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Old 01-16-2008, 04:27 PM   #1
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DHEA Supplementation

Would anyone(s) care to tell of their experience with DHEA supplementation? My DHEA-S04 tested at 271. I cannot determine that measurement unit, however, I assume this is low because my LH, FSH and Testosterone are all low.

Will supplementing with DHEA actually boost my testosterone and/or LH, FSH (or anything else, for that matter? I know that it's a precursor to testorone but have read conflicting info on whether it will actually help with testosterone. Should I use 25 mg or 50 mg? Any warnings???

Thanks.

 
Old 01-17-2008, 03:36 PM   #2
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Re: DHEA Supplementation

I can only add my seven week experience with 25 mg a day, and that is complicated by starting test cyp at the same time. I don't see how I can tell which of the hormones is working for me when taking them simultaneously.

My doctor tested DHEA-Sulfate and it was 47 (95-530 normal), he said this was very low. Will ask to be tested next time and hope to get it to the top (why not?).

It can have an affect on testosterone and estrogen but an internet search will likely produce a wide range of opinions on whether to use it and how much. My general doctor had not heard of DHEA-Sulfate when I told him it was low. He went away for ten minutes to look it up in a book and still said it didn't tell him what he was looking for. I am impressed that he took the time to try and find something out about it.

I am sure others will have more to say than me. Personally, I think the 25 mg I am taking is pretty aggressive, and I don't want to try more. I do think there is a kind of DHEA now that is less likely have side effects but I can't remember what it is called.

Bob

 
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:37 PM   #3
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Re: DHEA Supplementation

Bob,

There seems to be a preference for non-synthesized (all natural). I am having a tough time determining whether a particular brand is all natural (or not). Are you taking a prescription form or OTC?

Do you know why the DHEA was prescribed (for you-other than it being very low) along with the test?

Good luck with it all.

 
Old 01-17-2008, 08:28 PM   #4
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Re: DHEA Supplementation

Judgejkh,

I am taking an OTC that I got from the anti-aging specialist (not from Florida!) that can be ordered on the internet and for all I know, found in health food stores too.

The range of opinions on DHEA is far and wide, from essential to don't mess with it. Personally, I tend to get down to trial and error if I am not sure. Since I will be restesting DHEA and the testosterone, even if both are good I won't be able to tell which one is having what kind of impact.

If your scale for DHEA is what mine was (95-530) then 271 isn't that bad.

My testosterone was borderline low at 391 total and less than 70 free and the DHEA is probably something the anti-aging doctor always tests. 47 is quite low and can be caused by a number of things. After a grueling summer and fall came to an end I was able to completely relax other than my job, I had less and less energy and a little depressed and had episodes where I couldn't remember what I did five minutes ago. Instead of recovering I regressed. Incredibly, a neurologist asked me to draw a clock and I failed, FWIW. Bizarre. I started with 1 and left the 12 out. Fluke or problem?

I am fortunate to be able to have a baseline from the last seven years or so of testosterone thanks to my fine general doctor who I hired for just that reason, and have seen the total test nose dive over the years. Many low DHEA symptoms are identical to low testosterone syptoms, which are similar to many other factors so I honestly can't know what exactly caused it, but they way I was feeling and experiencing life, I didn't want to take years to still not find out. I took the plunge with the injections and the fatigue and memory loss is gone.

Others will know more than I do, but my concern about taking DHEA is that if it does have a positive effect for you, you'd want to know if it was having an effect on estrogen too and for that you'd need a blood test, not to mention a blood test for DHEA. I personally wouldn't take it without blood tests. It might do nothing for you or it could cause some problems, you just never know.

I would study DHEA and respect the possible side effects if you intend to take it. It would be nice if your doctor was involved with you on this.

If your LH, FSH are all low, you may want to ask your doctor (or ask him to recommend someone) to talk to someone about testosterone replacement therapy, if you haven't already. It is tempting to dabble with DHEA, Tribbulus, Tongkat Ali, etc...but without medical supervision you just won't know if it really works and what else it is doing.

With life getting shorter everyday, I am less afraid of side affects and more inclined to focus on the benefits. I want to feel my best for as long as I can with the rest of my life, so I sought for and found someone who I think knows what they are doing and can help minimize any risks.

Good luck with your future health decisions.

Bob

 
Old 01-20-2008, 02:05 AM   #5
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Re: DHEA Supplementation

Quote:
Originally Posted by judgejkh View Post
Would anyone(s) care to tell of their experience with DHEA supplementation? My DHEA-S04 tested at 271. I cannot determine that measurement unit, however, I assume this is low because my LH, FSH and Testosterone are all low.

Will supplementing with DHEA actually boost my testosterone and/or LH, FSH (or anything else, for that matter? I know that it's a precursor to testorone but have read conflicting info on whether it will actually help with testosterone. Should I use 25 mg or 50 mg? Any warnings???

Thanks.
It is unusual to have low DHEA when you are young. DHEA is an aged based hormone. How old are you?

DHEA will not boost your testosterone, LH, or FSH. There are several hormone precursors that will be increased but it is not known what these precursors do besides make available building blocks for other hormones.

If your testosterone, LH and FSH are all low then you have a pituitary problem and you need to investigate what is happening. You might have a damaged pituitary or you may have a tumor in that region cutting off the blood supply to the pituitary. You need at least a blood test for prolactin and possibly an MRI to rule out a tumor. Don't just begin taking testosterone before you attempt to find the cause and before you have a PSA test to rule out prostate cancer.

 
Old 01-20-2008, 03:52 AM   #6
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Re: DHEA Supplementation

My doctor prescribed me a dhea 25mg supplement to boost my libido, didn't notice any difference after taking it for 2 months.
i thought to share this with you.
check my post"what these numbers mean"

 
Old 01-20-2008, 03:55 AM   #7
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Re: DHEA Supplementation

Orion,

Thanks for the response.

I am age 40.

Last month, I had a normal MRI of the pituitary and my Prolactin typically runs low. I have an appt. with the endo at the end of the month but am unsure of what to do (with t replacement, etc). I may just have to go back to the urologist who referred me in the first place. I went to the endo because my lh, fsh was low (thus the pituitary concerns) but the endo started treating me for thyroid (enlarged) with Synthroid. Since then, I've found out the endo specializes in diabetes.

Thanks again.

 
Old 01-20-2008, 07:59 AM   #8
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Re: DHEA Supplementation

Quote:
Originally Posted by judgejkh View Post
I may just have to go back to the urologist who referred me in the first place. I went to the endo because my lh, fsh was low (thus the pituitary concerns) but the endo started treating me for thyroid (enlarged) with Synthroid. Since then, I've found out the endo specializes in diabetes.

Thanks again.
Sounds like you have idiopathic pituitary disease where the gland just shuts down (you haven't had any recent blows to the head like a car accident?)because those can also cause pituitary damage up to a year after the blow.

Most endos deal with diabetes patients to a large extent; not that many specialize in pituitary problems. Your endo sounds like he did the right tests to be on the safe side. I don't think a urologist can do much to help besides prescribing testosterone. It sounds like you need more than just that hormone if your pituitary has stopped functioning properly.

I'm surprised you don't have a lot of symptoms like fatigue, bowel upset, brain fog, dry skin, libido/performance, thick calouses on your feet, sleep and concentration difficulties and/or frequent sinus/ear infections. All of which would lead to one to suspect adrenal problems which often are related to low DHEA as well.

Last edited by orion; 01-20-2008 at 08:01 AM.

 
Old 01-20-2008, 10:07 AM   #9
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Re: DHEA Supplementation

Orion,

I've had many of those symptoms. That's what sent me to the doctor in the first place. I'm fairly certain it's pituitary related but I'm having difficulty getting treated in the right direction (trying to avoid t replacement, if possible). I've had suggestions (both here and from research) to try HGC injections first to try and stimulate the pituitary. I mentioned this to the Endo at my last visit but he seems to be focused on my thyroid, for the moment. I'd love to figure out if thyroid meds (synthroid) can help my pituitary too. We'll know soon.

Thanks again.

 
Old 01-20-2008, 03:52 PM   #10
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Re: DHEA Supplementation

Quote:
Originally Posted by judgejkh View Post
(trying to avoid t replacement, if possible). I've had suggestions (both here and from research) to try HGC injections first to try and stimulate the pituitary. I mentioned this to the Endo at my last visit but he seems to be focused on my thyroid, for the moment. I'd love to figure out if thyroid meds (synthroid) can help my pituitary too. We'll know soon.
If you have those symptoms, combined low T, LH, FSH, thyroid, I think you have to realize your pituitary isn't functioning and you are in a potentially life threatening situtation. Given your low DHEA, it's a good bet you also have low cortisol levels. Low cortisol can result in what's called an adrenal crisis, during which your body can't maintain its blood pressure and your organs die from lack of oxygen. A number of people die each year from this condition because it is not discovered in time. Should you be in a major car accident or experience a serious fever (over 105), you could be in great trouble. I urge you to look up the symptoms of an adrenal crisis in order to educate yourself and know when you need to get to emergency.

I'm surprised your endo didn't do a cortisol stimulation test given your other test result. He most likely did a cortisol blood test and found your levels were low but still normal. In my case my tests always showed normal cortisol levels, but upon stimulation it was revealed I had absolutely no cortisol reserve, so in times of stress my body started to shut down. Knowing what I know now, I should have demanded the stimulation test immediately, but instead it took a year of fooling around before it became obvious I needed to take hydrocortisone. I suggest you contact your endo and discuss the possibility that you suffer from adrenal insufficiency due to a lack of ACTH coming from the pituitary gland. If he refuses to test you for this condition, then I would ask him for that refusal in writing...nothing like some paper records to get a doctor to make sure you are ok.

It sounds to me that you may need to replace most of your hormones to get them back to normal. Althougth this sounds horrible, it is not a major deal and you can live a long, healthy and normal life once you get your hormones to their proper levels. I doubt it will be possible to avoid testosterone supplements, but you can add in some HCG to keep your testicles their normal size. HCG is fairly expensive so that might not be a long term option.

Remember that each day with low hormone levels may be resulting in body damage that can't be repaired. For example. there is evidence building that low testosterone levels are associated with early prostate cancer, bone loss leading to early osteoporosis, muscle loss leading to mobility problems. If you also have a lack of growth hormone, which is likely, you might well be experiencing memory/concentration problems, self social isolation, apathy, anger, as well as muscle/joint pains.

This isn't a problem to wait out; you have to take serious action.

Last edited by orion; 01-20-2008 at 03:59 PM.

 
Old 01-21-2008, 12:42 PM   #11
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Re: DHEA Supplementation

Actually HCG is fairly cheap. I buy mine (Novarel 10,000 iu vial ) for $42 delivered and that includes free syringes. A vial can last you 1 - 2 months if you are on a low dose. It is only advertised to be good for a month but I have used vials 7 weeks and it's still working fine. Maybe you're thinking of HMG....that is very expensive I have read.

 
Old 01-21-2008, 06:16 PM   #12
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Re: DHEA Supplementation

Hayfarmer,

Good to hear from you. Any input on the DHEA?

I'm going to the Endo next week for checkup with the thyroid and will discuss the other issues (t, dhea, lh, fsh). I have an appt. with the urologist one week later (40 and time for a prostate checkup). Last Spring, the Uro had considered t replacement but I've kept trying to find an alternate route. For the moment, I'm going to keep pressing for the HCG and if not successful then I'll either start the t replacement or go to an anti-aging doc.

 
Old 01-21-2008, 08:27 PM   #13
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Re: DHEA Supplementation

I don't know enough about adrenal issues to give any advise. DHEA can be converted into T I know. Shippen's book says if it's too low it can generally make you feel better to supplement with DHEA. It also says it tends to declline with age and is associated with bone loss as is low T. Both DHEA and T help calcium to be absorbed by the bone.

Also, I can tell you that in your initial workup with Dr. Shippen if you were his patient it would include DHEA and cortisol.

Sorry I can't be more help. I need to learn more about adrenal issues. I'm sure I'll end up with that some day too.

 
Old 01-22-2008, 08:32 AM   #14
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Re: DHEA Supplementation

I've been reading lately about the possible dangers of supplementing DHEA. One article said that most all studies done on dhea were performed on mice which does not translate to humans. Does anyone know any credible scientific support for supplementing dhea?

 
Old 01-23-2008, 10:19 AM   #15
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Re: DHEA Supplementation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hguru View Post
I've been reading lately about the possible dangers of supplementing DHEA. One article said that most all studies done on dhea were performed on mice which does not translate to humans. Does anyone know any credible scientific support for supplementing dhea?
There are several medical journal articles about the benefits of DHEA for people whose DHEA is suppressed either by aging or disease. There are a few studies that show that young males supplemented with DHEA show no increase in testosterone levels, but do show elevated levels of precursor hormones.

There are no long term safety studies of DHEA and there won't be any because it can't be patented and nobody is going to do expensive tests for no potential return. However, DHEA has been taken for years by millions of people in the USA and except for a medical journal report of heart beat irregularities possibly caused by DHEA supplements, there are no medical journal reports of adverse affects beyond the usual warmings of hair loss for men, hair growth for women, and deeper voice for women. If people were dying or suffereing from aggressive cancer, or losing an arm, you can bet we would hear about it in spades.

Most of the warnings about DHEA are based on pure speculation that DHEA raises testosterone levels and more speculation that high testosterone is bad for you. We do have a number of medical journal reports that DHEA doesn't raise testosterone levels at all in men, and only very slightly in women. We also have reports that low testosterone can lead to prostate cancer in men.

We also know that both high and low DHEA levels in women are associated with early mortality; only low DHEA is associated with early mortality in men.

Last edited by orion; 01-23-2008 at 10:20 AM.

 
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