Women Hair Loss Blood Exam
This serves as a general information based on information we can find. Please do not consider this as medical advice. Information presented below maybe inaccurate or out dated. As always, please consult your physician for a thorough discussion about your condition.
Please note that normal values can change and vary greatly depending on a person's age and other factors.
- CBC - complete blood count
Commonly used to test for anemia, blood loss and certain vitamin deficiencies which may cause hair loss.
- Serum iron & ferritin; total iron binding capacity (TIBC)
To test for anemia, a common cause of hair loss in women.
- ANA (antinuclear antibody)
To test for Lupus which can cause hair loss in women.
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
FSH is often used as a measure of ovarian reserve and gauge possible indication of PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome. PCOS is sometimes linked to hair loss in women.
- Estradiol (E2)
Some suggest that a drop in estradiol may cause hair loss in women, while some doctors will consider any increase in E2 a positive sign for hair, abnormally high levels may actually indicate existence of a functional cyst or diminished ovarian reserve.
- Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
A normal LH level is similar to FSH. An LH that is higher than FSH is one indication of PCOS. PCOS is commonly linked to hair loss in women.
It is a test that your doctor might order when considering androgen excess in your body. May be helpful if you are suspected of having androgeneic alopecia or female pattern baldness.
- Progesterone (P4)
Some believe that lack of ovulation may cause a drop in progesterone levels, and the body may respond by increasing its production of androstenedione carries some androgenic (male-like) properties such as male pattern hair loss. Some believe that certain types of women hair loss may be treated by raising progesterone levels.
- Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
Thyroid condition is commonly linked to hair loss in women. It is important to test both T3, T4 and TSH to rule out the possibility of thyroid condition.
- Total Testosterone
Testosterone is the principal male sex hormone and is also present in females, it plays key roles in health, well-being and can have significant impact on one's hair growth. Some believe that an elevated testosterone level may cause hair loss in women.
- Free Testosterone
Free testosterone (T) can bind to the androgen receptor or can be reduced to 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by the 5α-reductase. DHT binds to the same androgen receptor even more strongly than T, so that its androgenic potency is about higher than that of T. Androgeneic activities can have an impact on hair.
An elevated level of DHEA many signal excess androgens in the body.
Androstenedione can convert to testosterone in our bodies, excessive testosterone may cause hair loss.
- Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG)
A study published in the British Journal of Derm measured plasma sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and testosterone levels in a pilot study of eight women aged 21-41 years who complained of diffuse hair loss; and subsequently in a larger group of fifteen patients of a similar age range. There was a significant reduction in SHBG levels in both groups of patients when compared to controls, but testosterone values were normal.
A screening test for syphilis. Syphillis can result in patch hair loss.
Besides blood exam, there are other tests that can also help evaluate or identify women hair loss, for example:
⇒ Scalp biopsy
A small section of scalp, usually 4 mm in diameter, is removed and examined under a microscope to help determine the cause of hair loss.
⇒ Pull test
A doctor lightly pulls a small amount of hair (about 100 strands) to determine if there is excessive loss. If more that 3 hairs come out, then the patient is likely suffering from excess hair loss. Normal range is one to three hairs per pull.