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HORMONES AND UNWANTED HAIR
by Geoffrey Redmond, MD

FACIAL AND BODY HAIR

Lab Tests for Increased Hair
The most important lab test is testosterone. The so-called free testosterone should also be measured. This is the portion of the hormone which is not attached to protein in the blood and therefore can actually travel into the tissues. DHEA-S can be converted to testosterone and so should also be measured. Another androgen, androstenedione is useful occasionally. If one or more of these androgens is more than mildly elevated, more tests need to be done to determine the cause and find out which gland the extra testosterone is coming from – ovary or adrenal or both.

If periods are irregular, FSH and prolactin should be checked to find out if there is a problem in the ovary or pituitary.

The most common underlying condition causing increased hair growth is PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). This is discussed in detail in a separate article on this site. With PCOS, there are often changes in metabolism and other tests are needed to identify these so that they can be treated.

A variety of rare conditions such as late-onset adrenal hyperplasia require more elaborate work-up by an endocrinologist.

<- Previous      Next ->

How Much Hair Is Normal
Medical Terms For Extra Hair
Ethnic Variations In Facial And Body Hair
What Causes Increased Hair
Lab Tests For Increased Hair
I Have Too Much Hair But My Hormone Tests Are Normal – How Can This Be?
Other Reasons For Hirsutism With Normal Testosterone
Treatments For Increased Hair
Medications For Increased Hair
Hope For Women With Unwanted Hair

 

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