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DHEA

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Katyw, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. Katyw

    Katyw

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    Hi everyone

    I have been prescribed DHEA supplements (25mg daily) as my levels were very low and have been taking these for a couple of weeks now. I wanted to hear anyone's experience with these- I recently heard on another forum that many women have experienced bad symptoms like losing their hair, acne, increase facial hair! I'm starting to worry now! thanks in advance x
     
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  2. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    That could be a dose that might give you some of these effects. I was taking 10 mg (I was very low on tests) and did get an increase in facial hair.

    Sushi
     
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  3. Katyw

    Katyw

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    @Sushi Oh no!! How long did you take 10mg for? Did you continue taking it? Any other horrible side effects?
     
  4. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I sent you a conversation.
     
  5. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    I take 20 mg and no side effects. It kind of depends on what it converts to in you. I get estrogen for the most part but you could have problems if you get mostly testosterone or DHT. It's good to know your levels of other sex hormones first so you can see what has increases with DHEA.

    I try to keep my DHEAs level around 300-350.
     
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  6. Katyw

    Katyw

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    Thanks for your reply @Ema

    How do you know what it converts to? I've had my hormones tested and estrogen and testosterone are within normal range. However, I have always suffered with acne and excess hair so since finding out about the side effects it is worrying me

    Do you think normalising DHEA is an important part of healing?
     
  7. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    Taking DHEA for extended periods can eventually suppress production of cortisol, something we need to get us up in the morning and give us glucose. Taking too much may eventually lead to adrenal fatigue, due to the suppression. IMHO 25mg is way too high for a woman. For a male it would be fine.

    I watched a really good whiteboard lecture last night from the Holtorf Medical Group that discussed the use of supplements and medications to treat the adrenal glands.

    There was only a short promo at the beginning, the rest was like a freshman college lecture. I thought it was very well done. I'm a retired medical technologist with a B.S. in Medical Technology and I thought it was just the right amount of technical information.

    http://www.holtorfmed.com/live

    I don't know how long that link will remain active. They have other lectures about the thyroid, perimenopause, etc.
     
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  8. Katyw

    Katyw

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    Thanks so much @CFS_for_19_years
    That lecture looks really interesting- I'll look at that tomorrow :)

    I thought 25mg was too much as well. So, do you think it's ok to leave DHEA levels low? I'm just not sure what to do. Which is the lesser if two evils!
     
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  9. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    It's not OK to leave DHEA levels low in my opinion. Studies consistently show that DHEA improves sense of well being and may likely be neuroprotective.

    I've never seen a study that shows that taking DHEA leads to adrenal suppression. It can balance high cortisol though which is why it is good to have a sufficient supply.

    25 mg is a typical dose for a woman. Men often take up to 50 mg. Studies usually use much higher doses than those even which shows how safe it is.

    That said, there's no harm in starting low and working up. If you find yourself getting greasy or zitty, you can back down.

    I would just get sex hormone labs (on day 21 if premenopausal) prior to starting so you would have a good baseline when you retest. But most people would probably just go by symptoms.
     
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  10. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    No, I don't think it's OK to leave DHEA levels low. I've taken DHEA at the advice of a naturopath and an MD (non-traditional) at various times. I think it MAY be fine to start at a much lower dose, going drop by drop with a liquid suspension. It should not be taken forever. Blood levels for DHEA-S should be checked regularly once you've begun treatment. It is best to procure your supplements from a doctor's office because what's stated on the label may not be what's in the bottle, as far as potency goes. If your doctor can't supply you with a reliable source, I would choose Enyzmatic Therapy or Biotics Research from the following list:

    http://www.luckyvitamin.com/c-1483-dhea?res_per_page=100

    There may be other brands that are just as good, but I don't have any experience with them. I have used Intensive Nutrition DHEA in DMSO but I can't vouch for the stated amount. At least it was a liquid.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
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  11. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    The fact that you've never seen a study just means you've never been exposed to the truth. It's not a matter of opinion, it is fact.
     
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  12. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    Please post the study then. I love to learn!

    I know lots of people that have taken DHEA long term without adrenal suppression. It doesn't even hold up anecdotally.
     
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  13. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

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    My DHEA levels are also very low, but I cant tolerate the supplement - even 2-5 mg a day made me very aggressive feeling, irritable and weepy. I just decided in the end not to take it at all.

    What choice do I have? I also have fluctuating cortisol throughout the day - normal at am, huge dip at midday, then normal at afternoon and huge dip below normal again at night time.
     
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  14. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    You could try going upstream to pregnenolone.

    Or possibly a transdermal cream which is processed differently because it skips first pass liver metabolism.

    Increasing magnesium levels may also improve DHEA.

    Most likely working on your adrenal function overall would help improve DHEA levels also.
     
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  15. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    A medical textbook would have that information. YOU go look for it or listen to this lecture, presented by a naturopath.

    http://www.holtorfmed.com/live
     
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  16. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    It's not up to me to prove your arguments. That's your job.

    So again, please post one study that shows that long term DHEA supplementation causes permanent adrenal suppression. I really would like to see this if it exists.

    A lecture is worth very little without a reference of some sort to back it up. And you will find that I am one of the more lenient here when it comes to the type of evidence I am willing to consider.
     
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  17. Katyw

    Katyw

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    Thanks everyone- there's some great information there.

    @Ema Do you think pregnenalone would work better for increasing DHEA in women? It worries me that I will get lots of unwanted side effects as I arrest have bad skin and hair problems.

    @CFS_for_19_years yes I've got the DHEA from my ME doctor but maybe I should ask for a lower dose.

    @justy I've heard transdermal magnesium could help with DHEA too.

    There is conflicting advice on some websites- some say its ok to take 25mg if your levels are low without experiencing side effects; others say that 5mg is enough and should be introduced slowly! I just don't know. My doctor said I shouldn't have any adverse effects on 25mg but so many people I've heard about have!


    I'm also applying hydrocortisone cream 20mg daily as I have low cortisol. It's high in the morning and then very low the rest of the day.
     
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  18. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    Sigh.....

    Will this do?

    http://www.drdebe.com/articles/dhea-the-real-story

     
  19. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    Nope, sorry. The actual scientific literature doesn't bear any of that out. It's just his opinion.

    I do agree to work on the state of the HPA axis to optimize cortisol and DHEA production on your own but there is zero evidence that taking it long terms shuts down the adrenals.

    There is also no evidence that DHEA lowers cortisol further once it is already too low. If that were the case, people with Addison's would not see benefit from supplementing DHEA and the literature clearly shows an increase in well being from supplementation.

    It's a common misconception though so I understand how one could be mislead.

    FWIW, I counted at least three factual mistakes in the Holtorf presentation. Take that video with a grain of salt...most notably that Florinef shouldn't be taken by those with high blood pressure. Florinef can normalize high blood pressure as well. It's not cut and dried.
     
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  20. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    You could try pregnenolone but I think they actually work best together. You might get some DHEA but it just depends on your own predominant pathways and enzymes. I would only try that if you can absolutely not tolerate any DHEA at all.

    I think it is a very reasonable idea to start low.

    That is one place I think the Holtorf lecture is dead wrong...most women get E out of DHEA. The body doesn't sense that pathway is full and then go to T instead. It usually just gives you more E. The path of least resistance and all. But that is why it can be good to get baseline testing so you know. If you are low in T, most women have to take actual testosterone because they don't get it from DHEA.

    Have you tried zinc for acne?

    How is the HC cream working for you? Have you thought about something like licorice to help extend your AM cortisol into the afternoon?
     

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