DHEA for Hormonal Conversion
DHEA is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It is called the “Mother Hormone” because it can be converted to other vital hormones, such as estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, etc. This can be important when trying to replace and optimize your hormonal levels.
Why Supplementation with DHEA Can Help Your Hormones
People use DHEA supplements for slowing signs of aging, improving muscle strength and athletic performance, inability to become pregnant within a year of trying to conceive (infertility), and many other conditions.
DHEA is involved in a variety of health areas and it is recommended that testing for cortisol and DHEA levels be performed before it is administered.*
Because DHEA production tends to reach its peak during a person’s mid-twenties, many people find that taking a DHEA supplement prevents their hormonal supply from decreasing. As hormones like estrogen and testosterone decrease, the addition of DHEA supplement insures that your body has the hormonal balance it had in earlier years. Scientists who have studied DHEA have show that it has the ability to increase energy, support the adrenal gland, boost the immune system, help the thyroid, and even enhance memory and mood.
Lifestyle and DHEA Levels
Age isn’t the only factor that can lead to a decrease in your body’s hormones. Studies demonstrate that factors like illness, alcohol, smoking, caffeine intake, and even nutritional deficiencies can impact your hormone levels. If you’ve endured a recent bout of stress, or you have experienced prolonged stress, your hormone production could also be at risk.
DHEA is both a natural hormone and popular supplement that can affect the levels of other hormones in your body. It has been studied for its potential to increase bone density, decrease body fat, improve sexual function and correct some hormonal problems
Melatonin and DHEA interact to control production of the other. When melatonin is highest, NREM sleep occurs; when DHEA increases slightly during sleep to maintain brainstem function, REM sleep occurs. During sleep, DHEA is low to reduce stimulation of the CNS, so sleep may occur.
Possible side effects of Excess DHEA supplementation Can Include
- Oily skin and acne, as well as skin thickening.
- Hair loss.
- Stomach upset.
- High blood pressure.
- Changes in menstrual cycle.
- Facial hair in women.
- Deepening of the voice in women.
Anytime you start Adrenal hormone replacement, it is important to establish baseline DHEA and Cortisol levels using a 24 hour salivary cortisol test. In some individuals, a comprehensive hormone test should be done prior to DHEA replacement.
Excess DHEA can cause estrogen dominance, progesterone dominance or testosterone dominance. Do not take DHEA for longer than 3 months without having your levels tested. For this reason, we recommend you work with a functional medicine practitioner.