Hormone Urine Test

Urine Hormone

Hormones are essential for normal and development. It enables youths to achieve normal height, and adults to burn fat (lipolysis), regulate insulin and glucose, and synthesize protein. Hormones also helps support sex and thyroid function.1

A moderate-sized peptide secreted in pulses throughout the day, G H is the most abundant of the pituitary hormones.1 Lipolysis, or fat burning, is a unique function of G H that results in increased circulating levels of free fatty acids and ketone bodies.
G H peaks in puberty and starts to decline in early adulthood. It has been estimated that secretion of G H declines by approximately 14% for every decade after entering adulthood.2

The decreased G H associated with aging is thought to contribute to the following physiologic changes:

  • increased abdominal fat
  • decreased bone and muscle mass/strength
  • mild depression
  • impaired concentration/memory3

Clinically, restoring G H to adequate levels has been shown to decrease visceral fat volume.4 improve mood, and increase muscle.5

Why Test?

Because low hormone levels have been linked to many symptoms of aging, interest in hormones has intensified particularly as the proportion of seniors in Canada increases. Conditions such as fibromyalgia, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease have also been linked to low G H. Consequently, early identification and correction of sub-optimal GH levels may help reduce symptom severity or limit disease progression. Various lifestyle and dietary changes have been shown to improve endogenous GH secretion.

Why Test Urine?

Hormones are released from the anterior pituitary approximately every 2 hours throughout
the day.6 Given the cyclic nature of G H release, neither single nor multiple serum
collections can reliably capture peak hormone levels. Nearly half of daily G H output is secreted overnight during the onset of slow wave (non-REM) sleep. Thus, an overnight or 24-hour urine collection measures the cumulative total of all the G H produced during the collection period. In men, the overnight surge is the dominant source of G H.7 In addition to their overnight surge, women tend to have higher pulse amplitude throughout the day, making their overall G H levels higher than those of men.

Research shows that urine G H levels correlate with circulating (serum) G H levels, both in the rested state and after exercise.8.9 G H is freely filtered out of the blood; however, since most is reabsorbed in the kidneys, urine G H is only 0.025% of what is in serum. This is the first test in Canada to utilize new technology that enables highly accurate measurement of the low levels of G H found in urine.

Test Limitations

This urine G H assay is not validated to diagnose G H deficiency in either children or adults. Specimens received from patients under 18 years of age will not be processed.

This assay is not validated to monitor the effectiveness of injectable G H therapy.

Urine hormone testing is not appropriate for patients with impaired renal function or those on diuretic medication.

Reference Ranges

Gender-stratified references ranges were developed using results from a cohort of clinically normal men and women aged 18 years and older. Gender stratification and creatinine normalization are essential to clinically relevant results.

Hormone Effects
G H receptors are present in many tissues, which means it can affect a variety of physiological systems including:

Metabolic

Optimal levels of GH may help increase resting energy expenditure (REE) independent of changes in lean body mass.4

Sub-optimal GH may contribute to metabolic syndrome and weight gain via the following:

  • Impaired lipolysis, contributing to increased visceral adiposity.
  • Impaired conversion of T4 to its active T3 form.
  • Impaired conversion of cortisol to its less active cortisone form in adipose tissue, leading to higher cortisol levels.1

The lipolytic effects of GH may be attenuated in women, elderly and in the presence of abdominal obesity.4

Mood/Memory

hormone deficiency has been linked with:

  • Low energy
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Lower perceived quality of life.5

Musculoskeletal

  • GH increases protein synthesis and muscle mass.4
  • In addition to anabolic effects on muscle and bone, GH has the added effect of switching muscle metabolism temporarily towards burning fat instead of glucose.
  • Research suggests that fibromyalgia may be related to a physiologic GH deficiency.10

Cardiovascular

Insufficency of GH is associated with increased rish for thrombosis and atherosclerosis due to increased levels of of plasminogen activator inhibitor-I (PAI-I).5 Other cardiovascular risk factors including LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and diastolic blood pressure all tend to improve when hormone deficient adults are given GH.

Sub-Optimal or Deficient?

Although many of the physiologic changes associated with aging are also linked to low levels of hormone, it is important to differentiate between age-related low hormone and Adult Hormone Deficiency (AGHD). Patient history consistent with probable AGHD is an indication for diagnostic testing and/or an endocrinological consult. Possible causes of adult-onset GHD include: history of brain injury or infection, auto-immune disease, radiation therapy or pituitary tumor. The insulin tolerance test is commonly used to diagnose GHD in Canada, although the arginine and GHRH stimulation test has fewer false positives.11 Diagnosed hormone deficiency requires administration of exogenous hormone (somatomedin).

An age-related decline in GH typically results in sub-optimal rather than clinically low GH levels. Other factors that negatively impact GH include: obesity, sex steroid hormone imbalances, excessive alcohol intake, refined carbohydrates and sleep apnea. fortunately, there are a number of lifestyle factors that positively impact GH secretion including: intermittent fasting, increased body temperature, exercise, and restful sleep.

IGF-I Versus Hormone

As illustrated in Figure 1, liver synthesis and secretion of IGF-I is dependent on GH. In circulation, IGF-I is bound to one of six IGF binding

proteins, which prolong its half-life and provide more consistent levels throughout the day. Consequently, many clinicians use total IGF-I as a surrogate marker for hormone. Most often, total IGF-I (free IGF-I + IGFBP3) is measured, however the secretion of IGF binding protein can vary independent of hormone. The following are examples of when IGF-I and hormone levels do not correlate well:

  • 30 to 40% of hormone deficient patients have normal IGF-I for their age.24
  • In young adults, serum IGF-I is fairly reliable as a means of assessing GH deficiency of insufficiency, but is less reliable over age 40.25 Circulating IGF-I decreases during fasting while GH increases.3,4
  • IGF levels may be normal in obesity, but GH is suppressed.2
  • IDF-I binds to protein and can therefore be affected by protein status/malnutrition/4
  • Tissue resistance to GH leads to declining IGF-I levels.1
  • IGF-I has no lipolytic effects and there are not funtional IGF-I receptors found in adipocytes.26

References:

  1. Hersch EC, Merriam GR. hormone (GH)-releasing hormone and GH secretagogues in normal aging: Fountain of Youth or Pool of Tantalus? Clin Interv in Aging. 2008;(1):121-9.
  2. Glynn N, Agha A. Diagnosing Hormone Deficency in Adults. Int J Endocrinol. 2012;2012:1-7
  3. Perrini S. et al The GH/IGF-I axis and signalling pathways in the muscle and bone: mechanisms and underlying age-related skeletal muscle wasting and osteoporosis J Endocrinol. 2010;205:201-10.
  4. Moller N, Jorgensen JOL Effects of Hormone on Glucose, Lipid and Protein Metabolism in Human Subjects. Endocrine Rec. 2009 30(2):152-77.
  5. Gupta V. Adult hormone deficiency. Ind J Endocrin Metab. 2011;15 (Suppl3): S197-202
  6. Artwelle GV, Vsion FG eds. New Human Hormone Research. 2008 Nova Science Publishers. pp.11-45 . Chapter One; Gilbert KA, Stokes KL. Hormone Responses to Exercise: Recent Findings and New
  7. VanCauter E. et al. Interrelationships between hormone and sleep. Horm IGF Res. 2000; Apr;10 Suppl B:S57-62.
  8. Bates AS(1), Evans AJ, Jones P, clayton RN, Assessment of GH status in adults with GH deficency using serum hormone, serum insulin-like-factor-I and urinary hormone excretion. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf)1995 Apr;42(4):425-30.
  9. Fredolini C Tamburro D, Gambara G et al. Nanoparticle technology; amplifying the effective sensitivity of biomarker detection to create a urine test forhGH. Drug Test Anal 2009 Sep;1(9-10):447-54.
  10. Cuatrecasas G et al. hormone as concomitant treatment in severe fibromyalgia associated with low IGF-1 serum levels. A pilot study. BMC Musculoskelet
    Disord 2007, 8:119
  11. Markkanen HM et al. Comparison of two hormone stimulation tests and their cut-off limits in healthy adults at an outpatient clinic. Horm
    IGF Res. 2013 Oct;23(5):165-9.
  12. Ho KY et al. Fasting Enhances Hormone Secretion and Amplifies the Complex Rhythms of Hormone Secretion in Man. J Clin Invest.
    1988;81:968-75
  13. Godfrey RJ et al The exercise-induced hormone response in athletes. Sports Med. 2003;33(8):599-613.
  14. Chowen J. The regulation of GH secretion by sex steroids. Eur J Endocrinol.151 U95–U100
  15. Leung KC et al. Estrogen Regulation of Hormone Action. Endocrine Rev. 2004;25(5):693-721.
  16. Veldhuis JD et al. Differential impact of age, sex steroid hormones, and obesity on basal versus pulsatile hormone secretion in men as assessed in
    an ultrasensitive chemiluminescence assay. 1995;80(11):3209-22
  17. Grinspoon S. Strategies to augment hormone secretion in obesity. Nat Clin Practi Endocrinol & Metab. 2009; 5,:123
  18. Veldhuis JD, Iranmanesh A. Physiological regulation of the human hormone (GH)-insulin-like factor type I (IGF-I) axis: predominant impact
    of age, obesity, gonadal function, and sleep. Sleep. 1996;19(10 Suppl):S221-4.
  19. Morley JE ed. Endocrinology of Aging. Springer Science & Business Media.1999 Chapter Three; Chapman I. p.30
  20. Leal-Cerro A. et al. Prevalence of hypopituitarism and hormone deficiency in adults long-term after severe traumatic brain injury. Clin Endocrinol.
    2005;62(5):525-32.
  21. Prinz PN et al. Effect of alcohol on sleep and nighttime plasma hormone and cortisol concentrations. J Clin Endocrinol Metab.1980;51(4):759-64.
  22. Accessed June 13, 2015. URL: http://www.vrp.com/amino-acids/amino-acids/hormone-amino-acids-as-gh-secretagogues-a-review-of-the-literature
  23. Nassar E. Effects of a single dose of N-Acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine (Melatonin) and resistance exercise on the hormone/IGF-1 axis in young males
    and females. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2007;4(14):1-13
  24. Fancuilli G et al. hormone, menopause and ageing: no definite evidence for ‘rejuvenation’ with hormone. Human Reprod Update.
    2009;15(3):341-58.
  25. Kwan AY et al. IGF-I measurements in the diagnosis of adult hormone deficiency. Pituitary. 2007;10(2):151-7
  26. DiGirolamo M et al. Specific binding of human hormone but not insulin-like factors by human adipocytes. FEBS Lett, 1986. 205(1):15-19.