Testosterone is the main male sex hormone, but there are different types of testosterone inside the human body. One of them is dihydrotestosterone or DHT, which plays different roles in male and female health. Keep reading to learn more about DHT, DHT tests, and what your normal results should look like.
What is DHT?
DHT is made by converting testosterone, and approximately 10% of the body’s total testosterone is turned into DHT everyday. Although testosterone levels are much higher in males, women also produce some testosterone. In men, testosterone is mainly produced in the testicles and the prostate, and in women, this hormone is produced in the ovaries. The liver and skin also produce small amounts of testosterone, along with other organs in the body.
DHT is much more potent than testosterone, and many of the effects of testosterone can only happen after it has been turned into DHT. DHT levels in the body depend on testosterone levels.
Symptoms of high DHT in women can include:
- Excessive body hair or hirsutism
- Lack of menstrual periods or amenorrhea
- Irregular periods
- Low libido
- Abnormal changes to the genitals
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Memory and concentration problems
- Mood swings
- Loss of muscle mass and strength
DHT and hair loss
Dihydrotestosterone is linked to hair loss, especially in men. According to the American Hair Loss Association, DHT is one of the main reasons behind androgenetic alopecia, which is commonly referred to as male or female pattern baldness.
DHT binds to hair follicles and makes them shrink, which makes it more difficult for healthy hair to survive and grow. This is why a DHT test can be used for hair loss in some cases, in both men and women.
What is a DHT level test?
As its name suggests, a DHT test measures the levels of DHT circulating in your blood. According to the Mayo Clinic Labs, DHT tests are carried out using a method called Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), which is why you may see the test referred to as Dihydrotestosterone, LC-MS/MS. This is simply in reference to the method used to perform the sample analysis.
A simple blood sample is used to test for DHT levels, and you won’t have to do anything special to prepare for this test beforehand. In most cases, your DHT sensitivity test results will be ready within 4-7 days.
Normal DHT levels for men over the age of 18 years old are around 30-85 ng/dL. Meanwhile, women between the ages of 20-55 have DHT levels below 300 pg/mL, and women over the age of 55 should have DHT levels that are below 128 pg/mL.
How to check DHT level at home
Some companies allow you to order a DHT test from your own home, but since the test uses a blood sample, you will still need to visit a lab to get your sample taken. Once your test results are ready, they will typically be emailed back to you.
It’s very important to discuss your DHT test results with your healthcare provider, since they will be able to help you understand your results and what they mean for your health.
You can learn more about many other health topics, including STDs and STD testing, at STDWatch.com.
Dihydrotestosterone - yourhormones.info
Low Testosterone (Male Hypogonadism) - my.clevelandclinic.org
Causes of Hair Loss - americanhairloss.org
TEST ID : DHTS - mayocliniclabs.com