discuss with the doctor if you are taking any particular medication as these can affect the hormone level and, thereby, the test results. These medicines may have to be temporarily stopped before the test. Some of the medicines that impact the levels of estradiol are: Antibiotics Steroids Contraceptive pills Hormones used in HRT Estradiol test normal range The normal range of estradiol tests can vary slightly depending on the laboratory. The range can also vary according to the individual's age and gender. The values of estradiol levels are in picograms per milliliter or pg/ml. Following are estradiol test normal range values: Men: between 10 and 50 pg/ml Women in the postmenopausal stage: between 0 and 30 pg/ml Women in the premenopausal stage: between 30 and 400 pg/ml Interpretation of estradiol test results The serum estradiol test results can indicate various abnormalities depending on the sex and age of the individual. Pregnancy can influence estradiol levels. The test results help assess the cause of an individual's symptoms. However, this test alone may not be adequate to conclude a diagnosis. Higher than normal levels of estradiol Higher estradiol levels may suggest: Development of breasts in males Overactive thyroid gland leading to hyperthyroidism Presence of ovarian tumors Tumors in testes Liver cirrhosis Lower than normal estradiol levels Lower values of serum estradiol test may signal: Presence of a single X chromosome in women (Turner's syndrome) Low body fat because of diminished production of estrogen Problem with the functioning of ovaries like in ovarian failure Infertility because of polycystic ovarian disorder Reduced hormone production by testes and ovaries in hypogonadism Conclusion Estradiol is a helpful hormone secreted by adrenal glands and ovaries. Estradiol plays a crucial role in maintaining several bodily functions and the development of sexual organs. The estradiol test [ Estradiol Serum Test] is a simple blood test to measure serum estradiol levels. Physicians recommend the test to determine levels of a particular estrogen in the blood.  

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Low Testosterone Symptoms: Know Levels, Causes and Treatment

What is testosterone?  Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone produced by the testes. It is responsible for developing male characteristic features like facial and body hair, muscular strength, deep voice, etc. Moreover, testosterone is needed to produce sperm. Although testosterone is a male sex hormone, it is produced in small amounts in women’s ovaries. It combines with oestrogen to help in bone mass and maintenance and growth of reproductive tissues. What is low testosterone? The average testosterone levels vary depending on factors like protein levels, thyroid functioning, etc. However, the AUA (American Urological Association) has fixed 246-836 ng/dL as the normal level for a man. Normal testosterone levels in men are different from that in women. The average testosterone levels for women vary from 15-70 ng/dL. Testosterone levels below this are said to be low levels of testosterone. Testosterone levels are at their peak in adolescents and young adults. Then they start declining at 1% every year after 30 years of age. This is natural. However, too low levels of testosterone can cause undesired effects. So, it is better to test your testosterone levels if you suspect deficiency and decide if you need treatment for low testosterone. How do you test testosterone levels? To determine if you have testosterone deficiency, your doctor will ask you to measure the hormone levels in your blood. The hormone levels are usually high in the morning. So, it is generally recommended to take the test before 10 am for young adults and before 2 pm for men of age 45 and above. You should mention your medications because some may affect hormone levels. Your doctor will ask you to stop taking them before testing. It is a simple test, and there are no risks involved.   Measuring total testosterone is usually sufficient for diagnosis. However, in cases of mild abnormalities total testosterone and bioavailable/ free testosterone should be measured What are the causes of low testosterone? Causes of low testosterone in men include: Ageing Injury to the testicles Infection in testes Trauma leading to head injury Medications like corticosteroids and pain meds like opioid Obesity and high body fat Extreme weight loss Overconsumption of alcohol Drug abuse Treatments for cancer, including radiation and chemotherapy Emotional stress Chronic illnesses including liver cirrhosis, hypothyroidism, uncontrolled type 2 diabetes mellitus, and kidney failure Pituitary gland diseases like tumour and dysfunction Genetic reasons like Klinefelter syndrome Sleep apnea What are the symptoms of low testosterone in men 1. Low libido Sexual desire will decrease drastically if the testosterone levels are low because testosterone plays a significant role in libido. 2. Erectile dysfunction Testosterone commands your brain to produce nitric oxide that stimulates a few reactions necessary for erection. When the hormone levels are low, the risk of difficulty getting and maintaining an erection is high. 3. Decrease in muscle mass Testosterone levels and muscle mass are directly proportional. The more the level of testosterone, the more muscle mass. Hence, when testosterone levels decrease, the muscle mass also decreases. 4.Tiredness If you feel extremely exhausted and cannot find the energy to perform your everyday tasks, it could be one of the symptoms of low testosterone. 5. Hair loss Low testosterone not only affects the hair on top of your head but has an impact on facial and chest hair too. 6. Heavy sweating Feeling hot, sweating excessively, sweating suddenly while sleeping, and redness of the skin are symptoms of decreased testosterone levels. 7. Changes in mood Low testosterone levels can cause anxiety, anger, irritability, hostility, and mood swings. It also increases stress. 8. Small penis Testosterone plays a vital role in the development of the penis, and it may make your scrotum look softer than usual. What are the symptoms of low testosterone in women? Decreased sex drive Mood swings Weight gain Infertility Sleep issues and Loss of memory How can you increase testosterone levels naturally? 1. Exercising and weight lifting Studies have proved that exercising regularly can boost testosterone levels. Weight lifting, resistance training, and high-intensity interval training are the best exercises that work to a large extent. 2. Proper diet Include more protein in your diet. It helps in weight loss which is essential for increasing testosterone. Carbohydrates are also needed for better resistance training. A balanced diet with protein, carbs, and healthy fat will help to optimise hormone levels. 3. Good sleep A study shows that people who slept for just 5 hours a day had low testosterone levels compared to those who slept for 7 or more hours a day. Experts have concluded that there is a 15% increase in testosterone production for every additional hour after 5 hours of sleep. 4. Onions, ginger, and garlic Include onions, ginger, and garlic in your recipes. They contain flavonoids that boost the production of testosterone. Add spice to your foods to increase testosterone. 5. No stress Get rid of stress because stress increases the production of cortisol, which decreases testosterone. What are the treatment options for low testosterone? Testosterone therapy is the best testosterone treatment. Testosterone replacement therapy can be in one of the following ways. Gel - Topical gels rubbed on thighs, shoulders, and upper arms increase testosterone levels. Skin patch - A patch applied on the skin in the evening is very effective. The patch has to be changed after 24 hours. Injections - Testosterone levels rise instantly to very high levels after the injection, but the sudden rise may cause mood changes. Oral medications - It may be in the form of capsules that can be swallowed or tablets that are attached to the side of your inner cheek. However, testosterone treatment may cause undesired side effects like sleep apnea, shrinking of testicles, decrease in sperm count, and acne. It should be taken only if the doctors recommend it. Taking a testosterone profile test is essential to decide if you need testosterone therapy or not. So, if you are experiencing the symptoms of low testosterone, take a testosterone profile test without delay.

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PCOS Diet for Effective Treatment - Foods to Include and Avoid

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders faced by women today, mostly in reproductive age. While there is no cure for PCOS, research suggests that certain dietary and lifestyle changes can help you manage the condition better. If you have PCOS, your doctor may recommend a personalised PCOS diet plan to help prevent the symptoms and potential complications that may occur due to the condition's associated hormonal imbalances, insulin resistance, and inflammation. Hustling at home and workplace? Ladies, do not ignore your health amidst these priorities! Book a comprehensive health check up here. PCOS symptoms to watch out for Many who suffer from this know what it is and what its symptoms are, but there are many who are not even aware that they suffer from it. So to begin with, let’s discuss what exactly it is. PCOS is considered a syndrome since it has various manifestations, including:   Irregular periods, missed periods or very light periods Ovaries that are large or have many cysts. Excessive body hair, including the face, chest, stomach, and back (hirsutism) Weight gain, especially around the belly (abdomen) Pimples Hair loss Fertility issues At large, infrequent or irregular menstrual periods remain the primary concern which brings women to the doctor’s office. Ignoring it may lead to several other complications like diabetes, infertility, sleep apnea, depression, cancer, and heart-related problems. To reduce the risk, it’s always best to consult a gynaecologist and start treatment as soon as you become aware of the problem. Foods to include in your diet Women with PCOS need to follow a diet where their nutritional needs are met while maintaining a healthy weight. Here is a look at the most important points while planning your daily diet in PCOS: A low glycemic index (GI) diet: Foods with low GI get digested slowly and blood sugar rises gradually and slowly, thus insulin levels rise at a much slower rate. The improvement in insulin levels seems to be beneficial for PCOS. Any unprocessed low carbohydrate food, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, starchy vegetables, and legumes all come under this category. An anti-inflammatory diet: A diet that reduces fatigue and inflammation-related symptoms is helpful too. Here consuming berries, leafy greens, and extra virgin oil is recommended by experts. The DASH diet: Or what is known as the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension- also helps to manage PCOS. Foods that are high in saturated fat and sugar are a big NO. A Dash diet is rich in whole grains, seasonal fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, fish, and poultry. Basically, whatever harms your heart, increases weight, and dysregulates insulin levels are to be avoided. Instead, what should be included in your daily food are the following- 1. Natural unprocessed foods enable vitamin absorption, and healthy nutrient intake and lead to weight loss. 2. High-fibre foods like oats and millets can lower cholesterol and inflammation in the body as well as stabilise blood sugar levels. 3. Fish –salmon, tuna, sardines, and foods rich in vitamins can aid in improving insulin resistance and decrease the severity of symptoms associated with PCOS. 4. Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and mustard leaves which are low in the glycaemic index but rich in phytochemicals, vitamins, and antioxidants can be eaten raw as in salads or pureed and made into exotic dishes. 5. Coloured fruits– red grapes, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, papaya, melon, are all rich in antioxidants and fibre but low in glycemic index and as such can prove helpful for PCOS patients.  They also satisfy the sweet cravings. But going on an only fruit diet or consuming only fruits is not recommended. It’s better to eat most fruits with their skin and avoid drinking juices as the latter don’t have fibres and usually increase the sugar level faster than when we eat them. 6. Vegetables- broccoli, cauliflower, avocados, green beans, and carrots which are a rich source of magnesium, help to boost immunity and prevent obesity so are good for people suffering from PCOS. At least try to eat 25 gms of such veggies daily.   7. Legumes- dried beans like rajma, lentils, moong, and split peas all work to lower inflammation and insulin levels so ladies should include them in their diet. 8. Healthy fats- olive oil, coconuts, and vegetable oils with low omega 6 fatty acids help to increase hormone production, and fat is a biological necessity that aids in vitamin absorption and improving brain and heart function. 9. Nuts – pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, and pistachios all have the right balance of mono-saturated fats to help balance female hormones and should be consumed in moderation. 10. Chocolate- dark ones in moderation work as antioxidants, and hence curtail the effects of PCOS. 11. Spices- turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, cumin, and saffron have proven to be very effective in dealing with PCOS, and including them in your daily diet is very beneficial for anyone’s health. Include most of the above-mentioned food in your daily diet in different combinations- the result should be to maintain a stable weight with controlled insulin levels. Eat small meals but at regular intervals. Foods to exclude from your diet All said and done, it is also necessary to know what should be avoided – what should be excluded from your diet. For unless one does that it’s no use eating healthy and negating the whole effect by eating unhealthy food too. Certain food that should be avoided in dealing with PCOS are- 1.     Bakery products made using saturated fats 2.     Fried and fast food 3.     Sugary beverages and ready to drink energy drinks 4.     Processed meats 5.     Unhealthy fats that raises cholesterol like trans-fat 6.     Excess red meat A good-balanced diet plays a pivotal role in dealing with the consequences of PCOS, especially losing weight, and controlling inflammation and insulin levels. The right diet can heal and help in dealing with PCOS better! Make healthy choices in your daily eating.  

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Prolactin Test Normal Range, High vs Low and Results

What is Prolactin Test? Prolactin is an important hormone that helps regulate lactation, breast growth, and other functions related to reproduction. A prolactin test measures how much of this hormone is in your blood; the higher your level, the more likely you are to produce milk during breastfeeding. Pregnant women or who have recently given birth often have elevated prolactin levels because their bodies produce large amounts of the hormone. Men also have prolactin in their bodies, but it doesn't involve reproduction. Hyperprolactinemia is a condition where levels fall below the normal range. However, this illness is quite uncommon and generally results from a pituitary gland that is not functioning properly. This can also happen due to Sheehan syndrome, an uncommon but fatal postpartum condition that causes pituitary insufficiency. Hyperprolactinemia, or high prolactin levels, is increasingly frequent and has a wide range of causes. A straightforward test is available to determine the amount of prolactin in the blood. It can determine whether the levels are too high or too low. What is Prolactin? Prolactin also known as PRL or Lactogenic hormone is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, located just below the brain. It basically tells the body to produce breast milk when a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding. Prolactin is important for male reproductive health as well, it has got a role in testosterone secretion, which leads to sperm formation. For females who have just delivered a baby, a rise in prolactin naturally results in milk production. Breastfeeding or pumping breast milk sends a signal to the brain to stimulate prolactin. The prolactin hormone helps milk glands in the breasts know when to produce milk. Why Do I Need a Prolactin Level Test? Doctor Recommends this test if you are suffering from any of the following symptoms. For Women Milk production unrelated to delivery (galactorrhea) Discharge from Nipples Decreased sex drive inability to conceive (infertility) Irregular menstruation or amenorrhea (amenorrhea) Headache or  Loss of vision etc. For Men Decreased Sex drive Hard to get an erection breast tenderness or enlargement Breast milk production (very rare) Postmenopausal patients with vision problems or headaches can also be tested for elevated prolactin levels and possible prolactinomas pressing on nearby structures in the brain. If you have a prolactinoma, your prolactin levels may be checked during treatment to see how well the treatment is working. Following treatment, your doctor may monitor your prolactin levels over time to see if the tumour has recurred. Other symptoms vary depending on whether you are male or female. For women, symptoms vary depending on whether menopause is present or not. Menopause is the time in a woman's life when menstruation stops, and she can no longer conceive. It usually starts around the age of 50 in women. Prolactin Levels May Need to Be Tested Too Certain conditions can warrant the need to measure how much of the Prolactin hormone is there in the blood. Changes in normal prolactin levels can happen in physiological conditions too. For example, when women are pregnant or have just given birth, they will have higher levels of prolactin making it easier for them to make breast milk. A Prolactin test can also sometimes reveal other issues caused by this hormone. Book your Prolactin test with Metropolis and get world-class lab services. Symptoms that can give clues about Normal Prolactin levels may include: In Women - Pain and uneasiness during sex - Unusual body and facial hair growth - Lactation outside pregnancy or childbirth, what is known as galactorrhea - Irregular or no periods - Suffering from prolactinoma, i.e. having symptoms of a growth on the pituitary gland In Men - Reduced sex drive or other fertility problems - Difficulty in getting an erection - Suffering from prolactinoma Sometimes there are common symptoms such as constant and unexplained headaches, or vision problems etc. in both men and women, which can also be taken as signs when a doctor might have a person tested for Prolactin normal levels. The test is a blood test done, since the level of the hormone keeps changing throughout the day, with it being the highest in the morning, doctors suggest, to go for a test approximately 3-4 hours after a person has woken up. Prolactin Test: Prolactin Levels and Their Effects on Fertility If the prolactinoma tumors put pressure on the pituitary gland, this might lead to stoppage of estrogens or progesterone hormone production, leading to infertility, which is rare and farfetched. Low prolactin levels can tamper with periods, stop periods completely, reduce sex drive or cause vaginal dryness. If men on the other hand, have high levels of Prolactin, this might lead to erectile dysfunction and also low sex drive, sometimes loss of body hair is also a symptom. Normal Ranges of Prolactin Normal Range for prolactin are: Men: Below 20 ng/mL (425 µg/L) Nonpregnant Females: Below 25 ng/mL (25 µg/L) In Pregnant females: 80 to 400 ng/mL (80 to 400 µg/L) The normal range of prolactin may vary slightly among different laboratories. Different laboratories use other measurements or test different samples. Ask your consultant doctor about the interpretation of your specific test results. Do not ignore any symptoms. Keep checking your health with our preventive packages. Book TruHealth Full Body Smart Women health checkup package here. Raised Amount of Prolactin Various disease conditions, such as renal disease, thyroid issues, and illnesses that affect the hypothalamus or pituitary gland in the brain, can result in hyperprolactinemia. A follow-up prolactin test is generally required since a prolactin test May not identify the underlying cause of elevated prolactin levels. High prolactin levels can occur in people who have the following conditions: Common Physiological and Pathological Conditions which Cause Raised amount of Prolactin in Blood. Physiological Conditions Pathological Conditions   Pituitary Disorders Central Nervous System Disorder Systemic Disease conditions Pregnancy Prolactinomas Tumours Severe Hypothyroidism Breastfeeding Mixed Gangliocytoma- Pituitary Adenoma Granulomatous Diseases Liver Cirrhosis Stimulation of Breast Cushing’s disease Vascular Disorders Acute or Chronic Renal Failure Sleep Acromegaly Autoimmune Disorders Polycystic ovary Syndrome  Stress Not secreting adenomas Hypothalamic Tumor or metastasis Estrogen Secreting Tumors   Condition in which Pituitary glad Shrinks (Empty Sella syndrome) Cranial Irradiation Chest wall Trauma   Pituitary stalk tumours Convulsions or Seizure Disorders Viral Infection such as Herpes Zoster.   Lymphoid hypophysitis     Prolactin levels can be increased by a wide range of medications, including those that may differ in their ability to impair dopaminergic function in the central nervous system (CNS), such as dopamine precursors, inhibitors of L-aromatic amino acids decarboxylase, dopamine receptor blockers, and serotoninergic precursors, direct and indirect serotonin agonists, and antagonist of serotonin reuptake. Drugs that may cause an increased amount of prolactin in the blood Antipsychotics Typical  Haloperidol, Thiothixene, Chlorpromazine, Thioridazine,  Atypical Amisulpride, Zotepine, Risperidone, Molindone,  Antidepressant Tricyclics Desipramine, Amitriptyline, Clomipramine Amoxapine SSRI Sertraline, Paroxetine, Fluoxetine MAO-I Clorgyline, Pargyline, Other Antipsychotics Alprazolam, Buspirone  Antiemetics Domperidone, Metoclopramide,  Drugs used for Treatment of Hypertension Verapamil, Alpha-methyldopa, Reserpine,  Narcotics Drugs Morphine Histamine 2 receptor Antagonists Ranitidine, Cimetidine,  Miscellaneous Drugs  Physostigmine, Fenfluramine, Chemotherapy agents Low amount of Prolactin Your pituitary gland may not operate fully if your prolactin levels are below the usual range. This is referred to as hypopituitarism. Low prolactin levels can result from some medications. They consist of the following: Vasopressors such as Dopamine Antiparkinson medications such as Levodopa And alkaloids used to treat headache Procedure of Prolactin Test  Prolactin testing is the same as blood testing. It takes a short while in a lab or at your doctor's office. You're not required to get ready for it. Generally, the sample is taken three to four hours after awakening in the morning. You have a vein in your arm taken for blood. There isn't much discomfort. You might feel a tiny pinch as the needle is inserted, followed by a little pain. Certain birth control pills, medications for high blood pressure, or antidepressants may impact the test findings. Before the test, let your doctor know about your medications. Results may also be impacted by poor sleep, Extremely stressful situations, and excessive exercise the day before the test. Interpretation of Prolactin Test Results The results of a prolactin blood test are expressed in nanograms per millilitre (ng/mL) and microgram per litre. The test report will provide the reference range to interpret your prolactin levels. The comparison of prolactin levels between groups of healthy people depending on their biological sex and pregnancy status allows reference ranges for prolactin to be established. However, there is no defined normal prolactin level for everyone, and reference ranges can differ between laboratories.  The findings of a prolactin test can be interpreted in several ways, depending on a person's health and if they have previously undergone prolactin testing, among other things. Always seek medical advice to interpret prolactin test results in the proper medical setting. Hyperprolactinemia, or having a very high amount of prolactin in the blood, may be indicated in nonpregnant persons if their initial prolactin levels are elevated. However, a follow-up examination is generally requested following a fasting period to confirm the diagnosis because specific foods can impact prolactin levels. Get The Right Treatment For High Levels of Prolactin Seizures, lung cancer, stress due to prolonged illness, or trauma, can also be the reason behind high prolactin levels. Doctors would probably put the person on medication to treat high levels of Prolactin. If a person has prolactinoma, medication can help reduce the size of the tumor, if not; surgery is the solution to remove these tumors. A few simpler ways as advised by your doctor to reduce high levels of Prolactin may include: Dietary changes Stopping rigorous workouts that burn you Avoiding wearing clothes that over stimulate your nipples Taking vitamin supplements (such as Vitamin B-6 or Vitamin E)          To sum up, an endocrinologist can help with the right treatment needed based on the past history, ongoing medications etc, and will also guide on the dietary and lifestyle changes to be followed post treatment or surgery. There is also a condition known as idiopathic hyperprolactinemia, where there might be no specific or underlying cause for the high levels, and this goes away without much medical help or interference. It is to be noted that both Prolactinoma and Hyperprolactinemia are not life threatening, they might cause after or side effects post medication or surgery, but they gradually go away.

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What Does a Testosterone Test Tell You?

Testosterone is a sex hormone that is pivotal for the development of male features. This hormone regulates the changes that happen in boys during puberty including the growth of hair, muscles, penis, and testes. The voice deepening, sex drive, and sperm production in men are also mediated by this sex hormone. Though men continue to produce testosterone, it is normal for the levels to decline slightly with advancing age after age 30 or so. Get it tested with Testosterone Test. While it is chiefly a male sex hormone that is produced in the testes in men, testosterone is important to support various organs and body processes in women too. It is present in small quantities than men and is made by the ovaries in women and in the adrenal glands. Free vs Total Testosterone Test The testosterone circulating in the blood gets itself attached to two proteins: albumin and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). Some of the testosterone is unattached, called free testosterone. Free testosterone and albumin-bound testosterone are also known as bioavailable testosterone as it is easily available to be used for body processes and functions. What is Testosterone Test The level of the hormone testosterone in your blood can be easily tested with a blood sample taken from a vein. A testosterone blood test is used by your doctor for diagnosing conditions caused by too much or too little testosterone in the body. The other names for this test are testosterone (total) and serum testosterone. Book a testosterone test within the comfort of your home. When Do You Need to Get Your Testosterone Levels Checked? Both men and women may need to get a testosterone test done. You may require a testosterone test to look for abnormal testosterone levels, too little or too high. The purpose of testing may include   Men: To detect the cause of symptoms, such as erectile dysfunction or the male infertility Women: To support the diagnosis of male-like physical features (called virilization), excessive body hair (hirsutism), female infertility, or hormonal imbalances including polycystic ovary disease (PCOD). Children: To identify what may be causing delayed or early (precocious) puberty, or unclear differentiation of genitalia (not clearly male or female). Transgender: To monitor testosterone levels while undergoing hormone therapy. Men and women can have different clinical presentations when dealing with low or excess testosterone levels. Here we are taking a look at what high or low testosterone levels may cause in men and women: Warning Signs of Testosterone Deficiency Specific Symptoms of Low Testosterone in Men Decreased sex drive. Problems with erectile function Loss of body hair Less beard growth. Reduced lean muscle mass. Chronic fatigue Being overweight Symptoms of depression. In Women, Lack of Testosterone Can Result in: Fertility problems Reduced sex drive Irregular or absent periods Dryness of vagina Weakened bones Symptoms of High Testosterone in Women are Mentioned as Follows: Oily skin and pimples Darkened skin patches Enlargement of clitoris Excessive male-pattern hair on the face or body Hair loss on the head (baldness) Irregular or no periods A few times, excess testosterone results due to a condition known as congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). This can cause men to have an abnormally large penis and women to have abnormal genitalia at birth. PCOD in Women and Testosterone: Are They Related? PCOD is a common hormonal imbalance that affects 1 in 5 women in India. It leads to the irregularity of the menstrual cycle, acne, hair loss, excessive facial hair, coarse skin, and problems in conceiving.  Many women with PCOD are found to have an imbalance in certain hormones, increased levels of testosterone being important. Usually, testosterone values in PCOD will be less than or equal to 150 ng/dL (≤5.2 nmol/L). Testosterone values of ≥200 ng/dL (≥6.9 nmol/L) may warrant your physician to consider the cause to be an ovarian or adrenal tumor. However, it is not the sole diagnostic criteria for PCOD. Depending on your results, you might also need one of these other tests: Androstenedione (AD): To detect how well your adrenal glands or ovaries are functioning. DHEAS Test: To diagnose any problems in your adrenal glands. Estrogen level: To detect more about infertility or menopause. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) or luteinizing hormone (LH): To evaluate fertility in women. Book LH-FSH ratio test here. Prolactin test: To look for possible causes of breast discharge, missing periods, or decreased sex drive in women.   Any Special Preparations Needed? What Might Affect Testosterone Test Results? There aren’t any special test preparations required. The sample is typically taken in the morning. As per experts, getting the test done late in the day may give your testosterone level lesser than it really is. However, some medicines including antifungals and hormone medicines can impact your test results. These include antifungal medicines such as ketoconazole and hormone medicines. Key takeaway In most cases, testosterone levels can vary simply based on physiological factors like age, diet, or physical activity levels. However, it is important to discuss your testosterone test results with a doctor who can appraise if your deranged levels are just occurring as a result of the aging process or health condition.  

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Phani Trivedi on her PCOD experience, Pregnancy and Managing Life with PCOD

I was once called a sexy-sleek woman with that Indian touch of sensuousness…..But now, not age, but a disease has mellowed me down in every such aspect of taking pride in being a women. My ovaries have many watery cysts, I have PCOD and I am living with it since 2003. Resultant effects are alarming. Enlarged ovaries, pressure on pancreas, zero control on menstrual cycle, fear of getting type-2 diabetes, dirty acne on face, mood swings like a pendulum…..so much for my grey cells to absorb!! Now, I can only call myself lucky, as I have been able to conceive with the help of acupressure & the third attempt of IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) treatment led to fertilization of a healthy 23 mm sized egg. I delivered a baby boy with a NORMAL delivery. Had undergone Garbh Sanskar Vidhi, an Ayurvedic treatment for first 3 months post which I underwent a tough diet & walking regime, as I was determined not to undergo a C-section. Determination has paid off in my journey so far, as I was gifted a handsome, healthy baby boy who is 6 years old now, with well-developed features & brain too!!But my happiness was short lived when in spite of breastfeeding for 1.5 years, my hope to restore my hormonal balance failed. I have PCOD even in 2014 now & nothing is fine anymore. Neither my periods NOR my looks. Moral of the lesson: Preventing PCOD is better than cure. Ever since I knew from the internet that there is no cure to PCOD, I have had no options but to protect my body from its long-term consequences. Preventing PCOD is not easy task. Now I take Vit-B12, Vit-D3 tablets & calcium from natural food sources. I have stopped taking sugar. Initially, I started with sugar free natura but now I consume sugar from plant product like Stevia leaves. I have recently decided to detoxify my body with Virochan Ayurveda procedure & then attack inch loss, if not weight loss. After spending 40,000 rupees on herbal treatment, I am still striving hard to slim down. I have some more money going into Ayurvedic treatment these days. But to prevent permanent health issues, I am ready to do EVERYTHING. After my Ayurveda Panchkarma, Yoga & Treatment for hormones, face, hair, inch loss, I will meet you again with proof of any answers to what works & what doesn’t. Watch out!!! Contributed by Phani Trivedi – Founder at WasteEngage, Chairperson at Businesswomen Wing at Gujarat Chamber of Commerce

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Disease

1 in 5 women affected by PCOS: Metropolis Study

Women between the age group of 15 and 30 are at high risk of PCOS East India leads the chart with 1 in 4 women suffering from PCOS Metropolis Healthcare Ltd, a multinational chain of pathology laboratories; conducted an inclusive study on Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) to observe the trends in PCOS cases in young women in India. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome commonly known as PCOS, is a very prevalent reproductive disorder in women and the leading cause of fertility among women today. Metropolis conducted a comprehensive pan India study on 27411 samples of testosterone over a period of 18 months. Out of 27411 samples, around 4824, (17.60%) of the females face hormonal associated risk with polycystic ovarian syndrome. The increasing trend of PCOS is predominantly seen in the age group 15 to 30 years. Among the samples tested East India shows alarming levels of 25.88% women affected by PCOS, followed by 18.62% in North India, which can be largely attributed to lack of awareness among young women and ignorance. Commenting on the study Dr.SonaliKolte, General Manager – Medico Marketing, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd said, “Undiagnosed PCOS can lead to infertility and in long term can cause several health complications; which can be attributed to other factors as well. Early diagnosis and treatment can help control the symptoms and prevent health related problems. Today a lot of young women are aware of the condition and seek medical help” What is PCOS? It is a common misconception that PCOS is all about cysts but it is in fact a characteristic amalgamation of cosmetic, gynecological and metabolic symptoms. Cosmetic symptoms include facial hair, thinning of the scalp and acne. Gynecological symptoms include irregular or scanty periods which are usually the first red flag in adolescents. Infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss affects the women in the reproductive age. PCOS in older women could even lead to cancer of the uterus, cardiac disease and type 2 diabetes. Hence it is important to manage the symptom along with proper diet and exercise. Awareness and accurate diagnosis is the first step in managing PCOS in a way that it improves quality of life of the patient. Women with PCOS may have enlarged ovaries that contain small collection of fluids called cyst. The cysts are not harmful, but can lead to hormonal imbalances. Diagnosis: Testosterone test along with a host of other tests (blood sugar, insulin, FSH, LH, 17OHP, DHEAS) are carried out to ascertain PCOS in women. Testosterone plays an important role in both men and women, as it affects the brain, bone, muscle, fat distribution, sexual functions etc. Women have much lower amount of testosterone in the body compared to men. The below tables has been segregated zone wise to give an overall picture of PCOS in India ZoneAbnormal Profiles (in %)North India18.62East India25.88West India19.88South India18 (Reference range: Testosterone Total: 15 – 70 ng/dl, Testosterone Free: 0.29 – 3.18 pg/ml, DHEAS: 45 – 270 ug/dl)

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