Thyroid UK

DHEA advice please

Hi there, wondering if anyone could offer advice regarding DHEA? I got my saliva cortisol results yesterday and would be so greatful for some feedback, especially regarding my low DHEA. thanks!

7am 20.8 (12-22)

11am 9.0 (5.0 -9.0)

4pm 4.8 (3.0-7.0)

11pm 2.1 (1.0-3.0)

Total 36.7 (21-41)


am 0.16

pm 0.11

Total 0.37

DHEA Mean 0.14 (0.20-0.70)

DHEA:Cortisol Ratio 0.37 (0.6-3.0)

16 Replies

Hi Daisybean,

I think we are obviously treading a similar path because you answered one of my questions about Adrenal Supplements on Sun.

I had an Adrenal Stress profile test last summer and it came back with fairly similar results. My Cortisol was, like yours within range (in fact very similar readings) but my DHEA was low.

am: 0.12

pm: 0.19

So my DHEA mean was 0.16 (0.30-1.00) and DHEA:Cortisol Ratio 0.46 (1.0-4.0).

This was indicated on the accompanying notes as "pre-exhaustion or pre-adrenal fatigue".

Did you get any "notes" (from the lab) back with your test results? I found these "notes" quite useful, but before I proceed just want to check so that I am not telling you something you already know.


Hi MacG

Aha that's interesting! Very similar results. I must say I was surprised. I can't stretch to an iron test money wise, so am going to beg my GP. I was notified of Resistance Stage 3 - Maladaption, which is probably what you received too. The naturopath who I did the test wrote this to me after I said I wondered if taking a low dose DHEA supp. might help raise levels. "" Do not take DHEA itself though as it is just a form of HRT really and far too strong for most women. Do not mess with your hormones "" She offers an Adrenal plan download for £25 but I don't think I'm there yet. I'd like to read up more myself first.

How are you doing? I'll try to find your previous post to recall where you were at. Today's my first day on T3 and I'm monitoring my bp and temp throughout the day....of course trying not to wind myself up too much :) Fingers crossed.


My doctor gave me dhea for adrenal issues. I also took some other stuff in addition, something to modify my oestrogen resistance as well as pregnenolone. I'm so sorry I can't remember what the other thing was called. I'll see if I can find the bottle. I'm taking a break as all the supplements made me feel a bit sick.


Cool, that would be great thanks.


It's just hit me what you said - your doctor prescribed DHEA, as in an NHS doctor? Were your levels roughly the same as MacG and mine? How are you finding it? Hope you start to get better soon.


Alas no, private I'm afraid.

I'm meant to be taking a multi, a b complex, an adrenal support and a thyroid support (neither is glandular, I don't think, just nutritional), plus dhea and 5htp. I'm no longer on that other pill, which I think was something meant to be protective against the effects of oestrogen-dominance - ? I'm so sorry I can't remember what it was called. I'm taking some time off from supplements as they were doing a number on my stomach.

My tests look a little different than yours (they were not done in the UK). Cortisol was 7.5ug/dL (am range 6.2-19.4) and dhea was 170ng/dL (range 31-701). I know very little about what this is meant to indicate I'm afraid. I was just getting to know about my thyroid so learning about adrenal issues was a step too far for me. :-)


Hi, me side-tracked!

There is a whole section on DHEA in Peatfield's book (pgs. 98-101), which is a source of information that I feel I can trust.

Can I ask, what symptoms were you experiencing that made you have your adrenals tested?

Also you ask in your first question above if anyone can offer advice on DHEA. Is there any specific advice you are looking for?


I've got Peatfield's book and I trust him too. I haven't look at it yet for DHEA so will do. The symptoms were - on a low dose of NDT I developed a racing, pounding heart. That was about it really. I read that you should still continue taking the NDT dispite this, and that it will calm down but that just didn't seem right to me. After I stopped the NDT, my heart continued to do this for a few days until eventually it stopped.

The reason I'm asking about DHEA is that I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts on supplementing. I've seen tablets for sale - but again it doesn't 'feel right' to just gobble up such a potentially powerful substance without giving it a lot of thought. Do you have any thoughts you can share, or anyone else?


Can I just ask - what is NDT?? (I'm still a bit of a novice with all the terminology)

Re. the DHEA, I can only speak from personal experience. I actually took 7-Ketozyme between October 2012 and January 2013, on the advice of my nutritionist, whom I trust. (She is BANT-registered.) I did a bit of digging around before I committed myself and yes, you are recommended to take it under supervision and need to keep an eye on levels. I did come across information that said that excessive DHEA can cause agitation/acne and excessive hair growth. I am like you and very cautious about taking stuff. At that stage however, I felt I had nothing to lose. (I had been struggling with my health increasingly for about 10 years. Throughout this period my GP had not come up with any answers and the final straw came when I asked my GP for blood tests last June as I knew something was wrong - I felt dreadful- but was refused.) At that point I turned to a local nutritionist for some help. We tested throughout the summer (I also did a 28 day hormone test at the same time) then when the results were in I started on the supplements. I certainly felt no ill-effects from the 7-Ketozyme, and actually along with the other supplements the nutritionist had recommended - some high concentrate fish oils, magnesium and spa tone - I think they kept me "propped up" while my GP finally got round to some sort of diagnosis by Christmas. In fact my GP commented when the results were finally in that it was a wonder I was functioning like I was.

I actually knew about my fatigued adrenals then before I was diagnosed as hypothyroid. I only stopped taking the supplements because the haematologist I was referred to asked me to stop taking them. I didn't ask him why. To be honest there was so much to discuss in the appointment that I didn't question it and because I was starting on a LOT of new medication that I thought would sort me out!! (A diagnosis of hypothyroidism/anaemia/neutropenia and osteoporosis all came in within about a week).

Six months down the line, however, I am still struggling with all of the symptoms I had pre-diagnosis, and I am now just starting to explore adrenal support again with my nutritionist. I'm afraid "the gloves are off". I have had a real struggle again with my GP since diagnosis......and I want my life back ( I feel like I have lost a decade!).

I would be really interested to know more about any other symptoms you have, if that's OK especially as we have such similar adrenal profiles. (You mention a racing heart, I can't say that I have experienced anything like that. )


Hi MacG,

Apologies to you too for my delay in getting back to you. Firstly NDT is natural dessicated thyroid .... aka pig's thyroid which is an age old remedy for thyroid problems which has been shelved by the medical establishment and no doubt the big pharma companies.

Gosh I'm so sorry to read about your dealings with doctors. They are there to heal us and I'm sure they would if they knew how to. The basic treatment for hypothyroidism by the NHS is I believe inadequate to say the least. Nobody should suffer for 10 yrs -it's shocking. And you are not alone. There is a growing movement though to improve the treatment we are offered. When I was officially diagnosed only 2/3 months ago, I read as much as I could, joined groups and talked to as many women as poss to get some sort of idea what I could expect on Levothyroxine. Well into month two, my breathing became so laboured that I couldn't fill my lungs with I stopped immediately. Anyway enough of my story, sorry I got sidetracked!

I hope you manage to get healed MacG.

My racing heartbeat came as a result of taking the NDT with very low iron levels. I won't go into it now, but that is the reason. So you won't experience those symptoms if you are not taking T3 into your body (the active hormone which is in NDT but not in Levothyroxine). In fact it was more of an all over juddering I think. All I need to do is lower my dose and wait and wait till my iron improves. So this symptom is nothing for you to worry about.

I do hope you improve MacG. Great you are under the care of someone and I hope she does the job well. So interesting to read of the supplements you are taking. xx


Thank you for your lovely comments. It is interesting isn't it that puncturedbicycle's DOCTOR prescribed DHEA - how enlightened!

Ordered "The DHEA Breakthrough" by Stephen Cherniske today from the library.

I hope that you sorted out soon too.


Cool! I've just ordered some Holy Basil supplements...still swithering with the DHEA (the costs are mounting :( )


It's actually sunk in, through appauling hay fever fog, that puncturedbicycle's doctor DID prescribe DHEA MacG! That's worthy of note!!


Sadly it didn't seem to help me! Gutted really. I have a lot of nutritional things to take and seems like I've gone through a right pile of them in the last 6-12mos but sadly didn't see any improvement in well-being (though test results looked better). I particularly seemed to be taking vits d and b for England and eventually the tests looked better but when I got fed up of the nausea I asked if I could stop them for a while. My doc said if they weren't helping I didn't have to take them. I'll finish them off when I get the resolve. If nothing else they were quite dear!


And please let me know how you find that book. I'll look it up on Amazon....


I think a lot of us take a wheelbarrow load of supplements, and they help some and not others I guess. I don't know the technicalities but sometimes the body struggles to absorb certain nutrients. For instance I've been told that if you have low stomach acid that can really affect absorbtion of iron especially. Some folks take a tblsp of Apple Cider Vinegar dissolved in water when they take their iron and it helps levels to rocket up. In fact it's supposed to help absorption of everything; supplements and food. Maybe something you can look into?


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