Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is a glycoprotein, a molecule that consists of carbohydrate plus a protein that is produced mainly in the liver. It binds to three different sex hormones: estrogen, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and testosterone.
Its job is to transport these hormones throughout your blood to other tissues in your body. SHBG has a stronger affinity for DHT and testosterone (which are androgens), compared to estrogens. It therefore, plays a significant role in maintaining the delicate balance between estrogen and testosterone in a woman’s body.
Having optimal SHBG levels is very important, you might know that testosterone and other hormones play an important role in a women’s overall physical and emotional health. You might have noticed times in your life where you know your hormones aren’t quite right and you don’t feel yourself.
SHBG make sure that these hormones are transported through the body and are available for the tissues that need them. This ensures your hormone levels are ‘normal’ and optimal SHBG levels decrease the risk of issues such as PCOS, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Yes, if you do not have optimal SHBG levels you can notice some changes to your hair, and you can experience hair loss.
SHBG levels can decrease as a result of taking certain hormones, such as androgens, anabolic steroids and norethisterone-related synthetic progesterones. Conditions such as hypothyroidism, obesity, and acromegaly can also cause love SHBGG levels.
Women who have low levels of SHBG are more likely to have higher testosterone levels. These low levels can cause issues such as androgenization, PCOS and menstrual irregularities. Due to the higher level of testosterone, it can also cause women to suffer from male patterned hair grown and even hair loss.