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05/04/2012 10:26 PM

DHEA & Progesterone?

CanadianCat41
CanadianCat41  
Posts: 140
Member

Is low DHEA and Progesterone common effects of adrenal problems?

I've been doing replacement of both of these hormones since 2009 and I just wondered if alot of people have the same issue?

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05/05/2012 12:10 AM
bob3bob3
bob3bob3Posts: 4213
Senior Member

Yes...

It can get complex, but basically if you have secondary AI both these can be lower. Additionally when you treat the low cortisol with HC etc, DHEA/Prog (can) get lower still.

The effect on primary AI is a little different and probably depends where the damage is. The adrenal cortex is kind of in 3 layers for the three steroid output types. The androgens (DHEA etc) some from the innermost layer.

I am not super clear on progesterone dependencies. Its the next step up from pregnenolone and is made in both adrenal glands and ovaries (and placenta during pregnancy) I don't have a handle on how significant the adrenal production is next to the ovarian. A male for example has about the same progesterone as a female in follicular phase.

My DHEA is about 0.3umol/L (1-8) and testosterone 3.8nmol/L (9.5-28). That comes from pituitary suppression of ACTH by my cortisol/gluco replacement. I have never had progesterone tested but when I had aldosterone done back in 2007 (further down same steroidogenesis path) it was in range. Nowadays however I do have to control mineralo side or I dry out badly. I assume therefore my aldosterone has dropped.

And I bet you just wanted a simple answer! <grin>

Bob


05/05/2012 09:20 AM
CanadianCat41
CanadianCat41  
Posts: 140
Member

I love your answers Bob! Thanks for taking the time ~hug~

In 2009 I finally talked my old doc into testing my hormones.....the results were that my DHEA, my progesterone, and Vit D were all sitting at 0.

I started replacements. This is where it gets tricky....my DHEA was sitting at 1.5 since 2009 and in Jan 2012 my new doc thought it was time to increase my dose to get my levels up so I doubled my DHEA to 50mg/day and my level dropped down to 0.4...

Is that CRAZY?

Post edited by: CanadianCat41, at: 05/05/2012 09:22 AM


05/05/2012 02:20 PM
bob3bob3
bob3bob3Posts: 4213
Senior Member

Yep whacky. Only logical conclusion I can come to (apart from bad testing or bad drugs) is that by some ethereal reason the extra amount was suddenly a trigger for producing something else from it! (eg did your testosterone and estradiol also rise by more than double - they are downstream from DHEA)

There may also be an absorption or time delay. Your 1.5 could have also been made of "1.2" of natural production that somehow got suppressed! Now getting way out on a limb!

A 1.5 to 0.4 may even be a natural variation or measurement artifact. There is a distinct lack of proper measurement size science in blood test results. Accuracy for instance is rarely if ever quoted. Pathology protocols for retesting though will be "retest if out of range" rather than "redraw blood". Lab accreditation doesn't imply they get it right every time. Its cost driven..

I think we (on MDJ) tend to dwell too much on blood tests numbers as being the be-all end-all, whereas they are really just an indicator to explain a symptom state. ie the further they are from the statistical mean the more likely they are to be associated with the root illness cause.

Enough waffling from me!

Bob


05/05/2012 02:26 PM
CanadianCat41
CanadianCat41  
Posts: 140
Member

I think I dwell on the numbers because most of the doctors I've seen will only treat IF the numbers fall into "proper ranges" otherwise they won't treat and I struggle on....for years
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