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Sex Hormone Binding Globulin

Testosterone Level What is Sex Hormone Binding Globulin?

Sex Hormone Binding Globulin or “SHBG” is a protein made in your liver. It binds itself tightly to sex hormones found in both men and women. The 3 hormones it binds to are estrogen; dihydrotestosterone, and testosterone. SHBG binds itself to these hormones and carries them throughout your blood.

Although SHBG binds itself to 3 different hormones, the hormone of most importance is testosterone. Once bound, SHBG has control over how much testosterone your body free to use. Depending on the level of SHBG, a patient with a seemingly normal Total Testosterone level may qualify for testosterone replacement therapy.

  At Body Concepts and Wellness, your SHBG level is tested and factored to calculate your free and usable Testosterone. Not only is this formula used to determine eligibility for treatment, but also to help determine proper dosing.

Many factors can affect the level of SHBG in your blood including your age and sex. It can also change because of obesity, liver disease, and hyperthyroidism.

Free Testosterone

Testosterone in your blood not bound to SHBG is called “Free Testosterone”. Your free testosterone is what alleviates symptoms and provides health and wellness benefits. Traditional medicine does not factor SHBG when considering a patient for testosterone treatment. Ordinarily the total testosterone level is checked and if it falls within the standard “normal range” treatment will not be initiated even if symptoms are present.

Testosterone bound to SHBG

The amount of Testosterone bound to SHBG is important because bound testosterone is not usable by your body. For this reason, we at Body Concepts always test the SHBG level when considering a patient for hormone replacement therapy. By checking the SHBG level to calculate free and usable testosterone. Your Free Testosterone level is important not only to determine eligibility for treatment but the amount of replacement necessary to restore your Testosterone to an optimal level as well.

Causes of elevated SHBG in Women

• Elevated estradiol levels over normal
• Cigarette smoking
• Any estrogen use as plant estrogens (phytoestrogens)
• Increased conversion of testosterone to estrogen
• Some medications
• Fibrocystic disease of the breasts
• Any compromise of liver detoxification such as alcohol abuse, certain meds, heavy metals etc. can decrease liver capacity to excrete excess estrogens from the body.
• Stress with elevated cortisol

Causes of elevated SHBG in men

• Elevated estradiol levels from conversion of testosterone
• Aging
• Some medications
• Cigarette smoking
• Any compromise of liver detoxification such as alcohol abuse, certain meds, heavy metals etc. can decrease liver capacity to excrete excess estrogens from the body.
• Testicular cancer

Have you had your SHBG tested? Call Body Concepts and Wellness for testing to  determine if your SBHG level is affecting your health and quality of life.

What is Andropause?

Portrait of businessman closing eyes while working late at night on black background with copy space

While “menopause” is a term that you are likely familiar with, “andropause” is probably a less familiar term for you. While not yet officially recognized by the World Health Organization, the term is commonly used to described the trending decline in hormone production, namely testosterone, that occurs in men as they age. While the medical community is hesitant to describe this hormonal decline in terms of male menopause or andropause, the phenomenon itself is very real and can have a serious impact on the way men live their lives.

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Hormones and You

Scientist doctor hand on science background holds glass dish

Hormones drive just about everything in our bodies, and while the term is widely recognized, not many people are aware of just how ubiquitous hormones are. Hormones are regulatory, meaning they are “chemical messengers” that are sent into the bloodstream and dispersed throughout the body. The natural balance of these hormones is crucial for when hormonal changes occur. When the hormones are imbalanced, these transition periods can be hard to live with. 

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2015 Testosterone Study Results

  Testosterone with Stethescope








No Cardiovascular Risk Seen in Latest Testosterone Study

Research published in August of 2016 reporting no increased risk with Testosterone Replacement Therapy. Read the article and details about the study here. Read More

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