Pregnenolone Test FAQ
What is a pregnenolone blood test?
Why is a pregnenolone test important?
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Pregnenolone Blood Test - More Information
The pregnenolone test, also known as a pregnenolone blood test, pregnenolone lab test, pregnenolone level test and a P5 blood test, measures the pregnenolone blood level.
Pregnenolone is a steroid hormone that has some functions in the body. Pregnenolone's primary role is that it is a precursor hormone used in making many other important hormones such as androgens, estrogens, glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids and progesterone.
As a standalone hormone, pregnenolone belongs to a class of hormones called neurosteroids because a good portion of it is made in the brain and is involved with protecting and enhancing brain function. Made from cholesterol, pregnenolone is similar to DHEA and some people order the DHEA test with the pregnenolone lab test to see how this pathway is functioning.
Increasing research is identifying pregnenolone as a key piece in a phenomenon called the pregnenolone steal. When people experience stress in their daily lives, the "fight-or-flight" response is activated, leading to a rapid elevation in cortisol levels. In this state, the body uses up any pregnenolone hormone ("stealing it") around to make more cortisol, even at the expense of the other hormones that require pregnenolone as a precursor. In a pregnenolone steal situation, one would expect to see levels of estradiol and testosterone decrease while cortisol levels remains relatively stable. To evaluate possible pregnenolone steal, one can consider ordering the cortisol test (anticipating a relatively normal result) and the estradiol test and testosterone free and total test (which might be low). If pregnenolone steal is occurring, normal body processes like menstrual cycles, fertility and libido may all suffer as a result of low hormone levels.
Pregnenolone testing is also performed as part of the lab workup for congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). CAH is typically discovered in infants who have undifferentiated sexual genitalia or teens who do not undergo a normal puberty. In these cases, pregnenolone levels can be elevated because downstream metabolism of pregnenolone hormone is not happening properly.
To get a pregnenolone test near you, simply order online and get tested at the Quest Diagnostics lab location that you chose. Once your pregnenolone lab report is ready, it will be available for download. As can be seen on the sample pregnenolone lab results, the pregnenolone blood level is reported as a number and can be compared against the reference range provided by the lab.
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