What does a low DHEA mean?

Coastal Medical Clinic - Myrtle Beach, SC.

Your DHEA and cortisol are both produced by the adrenal cortex -- so a low range DHEA may indicate a problem with cortisol. The adrenals produce cortisol in a diurnal pattern with an early morning surge to wake you up and then it tapers off during the day.

People who are under a lot of stress have elevated cortisol levels all day and even at night. Cortisol excess leads to increased rT3 levels and hence hypothyroid symptoms along with impaired cognition, blood sugar imbalance, lower bone density, insomnia, muscle wasting, hypertension, lowered immune function, slowed wound healing and increases abdominal fat.

After a prolonged period of stress the adrenal glands can become burned out much like the pancreas does with type II diabetes. This is what we call adrenal fatigue -- it will cause you to feel tired, rundown and overwhelmed and you will trouble getting up in the morning.