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Addison's Disease Message Board


Addison's Disease Board Index


[QUOTE=suz9601]What can be done to lower DHEA levels? Mine are very high, that could be why I dont have any cortisol. It lowers it right? Just wondered if you knew of anything to lower it, or why it goes high?[/QUOTE]

The hormone ATCH controls both the DHEA and cortisol levels. The fact you have high DHEA and low corisol is not normal. You need to investigate the cause of the excess DHEA. There are several possibilities including several cancers, so you shouldn't be fooling around taking things to mask the problem.
Get to your doctor and find out what's going on.
My DHEA is only high in my urine and saliva. The DHEA-S in my blood is in normal range, actually on the low side. What is the difference in the urine, saliva, and blood? Anyone know? I should say that my thyroid hormones are like that too.. T4 and T3 are double the top number of the referance range..
[QUOTE=suz9601]My DHEA is only high in my urine and saliva. The DHEA-S in my blood is in normal range, actually on the low side. What is the difference in the urine, saliva, and blood? Anyone know? I should say that my thyroid hormones are like that too.. T4 and T3 are double the top number of the referance range..[/QUOTE]

If you ask for opinions it's a good idea to actually include the facts.

I don't think T4 and T3 urine tests are considered useful because so many divergent things can affect them. Similarly it's only DHEA-S in the blood that counts, why do you think urine concentration is important.

What symptoms lead doctors to perform these unusual tests?
I didn't realize that the urine and saliva test were that unusual. I have had 3 different doctors over the years perform the same tests on me. I just thought it was strange to have such high amounts in my urine but a low level in my blood. Each time I had the urine test (it's a 24 hour urine test that measures several hormones) the T3 and T4 have been high, I'm talking twice what it should be. The DHEA is high in the urine and saliva. I don't know how accurate they are or what exactly they mean. I thought you all might have had the same tests and know something about it.


My symptoms are exhaustion, weakness, no appetite, muscle pain, aching, irregular heartbeat, tachycardia, Postural Orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, and many more. Those are the main ones.
The problem with urine tests is that concentrations of *anything* depend on how much water you're putting out. To get quantitative information from urine tests, you need to consider ratios, or consider a 24-hour output.

If you've got high levels of DHEA, T3, T4 I'd just consider your urine concentrated, if it fits in with a pattern of other things being on the high side.

If this is a *24-hour* urine sample, what you're doctor is looking for is your daily total output, and that's a different story. I don't remember how the thyroid hormones vary during the day, but it may be relevant. (I don't think I ever knew how DHEA is regulated -- I'd be curious if someone happens to know).
I did mark how much urine I had in 24 hours and they took that into account. My urine is diluted if anything because I drink tons of water a day and usually need more than one urine jug to hold it all.

Nothing else is high in the urine. The test measures about 20 hormones and T3 T4 and DHEA are the only high ones, about 6 or so were low.

Makes no sense to me.
[QUOTE=rwk] (I don't think I ever knew how DHEA is regulated -- I'd be curious if someone happens to know).[/QUOTE]

DHEA output is normally controlled by the pitutiary. It puts out ATCH which stimulates both cortisol and DHEA output from a small area above the kidneys. Those two hormones normally rise and fall together.

However, certain tumors can also create DHEA and those tumors don't respond to ATCH at all. I believe breast cancer can be associated with high levels of DHEA in the blood. I don't know what would cause high levels in urine and not the blood.
[QUOTE]DHEA output is normally controlled by the pitutiary. It puts out ATCH which stimulates both cortisol and DHEA output from a small area above the kidneys. Those two hormones normally rise and fall together.
[/QUOTE]

Um, er, I DID know that. Guess my memory really IS shot! Thanks. Do you know if ACTH is the only regulation? There's no feedback from DHEA levels, right? So if DHEA is high or low (relative to cortisol) there's no corrective action?

That would mean that adding glucocorticoids would actually [I]depress[/I] DHEA by shutting down CRH/ACTH/DHEA, right?

Further implying that taking prednisone for asthma, say, would induce a DHEA deficiency?

Hmm. Never thought through this chain before -- or I'd have remembered the first part.

Thanks! (But now I have even more questions :confused:)
[QUOTE=rwk] Do you know if ACTH is the only regulation? There's no feedback from DHEA levels, right? So if DHEA is high or low (relative to cortisol) there's no corrective action? That would mean that adding glucocorticoids would actually [I]depress[/I] DHEA by shutting down CRH/ACTH/DHEA, right? Further implying that taking prednisone for asthma, say, would induce a DHEA deficiency?
[/QUOTE]

Yep, you got it right. DHEA does not have a feedback loop, the body seems to rely on cortisol for that. And yes, taking prednisone will cut off your DHEA supply and produce a deficiency.





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