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An initial screen in adults might include dehydroepiandrosterone/ dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate and bioavailable testosterone measurement. Depending on results, this may be supplemented with measurements of sex hormone-binding globulin and occasionally other androgenic steroids (eg, 17- hydroxyprogestgerone).
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone that comes from the adrenal gland. It is also made in the brain. DHEA leads to the production of androgens and estrogens (male and female sex hormones). DHEA levels in the body begin to decrease after age 30. Levels decrease more quickly in women. Lower DHEA levels are found in people with hormonal disorders, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, depression, diabetes, inflammation, immune disorders, and osteoporosis. Corticosteroids, birth control taken by mouth, and agents that treat psychiatric disorders may reduce DHEA levels.
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