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My experience with DHEA

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by justy, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Well unsurprisingly another thing I tired made me feel worse. It's making me so annoyed that I send money on doctors who have great suggestions, they may even find things to treat, but I can never tolerate the treatments.

    My saliva cortisol test showed very low DHEA, normal waking cortisol which crashes by midday way down low and stays that way until the next morning.

    Dr M prescribed HC cream (10mg daily) which I haven't touched yet through fear of side effects and also 10mg a day of DHEA.

    I started by taking the capsules apart and just putting a little tiny bit back in to see how that went and did this every other day for two weeks, gradually working up to about half a cap (roughly 5mg, buy you cant really tell) every day, for about a further week.

    I was pleased because I didn't have any catastrophic effects from it, as usual neither did I flee any better. But towards the end of the trial I noticed I felt very very weepy all the time and couldn't stop crying (haven't felt like that for years) I was also very very irritable and wanted to kill everybody in sight. I decided to stop. I didn't at any point feel any better. Fatigue was also massively worse.

    SO ANOTHER TREATMENTS AND LOTS OF MONEY BITES THE DUST (Sorry not shouting, caps lock on by mistake)

    What have others experiences been? do I really need to take it? why does this always happen to me with everything I try, especially as im not as ill as I used to be?

    My hunch is that perhaps I have some sort of chronic infection or virus that is causing all the disequilibrium in my body and that only trying to treat that will help to balance the other issues. My adrenals are not good and neither is my thyroid (subclinical hypo, but can't take meds) That is why I am going to see KDM to try and get deeper into what is happening.

    All the best, Justy
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
    peggy-sue and golden like this.
  2. adreno

    adreno 3% neanderthal

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    You might want to make sure that you have enough pregnenolone before supplementing DHEA. A 2:1 ratio is probably good. It might also be that pregnenolone works fine on its own, as some might be converted to DHEA.
    peggy-sue, GhostGum and justy like this.
  3. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    I had a similiar reaction to dhea. I'm a pacifist so I hate to think what this is doing to those who like to inflict harm.

    I'm trying to learn more about how hormones work but it's a "cfs" challenge nowadays.

    Like ...

    Do all hormones fluctuate regularly, (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly) ?

    Which hormones are affected by foods like soy, sunshine (D), stress (cortisol), menstrual cycle / pregnancy influences, melatonin (light), etc etc. ?

    And do our bodies have a hormone that counteract dhea ? Is there a pre-cursor needed for proper conversion?

    If dhea increases testosterone how do our female bodies react to that?

    If so, how does a single test for dhea, etc help? Shouldn't these be repeated to look for a pattern?

    I ask because I wasn't considered menopausal until I'd gone one year without a period. And yet my labs repeatedly for 1-2 years said I was.

    Hmmmmm ... x
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
    justy likes this.
  4. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    I thought I read something about sDHEA recently, not sure what it is, web search it. I think I have heard of people compounding it also.

    GG
    justy likes this.
  5. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    Some people can't tolerate supplemental DHEA until they have sufficient cortisol levels. I'm not sure why this is but I've seen it reported time and again.
    peggy-sue likes this.
  6. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    I just started DHEA. I also have very low DHEA. My cortisol is low. Did rhodiola. No luck. Did pregnenelone, progesterone cream and DHEA with estradiol pills a few years back. Was an emotional wreck. Can't take isocort or hydrocortisone either.

    Any thoughts? I am exhausted and am up until 4 am from higher cortisol at night. Tired during day.
    peggy-sue and justy like this.
  7. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Hi Justy. Sorry you're struggling. :( Hormones can be a nightmare to figure out. Everyone is different, so you can't judge from someone else's experience what yours will be like. BUt for the record, here is mine.

    I am fine with 7Keto DHEA, which is a metabolite of DHEA, and can take up to 25 mg/day, even more when I am under stress, but I can't tolerate the regular DHEA at all. In fact, it made me feel really agitated and wired when I tried just 2 mg/day for a week.

    I do well with progesterone, which I use daily, in a compounded cream form, prescribed by my naturopath. It is known as the "valium" of the hormones, and it used to help me sleep, but that good effect has now worn off. Darn.

    I also use teeny tiny bits of estradiol to help with hot flashes. I've managed that pretty okay, but when I got too much a couple times, it made me emotionally agitated.

    I did ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLY with hydrocortisone (have written that up several times before). It is now on my sh-t list as the worst substance I have ever deliberately ingested.

    I also did horribly with pregnenolone, which I tried only once. It made me feel like I had the worst PMS of my life, and made my heart race.
    justy likes this.
  8. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    ONE MORE IMPORTANT THING to consider.... is that just because you test low in a particular hormone, doesn't necessarily mean that you don't have enough of it circulating in your body. It could be that you have blocked receptor sites. This is especially significant if you are "toxic" from poor liver function, or partly blocked methylation. Then the hormones in circulation within your body might not be getting to the receptors due to that kind of blockage.

    One of the most well known blockers of hormone receptor sites are the "xeno-estrogens" that come from plastics, pesticides, toxic chemicals in body products and laundry soaps, commercially grown food (non-organic) and other toxic chemicals that we have in our environment. They are known to mimic estrogen. Getting too many of them can cause breast cancer, prostate cancer, and probably other cancers and other hormone influenced illnesses.

    I found a site where a woman with endometriosis lists sources of the xeno-extrogens, so you can see how many things contain them. http://endojourney.wordpress.com/2009/07/31/a-list-of-xenoestrogens/

    And here is a site about HOW TO REDUCE YOUR EXPOSURE TO XENO-ESTROGENS.
    http://hubpages.com/hub/Reducing-Exposure-to-Xenoestrogens
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2014
  9. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    I just started micronized which I don't believe is 7 Keto DHEA. I also did horrible with hydrocortisone Dreambirdie. I used to be fine on it. No more, no more!
  10. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    I only realised once I had stopped the DHEA for a couple of weeks just how bad it was making me feel. Angry...crying and also awful sweating that smelt nasty as it was coming out of my body - showering twice a day and using super strong deodorant did nothing to cover up the smell.

    Because of that developed sore underarms, which are now finally healing and I am back to my normal natural deodorant, which is working fine again. I was so agitated on the DHEA - that was at approx. 2-5mg a day for two weeks.

    I have now decided to take nothing unitl I see Dr De Meirleir in Brussels in May. I actually feel better and cope better and my stomach is better since giving up all supplements etc.

    Take care all,
    Justy.
    peggy-sue likes this.
  11. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    My doc prescribed Seriphos to lower high cortisol at night. It does help somewhat. It's supposed to help eventually make it so that one has lower cortisol at night, and then higher in the morning, when it should be higher.

    It's available all over the web, but here's one link:

    http://www.amazon.com/Seriphos-Adap...sim_hpc_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1CDSESNCRVVYNZ3ZBYA0
  12. helios

    helios

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    That's a fairly dramatic reaction Justy. Blood tests showed I was very low in DHEA yet it never really helped me. I took it many years ago. I started on 50mg I think it was with a slow release compounded version. I remember feeling more stressed on it, but the real killer symptom for me was hair loss. My pillow would be covered with hairs in the morning and my hands when shampooing. I was sensitive to losing my hair as it had started to recede a little in the few years prior, but dhea just ramped it up x 10.
    I did go back and try it again experimenting at lower doses, starting with 5mg and I did not experience any side effects but then I did not notice any benefits either, until I raised the dose up and the hair loss started happening again. It was frustrating, as I still show quite low dhea on hormone tests.
    The doctor who prescribed this for me said he got good results with it on many of his patients (more so women).
  13. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    I am not going to try it again - for now. I only realised once I stopped taking it how tense it was making me feel - and the crying was awful! also noticed really intense smelling sweat - I hadn't realised it was the DHEA so bought a really strong antiperspirant - even that didn't work that well and gave me a nasty underarm rash (I usually use deodorant from the health food shop - natural)

    This problem also cleared up after stopping the DHEA - although it wasn't immediate. and luckily I am now back to the natural deodorant.

    I have an apt with KDM in May so am not going tot ake or try anything until I see him and see what he thinks about it all.

    I just seem to be sensitive to everything...drives me mad! Luckily I didn't have the hair loss.

    All the best,
    Justy
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  14. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    @justy
    The weepy mood that you experienced from DHEA was likely caused by DHEA converting to estrogen. Estrogen is known to cause such symptoms. DHEA can convert to both estrogen and testosterone in the body.

    If you had bought 7-keto DHEA rather than ordinary DHEA, this side effect would likely not have occurred, because 7-keto DHEA does not convert to estrogen and testosterone.


    Myself, when I took doses of around 50 mg of DHEA or higher, this led to incredible bouts of aggression and loss of temper, which are completely put of character for me. This I think was caused by the DHEA converting to testosterone. But when I tried 7-keto DHEA, this aggression side effect was absent.
    peggy-sue and justy like this.
  15. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    People say that 7-Keto doesn't convert but I've got labs that show it does convert to E and T in me. So you might want to keep watch of it, just in case.
    peggy-sue likes this.
  16. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    That's interesting Ema.

    In fact I have noticed that if I increase my dose of 7-keto DHEA then some aggression side effects do start to creep in. So that would tie in with your lab test results.

    But I found you need quite a high dose of 7-keto DHEA before these aggression side effects from testosterone appear, so I think 7-keto DHEA will be free of these testosterone/estrogen side effects if you keep to low doses. I take 25 mg of 7-keto DHEA daily when I use it, and this dose does not produce any aggression side effects in me.


    Note that DHEA has been shown to improve pain, fatigue, anxiety, memory and sexual problems in female ME/CFS patients, in a small scale study.

    DHEA has also been shown to have a protective effect against coxsackievirus B4 and herpes simplex virus infections, which is thought to probably be a result of DHEA's ability to counteract the stress-related immunosuppressive effects of glucocorticoids.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
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  17. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    I'm a little concerned about the last statement...cortisol ALWAYS goes high when the body is under siege of an infection. It's a crucial part of the short term immune response. The problem is when the infection goes chronic...and cortisol is too high for too long. So DHEA seems to function as a last ditch effort to keep an infection under control, until it bottoms out as well. But glucocorticoids aren't vital to immune function and I want to make sure that is clear.

    I'm a fan of DHEA supplementation, overall, when it is low...I just wanted to point out that 7-Keto might not be as benign as the marketing people say it is.

    I was taking 200 mg of 7-Keto when my labs came back crazy high...but the weirdest thing was that I had NO symptoms of high T. I mean, nothing. And my free T was still in the gutter. So whatever metabolite it was making, the lab was picking up as T...but it wasn't probably acting as T in my body. It also goes to show just how far we have to go in making our lab studies as sensitive as they really need to be before drawing any major conclusions about what does what.

    I personally prefer the regular, micronized DHEA. I find that to be much more predictable...it just raises up my estrogen and I can use a bit of that so it all works out.
  18. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    200 mg of 7-keto DHEA is a fairly high dose. I find aggression effects of 7 keto kick in at around 100 mg.

    If I took 200 mg of ordinary DHEA, I have so much rage that I'd probably turn into an axe-wielding psychopath!
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
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  19. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I am not sure what you are saying here. The statement itself just comes from the reference study (this one).
  20. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    I have so little endogenous DHEA that I can take a truckload without many problems.

    I took 20 mg of regular, micronized DHEA and that put my level up into the bottom of the LEF optimal range at about 300-350.

    But that only works if my cortisol is sufficient. Without sufficient cortisol, DHEA just makes me stinky.

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