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DHEA problems?
Apr 7, 2005
I do not have Addison's Disease, but I did test "below normal" and "low normal" on a recent Adrenal stress index. My DHEA test value was a 2, which indicated a "depressed DHEA" level. (Normal is 3-10 ng/ml.) The lab that did the test is Diagnos-Techs, Inc.

My doctor put me on Apex Energetics DHEA (K-18) sublingual, 8 mg (10 drops). I took 10 drops yesterday and immediately started having some adverse effects. At first I became extremely angry and hostile... it felt like super bad PMS... wanting to punch a wall kind of anger. I was then pretty ramped up and had fitful sleep. Woke up at 5 a.m. with a lot of energy (unusual for me in the morning), but it was accompanied by anxiety, which wasn't fun.

The doctor claims that it wasn't the DHEA that caused these side effects and has been trying to pin it on my "history of anxiety and panic." This is a very convenient diagnosis for him because it immediately makes me suspect and distances him from any problems. Yes, I have had anxiety problems, but I am very sure that the anxiety resulted from feeling like I had just taken speed or done cocaine. (I've never done cocaine, but this is what I would imagine it might feel like.)

Has anyone else experienced these kind of problems? Needless to say I haven't taken any more DHEA, but over 24 hours later I still very very pumped up.

Thanks,

CarrieLynn
Re: DHEA problems?
Apr 8, 2005
Hi,
I am usually on thyroid board. I also just had the adrenal saliva test by that same lab. My dhea was also a 2 (3-10). My doctor gave me dhea spray by Metagenics. I have been instructed to take 1 spray(5mg) once a day x 2 wks and then increase to 1 spray 2x a day after that. I have not noticed any kind of side effects thus far. I am feeling a bit better but my doc has put me on several supplements and I am taking a million vitamins so I don't know what is working.
Maybe you need a different brand??
Colleen
Oh, just curious, what were your cortisol levels? How about the IGa?? Mine was only a 6 (scale 25-60 with 20-25 being borderline.)
Re: DHEA problems?
Apr 8, 2005
Oh, one other thing, I was reading in the Adrenal Fatigue, 21st century syndrome book that many women don't do well on DHEA and that he (Wilson) sees much better results in women using natural progesterone cream...
Re: DHEA problems?
Apr 8, 2005
[QUOTE=carrielynn]I do not have Addison's Disease, but I did test "below normal" and "low normal" on a recent Adrenal stress index. My DHEA test value was a 2, which indicated a "depressed DHEA" level. (Normal is 3-10 ng/ml.) The lab that did the test is Diagnos-Techs, Inc.

My doctor put me on Apex Energetics DHEA (K-18) sublingual, 8 mg (10 drops). I took 10 drops yesterday and immediately started having some adverse effects. At first I became extremely angry and hostile... it felt like super bad PMS... wanting to punch a wall kind of anger. I was then pretty ramped up and had fitful sleep. Woke up at 5 a.m. with a lot of energy (unusual for me in the morning), but it was accompanied by anxiety, which wasn't fun.

The doctor claims that it wasn't the DHEA that caused these side effects and has been trying to pin it on my "history of anxiety and panic." This is a very convenient diagnosis for him because it immediately makes me suspect and distances him from any problems. Yes, I have had anxiety problems, but I am very sure that the anxiety resulted from feeling like I had just taken speed or done cocaine. (I've never done cocaine, but this is what I would imagine it might feel like.)

Has anyone else experienced these kind of problems? Needless to say I haven't taken any more DHEA, but over 24 hours later I still very very pumped up.

Thanks,

CarrieLynn[/QUOTE]

CarrieLynn, I believe that sublingual drops get into the bloodstream faster than other methods, such as pills. I am thinking maybe you should split your dose up maybe into 4 drops, 3 and 3 throughout the day. Maybe you are getting too much at once. I take 25 mg. daily in pill form and never had side effects. I won't go without it, it has made a tremendous difference in my quality of daily life. Try splitting that dose up before you decide not to take it at all. Good luck.
Re: DHEA problems?
Apr 8, 2005
When taking DHEA be sure to keep it in range. Too much is not good.
Wanda
Re: DHEA problems?
Apr 11, 2005
I was found to have low DHEA and my doctor told me to take supplements a few weeks ago. I took half the dose and had terrible side effects (heart racing, jitters, you name it). I stopped right away. Seems like any meds that could make me feel better will give me adverse reactions I can't tolerate. :(
Re: DHEA problems?
Apr 12, 2005
Megan312, try a different brand. Maybe the fillers or binders that are used to form the pills are actually what is causing your the problems. Or try with a quarter of a dose and work up week by week to the dose the doc recommended. Good luck.
Re: DHEA problems?
Apr 26, 2005
[QUOTE=keav]Hi,
I am usually on thyroid board. I also just had the adrenal saliva test by that same lab. My dhea was also a 2 (3-10). My doctor gave me dhea spray by Metagenics. I have been instructed to take 1 spray(5mg) once a day x 2 wks and then increase to 1 spray 2x a day after that. I have not noticed any kind of side effects thus far. I am feeling a bit better but my doc has put me on several supplements and I am taking a million vitamins so I don't know what is working.
Maybe you need a different brand??
Colleen
Oh, just curious, what were your cortisol levels? How about the IGa?? Mine was only a 6 (scale 25-60 with 20-25 being borderline.)[/QUOTE]

Sorry for just now replying. I've been pretty busy and basically forgot that I had posted to this board!!!

After discussing my situation with my doctor, who now agrees I was actually having a reaction to the DHEA, I am now taking only 5 drops in the morning. I seem to be doing pretty well with that. He was pretty insistent that I take the DHEA because he said I was low in it. I'm of course worried about longterm use and all that.

Here are my free cortisol results:
7-8 a.m. 10 depressed (13-24 normal range)
11-noon 7 normal (5-10 normal range)
4-5 p.m. 4 normal (3-8 normal range)
11-midnight 2 normal (1-4 normal range)
Corisol Burden: 23 (23-42 normal range)


What were your results?

--CarrieLynn
Re: DHEA problems?
May 2, 2005
Hi Carrie,
Sorry for the delay also. Wow, our labs are basically the same. My Cortisol was: 8am 14 (13-24),
12pm 6 (5-10)
4pm 4 (3-8)
12pm 2(1-4)
I believe my cortisol burden was a 24.

Do you have hypothyroid also? Also, just curious, do you have any swelling?
Thanks, Colleen
Re: DHEA problems?
May 2, 2005
Colleen,

Yes, our labs are very similar. Interesting!

I am slightly hypothyroid. I am on 15mg of Armour plus 12.5mcg of Synthroid (half a pill). I've been on this mix for 2 years now. The doctor suspects I have hashimoto's, but things have been stable for 18 months... my TSH is now 1.4. T3 uptake is 37.1, T4 is 7.8. The doctor said these numbers are good. I never noticed any difference in my fatigue since taking the thyroid medication. In fact, I don't think I've noticed anything different.

I don't have any swelling. (That I know of, or that I know to complain about!)

What brought me to the doctor's office was fatigue mostly. Some mornings I have a hard time getting out of bed... I can get my kids off to school and then I pass out in bed for several more hours. Then other days I'm fine and am able to function okay. I've been wondering if the debilitating fatigue mornings/days are related to high allergy counts in our area. (Which would stress my already over-burdened adrenals.)

Anyway, I'm on about 4mg of DHEA now... which I can tolerate. (It's 4-5 drops instead of 10 drops from this bottle.) And I'm taking this adrenal-stim cream... a very tiny amount. I've only been doing this for about 2 weeks... I think it's helping, but I don't know.

I'm also trying to get to bed earlier, eat right, am not exercising as intensely.

I believe I have over-taxed adrenals because of 10+ years of intense stress... I had a job that required major travel with lots of stressful situations. (I don't work there anymore, thank goodness.) And then I had two children within 2.5 years. Plus a mix of other high-stress activities. The fatigue just got worse and worse over the years. I'm hoping that I can heal my adrenals so I don't have this overwhelming fatigue anymore.

What are your symptoms?

--CarrieLynn
Re: DHEA problems?
May 3, 2005
Hi Carrielynn,
My symptoms currently are fatigue(although it is improving), some swelling (that has improved also), occasional low body temp and heartrate.
I had a baby 9 months ago and that is when my problems started. I feel that pregnancy really puts a stressor on hypo women. My doc never increased my med during pregnancy and I really felt dragged down the whole pregnancy. Luckily, after 4 years of infertility, I do have a healthy baby girl.

After I had her, I developed joint pain and severe swelling. I went to one endo who wanted to lower my thyroid dose and then another who steadily increased my synthroid every 2 wks and added t3. I think he caused more harm than good. I think the t3 burned my adrenal glands. My body just couldn't handle it. I actually gained weight and finally when he increased me to 200mcg synthroid and 5mc of t3 I stopped going to him. Stopped the t3 and felt great and then crashed again. Since that time I am seeing a naturopathic/holistic family practice practioner. I really like the fact that these types of doctors address the root cause of a thyroid problem. She lowered my synthroid to 175 and now I am on 162mcg. We will give this 6 weeks and she says maybe then we could add some t3 for unresolved symptoms such as swelling. She has me on the dhea spray (5mg 2x day), Biopure protein and adreset.

Like you, I also have had a stressful life and always took pride in the fact that i could handle everything. I was always so calm. This has changed that and there have been many days where I lose my temper or start crying and I think it is all related to how tired I am.
Glad to hear you quit that job. I did the same about 5 yrs ago and it was one of the best moves I ever made.
I wonder if maybe the armour is not good for you right now and maybe you should give your adrenals a break by just taking the t4 med until your adrenals are strengthened and then add the armour back?
Oh, and the allergy stuff. I was thinking the same. I have noticed that sometimes on a rainy day I will feel better than a dry, windy day where the counts are high.
Hope your energy improves soon,
Colleen
Re: DHEA problems?
May 3, 2005
[QUOTE=keav]Hi Carrielynn,
My symptoms currently are fatigue(although it is improving), some swelling (that has improved also), occasional low body temp and heartrate.
I had a baby 9 months ago and that is when my problems started. I feel that pregnancy really puts a stressor on hypo women. My doc never increased my med during pregnancy and I really felt dragged down the whole pregnancy. Luckily, after 4 years of infertility, I do have a healthy baby girl.

After I had her, I developed joint pain and severe swelling. I went to one endo who wanted to lower my thyroid dose and then another who steadily increased my synthroid every 2 wks and added t3. I think he caused more harm than good. I think the t3 burned my adrenal glands. My body just couldn't handle it. I actually gained weight and finally when he increased me to 200mcg synthroid and 5mc of t3 I stopped going to him. Stopped the t3 and felt great and then crashed again. Since that time I am seeing a naturopathic/holistic family practice practioner. I really like the fact that these types of doctors address the root cause of a thyroid problem. She lowered my synthroid to 175 and now I am on 162mcg. We will give this 6 weeks and she says maybe then we could add some t3 for unresolved symptoms such as swelling. She has me on the dhea spray (5mg 2x day), Biopure protein and adreset.

Like you, I also have had a stressful life and always took pride in the fact that i could handle everything. I was always so calm. This has changed that and there have been many days where I lose my temper or start crying and I think it is all related to how tired I am.
Glad to hear you quit that job. I did the same about 5 yrs ago and it was one of the best moves I ever made.
I wonder if maybe the armour is not good for you right now and maybe you should give your adrenals a break by just taking the t4 med until your adrenals are strengthened and then add the armour back?
Oh, and the allergy stuff. I was thinking the same. I have noticed that sometimes on a rainy day I will feel better than a dry, windy day where the counts are high.
Hope your energy improves soon,
Colleen[/QUOTE]


I am on a teeney-tiny amount of Armour (15 mg, a tiny, tiny pill), so I don't think it's doing much to my adrenals. Besides, I was having this kind of fatigue before I started taking the thyroid medication. My thyroid doctor is in another city -- he's a national expert, so I can't see him very easily. (Takes me 4 hours to drive to see him.) I will bring this up with him next time I see him (Sept). I'm seeing a local MD who specializes in alternative approaches for my adrenal problem. He also touts himself as a thyroid expert. I asked him about the Armour taxing my adrenals and he didn't think that was the problem. But I won't rule that completely out and will keep it in mind.

Having children really wiped me out, both mentally and physically. I was a jet-setting career woman and when my first child arrived it was a huge adjustment. I thought I knew what I was doing when I had the 2nd, but having two children is just as big of an adjustment. I spent a huge amount of time in bed during the 2nd pregnancy, was just wiped out... of course I may have been hypo then and didn't know it. I'm not a natural "kid" person, but I've done the best I can. I never prided myself on being "calm" because I have been about as hyper and anxious as you can get. (Although I didn't realize the extent of it until now.) I have thrown huge temper tantrums with my kids until the last year... not proud of it... always hated myself for it, but it's the fatigue and depression. I am currently working hard to reduce and reframe stress and take care of myself. I'm doing neurofeedback therapy which has changed my life. My temper is much better, the anxiety is going away and I don't feel depressed, just fatigued.

I've always had a low heartrate and very low blood pressure... prided myself on it until I started reading these were symptoms of hypothyroid and adrenal problems. Interesting. I also didn't have problems losing weight after my 2nd child... lost 30 pounds in one year (on top of losing the baby weight). But now I've gained about 10 pounds and I can't lose any of them. I'm just too wiped out and I don't care about exercising anymore.

Anyway, let's stay in touch about what's working because it sounds like we've got a pretty similar situation.

Today I'm having a "fatigue" day but I go back to bed because of too many commitments. I'm so exhausted, but I'm going to keep plugging away.
Re: DHEA problems?
May 4, 2005
Carrielynn,
Keep me updated in and doc visits, med changes and how you are feeling. I am very curious as our tests were very similar. I will do the same.
Colleen
Re: DHEA problems?
Sep 30, 2005
[QUOTE=keav]Carrielynn,
Keep me updated in and doc visits, med changes and how you are feeling. I am very curious as our tests were very similar. I will do the same.
Colleen[/QUOTE]

Hi there! Don't know if you remember this thread. I just saw my thyroid doctor (MD) for my Sept appointment. I stupidly left without my adrenal test results, so I had to fax them to him after the appointment.

I brought up the fatigue and that I'd had low cortisol on my adrenal saliva test. He got really excited (not a positive excitement) and said something about my pituitary gland having problems and he might want to do some kind of test where they inject me with a hormone and take blood every 15 minutes for an hour. Then he said something about taking steroids for my adrenal glands and at that point I got a bit nervous.

I'm willing to take the test to see if my pituitary gland has a problem -- always good to have hard data -- but I am not willing to go on steriods. I would like to solve this through natural means.

I have no felt physically different since going on the tiny amount of thyroid medication. I think I'd like to go off of the thyroid medication and see what happens. I'm seeing more and more that they thyroid medication could do more harm than good if the adrenals are fatigued.... and you suggested that before Colleen. I'm on such a tiny amount of Armour that I don't think it could do that much harm, but who knows.

I need to find a good alternative non-wacko doctor who I trust who will spend time with me on this issue. It's not easily resolvable overnight and I don't want to go down the pharmaceuticals path without exploring alternatives. My experience with the Pill Approach is that it's a slippery slope and before you know it, you're on multiple meds to deal with all the side effects.

Comments appreciated.

CarrieLynn
Re: DHEA problems?
Oct 3, 2005
Carrielynn or others,
What was your initial problems that they done this kind of testing for, like your symptoms?? I did have extremely high levels of DHEA about 3-4 years ago, she indicated that I may have like I guess adrenal exhaustion and I may need meds like you all take? I am prone to get Addison's or Cushings from this. So I was just wondering what your symptoms were that lead you to be tested for that and all.....thanks
Re: DHEA problems?
Oct 3, 2005
[QUOTE=boaz]Carrielynn or others,
What was your initial problems that they done this kind of testing for, like your symptoms?? I did have extremely high levels of DHEA about 3-4 years ago, she indicated that I may have like I guess adrenal exhaustion and I may need meds like you all take? I am prone to get Addison's or Cushings from this. So I was just wondering what your symptoms were that lead you to be tested for that and all.....thanks[/QUOTE]

Last Spring I signed up for a seminar on how to deal with allergies, given by an alternative professional. I spent some time talking to her about my symptoms after the seminar -- told her that whenever certain pollens were high I just felt incredibly tired and I had difficulty thinking. This wasn't all the time, but enough days of the month that it was affecting my quality of life. The symptoms were usually the worse in the morning and then I would feel progressively better all day and in the evening I would be fine, so I would stay up later trying to get things done that I didn't get done in the morning. She told me she thought I had adrenal exhaustion. So I took a saliva test -- they wanted four samples taken throughout the day -- and I mailed it off to a lab. The lab confirmed that I had low cortisol and dhea (I included the results in a previous message in this thread).

I had to deal with a number of very stressful events this past year... personal changes, my mother got really sick, one of my kids has had a chronic illness, so that definitely has had an effect on me. The past 10 years have been incredibly stressful and I think I am just worn down.

For 2 months this summer I was fine -- decent amount of energy, not complaints. Pollens were not high.

Now I'm dealing with similar fatigue (ragweed is high) and I'm also getting some mild muscle aches in my arms and my legs. The aches seem to come and go throughout the day... not every day, though. This happened last Spring too, but not this summer.

I haven't heard back from the thyroid doctor regarding what he thinks about my adrenal test. I think he's out of town this week, so I'll try to contact him next week.

--CarrieLynn
Re: DHEA problems?
Oct 6, 2005
Just a quick update. I heard back from the thyroid doctor and he wants to have me do the ACTH test. I'm going to take it at the end of this month.

I am concerned about what he'll prescribe if my results are abnormal. (Which I'm expecting they will be, or else he wouldn't have ordered the test.) I'd appreciate hearing about things to watch out for. I am concerned about taking steriods and would rather not do that.

--CarrieLynn
Re: DHEA problems?
Oct 6, 2005
CarrieLynn, If you have addisons you will need to take steriods. Addisons cannot be treated naturally. We have to take steriods unless death is desired. It is just a replacement dose so nothing to be afraid of.
Take care,
Wanda
Re: DHEA problems?
Oct 9, 2005
[QUOTE=WandaB]CarrieLynn, If you have addisons you will need to take steriods. Addisons cannot be treated naturally. We have to take steriods unless death is desired. It is just a replacement dose so nothing to be afraid of.
Take care,
Wanda[/QUOTE]

Hmmm... I don't think he suspects full-blown Addison's disease. I do think I might have some adrenal fatigue. That's what 2 other doctors have told me. (But they didn't ask for the ACTH test; they were diagnosing based on my saliva test results.)

Or is there something I don't know? Is he ordering this test because he thinks I have a mild form of Addison's? Is there such a thing as a mild form of Addison's? Would that be considered adrenal fatigue?

I'm in uncharted waters here, so I need to be educated.

--CarrieLynn
Re: DHEA problems?
Nov 12, 2005
Hi Carrielynn,

Have you had you ACTH stim. test yet? I would like to know your results, and docs opinion.

I had ACTH test recently, and my baseline cortisol was 17 and 30 min later was 21, 60 later 20. My doc thinks that was good, but another doc that I went to don't agree. He sad that It barely moved. He wants me on DHEA and I am afraid to take it because I have sensitivity to everything I take.
Good lack!

Neve
Re: DHEA problems?
Nov 17, 2005
[QUOTE=dalmatinka]Hi Carrielynn,

Have you had you ACTH stim. test yet? I would like to know your results, and docs opinion.

I had ACTH test recently, and my baseline cortisol was 17 and 30 min later was 21, 60 later 20. My doc thinks that was good, but another doc that I went to don't agree. He sad that It barely moved. He wants me on DHEA and I am afraid to take it because I have sensitivity to everything I take.
Good lack!

Neve[/QUOTE]

No, I decided not to have the ACTH test done. I saw two other doctors -- an MD and a DO for 2nd and 3rd opinions. They both separately agreed that this test would confirm what we already know from the saliva test, that I have adrenal exhaustion. I am on several supplements, including glandular, ginseng, DHEA, magnesium, fish oil, multi-vitamin. I've been going to bed early, I don't drink caffeine anymore, I eat no sugar, and I've given up alcohol for the time being. I'm living the real healthy life these days.

But since I decided not to take the ACTH test, I've been dealing with muscle aches in my arms and legs, for several weeks now. These aches wax and wane, but I am getting trigger points in my arms and shoulders. I started wondering if I have fibromyalgia... but except for the muscle aches I don't have any of the other symptoms of that (extreme fatigue, brain fog, IBS, etc.).

So I don't know what is going on. I do know that I've been under an incredible amount of stress this past year. I'm trying to do everything I can to make my life less stressful.

Interesting that two doctors analyzed your test results differently. I think that's why my 2nd and 3rd opinion doctors recommended I not do the ACTH test.

I'm on a sublingual form of DHEA. The standard dosage is 10 drops under the tongue, but I started out with just 1-2 drops and I've worked up to 5 drops every morning. You might consider doing it that way. I'm pretty sensitive to that kind of stuff myself.

--CarrieLynn





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