The Pregnenolone, Mass Spectrometry Blood Test from Walk-In Lab measures the levels of pregnenolone in patient’s blood. Pregnenolone, or the “mother hormone” is critical for healthy hormone balance, as all other hormones are derived from it.
Pregnenolone is a steroid and prohormone, and is often called the “mother hormone” because of it’s involvement in the steroidogenesis of mineralocorticoids, progesterone, glucocorticoids, androgens and estrogens. It consists of four interconnected cyclic hydrocarbons. Pregnenolone belongs to the group of neurosteroids that are synthesized in certain areas of the brain and found in high concentrations. It is therefore a critical hormone for brain development. It is important for proper brain development, cognition, memory and mood. These dramatic effects on the brain are why pregnenolone is known as a neuro-active steroid.
Pregnenolone is used by the body in the production of all steroid hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, cortisol and testosterone. Pregnenolone levels naturally decrease as a person ages. A deficiency in pregnenolone can result in deficiency in other hormones. Symptoms can include decreased sex drive, depression, fatigue, impaired memory, loss of bone density and decreased muscle mass.
High pregnenolone levels may be caused by an inherited condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). CAH causes a deficiency or dysfunction in the enzymes required to convert pregnenolone into steroid hormones. This can cause a deficiency of cortisol and an overabundance of male hormones or androgens.
Chemically modified or synthetic pregnenolone supplements are taken to counteract some of the typical signs of aging such as those listed above and increase the levels of DHEA and other steroid hormones, including testosterone, in the body. High levels can cause adverse side effects such as aggression, irritability, insomnia, and the growth of body or facial hair in women. Pregnant women should not take pregnenolone.
In addition to aggressiveness and the side effects listed above, pregnenolone may halt menstruation in women, cause acne, heart rhythm problems, liver problems, loss of scalp hair or oily skin. Pregnenolone may also lower the levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol which could increase the risk of heart disease. If you are experiencing unusual or unpleasant side effects, you should have your pregnenolone levels tested and your dosage potentially reduced.