Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) is a protein produced by the liver which binds to three sex hormones found in both men and women: estrogen, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and testosterone. SHBG carries these three hormones through the blood to where they are needed.
Decreased SHBG levels are often seen in cases of hirsutism, acne vulgaris and the polycystic ovary syndrome. SHBG levels may be modestly reduced in hypothyroidism, acromegaly, Cushing's disease and hyperprolactinemia.
The use of dexamethasone in the treatment of women with hyperandrogenic hirsutism typically leads to an increase in SHBG concentrations.
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