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Post Info TOPIC: Androgenos - caracteristicas de exceso y deficiencia

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Androgenos - caracteristicas de exceso y deficiencia

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The principal androgens are testosterone and androstenedione. They are, of course, present in much higher levels in men and play an important role in male traits and reproductive activity. Other androgens include dihydrotestosterone (DHT), androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and DHEA sulfate.

In a woman's body, one of the main purposes of androgens is to be converted into the female hormone estrogen.

In women, androgens are produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands and fat cells. In fact, women may produce too much or too little of these hormones -- disorders of androgen excess and deficiency affect an estimated 5 to 10 percent of women and are among the more common hormonal disorders in women.

In adult women, androgens are necessary for estrogen synthesis and have been shown to play a key role in the prevention of bone loss as well as sexual desire and satisfaction. They also regulate body function before, during and after menopause.

Excess amounts of androgens can pose a problem, resulting in such "virilizing effects" as acne, hirsutism (excess hair growth in "inappropriate" places, like the chin or upper lip) and thinning hair. Hirsutism: Male-like hair growth in women. Hairs are usually darker and thicker than is typical for women and may occur in areas such as the upper lip, chin, chest, abdomen or inner thighs. Many women with high levels of a form of testosterone called "free" testosterone have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), characterized by irregular or absent menstrual periods, infertility, blood sugar disorders, and, in some cases, symptoms like acne and excess hair growth. Left untreated, high levels of androgens, regardless of whether a woman has PCOS or not, can lead to serious health consequences, such as insulin resistance and diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Low androgen levels can be a problem as well, producing effects such as low libido (interest or desire in sex), fatigue, decreased sense of well being and increased susceptibility to bone disease. Low androgen levels may affect women at any age, but most commonly occur during the transition to menopause, or "perimenopause," a term used to describe the two years just prior to and just after the last menstrual flow when menopausal symptoms are most common. . Androgen levels begin dropping in a woman's twenties, however; by the time she reaches menopause, they have declined 50 percent or more from their peak as androgen production declines in the adrenal glands and the midcycle ovarian boost evaporates.

Although not all women develop symptoms, androgen deficiency syndrome may be marked by low energy, decreased libido, depression, irritability, and insomnia. The fact that not all women experience symptoms, and the variability of severity of symptoms when they are present, is believed to be related, in part, "to the difference in aromatization that takes place in the peripheral tissues of postmenopausal women--androstenedione being converted to estrone, testosterone to estradiol," Dr Notelovitz said.

-- Edited by jennymalli at 20:51, 2007-06-19

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