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A Little Poisoning Along the Road to ME/CFS
Looking at my symptoms, many of which are far less these days and some are gone, it would be easy to figure that I'd just been dealing with some heavy-duty menopausal issues.
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DHEA - starting dose? anything else i need to know?

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by justy, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Hi all,
    Have decided to start on the DHEA and HC cream prescribed by Dr M after saliva adrenal testing showed adrenal issues.

    My DHEA levels were very low and despite being concerned about its effects on hormones (I am quite oestrogeony (sorry, not a real word) I feel I need to give it a go. I would like to support the adrenals so that I can try Armour thyroid again - which made me feel great for two weeks in the summer but then gave me awful side effects.

    I have Jarrow formulas DHEA 10mg. I don't know whether to go straight in at this dose or try taking less.

    I often have bad reactions to supplements. The tablets are powder inside a clear capsule that can be taken apart, so I thought I could try a small bit for a few days to see what happens.

    Just wanting to hear others thoughts/experiences etc. I have heard from a few women who had problems with hormones and even breast cancer, but nothing from anyone who thought it was worthwhile.

    I feel I need to try this treatment as I keep spending money on testing and doctors and then scaring myself of the treatments. It seems a terrible waste of money if I don't at least try (although all my experience so far has shown me that pretty much everything I try has an adverse effect either short or long term!!)

    Ta,
    Justy x
     
  2. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    I would start with 5mg, most women dont need more than 10mg. If your estrogen dominant then dhea could help you with this as it seems to havemore effects on testosterone than it does on estrogen in women, and then help with estrogen dominance.

    I also found iinitially dhea quite stimulating when I started it but these were dose of 25 to 50mg. Because of this I dropped the dose to 5mg and slowly worked the dose up. Im now on 25mg twice day and this has me in the top third of the range for men.

    Have u looked into progesterone for estrogen dominance, it can also help with increasing cortisol levels indirectly through a mechanism called pregnenolone steal. Preg can also help with cortisol too.

    Good luck, I hope it works out for you.
     
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  3. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    @heapsreal - thanks for the info, I was hoping you might pop by and share you wide knowledge. I have used the herb Agnus castus for estrogen dominance in the past and it was quite useful...perhaps it's time for a trip to the herbalist.

    Cheers!
     
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  4. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    @justy I want to let you know that I did absolutely horribly with HC. I took it back in 2009 to "help my adrenals," as per the Jefferies book, and my saliva tests, which indicated low cortisol. It ended up overstimulating them, causing the *worst* and most dreadful 6 week bout of anxiety and heart palpitations I've ever had, and then led to one of the worst bedridden 3 year long crashes I've ever had. After 4 years of repair on my adrenals (using acupuncture, herbs, and diet), I am better, but still not yet completely recovered from that hideous HC fiasco, which in my case was a big mistake.

    As for the DHEA, I have found that straight DHEA did not work for me (again too stimulating), but the 7 Keto DHEA, which is a metabolite of DHEA, actually works well. I am able to take that regularly--about 12 mg/day with no problem. During pollen season, I take 25 mg/day and do fine with it.

    I encourage you to trust your instincts and listen to your body when it comes to these kind of hormone replacements. Everyone is different, and what works great for one person can destroy another. I learned that lesson the hard way.
     
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  5. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    I want to add that progesterone has been excellent for me. I have never had any problems with it. I use the bio-identical cream I get from my naturopath. You have to keep it in balance with estrogen, especially if you are menopausal. You need both to be in a balance that works for YOU and that can be checked with the saliva tests. My dose of estrogen, which I needed for hot flashes, is smaller than my dose of the progesterone.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014
  6. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Thanks @Dreambirdie for letting me know your experience. I have been given HC cream to rub on, so only low dose. I'm not normally keen on steroids as I already take inhaled ones daily for lungs and have had them orally for pneumonia etc - I have been really messed up by them in the past - years of too high a dose of steroids (pred) caused my immune system to crash.

    I have done a few years of herbal support - licorice and other herbs which helped a bit, but my testing has been since then and it shows very poor adrenal function still.

    I think both of your responses have reminded me to go very low and slow to begin and work up to full doses (which are not high anyway)

    All the best,
    Justy.
     
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  7. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    @justy
    I was diagnosed a few years ago with flat-lining cortisol levels.
    Last time I had them tested they were in the high range, now I know either is not good but the only thing I would say I take consistently is high dose vit C. I buy the liposomal one - it is expensive but I already have enough gut problems. 1 sachet is equivalent to 10.000mg of the ordinary stuff, or so the makers state.
    Good luck with the HC - if you start low enough you will be able to gauge your response and stop immediately if you feel worse. I do hope it works for you though, so hard when everything we try seems to send us backwards.
     
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  8. PennyIA

    PennyIA Senior Member

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    Thanks for sharing. I had HORRID albeit not as severe issues with Adrenal support... adrenosol (sp?)... and my doctor has now suggested I take 7 Keto DHEA and Armour low-dose. I got horrid jitters and racing heart that brought with it severe muscle fatigue-based pain. He wanted me to work through it as it was going to convert to true energy... only within a week I knew I had to at least cut back. I crashed - but it was only for about two months... still on my way out of that crash now.

    Since I've had severe clotting issues in the past, I've tried to avoid a lot of hormone-based treatments (specifically estrogen and progesterin)... but am hoping to tolerate these.
     
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  9. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    @PennyIA What does this mean.... "convert to true energy...?" It sounds like magical thinking or guesswork at best, something this guy was making up, so he could push you through his agenda.

    My (idiot) doctor actually told me that "I couldn't possibly get anxiety and palpitations from taking HC." I heard him flipping through a book as I talked to him on the phone about my adverse effects. Then (once he finally found the right page to read from), he mumbled that I "could get psychosis, but not anxiety."

    I am so glad I stopped the HC when I did, because I think it could have given me a heart attack. I was so ill from it. Just horribly sick. And I was completely on my own to repair the damage caused by this idiot MD's advice.

    It's mind boggling how many really bad doctors there are out there. Anyone who uses hormones should be very careful to take it slow and tune in to THEIR OWN BODY. Messing with the steroid hormones especially is like playing with fire.
     
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  10. PennyIA

    PennyIA Senior Member

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    Yeah. I don't know. I know that my adrenals test all out of wack. And that my test results reflect extremely high levels of adrenalin all day long (semi low in the morning). Only I don't feel like I'm pumped full of adrenolin. I feel like I'm dragging myself through the bare minimum of what I can cope with. I assume the 'adrenolin rush' is actually due to me making myself try to function at work. If I continue this, I believe that I'll fry out my adrenols and then I'll be completely incompacitated... but I'm working as long as I can in an attempt to set myself up as best as I can for when I need to be on long-term disability.

    According to him, the Adrenosol helps people 'balance' their adrenols. He at least didn't dismiss my symptoms so much as thought it was the 'shot of adrenaline' I probably needed (wtf?)... and that it would mean that I would be full of energy (I wasn't). I was literally sitting in a chair with all my major muscles twitching, my heart racing and completely miserable.

    I was also seeing a acupuncturist (his idea) at the same time and she agrees that Adrenosol is probably not something I can tolerate. She'd rather I stuck to methylation treatment and gave it more time... because at one point I was at about my personal best at 90% of normal-for-my-age energy right before I started the Adrenosol and crashed. I stopped all supplementation for about three weeks and restarted my mehtylation supplements over at low-and-slow levels. I'm back to the levels I was at before my crash, but at only about 30% of normal-for-my-age energy level. Still working. Still not functioning outside of work.
     
  11. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    @justy

    I take 10 mg of "ordinary" DHEA and do fine with it--but I was extremely low on when tested before starting it.

    Seems like starting with 5 mg would be a safe plan, then seeing how you respond.

    Sushi
     
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  12. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    I am so sorry you've been through so much with this. When my adrenals are weak, I feel shaky and pumped full of adrenalin too, so I know what you're talking about.

    Acupuncture has helped me a lot with restoring my adrenals. I hope that works for you too.
     
  13. L'engle

    L'engle moderate ME

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    I would try a bit out of the capsule if you can take it apart. I had my sleep very disrupted by dhea even though I never took more than 5mg. Interestingly it did help my aerobic capacity, but since I could not sleep at all I was still unable to do anything 23 hours a day, just could manage walks better. I haven't taken it since but also haven't thrown out the bottle like I have with most supplements.
     
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  14. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    So i'm wondering now if JUST taking the DHEA without the HC cream might be a good idea...
    My DHEA levels were very low on testing. My cortisol was in normal range at waking but then crashes very low at about midday for the rest of the day.

    Will DHEA help with cortisol production? can I ever get my cortisol production normal whilst taking an inhaled steroid anyway?

    Oh I wish it were simple...
     
  15. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    start with one at a time is a good idea as they can both be stimulating and u could get a double whammy. I would consider dhea first as it helps counteract many negative effects of cortisol and has a balancing effetc??
     
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  16. clive powney

    clive powney Senior Member

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    Justy

    Have you read the stopthethyroidmadness website and/or book yet. My adrenals are in a similar position to yours i.e. very underactive all day and my dhea flat lines below the minimum also. I am just in the process of getting all my ducks in a row (see below) They say in there that this is late stage adrenal fatigue. It mentions that dhea is not a good idea at this stage and also if you want to get on thyroid meds (T3 Only or dessicated) you need to take a physiological dose of HC i.e approx. 25mg as a start until your avg daily temp is stable if not add 2.5mg until they are - give 2 weeks before increasing. Cream is ok but not as effective (it is mentioned in the book). It says that patients have learnt not to take too small amounts of HC as it can cause the adrenals to stop working even more. You can apparently also use a small amount of thyroid med at this point , but you must make sure that you are not deficient in iron or b12 or other supps - see links below
    Please read these three links
    http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/adrenal-wisdom/
    http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/safe-uses/
    http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/ducks-in-a-row/
     
  17. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    @Clive, thanks for the links etc. I had read somewhere about too low a dose of HC being a problem - seems hard to know which way to turn. Dr S seems bemused by the whole thing and just thinks I need to get back on the Armour. Dr M says no Armour, but HC cream/low dose only, with DHEA until adrenals better then add Armour.
    Now I seem to have yet another view - HC needs to be high enough, no DHEA!!!???

    So hard to know which way to turn - although I do very much respect the STTM website.

    At this stage I am thinking - what is actually causing all this stuff to go awry - why am I one of those patients who seems to try one thing, only to find it pushes something else out of line. I believe it could be that I have other things going on - Lyme? cpn? some other chronic infection? immune dosirder of some kind.?

    I am really not keen on anything beyond low doses of HC - have had big issues with steroids in the past and became extremely ill for a few years with my immune system crashed and continual lung and chest infections and stomach bugs - don't want to go there again!

    A trip to Belgium to see KDM is back on the books this year, so maybe tos best to try some low and slow things while I wait to go there and get more comprehensive testing.?

    How are things going for you right now?
     
  18. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Another option to use with hc is stress dosing. Generally its spoken about in those already on hc say 20mg a day and if some other stress is an issue then the hc dose is increased. I think though one could stress dose but dont use hc all the time eg if function somewhat ok then no hc but if one has a big day or say gets a cold then take a 5-10mg dose of hc but say limit it to no more then 2-3 days?? Another thing that may help is to use pregnenolone (transdermal creams said to be the best?)instead of hc all the time as it can help increase cortisol without any negative feedback issues, one can also stress dose with preg or even stress dose with hc when on pregnenolone. you may find long term this will increase body temps and thyroid function also??

    I thought i was hypothyroid as my body temps have always been low, dhea/preg helped some but then once i was on testosterone finally my body temps stablized at a normal range. I think it may be helpful to correct all the other hormone issues first and then if thyroid is whacked then look into thyroid replacement as all these other hormones play apart in optimal thyroid function.
     
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  19. clive powney

    clive powney Senior Member

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    From memory the STTM site doesn't say that you have to start at a high dose of HC but in the past patients have had issues with adrenalin surges as a lower dose stops the adrenals from being used (what it is supposed to do), but there is not enough cortisol to get you through the day. So if you need some the body reacts with adrenalin and it can be uncomfortable.
     
  20. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Generally speaking most cortico steriods can be stopped after 3 days before adrenals stop producing cortisol and I also think its dose dependant.
     
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