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TOPIC: DHEA Supplements

DHEA Supplements 9 years 3 months ago #1

  • Lynn
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I'm new, and just reading about adrenal fatigue. I also just posted a question on the MCS forum. After reading about Adrenal failure, I have a question.

I have MCS, Celiac Disease, Hypothyroidism. I just looked at a cortisol/DHEA test I took in 2003, and it shows cortisol is in the acceptable range, but DHEA is low. This was in 2003.

My Thyroid tests show that my dose is too high, however, still not feeling that my levels are correct. After reading info on Adrenal deficiencies and thyroid connection, it appears that I should be taking DHEA supplements. My doctor did not suggest DHEA supplements, however, I am on THyroid supplementation and all the hormones (menapause).

My question is, there are sooo many brands of DHEA, can someone suggest one that seems to work for them? I know 7-Keto DHEA is suggested if I am on hormones, but then why not take DHEA and need less hormones?

Please help. After looking at that test in 2003, it appears this is what I may need?!

Thanks!
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Re:DHEA Supplements 9 years 3 months ago #2

  • Maff
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It sounds from your cortisol/DHEA levels that you are in what is referred to as Stage 2 of Adrenal Fatigue. This means your adrenal glands can't keep up with the demands being placed on them due to stress of any kind (psychological, chronic illness, toxic etc) so has started to prioritise cortisol production over DHEA - cortisol is the more vital to life.

Regarding the adrenal-thyroid connection it is actually cortisol that is required as it helps convert inactive T4 to the active T3 thyroid hormone. Therefore if you have adequate cortisol it shouldn't be impacting too much on thyroid function. However since your adrenal test was 7 years ago it could well be that you now also have low cortisol levels. I know money is always an issue but I would recommend getting cortisol and DHEA tested again and then discuss the results with your doctor - if they are receptive.

Knowledge of the functions of DHEA is still limited but it seems to be important in many ways so correcting low levels may produce significant results. I myself found taking it improved stress tolerance, balanced blood sugar levels, helped treat my MCS, and improved my general sense of well-being as well as reducing fatigue.

I tried 3 or 4 major brands and found all were equally effective so there doesn't seem to be an issue there. 7-keto should be safer but I found it didn't have the same effect as DHEA itself. You do need to be careful though as particularly in women a lot of it seems to be converted to androgens (e.g. testosterone). Another reason why it is best to take it under a doctor's supervision.

I hope this helps!
If you are going through hell, keep going - Winston Churchill
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Re:DHEA Supplements 9 years 3 months ago #3

  • Lynn
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Thank you so much Maff for the quick reply. I have been researching this issue for so long, and I am tired.

Hmmm so cortisol affects thyroid function. I was given Armour thyroid to cover the T4 and T3, but my brother (chiropractor) doesn't believe it is absorbing properly. So could be cortisol then.

Yes, I probably should retest for cortisol/DHEA, since it was an issue in 2003. I am currently taking 5mg DHEA 2x a day (starting slowly). Should I only take that in the morning? or 2x a day? Also, what do you do for low cortisol? Is there a supplement for that?

Also, is it better to take raw adrenal tissue for adrenal support rather than all these separate hormones? I would think it would be better to increase levels of pregnenolone and Cortisol/DHEA naturally through adrenal support and that would eliminate the need for progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone supplementation? No one does that though, so it must not work. Do you ever suggest pregnenolone(sp?) supplementation?

The DHEA is helping. Thank you so much for that information on your website. I do feel more calm and with a more consistent energy level throughout the day. I am watching for any excess testosterone symptoms.

From the other forum you responded to, regarding Glutathione supplementation. I was taking reduced glutathione, which I heard didn't absorb well. You mentioned PPC, NAC, SAMe, and liposomal Glutathione. So do you take all of these or just one? What do you suggest?

I do feel that I am on the right track with the gluten free diet, Glutathione, and the cortisol/DHEA issue. It all does make my head spin! Any help is GREATLY appreciated! I'm sorry I'm asking so many questions.

Lynn
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Re:DHEA Supplements 9 years 3 months ago #4

  • Maff
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No problem Lynn :)

Cortisol is only required to for the efficient conversion of T4 to T3. Too little or too much and this conversion doesn't take place effectively.

This is the major connection between cortisol and thyroid function.

Why does your brother believe you are not absorbing Armour properly? Do you have gut problems or does he just think the hormones are poorly absorbed from Armour?

It is usual to take DHEA only in the morning to avoid any stimulation that may occur affecting sleep if taken later in the day. You get the same effects from one dose anyway so it's easier just to take 10mg in one go. I wouldn't go any higher than this however. Certainly not without medical supervision.

If you retest your adrenal hormones and cortisol is low, licorice supplements are very good. Licorice blocks an enzyme called 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase which converts active cortisol to inactive cortisone. Put simply, licorice therefore increases cortisol by conserving that which you already have in your body. Vitamins C and B5 are vital for adrenal function and herbs known as adaptogens (e.g. ginseng) may increase cortisol and are certainly good general tonics for adrenal fatigue.

If your cortisol is still normal and DHEA low then Relora is a good supplement as it has been shown to restore a normal cortisol/DHEA ratio.

I'm glad to here the DHEA is helping. That is exactly how you should feel if it is going to be beneficial so your dose is probably correct.

PPC, NAC and SAMe can all be considered complementary, particularly PPC and SAMe. Liposomal Glutathione would be an alternative. Personally I would go with PPC and SAMe if you can afford and tolerate the supplements.

It does sound like you are on the right track with what you are doing and if you are seeing positive results that is great news. Keep going and doing more research and I have no doubt you can improve your health further.

Good luck and keep us updated!
If you are going through hell, keep going - Winston Churchill
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Re:DHEA Supplements 9 years 3 months ago #5

  • Lynn
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Thank you again! I can't say it enough! Really.

I spoke with my doctor's office. (he is listed on this website) and he said to go ahead with 5 mg of DHEA in the morning. You have to be your own advocate don't you? This DHEA level was low in 2003. I've had low DHEA symptoms for years.

I read the article regarding Adrenal Fatigue as well. I have to figure out now where my cortisol levels are at I guess, to go forward with any other supplements. Should DHEA improve the exercise intolerance? Maybe I need to go back and read that article again.:)

I think my brother believes the thyroid isn't absorbing because I'm have MCS and my energy levels are low. We're just trying to find solutions for the MCS.

On another note. I am surprised that are no topics under the Celiac forum. I would think that it would be beneficial to be tested for celiac disease if one has MCS, especially because celiac symptoms include leaky gut and candida overgrowth, which so many of us deal with. And according to the web, 97% of people with Celiac disease are undiagnosed. Also just met a woman with MS who has MCS. Seems like MCS is common in people with autoimmune diseases.

Lynn:unsure:
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