Blog — Hormone Balance

SHBG – A Modulator to be Modulated

Posted by Ben White on

BY Dr. Allison Smith ZRT Laboratory SHBG, or Sex Hormone Binding Globulin, controls testosterone effect in both men and women by modulating changes in sex steroid levels. When SHBG goes up, free testosterone goes down. I like to think of SHBG as a sponge that soaks up androgens and to some degree estrogens as well. Since it binds so specifically and tightly to testosterone, it makes up part of the equation that equals androgen excess or androgen deficiency. Knowing how to manipulate SHBG can be a useful tool in a number of scenarios. Role: Bind to and carry testosterone (and less strongly...

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Topical Testosterone & the U-Shaped Curve

Posted by Ben White on

The testicles of a man in his 20s are known to contribute about 5-10mg of testosterone per 24-hour day and levels of total testosterone in the venous blood with that amount are observed to yield roughly 300-1200 ng/dL in the morning at the diurnal peak. Testosterone, whether endogenous or given exogenously, negatively feeds back on the hypothalamus, limiting GnRH and thus LH and FSH from the pituitary. A man taking supraphysiological doses of testosterone can expect to have very low or undetectable levels of LH and FSH in the serum. What happens when the prescription dose overshoots the patient's optimal...

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Of Seahorses & Menopause

Posted by Ben White on

Many women going through menopause start to see changes in their ability to remember things. Women can find this very worrying; such symptoms are not unlike early signs of dementia, or even Alzheimer’s Disease. However, age-related memory impairment is quite common and can be explained in part by hormonal changes, in particular loss of estrogen, and it involves a small part of the brain that resembles a seahorse.  The Hippocampus The name “hippocampus” is actually the Latin word for seahorse.  Image: László Seres The hippocampus is located in the temporal lobe of the brain and is a component of the limbic system. Although...

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Neurotransmitters, Mood & the Perception of Stress

Posted by Ben White on

When we talk about “stress,” or allostatic load, in terms of the perception of an event, we must realize that these “events” must first be translated into neurochemical signals before they trigger the HPA axis. Therefore, the sensitivity and outcome of translating these events (whether they are ongoing events, memories of past events, or stressful anticipation of unrealized events), is highly dependent upon signaling from other neurotransmitters. In fact, the signaling neurotransmitters that manage mood and affect often overlap with measures of HPA axis activation, and cannot be easily distinguished in some subjects. [1] While the detailed influence of neurotransmitters, such...

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Breast Cancer: Prevention is the Cure

Posted by Ben White on

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, with a flurry of activity directed towards “Race for the Cure,” pink ribbons on posters and products, and people on street corners with butterfly nets to accept donations to defeat breast cancer. Yet with all this activity over the past 30 years we are no closer to any cure, and breast cancer rates have escalated. According to the National Cancer Institute, incidences of breast cancer in the US have risen during the past thirty years from 1 in 30, to 1 in 8 women life time risk (1). Agencies that track these statistics are concerned that...

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