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What does a high or low sex hormone binding globulin mean?

By May 3, 2016 - 6:11pm
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What does this value test for and what is the level of sex hormone binding globulin tell you about hypothyroidism? (For myself) What does it tell you about PCOS? (For my 22 year old daughter)

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Hi Kanchan,

Thank you for sharing your questions with the EmpowHER community.

Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) is a glycoprotein made primarily by your liver, that binds to 3 hormones (estrogen, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and testosterone) in both men and women. SHBG helps to maintain the delicate balance between estrogen and testosterone in a woman’s body.

Hormones like testosterone play a very important role in a woman’s overall physical and emotional health. It's function is to make sure that these 3 hormones are transported throughout a woman's body and are available for the tissues that need them.

With regardgs to PCOS, optimal SHBG, decrease a woman's risk for PCOS, type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Women with low levels of SHBG are more pron to having higher testosterone levels and is often associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome.  Low SHBH can result in male patterned hair growth or hair loss, menstrual irregularities, decreased breast tissue and skin abnormalities.  

Women with high levels of SHBG consequently have less available testosterone in their bodies. Testosterone is responsible for maintaining a woman's energy levels, muscle development, bone health, and sex drive.


I hope this helps.


May 3, 2016 - 11:02pm
(reply to S Gillette Palmer)

Thank you so much for your reply, it will help not just me and my daughter, but many other women. I am especially grateful for the level of detail in your explanation!

May 11, 2016 - 6:04am
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