What Is DHEA?
DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) is a steroid hormone that is produced from pregnenolone in the adrenal cortex, gonads, nervous system and brain.
It’s one of the most plentiful hormones within the body. About 90% of it is produced in the adrenal glands and is a precursor to testosterone, estrogen and progesterone.
DHEA Level Fluctuations
When people reach age 40, DHEA decline significantly. DHEA has beneficial effects on immune response, sex drive, metabolism and emotional stability. It’s a precursor to the sex hormones and is therefore an important building block in the production of these hormones. This hormone also helps your body break down fats and cholesterol while reducing the formation of atherosclerotic plaques.
DHEA levels begin to decline steadily after age 25. Once people reach 40, they typically produce inadequate levels. Individuals suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, immune deficiencies and AIDs usually have low levels as well.
Causes Of Low DHEA:
- Stress (Cortisol has negative relations to DHEA)
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Birth control pills
- Lack of exercise
Managing stress can significantly help balance multiple hormone levels. The rise of cortisol negatively impacts DHEA levels while increasing DHEA consumption. Meditation is a strong tool in managing your stress. One of the best reasons to balance or increase your levels is to combat the production of cortisol!
- Increases energy
- Binds to GABA and NMDA receptors helping to combat depression and memory problems by opening up your calcium channels
- Lowers LDL cholesterol levels
- Stabilizes blood sugar by lowering insulin levels
- Increases immune system strength
- Assists in the conversion of fat to lean muscle
- Decreases cardiac risk for men
- Improves learning disabilities, obesity, autoimmune diseases and adrenal fatigue
- May prevent osteoporosis
HGH Level Fluctuations
DHEA peaks between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. every day. The goal of DHEA replacement therapy is to get your levels back to where they were when you were 25 – 35 years old.
DHEA Replacement Therapy
We provide our patients with bioidentical pharmaceutical-grade DHEA. Doses are best taken in the morning or midday.
Because DHEA is fat-soluble, it’s better absorbed with a meal, preferably one that includes healthy fat. We don’t suggest taking it at dinner or night-time because it may cause problems falling asleep.
Cautions For Men:
We do not advise men with existing prostate diseases to take DHEA. Taking it may increase testosterone levels, speeding up some prostate-related problems. However, if a male has normal PSA levels and a normal rectal exam, the use of DHEA may be beneficial in preventing any prostate cancer.
7-keto-DHEA may be best for men as it will not metabolize to estrogen. DHEA transdermal cream is also not likely to convert into estrogen in men.
Cautions For Women:
DHEA replacement therapy can raise testosterone and estrogen levels enough so that estrogen bioidentical replacement therapy may not be needed.
To improve breast protection, women taking DHEA replacement therapy should also take melatonin, vitamin E, Indole-3-Carbinol (DIM) as well as plenty of vitamin D and soy.
Potential Side Effects of DHEA Therapy:
- Mood fluctuations
- Weight gain
- Sugar cravings
- Male pattern baldness
- Problems sleeping
DHEA side effects are typically dose related. We will monitor your blood levels to ensure you are receiving the proper dose for your body. It’s important to talk to your doctor if any of these side effects occur. If any do occur, we suggest discontinuing the therapy for 1 – 2 weeks and then resume with half of your previous dose.
*Women on very low-fat diets may have less tolerance for DHEA replacement therapy.