Thyroid UK
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DHEA - what would cause it to be so low?

Hi All

I have been doing lots of reading since getting my last set of adrenal and dhea results. I have come to the conclusion that bascially my adrenals do seem to be getting better and improving when I compare to previous results over the years. So thats good.....

However my DHEA level remains woefully low and pretty much has always been low since I was first diagnosed hypo. Latest results:

0.08 (range .3 to 1.0)

So what I am struglling to understand, and can't really find the facts on this - if my adrenals are improving, why would my DHEA levels remain so low? My only bad symtpom now is hair loss and that is linked to low DHEA. I know people can supplement DHEA etc but I dont really want to explore that in this post- I just really want to understand first of all what would cause DHEA to remain suppressed despite improvements on all other tests.

Could T4 suppress DHEA levels? Could any medication reduce DHEA levels? Is there something I am missing that is keeping mine repressed?

Many thanks

10 Replies

Hi Lizanne,

Can I ask how old you are (roughly) ? As we age levels of DHEA drop significantly.You do not say how you treated your adrenals, but one point worth considering is that when one supplements with cortisol, DHEA levels drop and vice versa. That is why it is best to take the two together if clinically indicated.

I am unsure as to whether thyroxine or any other medication can lower DHEA. Certainly chronic unrelenting stress over time will diminish levels significantly as our reserves are used up. My levels of DHEA are truly dire. I was tested in Belgium a few years back and the results were;

15 ( ref range 110-430 ug/dL)

And here's the bugbear. I couldn't tolerate the DHEA sulphate at all. I was prescribed 15 mg and I felt so I was dying. I tried halving the dose and still felt dreadful so gave up. Over the years I have tried the 7-Keto DHEA and felt crap on that too and there is debate as to whether the 7-Keto can actually raise blood serum levels anyway.

So, I guess what I am trying to say is that if your DHEA is low and has remained low for several years, the only way you are likely to raise it is through supplementation. Bearing in mind that it is a prescription medication. I know of no other ways to raise it. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable will be along soon.

Regards Joan

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Hi Joan

I am in my late 40s and I know DHEA levels decline with age, however my levels have been low for some time, pretty much same time as my thyroid started going wrong.

I know suplementing will help. But I seem to remember reading somewhere (Can't remember where!?!) that DHEA levels will correct when thyroid corrects but perhaps I have got that wrong? I was just trying to figure out why my DHEA would be so unusually low - is there something specific thats causing that.

Its really puzzling me!



Hi Lizanne

May I ask you how did you get your DHEA levels tested? Was it NHS blood test or private saliva test.


Edysia xxx


I paid for some private tests -the 24 hour saliva test which tests cortisol and DHEA levels, The thyroid uk web site gives details on where to obtain the private tests.


Thank you Lizanne.


P.S what other adrenal tests did you do ( was it cortisol) - I am just wondering how do you know that your adrenals are improving?

Losing hair can be as well a sign of low levels of iron which comes with hypothyroidism.


I did the 24 hour saliva test and had already done this test a few years back so I was able to compate the results. My iron isnt low now - I am pretty sure it is the low DHEA which is causing the hair loss


Hi, I'm late to the party..however! My DHEA levels are very low, thyroid is low and my hair has been shedding on and off for 2 yrs. lost 1/2 of what I use to have. My Dr. prescribed my 10mg DHEA lozenges which I am not going to take because I just don't feel right about it. In my search to naturally raise DHEA levels I have found this and will be trying as soon as I get my magnesium oil. It is said to add 2-4oz of oil to a foot soak(only enough to cover toes with water) and soak for 30mins for 30 days. Brings levels up to normal. I'm excited and thought that I would share. Best of luck to you.

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Did this 30 day treatment with the mag' oil work for you? And if so, which of the 2 products on the link provided did you use: (1) Pacific Magnesium Oil Clear "Ultra Pure" OR (2) Prehistoric Magnesium oil™

"Exceptionally Ultra Pure" Premium? Thanks in advance for your time + help and i hope all is smooth with you DHEA levels now.


How did the Magnesium gel work out for you? Please let us know.


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