What is Dehydroepiandrosterone: How Does It Work?
Dehydroepiandrosterone, commonly known as Andro Glandin E2, is a human endogenous androgen hormone precursor. It is among the most abundant circulating hormones in men. It is primarily produced by the testes, the adrenals, and the pituitary gland.
As the primary male hormone, DehydroEPiandrosterone (DHEA) stimulates the growth and development of male sexual characteristics such as hair growth, enlarged prostate, and increased libido.
It is also a key player in the regulation of energy in the human body and also in regulating the growth of bone mass and body fat. Dehydroepiandrosterone can be found in both men and women and can act in conjunction with a low concentration of testosterone.
It also has some beneficial effects on the male reproductive system. In addition to its important role in the normal functioning of the reproductive system, Dehydroepiandrosterone has an important role in regulating estrogen and progesterone levels in the body.
For this reason, Dehydroepiandrosterone sometimes referred to as the “Princeton hormone secretagogue”
A large proportion of women also use oral contraceptives in order to control hormone levels in their body. The progestogens contained in birth control pills have been shown to stimulate the production of Dehydroepiandrosterone in women and it has been associated with various health issues including
- Menopausal symptoms
- Diabetes, and
- Kidney disorders
Because of its ability to trigger estrogen receptor sites, Dehydroepiandrosterone has the ability to affect growth and development. Dehydroepiandrosterone can also interfere with the normal functions of the
- Blood vessels
- Lungs, and
- Bone tissue
Dehydroepiandrosterone has been used in the treatment of several diseases and it is prescribed in conjunction with a low dose of estrogen. As estrogen levels decrease, Dehydroepiandrosterone can reduce the production of estrogen to promote bone formation, growth, and tissue repair.
Studies also show that Dehydroepiandrosterone may have an effect on the production and function of sex hormones of bone tissue. Because DHEA and its metabolite, Dehydroepiandrosterone are considered to be potentially toxic, they are usually administered in low dose. It should not be administered in high doses.
Dehydroepiandrosterone can also be used to treat Urinary tract infections, especially those of the
- The urethra, or ureter
It is used in treating urinary tract infections in women. Because Dehydroepiandrosterone is used in the treatment of urinary tract infections, it can also have an effect on male sexual dysfunction in women. However, research is still ongoing to find the exact mechanisms by which Dehydroepiandrosterone works in this regard.
Some side effects of Dehydroepiandrosterone include:
- Muscle pain
- Restlessness, and
These side effects are temporary in nature and disappear within a few hours or days after the last dose. Dehydroepiandrosterone can cause serious side effects in some patients, including
- Kidney failure. and
- Liver damage
There are two types of oral contraceptives available for the control of ovulation and progesterone levels in women. One is oral ethinylestradiol/ethinylestradiol and the other is norgestimate. Both of these oral contraceptive pills, which are known by many different names such as
- Lopressor, and
- Mestranol, contain ingredients called synthetic progesterone and Dehydroepiandrosterone.
Mestranol and Levonorgestrel work by blocking the conversion of testosterone to the more potent progesterone. The other oral contraceptive pills contain a synthetic form of Dehydroepiandrosterone called drospirenone, which blocks the binding of Dehydroepiandrosterone to the binding receptors on the ovary.
This prevents estrogen from binding to the receptor sites. Birth control pills also contain some progestogens. These include estrogen-blockers and progestogen-proteins. Dehydroepiandrosterone and birth control pill use are not without risks. Birth control pills can have side effects like
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Hot flashes
- Weight gain
- Acne, and
- Loss of hair in women
Some researchers have reported that women who use birth control pills have higher rates of cardiovascular disease and some cancers. There is some evidence to suggest that birth control pills can help in the treatment of breast cancer.
However, there has been much controversy over the effects of birth control pills. Some experts have suggested that the increased use of birth control pills may increase a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Because of its ability to act on the pituitary gland, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is known as a “dihydrotestosterone” hormone and is produced by the adrenal gland. DHT is believed to contribute to the development of some of the most common female sexual dysfunctions in women and causes the thickening of the vagina, abnormal bleeding, painful urination, infertility, and vaginal dryness.
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