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The adrenal gland produces a hormone known as dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). 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.

DHEA-Sulfate Test

The adrenal gland produces a hormone known as dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). 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. DHEA levels may decrease as a result of taking corticosteroids, oral birth control, and medications for psychiatric disorders.

Understanding DHEA Sulfate: Its Role Explained

The adrenal gland produces a hormone known as dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). 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. DHEA levels may decrease as a result of taking corticosteroids, oral birth control, and medications for psychiatric disorders. Since pituitary hormones regulate how much DHEA-S the adrenal glands produce, the test can also help determine whether the pituitary gland is unhealthy or damaged.

Dehydroepiandrosterone and Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) are two hormones that the adrenal glands naturally produce. DHEA-S is the sulfated form of DHEA, which means it has a sulfur atom attached to its molecule. Both hormones play important roles in the human body, including the production of testosterone and estrogen. A DHEA-S test measures the amount of the hormone in the bloodstream. DHEA levels tend to decline with age, and studies suggest that supplementing with DHEA may have benefits for certain conditions, such as depression, osteoporosis, and sexual dysfunction. DHEA-S, a male sex hormone found in both men and women, is involved in the development of male sexual characteristics at puberty, including early puberty in boys. However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of DHEA and DHEA-S on human health. In women, excess male hormones can lead to male body changes, excess hair growth, oily skin, acne, irregular periods, or problems becoming pregnant.

The adrenal cortex, specifically, is responsible for producing the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). It is also made in the brain. DHEA leads to the production of androgens and estrogens (male and female sex hormones). Your natural DHEA levels are at their highest when you're a young adult. They get lower as you age. 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. DHEA levels may decrease as a result of taking corticosteroids, oral birth control, and medications for psychiatric disorders. DHEA converts to DHEA-S (DHEA-sulfate), which is ultimately under the control of pituitary hormones, in your liver and adrenal glands. The zona reticularis of the adrenal cortex makes DHEA and DHEA-S. The adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is in charge of controlling this. An enzyme called CYP11A1 (P450scc) and an enzyme called CYP17A1 (P450scc) break down cholesterol to make DHEA. Pregnenolone and 17α-hydroxypregnenolone are the enzymes that do this. The adrenal glands also help control heart rate, blood pressure, and other body functions.

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 how 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 adrenal cancer. So stay tuned for an insightful journey through the world of DHEA-S and its impact on facial hair growth! A normal level of DHEA-S means your adrenal glands are working right. It is important to note that too much DHEA can have adverse effects on the body, such as the development of early pubic or underarm hair in children, as mentioned in the usage example.

Understanding DHEA and DHEA Sulfate: 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 Sulfate: 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.

Benefits of Optimal DHEA Sulfate 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.

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 of DHEA Sulfate for Men and Women

The normal ranges for Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate (DHEA-S) can vary depending on the laboratory and the measurement units used. However, general reference ranges are as follows:

  • Men: The normal range for DHEA-S in adult men typically falls between 80 and 560 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL).
  • Women: For adult women, the normal range is usually between 35 and 430 µg/dL.

It's important to note that DHEA-S levels can vary greatly based on age, and the highest levels are usually observed in young adults, declining with age. Additionally, individual health, lifestyle factors, and certain medical conditions can also influence DHEA-S levels.

Reference Ranges for DHEA-S


Tanner Stage and Average Age | Lower Limit (μg/dL) | Upper Limit (μg/dL)

Tanner Stage I (>14 days) | 16 | 96

Tanner Stage II (10.5 years) | 22 | 184

Tanner Stage III (11.6 years) | <15 | 296

Tanner Stage IV (12.3 years) | 17 | 343

Tanner Stage V (14.5 years) | 44 | 332

18–29 years | 44 | 332

30–39 years | 31 | 228

40–49 years | 18 | 244

50–59 years | <15 | 200

≥60 years | <15 | 157


Tanner Stage I (>14 days) | <15 | 120

Tanner Stage II (11.5 years) | <15 | 333

Tanner Stage III (13.6 years) | <15 | 312

Tanner Stage IV (15.1 years) | 29 | 412

Tanner Stage V (18.0 years) | 89 | 457

18–29 years | 89 | 457

30–39 years | 65 | 334

40–49 years | 48 | 244

50–59 years | 35 | 179

≥60 years | 25 | 131

This table provides a detailed overview of the DHEA-S reference ranges across different ages and Tanner stages for both males and females. Remember, these values can vary depending on the laboratory and testing methods used. For accurate and personalized interpretation of these values, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional.

DHEA Sulfate High and Low Blood Levels: Symptoms and 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 and Treatments Related to Low DHEA-S Levels in Males and Females

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 and Treatments Related to High DHEA-S Levels

Irritability 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.

How to Treat High DHEA in Females

High levels of DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) in females can be indicative of various health conditions, and the treatment approach usually depends on the underlying cause. Here are some general strategies:

  1. Medical Evaluation: It's crucial to first determine the cause of the high DHEA levels. This can include conditions like adrenal tumors, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or other hormonal imbalances [[3†source]].
  2. Lifestyle Changes: Implementing a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise, can help in managing conditions like PCOS, which might be associated with high DHEA levels.
  3. Medication: Depending on the cause, doctors might prescribe specific medications. For instance, in the case of PCOS, birth control pills or other hormonal therapies might be used to regulate hormone levels.
  4. Managing Symptoms: In cases where high DHEA levels lead to symptoms like excess hair growth, treatments such as laser hair removal might be recommended.
  5. Regular Monitoring: Regular blood tests to monitor DHEA levels can help in assessing the effectiveness of the treatment and making necessary adjustments.

Remember, it's essential to consult with a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and tailored treatment plan.

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. It is important to consider the possibility of adrenal insufficiency, where the adrenal glands don't produce enough hormones like cortisol, when evaluating the impact of the tumor on hormone production. Your adrenal glands may stop working temporarily if you suddenly start or stop taking certain medicines, like prednisone, resulting in adrenal insufficiency for a short time.

High DHEA Sulfate 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, cortisol and DHEA, 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 at a doctor’s office. Their hormone tests, available on Discounted Labs, will provide insights into your personal hormonal profile with ease. Additionally, your healthcare provider will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm to measure your doctor’s office sulfate levels. This simple procedure involves using a small needle to collect a small amount of blood into a test tube or vial, which usually takes less than five minutes. Menstruation can affect your results. You should have this test done 1 week before or after your menstrual period. DHEA supplements can also affect your results. Nutritional supplements aren't kept track of in the U. S. Because of this, the purity and strength listed on the supplement package may be unreliable.

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 adrenal 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.



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!

Common Questions

Can taking supplements help increase DHEA sulfate levels?

Taking supplements can potentially help increase DHEA sulfate levels, as DHEA is a precursor hormone that can be converted into DHEA sulfate in the body. However, it is important to note that the effectiveness of supplements in increasing DHEA sulfate levels may vary depending on individual factors such as age, overall health, and existing hormonal balance. Before starting any supplement regimen, it is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional who can evaluate your specific needs and provide appropriate guidance. They can help determine if taking supplements is the right course of action for you and recommend the appropriate dosage and type of supplement based on your individual circumstances.

Can measuring DHEA sulfate levels be used as a diagnostic tool for certain conditions?

Measuring DHEA sulfate levels can be used as a diagnostic tool for certain conditions. The adrenal glands produce the hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), which is a precursor to other hormones like testosterone and estrogen. Low levels of DHEA sulfate have been associated with conditions such as adrenal insufficiency, depression, and certain autoimmune diseases. On the other hand, high levels of DHEA sulfate may indicate conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or adrenal tumors. However, it's important to note that measuring DHEA sulfate levels alone is not sufficient for making a diagnosis. It should be interpreted in conjunction with other clinical findings and medical history. If you have concerns about your DHEA sulfate levels or suspect you may have an underlying condition, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide further guidance and appropriate testing.

Are there any potential side effects of taking DHEA sulfate supplements?

DHEA sulfate supplements are generally considered safe for most adults when taken in appropriate doses. However, like any supplement, there is a potential for side effects. Some possible side effects of taking DHEA sulfate supplements include acne, hair loss, facial hair growth in women, changes in the menstrual cycle, deepening of the voice in women, mood changes, and liver problems. It's important to note that the long-term effects of taking DHEA sulfate supplements are not well-known, so it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new dietary supplement or medication. They can provide personalized advice based on your individual health history and help determine if DHEA sulfate supplements are right for you.

Is DHEA a testosterone booster?

Dehydroepiandrosterone, also known as DHEA, is a hormone that the adrenal glands naturally produce. While DHEA is often marketed as a testosterone booster, its effects on testosterone levels are not fully understood, and research on this topic has provided conflicting results. Some studies have suggested that DHEA supplementation may increase testosterone levels in women, while others have found no significant effect. It's significant to note that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not support the use of DHEA as a testosterone booster, and research into its long-term effects and safety is ongoing. If you are considering using DHEA or any other supplement for testosterone-boosting purposes, it is recommended that you consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

Who might need a DHEA sulfate (DHEAS) test?

The DHEA sulfate (DHEAS) test is typically used to evaluate adrenal gland function and can be helpful in diagnosing certain conditions. Some individuals who might need a DHEAS test include those experiencing symptoms such as excessive hair growth, irregular menstrual periods, or infertility, which may be indicative of conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or adrenal disorders. Additionally, individuals with suspected adrenal tumors or those undergoing treatment for adrenal disorders may require a DHEAS test to monitor their response to therapy. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if a DHEAS test is necessary in your specific situation.


  1. tctmed.com - High and Low DHEA Levels in Women (All You Need to Know)
  2. medlineplus.gov - DHEA Sulfate Test
  3. my.clevelandclinic.org - DHEAS Test: What It Is, Procedure, Results
  4. mountsinai.org - DHEA-sulfate test Information
  5. swintegrativemedicine.com - What Does A High DHEA-s In a Female Mean?
  6. vagibiom.com - How to Treat High DHEA Levels in Females: A Guide



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