There's been a lot of discussion about DHEA or dehydroepiandrosterone and its effects on mental health and the aging process. Low DHEA levels can cause some severe health conditions. This is why it's become popular to take a daily dose of a DHEA supplement to fight age, improve energy, and build muscles.
But how long does it take for DHEA to work? The short answer is that it depends on the milligrams (mg) per day, the condition you're taking it for, and your body chemistry. In this article, we'll look at the average time DHEA takes to work for those suffering from different conditions.
DHEA is one of the steroid hormones in the human body. It's different from testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone in that it's a precursor hormone. What this means is that DHEA comes first, and then smaller amounts convert to the other hormones. In a way, it's the mother hormone that has many health benefits.
According to the Mayo Clinic, DHEA production primarily occurs in the adrenal glands. These small, triangle-shaped glands above the kidneys are essential for male and female hormone production.
DHEA peaks in early adulthood and naturally decreases as one ages. The exact connection between aging, cognitive function, and physical performance and DHEA isn't known, but some studies show that it can help with a slew of medical concerns.
For women with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) and decreased sexual function, taking DHEA may improve egg quality. It's become common for fertility doctors to prescribe DHEA to help women with premature ovarian aging (POA) and DOR to improve pregnancy outcomes. In medically reviewed studies, DEAH supplementation not only enhanced fertility but also prevented miscarriages.
The amount of time for DHEA replacement therapy to provide some benefit is estimated at about 6-8 weeks, but peak levels are not reached until 16-20 weeks. Most women start taking DHEA when undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF).
The sex hormones testosterone and estrogen are essential for many bodily functions. Low testosterone can result in poor athletic performance, fatigue, reduced muscle size, or strength, amongst other symptoms.
One study had young adults taking a 100 mg daily dose of DHEA for six months. After the stuy finished, DHEA levels increased. DHEA plays a crucial role in testosterone levels.
In a comprehensive review of studies done on DHEA and testosterone supplementation, 42 publications showed DHEA administration significantly increased testosterone levels. The dose and length varied between 50 mg to 100 mg per day for 3-6 months.
Endurance athletes or professional athletes shouldn't supplement with DHEA because it's on the list of banned substances for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
One's health and wellness depend on how much energy you have day to day. The amounts of DHEA in your body may be connected to how energetic and strong you feel.
For men and women with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), the daily battle of low levels of energy makes tasks feel impossible. After 4-6 weeks of oral DHEA therapy, those with CFS experienced an 18% reduction in symptoms in one clinical trial. More studies need to be done to determine the connection between DHEA and extreme tiredness.
Studies have shown that hormone imbalances can come from a wide range of issues, and you need adequate DHEA levels to normalize hormone levels. It can help balance estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
How long it takes for DHEA to work on hormone imbalances depends on the low levels, age, dosage, and overall physical health.
DHEA supplementation may also improve menopausal symptoms caused by low estrogen levels. Menopause can last for years, and along with estrogen supplementation, adding DHEA may further boost levels and reduce menopausal symptoms. Taking DHEA is considered to be safe.
It's hard to fight the battle of age, but some evidence suggests that DHEA not only improves cognitive abilities but also slows down aging skin. In one study, men and women (aged 60-79 years old) took 50mg of topical DHEA for one year. By the end of the study, the subjects showed improvements in skin pigmentation, thickness, and hydration. Also, sebum production increased.
All-natural topical DHEA creams also have added essential oils that further infuse the skin with moisture and nutrients. While looking young forever isn't possible, the adage “growing older gracefully” may be achieved with DHEA.
When you check your symptoms, it may be hard to determine if you have low DHEA levels. But there are certain signs of Low DHEA connected to aging and specific health conditions, including:
It may also be that you have adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal gland produces DHEA and may stop creating enough causing lower than normal ranges. Adrenal fatigue can cause other concerns as well. If you think you have low DHEA levels, contact your doctor for medical advice and health information.
Taking DHEA through a topical cream is more effective than other methods. The DHEA soaks through your skin into the bloodstream and then transfers throughout the body.
The natural drug's effectiveness is much higher than other forms of DHEA when applied transdermally. How long DHEA takes to work ultimately may be a matter of weeks to up to six months or so.
Some men and women report feeling better right away. Each person is different and has various health concerns. The dose of dehydroepiandrosterone you take will also determine how quickly you see results.
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