This is the fifth of 5 consecutive blog posts on women and hormones. I thought I would start with this photo as an example of how beautiful all can be when everything is well balanced. In Sun Valley, it’s the mountains. In a women’s body, it’s all the hormones. The symphony of hormones.
Never heard about the hormone DHEA? Heard about it but don’t know why it is so important? You have heard about it but you don’t think your doctor ever has?
DHEA is a hormone made by the adrenal glands. A small amount is also made in the brain and skin. DHEA production declines with age starting in the late 20’s. By the age of 70, the body may only make 1/4 of the amount of DHEA it made earlier.
DHEA makes estrogen and testosterone in both men and women. DHEA levels may also change when a person has stress at any age.
So, what are the functions of DHEA?
Decreases the formation of fatty deposits.
Prevents blood clots.
Increases bone growth.
Promotes weight loss.
Increases brain function.
Increases lean body mass.
Increases sense of well-being.
It helps one deal with stress better.
Supports the immune system.
It helps the body repair itself and maintain tissues.
Decreases allergic reactions.
In the elderly, DHEA improves physical and psychological well-being, muscle strength and bone density, and reduces body fat and age-related skin atrophy.
In one study, DHEA induced remission in the majority of patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Low levels of DHEA correlate with increased cardiovascular disease and the chance of dying from any cause.
DHEA appears protective in asthma and allergy. It reduces eosinophilia and airway hypersensitivity.
In women, DHEA improves sexual satisfaction, fertility, and age-related vaginal atrophy.
So, what are the causes of low DHEA?
Smoking. Nicotine prevents the production of something called 11-beta-hydroxylase which is needed to make DHEA.
So, what might someone expect to happen if they use DHEA replacement?
Increase muscle strength and lean body mass.
Activation of the immune system function.
Increase in quality of life.
Increased feeling of wellness.
Decreased joint soreness. It is so good, it is almost like an “NSAID.” That whole class of medicines that include ibuprofen and aspirin.
Increased insulin sensitivity. Think improved insulin resistance and blood sugar control.
Stops the damaging effects of stress.
Elevates growth hormone levels.
Women are more sensitive to the effects of DHEA and need less DHEA than men.
So, what are the symptoms of DHEA excess?
Deepening of voice.
A classic sign of excess DHEA in women is something we can see at times in our daily lives. When you have been out and about, just generally doing what you do every day, have you ever seen someone “going postal?” Someone totally losing it over the smallest thing? In women, that can be too much DHEA.
DHEA is so important when it comes to autoimmune disease. But, you can see that it is so important for the body as a whole. Too much, too little are both problems. Just like with all the hormones. Remember, hormones are like a big symphony orchestra.
“Got a revolution. Got to revolution.”
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DHEA is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It is called the “Mother Hormone” because it can be converted to other vital hormones, such as estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, etc.* Levels of DHEA drop off dramatically after age 30, and scientists feel this may be one of the reasons for aging.* DHEA is involved in a variety of health areas and it is recommended that testing for DHEA levels be performed before it is administered.* Our DHEA is in a 99.5% pure form.
For women without an Autoimmune Disease, the daily amount of DHEA is 5-10mg. For women with an Autoimmune Disease, the daily amount of is DHEA 25mg daily.
DHEA 25mg is recommended for women with Autoimmune Diseases.
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