Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is produced in the adrenal glands and is a precursor to adrenal hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, as well as cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Low levels of DHEA can lead to premature aging, weakened immune systems and degenerative diseases. Therefore, it is essential to increase these levels when they drop below normal to live a long and healthy life. Certain lifestyle and diet changes can help increase low DHEA levels naturally. In addition, DHEA replacement therapy is also an effective strategy that can help.
A natural way to increase low DHEA levels is to make dietary changes. One of the precursors to DHEA is cholesterol, which is converted to pregnenolone before being converted to DHEA. Therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy level of good cholesterol in the body. Healthy fats from eggs, coconut oil, nuts and seeds that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are good foods to add to your diet. Foods to avoid include soda, candy, and other junk that can stress the body and thus slow down the production of DHEA.
Getting a moderate amount of exercise and reducing stress are important lifestyle changes that can help boost low DHEA levels. Any type of prolonged stress, depression, or anxiety has been shown to reduce DHEA production, and so avoiding these situations is important to maintain healthy DHEA levels. Sleep is also important as not only does it help reduce mental stress and anxiety, it can also help reduce physical stress. Heavy pollutants in the air can also be stressful on the body and therefore should be avoided to avoid low DHEA levels.
DHEA replacement therapy is another way to increase low DHEA levels. There are supplements available in pill or capsule form that you can take. You may also be given daily injections of DHEA, which should be used with caution and under the care of a doctor. Those under the age of 35 or at normal levels should also not take additional DHEA.
Before starting any DHEA replacement therapy, you should talk to your doctor to make sure it’s right for you. It is also important to test your blood levels to determine the correct dose. Continuous monitoring is just as important as excessive amounts of DHEA in the blood can negatively affect the heart. The therapy is not recommended for people with cancer of the breast, uterus, ovary, or prostate.