Today I’m going to talk about DHEA, which is dehydroepiandrosterone.

Forget that, right? DHEA. It is a master hormone, and here at the clinic we do bioidentical hormone replacement for people. So DHEA is a hormone that I’m frequently asked about and that we frequently prescribe to our clients here.

DHEA is available over-the-counter, that’s not really something I recommend, but it is available over-the-counter. The way that I prescribe it is in a sustained release form. So, people take it once in the morning and it will last that 24 hours for them.

I have a handful of patients that it creates some sleepiness for, so they’ve switched to taking it at nighttime, and because I write for the sustained release formula, it works out well for them. It’s sustaining them throughout the 24-hour timeframe.

I use a compounding pharmacy for my DHEA, so for me, this is definitely more of a prescription than just an over-the-counter nutritional aid. So, in your sex hormone cascade, everything starts with cholesterol.

So, if we drive people’s cholesterol down too low, then they’re not going to be able to make their sex hormones, so that’s an important point for me. Um, so everything starts with cholesterol and then it goes to DHEA, and then eventually to testosterone and estradiol, which is the main estrogen that the human body makes.

You cannot reliably replace people’s testosterone and estrogens by just replacing the DHEA. They’re all separate hormones, they all have their own affects, so you have to replace the DHEA along with the testosterone and estrogen if needed.

Progesterone also comes from cholesterol, but it’s a different branch, and I’m simplifying things. There’s a whole bunch of chemical intermediaries there, but it’s cholesterol, DHEA, testosterone, estrogen, and today we’re talking specifically about DHEA.

So how would one know that they need DHEA, and why would people need DHEA? Well DHEA starts to decline when you’re in your 30s, so pretty early on really, but if you have significant stress in your life, then it can cause the DHEA to decline even more.

And everybody’s living stressful lives today, so it’s not uncommon for me to see what I would consider younger clients who are already showing problems with their hormone levels. And I’ve also seen the reverse where people’s lifestyles have improved either through intentional effort or their life situation has improved, but their overall stress in their life has declined and their hormone production has recovered as a result.

So even though somebody’s in their 20s, 30s, 40s even, it is possible for the DH- for their DHEA levels to be, too low. So, if I have a DHEA deficiency, people have difficulty dealing with stress, they’re more likely to get infections, their immune system just kind of takes a hit.

They lose muscle mass, they put on weight easier, they get decreased energy and muscle strength, irritability and joint soreness, kind of fatigue. So, benefits from replacing DHEA, it improves your sleep. So, you’re getting a denser sleep, and we know that not only is that when the body heals, but that’s also when the brain heals.

So, sleep is so important. If you’re not sleeping, you’re not going to lose weight. So, along with the DHEA, weight management, effect, it might also be that the sleep is improved and that might be why, the weight is more manageable.

It is protective, to the brain, it protects against cancer, diabetes, obesity, cholesterol, heart and autoimmune problems. It elevates your growth hormone on its own. Growth hormones levels, decline as we age and this is one way to, help support that and prevent that decline.

This is why DHEA is called a master hormone, it’s further back in that cascade and it affects so many other hormones. It’s anabolic, meaning that it helps your body build up. So, it helps you to build muscle and bone strength. Bone strength is so important, not only for decreasing our fall risk, but to help prevent osteoporosis.

It balances your cortisol, it decreases the fatty deposits in your blood vessels, and it prevents, co- blood clots, improves your sensitivity to insulin. Diabetes is such a huge problem, and insulin is like miracle growth for fat cells. As soon as your body needs to secrete insulin, it will stop any kind of burning of fat.

Um, and so to make your body more sensitive to insulin and getting the sugar, uh, out of the bloodstream, that’s a huge benefit. It improves your brain function and memory. It gives you a- a sense of wellbeing, so it can be an antidepressant and helps to reduce anxiety.

DHEA supports the body repair, it lowers triglycerides, it’s anti-inflammatory. So, as you can see, it’s kind of … the benefits are kind of all over the place, and it seems like you know, a miracle, you know, “Take- take this now and it cures everything,” kind of substance, but the reason why it’s got such overreaching benefits is because it’s a master hormone and it’s just further back in that cascade, and it affects everybody system.

So again, like I said, I specifically measure DHEA using saliva testing, and I specifically write prescriptions for a sustained release DHEA through a compounding pharmacy. This hormone is powerful enough that I feel like that it needs that type of attention.

I’ve also seen female clients come in and they’re using dosages that are meant for a male client. So, you also have to keep in mind that female dosing is distinctly different than male dosing. So, you don’t want male taking a female level, because they’re not going to see benefits. It’s just not good enough.

And you don’t want to see a female taking a male dosage. So, if you have any other questions please feel free to contact the clinic for an appointment, and we can, get your hormones level and get you started. I hope you’re having a great day. Thanks.

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