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Dehydroepiandrosterone or DHEA is made from cholesterol. It is a steroid hormone produced mainly by our adrenal glands, which are located on the top of our kidneys. Also, the gonads, brain, skin, and fat tissues produce small amounts of DHEA.
The body turns DHEA into two types of hormones; estrogen, the main female hormone, and testosterone, the main male hormone. It also works as a neuro-steroid, which enhances the neurons’ excitability in the brain and spinal cord.
The highest level of DHEA occurs when you are 20. Over the next 40 to 60 years of life, the DHEA levels decrease to 20% or less of the peak value. Low DHEA levels are linked to many symptoms including depression and sexual problems.
The benefits of DHEA therapy include:
Low DHEA levels are associated with low density of the bones. Studies show that DHEA therapy can preserve bone density in women and more studies are conducted about its effects on bone density in men. Besides, some studies are focusing on comparing the effects of DHEA therapy to estrogen therapy.
DHEA therapy can increase your testosterone levels since the body can turn it into testosterone.
Theoretically, maintaining optimal DHEA levels may slow down the aging process and improve the overall health, cognitive function, and body composition. Studies show that DHEA therapy improves skin firmness and hydration and can decrease the aging fine lines and spots in elderly people.
DHEA therapy is effective at treating depression in people who have low DHEA levels.
DHEA therapy can improve vaginal dryness, especially in postmenopausal women.
DHEA therapy is effective in treating people with lupus and adrenal insufficiency.
DHEA is a natural hormone in our bodies. Therefore, using it correctly is totally safe. On the other hand, it may lead to increase androgen levels and it has steroid effects.
It is important to get DHEA therapy under the supervision of your doctor since it may increase the risk of certain DHEA-sensitive cancers such as ovarian, prostate, and breast cancers. If you are at risk of having cancer, your doctor will not recommend DHEA therapy.
Also, DHEA therapy is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
In addition, DHEA therapy is not recommended for people who have high cholesterol levels or suffer from any condition affecting the blood supply of the heart such as ischemic heart diseases. DHEA therapy has negative effects on HDL or High-density lipoprotein, which is the good cholesterol.
People who suffer from mood disorders such as mania should not be treated by DHEA therapy since it increases the risk of mania and may worsen certain psychiatric conditions.
Other side effects include oily skin, acne, and hair growth in women.
At our clinic, we perform DHEA therapy after evaluating the patient completely. If there is any risk of DHEA therapy, we inform the patient and recommend other alternative therapies.
For more information, check our website or schedule an appointment.
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