Alopecia Lab Tests and health information

The alopecia test can help identify the cause of hair loss caused by a disease, vitamin deficiency, hormone imbalance, or infection. Order from Ulta Lab Tests.

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Clinical Significance
Micronutrient, Zinc, Plasma - Zinc is an essential element involved in a myriad of enzyme systems including wound healing, immune function, and fetal development. Zinc measurements are used to detect and monitor industrial,dietary, and accidental exposure to zinc. Also, zinc. measurements may be used to evaluate health and monitor response to treatment.

Patients must be 18 years of age or greater.

Reference Range(s)
≥18 years    60-130 mcg/dL
Reference range not available for individuals <18 years for this micronutrient test.

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Zinc is an essential element involved in a myriad of enzyme systems including wound healing, immune function, and fetal development. Zinc measurements are used to detect and monitor industrial, dietary, and accidental exposure to zinc. Also, zinc measurements may be used to evaluate health and monitor response to treatment.

Description: Sex Hormone Binding Globulin test is a blood test that is often paired in testosterone testing for men suspected to have low testosterone and women with elevated testosterone.

Also Known As: SHBG Test, TeBG Test, Testosterone-Estrogen Binding Globulin Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Sex Hormone Binding Globulin test ordered?

Sex Hormone Binding Globulin may be ordered by a healthcare provider to investigate infertility, diminished sex drive, and erectile dysfunction in males, or irregular cycles, infertility, and excess body and face hair in women, when total testosterone values do not appear to be consistent with the mentioned signs and symptoms.

What does a Sex Hormone Binding Globulin blood test check for?

SHBG is a liver-produced protein that strongly binds to the hormones testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and estradiol. SHBG distributes these hormones in the blood as physiologically inactive versions when they are bound. This test examines the amount of SHBG in the blood and is most commonly used to determine whether a person has too much or too little testosterone.

In men, SHBG binds roughly 45 percent to 65 percent of testosterone in the blood, with the rest weakly and reversibly linked to albumin. Only around 2% to 3% of testosterone is accessible to tissues as free testosterone, but testosterone that is weakly linked to albumin is also bioavailable and can be rapidly absorbed by the body's tissues.

In women, a somewhat higher percentage of testosterone is bound to SHBG in the blood than in men. SHBG is important in controlling the quantities of bioavailable male sex hormones and estrogens circulating throughout the body in women. Because SHBG has a stronger affinity for the androgens testosterone and DHT, women with low SHBG may experience signs and symptoms of androgen excess.

A total testosterone test does not differentiate between bound and unbound testosterone; instead, it determines the total amount of testosterone present. In many circumstances, this is sufficient to determine if testosterone production is excessive or inadequate. However, if a person's SHBG level is abnormal, the total testosterone level may not accurately reflect the amount of testosterone available to the person's tissues. When a person's indications and symptoms do not match the results of a total testosterone test, a SHBG test may be conducted.

Lab tests often ordered with a Sex Hormone Binding Globulin test:

  • Testosterone
  • Estradiol
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • FSH
  • LH
  • Estriol
  • Estrone
  • Albumin
  • Prolactin

Conditions where a Sex Hormone Binding Globulin test is recommended:

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Infertility
  • Liver disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Eating disorders
  • Pregnancy
  • Cushing Syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism

How does my health care provider use a Sex Hormone Binding Globulin test?

The sex hormone binding globulin test can be performed to determine whether a man has low testosterone or if a woman has too much testosterone. It can be used in conjunction with other tests to assess a person's sex hormone status.

SHBG is a protein that binds to testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and estradiol, among other hormones. SHBG distributes these hormones in the blood as physiologically inactive versions when they are bound. Changes in SHBG levels can have an impact on the amount of hormone accessible to the body's tissues.

To assess a person's current hormonal balance, tests for albumin and one or more additional sex hormones, such as prolactin, estradiol, and LH may be conducted.

In men

In order to diagnose the cause of infertility, diminished sex drive, or erectile dysfunction in an adult male, SHBG and total testosterone levels may be ordered. When total testosterone findings are contradictory with clinical symptoms, measuring SHBG in addition to testosterone is extremely beneficial.

Total testosterone in the blood is measured without distinguishing between bound and unbound testosterone; rather, it determines the total amount of testosterone in the blood. In many circumstances, this is sufficient to determine if testosterone production is excessive or inadequate. However, if a person's SHBG level is abnormal, the total testosterone level may not accurately reflect the amount of testosterone available to the body's tissues.

With a simple total testosterone assessment, health practitioners can estimate bioavailable testosterone by measuring SHBG. Because less testosterone is accessible to the body's tissues, increased SHBG in males may be linked to symptoms of low testosterone levels.

Total testosterone should be measured in the initial screening for testosterone deficiency, according to the Endocrine Society's professional standards. If the results are abnormal, the test is repeated the next day. They propose one of the following if repeat readings are low-normal and/or SHBG is abnormal:

In women

The ovaries and adrenal glands produce modest amounts of testosterone in women. Even little increases in testosterone production can throw off the hormone balance, resulting in symptoms including irregular or missed periods, infertility, acne, and excessive face and body hair. These and other signs and symptoms are common in polycystic ovarian syndrome, a disorder marked by an overproduction of male sex hormones. SHBG and testosterone testing may be helpful in detecting and evaluating excess testosterone production and/or decreasing SHBG concentrations, as well as in evaluating women with PCOS.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results

Collection Instructions

Allow sample to clot for 30 minutes, spin at 3,000 RPM for 10 minutes and transfer serum to plastic, amber vial. If amber vial is not available, wrap tube in aluminum foil to protect from light. Freeze within 30 minutes and send frozen.

Important: This panel contains ANA Screen IFA with Reflex to Titer and Pattern #249 which is a Reflex test. If ANA Screen, IFA is positive, then ANA Titer and Pattern will be performed at an additional charge of $13.00

  • ANA Screen, IFA with Reflex to Titer and Pattern, IFA
  • CBC (includes Differential and Platelets)
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC)
  • Sed Rate by Modified Westergren (ESR)
  • Testosterone, Total, MS
  • TSH

Alopecia and other forms of hair loss affect over 6.8 million people. In recent years, several hair loss tests have been developed to help detect potential hair loss and the factors that could contribute to someone losing their hair.

If you're reading this, it's safe to assume that you're looking for in-depth details about these hair loss tests and would like to be pointed in the right direction towards a company that can offer you an Alopecia lab test.

This post is meant to help provide the information you're looking for. So, read on for everything you need to know about Alopecia lab tests.

What is Alopecia?  

Alopecia, also commonly referred to as hair loss, can affect any area of your body where hair grows. Depending on your specific condition, the loss of hair could be permanent or temporary. If you're suspecting that you could be losing hair, your doctor should be able to recommend the proper tests to confirm it.

There are several different types of hair loss:

Involutional Alopecia: this is the form of hair loss where you lose hair as you continue to age. This is often caused by the hair follicles falling into the resting phase rather than continuously growing, leading to hair loss.

Androgenic Alopecia: This is a genetic form of hair loss that will affect a person based on their genes.

Telogen effluvium: This is a form of hair loss that is usually considered temporary. Its main cause is when a few hair follicles move into the resting phase simultaneously. 

Risk Factors for Alopecia

Many factors may cause someone to experience hair loss or Alopecia. The first risk factor is genetics or family history. If your family has had a history of thinning hair or balding, then the likelihood of you experiencing it increases.

For some people, another risk factor is the combination of certain medications. Hair loss could result from the side effects of some drugs in terms of how they interact with the body.

If you have an existing medical condition like diabetes or an autoimmune disease like Lupus, then your chances of experiencing hair loss rise. 

Causes of Alopecia

At this point, you may be wondering what causes Alopecia. Well, there are several known causes, such as fluctuating hormones. When the body produces fluctuating levels of sex hormones or androgens, you may develop issues with hair loss.

Another common cause of hair loss is stress. According to a clinic, their weekly average of five patients seen for stress-related hair loss increased five times to about twenty-fine patients during the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you aren't eating the proper diet, it could leave your body lacking the necessary nutrients and vitamins to function correctly. Deficiencies in vitamins could lead to hair thinning and hair loss.

Signs and Symptoms of Alopecia

There are many signs of Alopecia that you may or may not notice, one of them being the thinning of hair on your head. You might realize every time that you brush your hair or touch it; the strands come right out.

Another sign is when the hair on your body falls out without cause or warning. Some symptoms show if the skin on your scalp starts changing in texture, usually by becoming scalier other than smooth, the way your scalp usually is.

If you start feeling a sudden itch or an increased tenderness in the area where you're losing hair, it could be a sign.

Lab Tests for Alopecia

There are several lab tests that you could take to detect when you're suffering from Alopecia. One of the most commonly ordered tests is a blood test. For patients who have a family history of hair loss, or when you start feeling a burning sensation around the areas around your scalp, you could be suffering from hair loss.

Among the first set of blood tests used when looking to diagnose Alopecia include the following. Keep in mind that these tests are meant to help identify the cause of hair loss and thinning:

The list is not exhaustive, as there are other alternative tests, like the pull alopecia test. If the doctor is conducting a pull test, they will ideally take sections of the hair and give it a light tug. If you're losing hair every time they tug, the diagnosis will likely be active hair loss.

Another form of testing is the tug test, in which case the doctor places two fingers at the base of the hair and the end of the section of the hair they're holding. They then pull on the hair lightly and look for any apparent damage.

If the hair breaks during this test, then this is a sign that your hair follicles are brittle, and you're prone to hair loss if you mess with your hair often.

FAQs about Alopecia and Lab Testing

You may have a few concerns or questions regarding lab testing for Alopecia, and we aim to answer them below.

For instance, when you get your blood drawn for testing, how long does it take to get your results?

When using Ultra Lab Tests, the procedure will take about 24 to 48 hours to get your results.

How can you figure out which test is right for you?

Feel free to use the information available in this guide under the section Lab Tests for Alopecia to learn more about how to choose the right lab test or consult with your healthcare provider. 

At this point, all that is left is to move on with ordering your tests now. Once you make the order, you can sit back, relax, and let us take care of the details on your behalf.

Get a Comprehensive Hair Loss Test from Ulta Lab Tests

Ulta Lab Tests offers highly accurate and reliable tests, allowing you to make informed decisions about your health. Here are a few fantastic things to love about Ulta Lab Tests:

  • You'll always have secure and confidential results
  • No need for health insurance
  • No need for a physician's referral
  • You'll always get affordable pricing
  • We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee

Order your alopecia lab tests today, and you'll have your secure and confidential results online in 24 to 48 hours in most cases.

Take control of your health today with Ulta Lab Tests!