DHEA Deficiency Symptoms and Treatments

Depressed youth
A DHEA deficiency symptom is depression
Expert Fact Checked

It's important to know DHEA deficiency symptoms, as there are a variety of negative health consequences associated with the deficiency.

About DHEA

DHEA stands for 5-Dehydroepiandrosterone, also abbreviated as 5-DHEA. It is the most common steroid hormone produced in the human body. Though it has a variety of roles in the human body, it is mostly known as a precursor, or prohormone, to sex hormones.

DHEA Deficiency Symptoms

DHEA levels tend to deteriorate as you age. Additionally, deficiency can be caused by a variety of conditions, including eating disorders, diabetes, and kidney disease. Likewise, some medications, such as insulin and opiates, have also been linked to decreased DHEA levels. As the most abundant circulating steroid hormone, DHEA deficiency can cause a variety of very negative health implications. The following are DHEA deficiency symptoms to watch out for.

  • Noticeable decrease in sex drive
  • Dry eyes, skin, and hair
  • Exhaustion
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Problems with memory
  • Loss of pubic hair
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Muscle mass loss
  • Pain in joints
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Elevated anxiety and stress levels
  • Heightened sound sensitivity

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, consult the advice of a medical professional. These symptoms can also indicate other serious medical conditions and should be addressed immediately.

Treating Deficiency

Your doctor can administer a blood test to confirm DHEA deficiency. In some cases, your physician will test saliva or urine samples.

Most cases of deficiency will be treated with DHEA supplements your doctor prescribes or you purchase over the counter. These supplements may improve depression, memory, erectile dysfunction, and the immune system. However, experts highly recommend you take DHEA and other hormonal supplements only under the care of a professional, as there are some negative consequences associated with DHEA supplementation and potential overdose. Overuse of the supplements has been known to cause very serious problems such as liver disease, cancer, and menstruation issues.

Some experts suggest that increasing DHEA through supplementation may not be enough to address the issue of deficiency. In some cases, a hormone imbalance may be the cause of the deficiency. A thorough check of other hormone levels, like estrogen and androgens, can help to improve a deficiency of DHEA and work to improve DHEA deficiency symptoms.

Purchasing DHEA Supplements

The most common way to purchase DHEA supplements is in capsule form. Here are a few retailers to check out.

A plethora of online retailers offer DHEA supplements. Check product reviews and to consult with your doctor before beginning a new vitamin regimen, especially a steroid hormone like DHEA. He or she can also suggest the correct dosage for your unique health condition.

DHEA deficiency can be a serious medical problem that should be attended to as soon as possible. Keep in mind these hormone supplements have been used for recreational purposes and there are several side effects associated with taking DHEA. The safety of this type of usage is hotly debated among the bodybuilding and medical communities. Always use products per box directions.

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DHEA Deficiency Symptoms and Treatments