If you think you have a hormonal imbalance, DHEA (or dehydroepiandrosterone) might very well be the culprit. Visit Healthy Me Medical Therapies in Miami Shores, FL for a full medical check up and blood panel. Dr. Carlos Sanchez, board certified physician and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy expert can prescribe the proper treatment plan.
What is DHEA For Women?
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is referred to as the “mother of all hormones”. This is because it fuels the hormone pathway – a term that refers to the body’s delicate interplay of hormones. In addition, it is also one of the steroid hormones. Furthermore, DHEA is a precursor to all of the body’s sex hormones. Women rely on adequate levels of DHEA to balance other key hormones throughout the body, such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. DHEA in women, like other forms of androgen (such as testosterone), is produced by the adrenal glands. As women age, DHEA levels– like most other hormone levels begin to decline.
WHY IS DHEA KNOWN AS THE MOTHER OF ALL HORMONES?
It is known as the “mother hormone” because of its ability to be metabolized into all other major sex hormones. A female makes about 25 mg of DHEA per day. Peak production occurs around age 25 and then begins to decline. By age 70, production has declined about 80%.
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How Does Your Body Use DHEA
Your brain controls the production of DHEA. Your body uses a unique mechanism known as negative feedback to control the production of DHEA. Negative feedback tells your brain that once DHEA levels drop in your body, the mechanism is switched “on” and begins to produce more of the hormone. Once DHEA levels begin to rise, negative feedback is switched “off.”
What Are The Uses of DHEA
DHEA has not been approved by the FDA for any medical use other than vaginal atrophy. Researchers are investigating its potential for a number of other purposes, but larger and more powerful clinical trials are still required for all of them.
DHEA levels affect testosterone and estrogen levels because it is a precursor to these hormones. Low DHEA is also associated with sexual dysfunction. Women sometimes take DHEA as a supplement during menopause to increase their level of estrogen. Ovarian reserve is the capacity for the ovaries to produce a healthy egg that is ready for fertilization. Women with poor ovarian reserve who also did not respond well to IVF were given DHEA. These women had a higher rate of pregnancy and higher ovarian reserve than the group who did not take DHEA.
Brain Function & Mental Health
DHEA stimulates neurons and inhibits cortisol. In humans, salivary DHEA increases with cognitive tasks and working memory. It also participates in the emotional regulation of memory and the connections between the amygdala and hippocampus (memory center). DHEA levels in the brain are also involved in visual processing, awareness, and attention.
DHEA has anti-cortisol properties and protects against depression.
Topical application of DHEA improved markers associated with skin aging in a pilot study of 40 postmenopausal women. In another study of 280 older men and women, an oral DHEA supplement restored blood levels of DHEA to levels expected in younger people and improved the appearance and structure of the skin.
DHEA treatment has been studied for various women’s health conditions and has actually been proven as an effective treatment for vaginal atrophy, a common condition in which the vaginal walls become thinner after menopause.
How Does DHEA Help With Fertility?
By supplementing with DHEA, it is possible to raise both to normal levels, and in doing so, dramatically increase the number and the quality of eggs retrieved in IVF. Clinical studies show that supplementing with DHEA significantly increases the pregnancy rate and live birth rate in IVF.
Frequently Asked Questions for Progesterone Therapy in Miami
Does DHEA Increase Muscle Mass?
DHEA supplements will not cause abnormal muscle growth in young men or women. But supplemental DHEA will support maintaining muscle mass in men and women after age 50. Think of DHEA as improving muscle health rather than building huge muscles.
What Is A DHEA Test
This blood test is often done for women who seem to have too many male hormones. It can also be done when a woman has a low sex drive and when a boy starts puberty too early. Your natural DHEA levels are highest when you’re a young adult. They get lower as you age. In your adrenal glands and liver, DHEA changes to DHEA-S (DHEA-sulfate)
The DHEA-S test is done to check whether your adrenal glands are working well. It measures the amount of DHEA-S in your bloodstream.
What Is DHEA Sulfate?
DHEA sulfate is the storage form of DHEA. Importantly, every tissue in your body and brain can produce the enzyme to remove the sulfate, so that DHEA can then activate repair in that area. when you instruct your doctor to measure your DHEA, make sure that your doctor is measuring DHEA sulfate rather than free DHEA. Free DHEA varies throughout the day whereas DHEA sulfate remains steady and is a reliable indicator of your needed for supplementation.