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Low Dose DHEA

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Low Dose DHEA Proves Effective in Treating Physical And Mental Conditions of Hypopituitarism


Study Demonstrates Effects on Skin, Hair and Behavior


BETHESDA, Md., May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers in Sweden have shown that low doses of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) are an effective addition to the conventional treatment of  women who suffer from hypopituitarism, a condition in which the pituitary gland fails to secrete a variety of pituitary hormones into the circulation.  Results of the study are published in the May issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.


"DHEA was shown to improve both mental and physical conditions in the women," said Professor Anders Karlsson, chief investigator on the study and a researcher at the University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.


In the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, performed at The University Hospitals in Gothenburg and Uppsala, Sweden, 38 hypopituitary women with severe androgen deficiency, aged 25-65, were treated with low, age- adjusted doses of DHEA.  The trial was also followed by another six months of open treatment, at which time any of the study's participants could chose to be treated with DHEA.  The researchers studied the physical and psychological effects of the treatment, including effects on skin, hair, body composition, glucose metabolism, lipoproteins, coagulation, quality of life and sexual interest/activity, and compared the results between the DHEA group, the placebo group and the open treatment.


Part of the study involved quality of life questionnaires for the women and their partners.  According to the women's partners, the women who took DHEA showed increased initiative, stamina, alertness and sexual relations. During the open treatment period, all of the women being treated with DHEA showed an increase in sexual interest and activity.


Women in the study also experienced several physical changes from the DHEA treatments.  These changes included alterations in the skin's oiliness, moisture and elasticity (53 percent); increased perspiration during physical activity (63 percent); increases in axillary and/or pubic hair (76 percent); and increased handgrip strength.  The DHEA treatment did not show any effect on the women's bone turnover markers or in bone mineral density. A small and transient reduction in HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol) concentration occurred.


"Overall, we found that DHEA had positive effects on the behavior of women with severe androgen deficiency," said Dr. Gudmundur Johannsson one of the authors on the study and a researcher at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.  "The dosage of DHEA used in our study was the lowest ever reported and most of the women experienced the desired effect on hair and skin.  Our findings suggest that DHEA may be an effective form of androgen replacement therapy for women with severe androgen deficiency due to hypopituitarism."


The researchers also note that this study supports the use of androgen replacement in androgen-deficient hypopituitary women who have impaired well- being, despite optimal replacement with other hormones, including growth hormone and estrogen.  In addition, they point out that it is not clear which androgen and which formulation should be used for replacement in women.  "In our experience," they write, "DHEA as a pro-hormone metabolized locally to more potent sex steroids, might offer an effective and convenient mode of replacement."


JCEM is one of four journals published by The Endocrine Society.  Founded in 1916, The Endocrine Society is the world's oldest, largest, and most active organization devoted to research on hormones, and the clinical practice of endocrinology.   Today, The Endocrine Society's membership consists of over 10,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students, in more than 80 countries.  Together, these members represent all basic, applied, and clinical interests in endocrinology.  The Endocrine Society is based in Bethesda, Maryland.  To learn more about the Society, and the field of endocrinology, visit the Society's web site at http://www.endo-society.org.






SOURCE  The Endocrine Society  


CO:  The Endocrine Society


ST:  Maryland, Sweden





  05/06/2002 12:21 EDT

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Guest mjskipper

I printed this out to take with me tomorrow, I planned on asking Dr. P about adding a low dose DHEA anyway to see if it would help my fatigue problem and this will just back up my position.  


Yesterday was bad fatigue wise, couldn't find the energy to do much of anything.  All I did in the way of housework was vacuum the floor and that wiped me out!!  This has got to stop soon.  I want my life back.



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Guest mjskipper

Don't think that's it.  Fatigue has been a problem for years, and off and on it get worse for me.  This past 5/6 weeks has been real bad and I haven't been eating dinner in the evening (too tired to cook) family's been fending for themselves.  That's when he's been having me take the meds for prolactinoma, so guess who's been forgetting to take it, ME!!


I've been trying to eat a little something this past week and take it, if I don't eat anything it will make me sick to my stomach.  I've also been having the insomnia, leg swelling and pain, eye pain, (had complete eye check at Mann Berkley all okay) tinnitus, nearly daily migraines (although - knocking on wood none for the last 8 days), back pain on my lower right, general blah feeling, cough, afternoon energy crash, etc.,


When I went on thyroid meds nearly 3 years ago I was told everything would get better, yeah right, the only thing that got "better" was the lab results, I haven't felt better yet.  I do have "better" months and "worse" months.  April was definately a "worse" month, May is still in the "worse" column.    



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I went on DHEA about a year post op at the suggestion of my acupuncturist and have been on it for about9 months now.  She suggested the 7Keto-DHEA because it does not convert the androgen hormones such as testosterone into the symptoms such as facial hair, etc.  What I discovered was that at 100mg i was able to wean down 20 mg of cortisone in 6 months.  I had a pituitary tumor removed 9/00 and didn't start weaning till 7 months post op due to many complications.  I had and still have severe mouth incisional pain and damage to nerve endings where they cut me to get to the tumor.  After seeing my acupuncturist for about 7 months, his wife who has chrohns disease and has been on DHEA for years, 100-200mg daily, told me to start taking it.  It is a precursor to the adrenal hormones.  I started out at 12.5 mg per day and 2-3 days before I weaned I upped it to 25mg ,etc. till I got up to 100mg.  Felt more energy, increased libido, suffered for only a few days instead of a few weeks.  UCSF doctor's talked me into going back down to 50mg because I might grow facial hair. I explained to them and brought them the idiots, literature showing that the 7keto,DHEA does not cause the testosterone side effects of facial hair growth. My psychiatrist told me to wean back up to the 200mg when I'm ready to start weaning the cortef.  I didn't wean for a long time because my kids brought so many flus home this year and I am on zoloft, an anti-depressant, when it kicks in and I'm feeling less depressed, I intend to go back up on the DHEA and start weaning again this summer, when they are out of school and the stress of that is off, off camping and resting and not a lot of responsibilities.  So DHEA is great and has helped me tremendously.  I'm sure I can find some literature if anyone is interested in more info.  Val from California.

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