Test for DHEA

Although not yet formally validated, DHEA testing can be performed on blood, saliva or urine samples. DHEA levels from these sources generally reflect a person’s DHEA status. The most common blood test to evaluate this hormone is one that measures DHEAS (sulfate).

When having your blood tested for DHEAS, it is recommended that blood should be drawn 3-4 hours after the last dose, if you are taking DHEA. When testing blood levels for DHEA, which has a shorter life than DHEAS in the blood stream, consider testing 2 hours after your last dose. Testing at least 12 hours since your last dose of DHEA should reflect unsupplemented levels.

 


Test for DHEA can help with the following

Autoimmune  

Hyperthyroidism

Some doctors report finding that a high percentage of patients with autoimmune disorders, such as Graves’ disease, are also deficient in DHEA, and should be tested.



 

Autoimmune Tendency

Some doctors report finding that a high percentage of patients with autoimmune disorders are also deficient in DHEA, and should be tested.



 

Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythromatosis) / Risk

DHEA is almost always low in patients with autoimmune conditions such as SLE.

One of the first medical publications to report the beneficial effects of anabolic steroids on Lupus erythematosis was performed at Stanford University Medical Center under the direction of JL McGuire, M.D. He reported in 1995 that DHEA, an over-the-counter hormone, was able to decrease proteinuria and fatigue symptoms in female lupus patients. [J Rheumatology 1998:25(12): pp.2352-6] In a follow-up study in by his associate van Vollenhoven [J Rheumatology 1998;25(2): pp.285-9], they confirmed the beneficial effects of DHEA in both premenopausal and menopausal women followed for one year.

Van Vollenhoven reported that “the weakly androgenic adrenal steroid dehydro- epiandrosterone (DHEA) raised not only DHEA and DHEA-S levels, but also the level of testosterone. His patients showed a decrease in disease activity measured by the SLE Disease Activity Index score, patient global assessment and physician global assessment over the entire year. Other than mild acne, there were no complaints.



 

Myasthenia Gravis

DHEA is almost always low in patients with autoimmune conditions such as myasthenia gravis.



 

Ulcerative Colitis

DHEA can be a factor in autoimmune problems, which some consider ulcerative colitis to be.



Immunity  


 


Risks  

Increased Risk of Breast Cancer

Of 5,000 women followed in one study, 27 developed cancer. Most of the 27 had abnormally low levels of DHEA.



Key

May do some good
Likely to help

Glossary

DHEA

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a steroid produced by the adrenal glands and is the most abundant one found in humans. DHEA may be transformed into testosterone, estrogen or other steroids. It is found in the body as DHEA or in the sulfated form known as DHEA-S. One form is converted into the other as needed.

Hormones

Chemical substances secreted by a variety of body organs that are carried by the bloodstream and usually influence cells some distance from the source of production. Hormones signal certain enzymes to perform their functions and, in this way, regulate such body functions as blood sugar levels, insulin levels, the menstrual cycle, and growth. These can be prescription, over-the-counter, synthetic or natural agents. Examples include adrenal hormones such as corticosteroids and aldosterone; glucagon, growth hormone, insulin, testosterone, estrogens, progestins, progesterone, DHEA, melatonin, and thyroid hormones such as thyroxine and calcitonin.

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