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D H E A Sulphate

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The DHEA-S test is a blood test used to determine if the adrenal glands are functioning properly. It measures the level of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) in the blood, which is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. The test is often used to diagnose adrenal tumors or cancers and to determine the cause of male physical characteristics (virilization) in girls and women or early puberty in boys. DHEA-S levels tend to remain stable throughout the day, so the time of day you take the test shouldn't affect the results. The test is a simple procedure that involves drawing blood from a vein in your arm and usually takes less than three minutes. You can then go about your normal activities as it is a very low-risk procedure.

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Awaiting result:

One day

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Collect material:

Blood

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Prepare:

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Purpose of the test

The DHEA-S test is a valuable tool for diagnosing and managing various conditions related to adrenal function. The test measures blood levels of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Here are some of the reasons a healthcare provider may order this test

- To evaluate whether the adrenal glands are working properly: The DHEA-S test is often ordered along with tests for testosterone and other male hormones to evaluate adrenal function. If DHEA-S levels are abnormal, it may indicate a problem with the adrenal glands.
- Diagnosing tumors or cancer: The DHEA-S test can help detect tumors in the outer layer (cortex) of the adrenal gland, as well as adrenal cancer. Early detection of these conditions may improve treatment outcomes.
- Determine the cause of virilization or early puberty: In girls and women, high levels of DHEA-S can cause male physical characteristics (virilization). In boys, early puberty may be caused by high levels of DHEA-S. The DHEA-S test can help determine if these conditions are caused by problems with the adrenal glands.
- Diagnosing congenital adrenal hyperplasia: Congenital adrenal hyperplasia is a genetic condition that affects how the body produces hormones. The DHEA-S test can help diagnose this condition in adults.
- Assessing Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): In women, high levels of DHEA-S may be associated with PCOS. Along with other hormone tests, DHEA-S testing can help diagnose this condition.

Identifying and treating these conditions at an early stage is crucial to maintaining good health. If left untreated, they can lead to serious complications such as infertility, diabetes, and heart disease.

It is important to note that while the DHEA-S test is a valuable tool, it's not a stand-alone diagnostic test. Healthcare providers will use the results of this test in conjunction with other tests and assessments to make a diagnosis. If you're experiencing symptoms related to adrenal function, talk to your healthcare provider about whether the DHEA-S test is right for you.

Who Should Get Tested

The DHEA-S Test may be indicated for individuals who are experiencing symptoms related to adrenal function or who have risk factors for conditions such as adrenal tumors or congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Here are some examples of who may need to be tested:

- People with symptoms of adrenal dysfunction: Symptoms may include fatigue, weakness, weight loss, abdominal pain, and changes in blood pressure.
- Women with symptoms of PCOS: Symptoms may include irregular periods, acne, and excessive hair growth.
- Children with early puberty: If a child is experiencing early puberty, their healthcare provider may order the DHEA-S test to determine if it's caused by a problem with the adrenal glands.
- Individuals with a family history of adrenal tumors or cancer: If there is a family history of these conditions, your healthcare provider may recommend the DHEA-S test as a screening tool.
- Individuals with a history of congenital adrenal hyperplasia: If you have been diagnosed with this condition in the past, your healthcare provider may order the DHEA-S test to monitor your condition.

However, it's important to note that not everyone who has these symptoms or risk factors needs to be tested. Your healthcare provider will consider your individual medical history and other factors before deciding whether the DHEA-S test is necessary.

Preparing for the Test
Fasting
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Depending on the type of cholesterol test, you may be required to fast for 9 to 12 hours before the test. This means avoiding all food and drinks except water. Fasting is usually required for a lipid panel, which measures LDL and HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Medications
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Inform your healthcare provider about any medications you are currently taking, including over-the-counter medications and supplements, as they can affect your test results.
Alcohol
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Avoid alcohol consumption for at least 24 hours before the test, as alcohol can raise triglyceride levels.
Exercise
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Avoid heavy exercise for 24 hours before the test, as this can also affect cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Smoking
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Avoid smoking or using any nicotine products for at least 30 minutes before the test, as they can temporarily increase cholesterol levels.
Follow instructions
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Follow any specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider, such as the time of day to take the test or any dietary restrictions.
Interpreting Test Results

Interpreting DHEA-S test results requires an understanding of what is considered a normal range for this hormone. Here are some general guidelines for interpreting DHEA-S test results:

- Normal range: In adults, normal DHEA-S levels typically range from 35 to 430 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL). However, the specific normal range may vary depending on the laboratory performing the test.
- High levels: If your DHEA-S levels are higher than the normal range, it may indicate a problem with adrenal function or a tumor in the adrenal gland. High levels may also be associated with PCOS in women.
- Low levels: If your DHEA-S levels are lower than the normal range, it may indicate a problem with adrenal function or a condition called Addison's disease. Low levels may also be associated with depression and other mood disorders.

It's important to note that DHEA-S levels can vary throughout the day and may be affected by factors such as stress and exercise. Your healthcare provider will take these factors into account when interpreting your test results.

If you have abnormal test results, your healthcare provider may order additional tests or imaging studies to determine the cause of the problem. They will work with you to develop a treatment plan based on your individual needs and medical history.

In general, interpreting DHEA-S test results requires careful consideration of several factors. Be sure to discuss any questions or concerns you have about your test results with your healthcare provider.

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