DHEA and the adrenal glands play a major role in how we respond to stress. If you have a history of stress, and are tired and worn out, adrenal fatigue and low DHEA levels may be at the heart of your problem.
The adrenal glands produce stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenalin. When the stress hormone “button” stays on for too long, it will wear out the adrenal glands, and their ability to produce DHEA is reduced.
This is how the adrenal fatigue/ DHEA relationship works in a nutshell. In reality it is more complex, and many other factors are involved. But in essence, too much stress over time can reduce your DHEA levels, and this will impact your overall health and vitality. The key to recovery is to strenghten the adrenals and at the same time identify and reduce your primary stressors.
Taking DHEA supplements may also be relevant, but should always be done in discussion with a doctor with experience on dosage and how this affects your hormone balance.
DHEA and inflammation
The low, high and fluctuating levels of DHEA are related to your levels of stress. Many studies have shown correalation between low DHEA levels and illness, chronic inflammation, depression, and fatigue syndrome. The question is if the diseases develope because of low DHEA levels, or if low DHEA levels come as a result of the illness. Probably both varieties can be true. It depends your individual history of stress, and also some hereditary factors.
DHEA and Jing
In chinese medicine, they believe that the average sum of vitality (Jing-essence) of your parents, is the starting point of your own vitality and adrenal strenght at birth. One of the world authorities on adrenal fatigue, Dr. Joe Wilson has discussed this in his lectures and is always considering the parents adrenal health when treating children with low DHEA levels and adrenal fatigue.
DHEA, cortisol and testosterone
Busy lifestyle, less physical activity and low metabolism are all related to declining levels of DHEA hormone and that is the reason why people feel exhausted and face stress related health problems. These health conditions all cause increased levels of cortisol which start the domino process with low DHEA levels and further down low levels of other hormones like testosterone, estrogen and androstenedione as well.
Clinical Studies On DHEA and Stress
DHEA research for stress reduction and depression at the National Center of Post Traumatic Disorder discovered that DHEA-S hormone have the ability to improve memory, brain cells and it can also be used to reduce the level of chronic depression which further help the patient to reduce stress.
After years of research on stress reduction by DHEA hormone supplements, or adrenal glands protocols to increase DHEA naturally, it is clear that high DHEA levels will make it easier to handle stress and to treat disease and imbalance that comes from stress.
Also, increasing the levels of DHEA sulfate can significantly improve the low level of DHEA in the body and brain, which further help you to reduce the overall stress levels of the body.
DHEA supplements, Do or Do not?
There are some reports indicating that high levels of DHEA by supplements instantly helps the patient to reduce stress level in his/her body by improving energy levels and mental clarity.
With all the benefits reported from DHEA to reduce and handle stress, is can be tempting to just jump right in and take hogh doses of DHEA supplements. But there are risks of side effects if the dosage gets too high. This factor is also very individual, so it is always recommended to seek medical help and advice from a licensed physician or doctor who is a specialist of DHEA supplements.
Even though stress reduction can also be achieved with other natural ways such as yoga, physical workout and aerobic exercises, clinical experience indicate taking DHEA supplements or increasing your DHEA levels by adaptogens or similar natural protocols for the adrenal glands can dramatically improve your ability to handle stress. This calls for DHEA in whatever form or protocol as a key component in stress reduction treatment. However, medical advice from the doctor is always recommended to avoid unnecessary health risks.