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DHEA, Perimenopause and Menopause

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If you're a menopausal woman or still in your perimenopause phase, you might already hear of DHEA dietary supplementation as one of the treatment choices to relieve many symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. But, before you decide to take DHEA supplements, you should learn as much as possible about it. Here you will learn all about DHEA in relation with perimenopause and menopause.

About DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone)

  • Over the counter drug DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, and to a smaller degree, by the brain, skin, ovaries and testes.
  • DHEA is the richest androgen in the human body.
  • DHEA can convert into certain hormones such as estrogen and testosterone.
  • DHEA serves as a life-replenisher. It pumps life into many different processes and simply branches out throughout your body acting as a cleaner and a regulator.
  • Men produce more of this hormone than women, and senior citizens around or above the age of 65 have the lowest levels of all.
  • Used as a dietary supplement, DHEA enhance memory, improve stamina, and increase levels of libido thus make your life better.

Several things that may lower down the production of DHEA

  • Unhealthy substances such as Sprite, Coca-Cola, or other caffeine-packed drinks
  • Lack of physical activities and stress
  • High carbohydrate diet also raises cortisol levels and causes DHEA levels to fall. Cortisol is responsible for rapid aging process. Basically, anything that encourages aging will result in drop off levels.
  • Natural aging process such as low of DHEA due to perimenopause and menopause

Food sources
DHEA is a hormone produced in the body and cannot be obtained from the diet.

Available forms
DHEA is not synthetic. Thus many of DHEA products sold on the market are just human extracted hormones that are bundled in capsules and pills and sold to the general public to promote the production of hormone already existed in the body.

One of such derived hormones is diosgenin, a plant sterol derived from Mexican wild yams. They're often marketed as "natural DHEA" and claimed to convert into DHEA in the body. But, it needs several chemical responses to do that and there is no proof that the body can do it. So you should only choose a DHEA labeled product with pharmaceutical grade. Also, buy only from a professional health care provider because there're a lot of contaminated

DHEA products in the market.
DHEA is available in capsules, chewing gum, drops that are placed under the tongue, and topical creams.

Taking DHEA

  • Dosages around 5 mg/day or lower (no more than 10 mg) in the morning hours are recommended to mimic the natural rhythm of DHEA production.
  • No more than 50 mg/day for men and 25 mg/day for women with anorexia, adrenal insufficiency, and other medical conditions under medical supervision.
  • These basic rules also apply to women in their perimenopause and menopause stage who consume DHEA supplements to reduce many symptoms of perimenopause and menopause such as memory loss, hot flashes and night sweats, anxiety attacks.

Warnings

  • DHEA supplements may interfere with other medications thus you should take it only under medical supervision.
  • If you're under the age of 40 and have normal DHEA levels (at least 130 mg/dL for women and 180 mg/dL for men) then DHEA supplements is not for you.
    When taking DHEA you should monitor your blood levels every 6 months.
  • So far, there's still no reliable study on the long-term safety use of DHEA.
  • This supplement should be avoided by cancer patients such as breast, prostate, ovarian, and testicular cancer.
  • Excessive amount of DHEA may stop the body's natural production of the hormone and also may damage liver.
  • Potential risk of developing signs of masculinization e.g. deepening of the voice, hair growth on the face, etc. in women and symptoms such as shrinkage of the testicles, aggressive tendencies, and high blood pressure in men.
  • Potential risks of developing hypertension and loss of HDL (good cholesterol)
  • The International Olympic Committee and National Football League prohibit DHEA usages in athletes because its effects imitate those of anabolic steroids.
  • DHEA supplements for perimenopausal and menopausal women must also aware with these precautions. Moreover, it's very uncommon for perimenopausal women to really need DHEA supplements thus take it only on the recommendation of your doctor. DHEA is dangerous for post-menopausal women too - unless recommended by the doctor.

Possible Interactions

  • Some experts suggested that DHEA may increase the effectiveness of certain medications include:
  • AZT (Zidovudine), an HIV medication Barbiturates, sleeps disorder medications
  • Cisplatin, an anti-cancer medication
  • Certain steroids medication

However, if you are currently being treated with any of the above medications, you should not use DHEA without first talking to your healthcare provider.

DHEA, Perimenopause and Menopause
More about DHEA as a dietary supplement for Perimenopause and Menopause:
DHEA hormone supplement may be the right remedy for many of your perimenopause and menopause symptoms include your loss of concentration and short term memory when all other treatments didn't work. Even, DHEA supplements may benefit your health. Just don't overtake it as your body will stop producing its own natural amount. Moreover, an excess of DHEA can raise your levels of testosterone very rapidly and increase aggressiveness, acne and facial hair. It is always wise to take proper safety precautions when consuming any hormone supplement or drug. Do a lot of research and ask as many questions as possible before you take one.

Read also this interesting article: Does DHEA Supplements Work?

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Disclaimer: This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.