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Addison's Disease Message Board


Addison's Disease Board Index


What is DHEA?
May 2, 2008
Hi there- i have been reading the term DHEA quite alot... what is it and how do you get tested to see if its the right level?
I am sure i have some sort of adrenal prob-(due to my lifelong panic attacks and anxiety) but when i showed the GP a list of symptoms and the correlation to poor adrenal function she wasn't supportive of any testing. The neurologist wasn't interested either....
Don't people take a DHEA supplement?
Re: What is DHEA?
May 2, 2008
DHEA is a precursor hormone - it converts into both estrogen and testosterone. Estrogen and testosterone are closely related and convert to each other as needed.
The best test is DHEA sulfate. At least, that is what my docs use.
It is made by the adrenals but since it has a downward effect - taking it can effect other hormones so... it pays to be careful IMHO.
It is OTC in the US, but it is not in other countries. Some see it as a fountain of youth - yeah. not.
I take it as studies show that those without adrenals benefit from taking it. I also do not have ovaries so I have no source of estrogen or testosterone on my own so it helps me.
Taking too much gives you greasy skin and acne.
I only take 25mg now. I have taken up to 50 mg.
Re: What is DHEA?
May 2, 2008
DHEA is produced by the adrenal glands in conjunction with cortisol. It is often called anti-cortisol because DHEA can counteract some bad effects of cortisol.

Because DHEA isn't profitable to study, no one knows what safe levels to take or the actual use of DHEA in the body. It is involved in the immune system so if you don't make DHEA your immune system will be compromised. It is known that women with high and low levels have an increased mortality; this doesn't seem to be true for men.

Doctors test DHEA levels by looking at DHEAS which appears to be a storage mode for your body.





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