Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone MSH Blood Test
Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone MSH Blood Test (Labcorp)
This test measures the level of Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone (MSH) in a blood sample. MSH is a group of hormones produced primarily by the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, and skin cells. Most MSH in the body is produced in response to exposure to ultraviolet (sun) light. MSH plays a key role in the production of melanin, the substance which provides pigmentation to the skin, hair, and eyes. Melanin also protects skin cells from damage by UV radiation. A number of other functions in the body rely on MSH including regulation of appetite, salt and water balance, and controlling inflammation.
Excessive MSH levels can be caused by disorders that impair the adrenal glands such as Addison's Disease. When adrenal function is lower than normal, the hypothalamus produces more adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) in an attempt to stimulate the adrenal glands. ACTH breaks down into MSH and the elevated MSH levels cause an abnormal darkening of the skin. As a result, hyperpigmentation is a symptom of Addison's Disease and other adrenal disorders. MSH levels can also be elevated by other conditions such as pregnancy, taking birth control pills, and Cushing's Syndrome, a disease that causes excess ACTH production.
MSH deficiency can be caused by damage to the pituitary gland or adrenal glands. Lowered levels of MSH can cause a lack of skin pigmentation which makes people more susceptible to sunburns and a higher risk of developing skin cancer. Symptoms of low MSH can include pale skin, increased inflammation, pain, difficulty sleeping, increased thirst, increased urination, and excessive hunger.
Turnaround for this test is typically 6-9 business days.
Where can I find a Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone MSH test near me?
Check our lab finder to locate a collection site in your area.
Note: Result turn around times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.
This test requires a special collection kit that may not be kept in stock by all patient service centers. It is recommended that you call the lab before going in to ensure they have the correct kit in stock.