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Please help! Elevated DHEA

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Old 08-28-2006, 06:02 PM   #1
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Unhappy Please help! Elevated DHEA

I went to the doctor thinking I had a thyroid issue. For some time I have fought incredible fatigue, continuing weight gain, exercise intolerance, low blood pressure (90/60) not to mention the nuisance symptoms like adult acne.

My thyroid panel was fairly normal but my DHEA level is 434 (25-220)!!! What does this mean? My doctor, a natropath is giving me various supplements but I'm afraid I should check this out with an endocrinologist. My insulin levels, glucose levels etc. were WNL.

Does anyone know what this might mean??

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Old 09-01-2006, 08:46 PM   #2
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Re: Please help! Elevated DHEA

Is it DHEA-S, or DHEA? DHEA is primarily from ovaries, and DHEA-S is from adrenals. They test two different things. Could be PCOS or adrenal hyperplasia or some other hormonal imbalance that can be corrected with various meds. Please visit a reputable endocrinologist to get more testing done.

Old 09-02-2006, 10:29 AM   #3
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Re: Please help! Elevated DHEA

It's DHEA Sulfate. I didn't realize that the two were from different sources. If it's from the adrenals, does it make sense that my dr is talking PCOS? My cortisol was 15.3 (4-22) in the AM.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!!

Old 09-02-2006, 06:55 PM   #4
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Re: Please help! Elevated DHEA

Your doc is probably right. I know in my own case, I had elevated DHEA-S, and went to an endo, and she said I didn't have PCOS, because I did not have other PCOS symptoms and typically DHEA-S is from adrenals, not ovaries. But....I think in some cases of PCOS, DHEA-S can be elevated. It is a very complicated syndrome.

Are your periods irregular? What has your doc suggested for treatment?

Old 09-04-2006, 04:39 AM   #5
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Re: Please help! Elevated DHEA


Is there any chance that your naturopath is giving you DHEA supplementation?

Old 09-04-2006, 12:16 PM   #6
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Re: Please help! Elevated DHEA

No, I hadn't started any of the supplements when I had the blood drawn. Even now, all I'm really taking are vitamins and balanced omega supplements.

I was pretty surprised. My testosterone, estrodiol and progesterone were all in normal ranges as were my insulin and blood glucose. I'm 43 and my periods are still fairly regular with no serious cramping or PMS. I don't understand.

Old 10-04-2006, 09:49 PM   #7
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Talking Re: Please help! Elevated DHEA

In case anyone is interested, I think I may have a pretty good idea what this is caused by...there is something called late onset congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Essentially, your genetically deficient in some enzyme needed to make cortisol. Your brain keeps trying to signal your adrenals release hormones but most of what you get is DHEAS and not the cortisol your body is looking for...

As soon as I get insurance I'm going to be tested. I started taking 15mg hydrocortone on my own and feel so much better! I wouldn't normally do something like that but hopefully it's only short term.

Old 12-03-2006, 05:45 PM   #8
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Re: Please help! Elevated DHEA

Just hijacking this post as I have the same question. Did you find any answers?

I have elevated DHEA, testosterone and have documented PCOS and Hashimotos thyroiditis. Now seriously worried about adrenals. Going to a doc this week to get some testing done....but what does it all mean?

Last edited by kiwibaitnz; 12-25-2006 at 07:52 PM.

Old 09-22-2007, 05:02 AM   #9
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Re: Please help! Elevated DHEA

I too am suffering fromthe same confusion. My blood work came back all within normal range. I suffer from symptoms of hypo-thyroid (fatigue, weighjt gain, coldness), therefore, I went to the doc and we ran a whole bunch of bloot tests. I am within normal range on all of them, except elevated DHEA-s. My cortisol level was normal as well.

I just recieved the results with my Doc's written recommendations for further blood testing and or an MRI. It may be PCOS with some insulin resistance, androgenism (not likely - no signs of this in me), or possibly a growth/tumor on the adrenal (possibly needing the MRI).

I have an appointment to see my doc in a week. I am anxious to find out what blood work he wants to do. Testing for FSH, SHBG, glucose, etc to determine PCOS. I would like to re-run the DHEA-s as well. I think they also recommend a 17-progesterone test as well.

I ran severla searches online with elevated DHEA-s and came up with a variety of things.

I would reccommend you do further blood testing to determine if it is PCOS, or if it is something like a adrenal tumor. If your doctor/naturopath will not work with you on this, then seek out another. There is a comprehensive list online under integrative medicine. I found a great one. You mentioned an Endo. That would be a good option. You might also want to see a different
type of family physician, depending on your insurance. Some insurances require a referral to a specialist.

Good luck!

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