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TOPIC: DHEA & Cortisol low, afraid to treat.

DHEA & Cortisol low, afraid to treat. 11 years 4 months ago #1

  • Ave
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Hi I am new here, but I really need some direction. I have met a new obgyn dr and he has me on bio-identical hormones, estrogen and progesterone. I have post RAI hypothyroidism, and also injured by a benzodiapepine drug that I did a slow taper from.

He ran my DHEA levels and cortisol levels and said they were very low and I should treat with hydrocortisone and DHEA. I have read up on them, and am afraid of them both. I read that the DHEA stimulates female hormones, and I just started some.

The cortisol treatment I don't think I would touch with a ten foot pole.

I need so much advise, does anyone have any direction for me? I have so many issues right now, and I think I need to carefully balance them all.

Thank you in advance for any help in this regard.

Sincerely,
Ave
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Re:DHEA & Cortisol low, afraid to treat. 11 years 4 months ago #2

  • Maff
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Hi Ave,

Welcome to the forums. Hopefully we can help you out a little bit :)

You're certainly right to be cautious with all this as hormones are very powerful chemicals which can have a lot of undesirable effects if used incorrectly.

DHEA is indeed converted to female hormones so if you take it your doses of the other hormones would probably need to be reduced. The main problem in women however is that DHEA is also converted to male sex hormones (testosterone etc) and this can lead to side effects such as hair growth in unusual places and other undesirable effects! However as long as you don't use too much then the benefits can be substantial. I also tested low for DHEA and taking only very low doses (10mg every other day) made a huge difference to my mood, sleep, stress tolerance and general well-being. There is also a version of DHEA called 7-keto DHEA which does not convert to the sex hormones and should therefore not have the side-effects. Some herbs may also be useful alternatives e.g. tribulus terrestris and tongkat ali. DHEA replacement is likely to help with the benzo related problems as it calms the nerves and combats stress.

I have found licorice to be a very good alternative to cortisol pills. It acts to reduce the breakdown of the cortisol already produced by your body and increase its activity. Seems like a much softer but effective way to treat this problem.

Do some reading on all this on the internet and then you can discuss them with your doctor or perhaps it would be worth finding a doctor more open to natural alternatives.

Best of luck!<br /><br />Post edited by: Maff, at: 2008/07/29 23:03
If you are going through hell, keep going - Winston Churchill
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Re:DHEA & Cortisol low, afraid to treat. 11 years 3 months ago #3

  • Ave
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Maff, thank you so much for this response. I was traveling for a month, so just getting back here to check.

I will check out this alternative DHEA. It sounds better to me. I am very afraid to take anything, and after talking to my compound pharmacist, I left it behind and did not purchase.

So much to get worked out. I am however glad to hear you are doing well with the DHEA every other day. My doctor had my rx for 3 10mg a day!!!! My pharmcist was in shock...... this dr I think is a little out of control, he is trying to slam me with so much.

Again, many thanks!!!

Ave<br /><br />Post edited by: Ave, at: 2008/05/26 03:57
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Re:DHEA &amp; Cortisol low, afraid to treat. 11 years 3 months ago #4

  • Maff
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Hi Ave,

Glad I could help a little bit. I really hope you are able to find something that works safely soon.

It's a strange situation with DHEA. The mainstream doctors don't go near it and then you have the ones that do often being very liberal with dosages. To be honest 10mg 3 times per day is quite common in my experience (Though it is usually taken at once rather than spread out).

In fact research studies have often used amounts much higher than that.

A doctor who I really respect is Ray Sahelian M.D. as he recognises the benefits that nutritional supplements such as DHEA can offer but is always cautious in the amounts he recommends. Have a look at his book Mind Boosters.

From experience I can only say that yes DHEA, has the potential to be of huge benefit but yopu have to keep in mind that it is actually a steroid hormone and does come with potential side-effects. It's therefore very important to work with a doctor and use the least amount that brings beneficial results.

Let us know how you get on ;)
If you are going through hell, keep going - Winston Churchill
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