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Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone produced by the adrenal gland. It is also made in the brain. DHEA leads to the production of androgens and estrogens (male and female sex hormones). DHEA levels in the body begin to decrease after age 30. Lower DHEA levels are found in people with hormonal disorders, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, depression, diabetes, inflammation, immune disorders, and osteoporosis. Corticosteroids, birth control taken by mouth, and agents that treat psychiatric disorders may reduce DHEA levels.

The hormone DHEA-S, which the adrenal glands produce, is essential for many aspects of our health and well-being.

In this comprehensive blog post, we will delve into the fascinating world of DHEA-S and its impact on our lives. From understanding how age affects serum levels to exploring cognitive health benefits linked to higher circulating levels, we've got you covered.

We'll also discuss hormonal imbalances and metabolic dysfunction related to DHEA-S regulation, as well as childhood development impacts physical fitness later in life. Additionally, we'll compare age-related patterns between humans and wild chimpanzees.

Lastly, learn about normal ranges for men and women regarding DHEA-S levels, along with symptoms associated with low or high levels. We'll touch upon adrenal tumor concerns during pregnancy with high DHEA levels before diving into the relationship between cortisol and DHEA. So stay tuned for an insightful journey through the world of DHEA-S!

Table of Contents:

Understanding DHEA and DHEA-S: The Hormones You Need to Know

Let's delve into the steroid hormones DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) and its sulfate ester, DHEA-S - produced by your adrenal glands, which play an essential role in many bodily functions.

Your adrenal glands are primarily responsible for producing these steroid hormones, which are essential for a number of physiological processes, including brain development, sexuality, mood regulation, cognition, and physical exercise.

Research shows that maintaining optimal levels of these hormones can benefit your overall health in numerous ways.

DHEA vs. DHEA-S: What's the Difference?

DHEA-S is simply the sulfated form of DHEA, which means it has an additional sulfate molecule attached to it.

This conversion helps with storage since DHEA-S has a longer half-life, making it more stable than its parent hormone.

Why Should I Care About My DHEA-S Levels?

Your body needs adequate amounts of both hormones for proper functioning - but why should you be concerned about their levels?

The answer lies in how they impact essential aspects of our lives, like cognitive health or even fertility.

Production of DHEA in the Body

Let's discuss the production of DHEA and its sulfate ester, DHEA-S, by our adrenal glands; these hormones' levels vary depending on age.

The adrenal glands are responsible for producing both DHEA and its sulfate ester, DHEA-S.

Interestingly enough, age plays a significant role in determining the levels of these hormones within our system. Peak production occurs during late adolescence and early adulthood.

As we grow older, it's natural for our hormone levels to decline gradually over time. In addition to age-related changes, other factors, such as stress, can also impact your body's ability to produce adequate amounts of these crucial steroid hormones.

Fun fact: Did you know that cortisol, another vital adrenal hormone, is essential for proper brain maturation during early childhood development?

Maintaining balanced hormone levels is essential for maintaining good health and wellbeing throughout life. If you're worried about your DHEA-S levels, consulting a medical expert is advisable to decide the right course of action.

Benefits of Optimal DHEA-S Levels

Let's dive into the world of DHEA-S and explore its benefits.

First off, studies show that women with higher circulating levels of DHEA-S exhibit better performance on tests measuring executive function and simple concentration.

This means optimal levels could be vital for overall cognitive health.

  • Improved Cognitive Health: Adequate production during critical developmental periods may contribute to a sharper mind later in life.
  • Regulation of Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1): A balanced level helps modulate IGF-1, which plays a crucial role in growth and development.
  • Healthy Glucose Uptake: A well-regulated level can help maintain healthy glucose uptake within cells, promoting energy balance throughout the body.

In addition to these perks, having an optimal amount is also beneficial for physical fitness enthusiasts, as it supports muscle strength and endurance during exercise sessions.

Pretty impressive stuff, right?

To sum up: Maintaining adequate levels not only boosts your brainpower but also contributes to overall physical wellness.

If you're curious about your own hormone status, consider getting an affordable DHEA-S test from DiscountedLabs.com.

Normal Ranges for Men and Women

Let's talk numbers, shall we?

DHEA-S levels vary between genders and age groups, so it's essential to know the normal ranges specific to you. Curious about what those are? Let me break it down for you:

Normal Range for Women

Women usually have less DHEA-S than men, particularly during their adolescent and young adult years, before diminishing as they age. These values tend to peak during late adolescence or early adulthood before gradually declining over time.

Normal Range for Men

Men typically experience higher DHEA-S levels compared to women. Like their female counterparts, these hormone concentrations also decrease as they age after reaching a maximum level in young adulthood.

Note: It is crucial not only to be aware of these normal ranges but also to monitor your own personal health journey related to hormones like DHEA-S through regular testing.

If you're interested in tracking your hormonal health without breaking the bank, DiscountedLabs.com offers affordable blood tests that include markers such as DHEA-S levels—perfect for staying on top of your game.

Low vs High DHEA-S Symptoms & Treatments

It might be time to check your DHEA-S levels. Let's explore the symptoms and treatments for both low and high DHEA-S levels.

Symptoms & Treatments Related to Low DHEA-S Levels in Males & Females

Low energy, anyone? Fatigue is a common symptom of low DHEA-S. You may also experience depression, anxiety, or reduced libido. If you think your DHEA-S levels may be low, consult a healthcare professional for a diagnosis and potential HRT.

Symptoms & Treatments Related to High DHEA-S Levels

Irritability is on the rise. This could signal high DHEA-S levels. Additionally, acne outbreaks or irregular periods in women can indicate elevated values. Consulting with a healthcare professional is crucial. They'll help determine if HRT or other interventions are necessary based on your unique situation.

Adrenal Tumor Indications through DHEA-S Levels

Let's talk about adrenal tumors and their connection to DHEA-S levels.

Elevated values of this hormone could potentially indicate the presence of an adrenal tumor, which is definitely something you'd want to know about. Don't be alarmed.

If your test results show high DHEA-S levels, it doesn't automatically mean you have a tumor. Other factors, such as stress or certain medications, can cause elevated levels.

Do not hastily assume the worst; it is wise to talk with a medical expert for direction and further investigation. It's better to err on the side of caution than take unnecessary risks.

Note: If an adrenal tumor is suspected, additional tests like imaging studies may be required for confirmation before determining the appropriate course of action. Treatment options vary depending on the type and size of the tumor, as well as its impact on hormone production. Your doctor will discuss these options with you in detail so that, together, you can make informed decisions regarding your health journey.

High DHEA-S and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

Let's talk about pregnancy and DHEA-S levels.

It's important to understand the connection between high DHEA-S levels and fertility, as it may impact your journey to parenthood.

So, what exactly happens when a woman has elevated DHEA-S?

This means that while trying to conceive, monitoring your hormone levels can be beneficial in understanding potential roadblocks on your path towards motherhood.

If you think hormonal discrepancies may be hindering your fertility journey, a specialist in reproductive endocrinology can offer guidance and assistance.

The Intriguing Relationship between Cortisol and DHEA

Let's talk about the fascinating connection between cortisol and DHEA. An intriguing relationship exists between cortisol and DHEA, two hormones with a shared purpose in our bodies.

Research suggests that while both hormones play essential roles in early childhood brain development, their relationship doesn't impact pregnancy outcomes.

The delicate balance between these two hormones can influence various aspects of our overall well-being, such as mood stability or stress resilience. If you're curious to learn more about your own cortisol-DHEA dynamics or simply want to monitor your hormonal health journey, you should definitely consider getting tested through DiscountedLabs.com. Their hormone tests, available on their website, will provide insights into your personal hormonal profile with ease.

The DHEA Connection: Testosterone Increase in Women vs Men

Let's talk about a fascinating hormonal mystery.

Did you know that DHEA can increase testosterone levels in women but not men?

It all comes down to the unique interactions within each gender's respective hormonal environment.

An essential component in the production of hormones by the adrenal glands, DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) affects men and women differently regarding their testosterone levels. Women's bodies rely on this crucial precursor hormone to generate androgens like testosterone and also produce estrogens, namely estradiol, by inducing significant effects in their bodies.

The plot thickens: While both genders produce DHEA, its effects on testosterone levels differ significantly between men and women.

  • In Women: Increased DHEA levels lead to higher production of testosterone due to the conversion process happening mainly in adrenals glands and  peripheral tissues (like fat cells).
  • In Men: Testosterone production occurs primarily within the testes; thus, increased DHEA has little effect on overall testosterone levels as it doesn't directly impact testicular function.

This complex relationship makes supplementation more nuanced than simply taking over-the-counter products without proper guidance from qualified professionals. If you're interested in your DHEA-S levels, consider affordable testing through DiscountedLabs.com for personalized insights into your hormones.

Affordable Testing through DiscountedLabs.com

Let's face it, folks. Maintaining good hormone balance is essential for sustaining a robust lifestyle and overall health. But getting lab tests can be expensive and time-consuming, right? Well, not anymore.

DiscountedLabs.com has got you covered with affordable DHEA-S testing options that won't break the bank. No more stressing over pricey lab visits or waiting in long lines at the doctor's office.

  • Action #1: Head to DiscountedLabs.com.
  • Action #2: Search for "DHEA-S" in their easy-to-use search bar.
  • Action #3: Select the test option that suits your needs best.
  • Action #4: Add it to your cart and check out - no hassle.

You'll receive detailed instructions on how to proceed with sample collection and find a convenient local facility near you. Results will be delivered electronically, enabling you to make educated choices regarding your health journey.

DiscountedLabs.com caters to men and women interested in health, wellness, and fitness. If you're concerned about your DHEA-S levels, this is the perfect solution for you. Don't let high costs or inconvenience stop you from taking control of your health. Visit DiscountedLabs.com today.

FAQs in Relation to Dhea-S

What are the benefits of DHEAS?

DHEAS offers various health benefits, including improved cognitive function, regulation of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), modulation of glucose uptake, and enhanced immune system. Additionally, it can help maintain healthy skin and bones while also playing a role in sexual function.

What does a high level of DHEAS mean?

High levels of DHEAS may indicate an adrenal gland disorder or tumor. It could also be associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women or congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). High levels should be evaluated by a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.

What affects DHEAS levels?

Several factors can affect DHEAS levels, such as age, stress, medications like corticosteroids or hormonal therapies, obesity, kidney disease, and disorders affecting the adrenal glands. Lifestyle factors like diet and exercise may also influence these hormone levels.

Is there a difference between DHEA and DHEAS?

DHEA is an endogenous steroid hormone produced mainly by the adrenal glands. In contrast, DHEA-S (Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate) is its sulfated form that circulates in the bloodstream. DHEA-S is more stable and has a longer half-life than DHEA, making it a better biomarker for measuring adrenal function.


Overall, understanding the role of DHEA-S in the body can provide insight into various health concerns. Age plays a significant factor in serum levels, while higher circulating levels have been linked to cognitive health benefits. DHEA-S regulation can also affect hormonal imbalances and metabolic dysfunction.

It's important to note that high DHEA-S levels can lead to adrenal tumors and pregnancy concerns. Monitoring hormone levels through affordable testing options like DiscountedLabs.com can help individuals stay informed about their overall health.

If you're interested in learning more about your own hormone levels, check out DiscountedLabs.com for discounted panels today!


  1. Go to the "Find a Location" page to find the closest lab location. No need to make an appointment since walk-ins are welcomed. Once you have identified your closest location, go to step 2.

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