Hormone Levels & the Aging Process

The aging process begins at birth, but as we et older certain things happen. Our adrenal glands begin to lose function, we begin to diminish in certain hormonal levels, and as a response to the body’s degradation over time, our GI tract begins to operate less and less efficiently. The question we have here is, do we go willingly, or do we fight the aging process.

What do we do first? As we get older, a hormone called DHEA, diminishes, very gradually throughout the lifetime. DHEA is known as the “fountain of youth hormone,” and is the most prevalent hormone in the human body. There is more of this particular chemical than any other hormone, yet most people have never heard of it.

The Adrenal glands create DHEA from pregnenolone, which is derived from cholesterol. As we get older, less and less of this DHEA is produced, and less and less pregnenolone is produced from cholesterol, yet oddly enough, cholesterol levels climb.

How do we address this issue? One common belief is that Cholesterol itself is unhealthy. Well, the fact is, is that cholesterol itself i snot bad for you. Excess cholesterol, however, causes intravascular inflammation, which is bad for you.

If an individual has an elevated cholesterol level, we give them medications called statins, which decrease cholesterol. As a result of lowering cholesterol levels, Statins decrease the production of pregnenolone (commonly known as the “Memory Hormone”) and the production of DHEA. This leads to diminished quantities of testosterone, progesterone, estrogen, estradiol, and cortisol. By blocking the production of pregnenolone from cholesterol, or by blocking the production of cholesterol from other agents, Statin medications used to treat high cholesterol, kill the human body faster than the elevated cholesterol levels themselves.

Instead of first using Statins to treat high cholesterol, the best approach to treatment is trying to figure out what exactly is preventing the conversion of cholesterol to pregnenolone.

What causes this? It is usually a mineral deficiency, but the culprit could be hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism causes cholesterol levels to climb. Pregnenolone is biochemically created in the Liver, and if the Liver is not functioning at optimal levels, the derivation of Pregnenolone from Cholesterol in adequate amounts is not performed, as the case often is with Hypothyroidism.

Often patients are given poisons to prevent Cholesterol production, and then all of a sudden, they have no measurable amounts of testosterone, progesterone, or cortisol, which then causes many more health issues.

Typically, I like to measure good levels of DHEA or DHEA-Sulfate levels first. The reasoning is this: if initial levels are unknown, it is therefore impossible to calculate how much replacement hormone is needed for treatment. Initial baseline knowledge is necessary to correct hormonal imbalances and to achieve optimal success with hormone replacement therapies.

If you administer DHEA, in a matter of a few days to a few weeks, people start feeling better, thinking better, and also experiencing improved libido.

Too many doctors are rather un-clever about the way they analyze these situations. They will commonly run a testosterone level, but do not pay attention to estrogen levels. DHEA, pregnenolone, and estrogen levels are of high importance in order to properly address or treat hormone imbalance.

Women need much less DHEA than men do, typically with a starting dose of 5-10 mg, rarely as much as 25 mg. Men typically start at a 50 mg dosage. This is a huge difference. IF you give a female too much DHEA, you might turn an otherwise normal, healthy gal into a “lawyer.”

You must be extremely careful how and when to use DHEA when treating intimacy issues and for overall, general health. It is illegal to carry DHEA into Canada. It is illegal to carry it into the UK, Great Britain, Europe, or Australia. it is considered to be an anabolic steroid. In the United States, DHEA is over the counter, yet it is banned abroad.

These hormones are technically steroids and derived from lipids. DHEA is therefore oil-miscible, meaning that it musts be taken with an oil capsule to go into solution. It will not be absorbed without an oil present.

The generalized treatment plan for DHEA replacement therapy for female use begins with a starting osage of 5-10 mg, possibly increasing to a maximum dosage of 25 mg per day. The starting male dosage is 50 mg, and possibly advancing to 100 mg daily if needed. In both genders, it must be taken simultaneously with an oil capsule. That oil could be a fish oil, it could be borage oil, evening primrose oil, flax seed oil, or it could be olive oil. It really does not matter. DHEA simply must be taken with an oil in order to be absorbed. DHEA is very inexpensive; it might cost as much as $3.50 a month.

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About David S Klein, MD 149 Articles
David S. Klein, MD, FACA, FACPM was born in Washington, DC, and was raised in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Maryland with degrees in Chemistry and Psychology. Medical School was completed at the University of Maryland at Baltimore, followed by Internship in General Surgery at the University of North Carolina and Residency in Anesthesiology at the Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Dr Klein has been practicing medicine since 1983, concentrating in Pain Medicine, Minimally Invasive Medicine and Surgery, and Neuroendocrinology. Earning Board Certification in Anesthesiology, Dr. Klein was elected Fellow in the American College of Anesthesiology, and he was elected Fellow in the American College of Pain Medicine. He is currently an adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Central Florida, School of Medicine. He has focused his private practice on treating patients with hormone imbalance issues, nutritional deficiency related medical problems as well as pain related issues and impairment. With a highly-complex, CLIA licensed laboratory in-house, he has been able to provide rapid-turn around analysis efficiently and cost-effectively. Lecturing extensively nationally as well as internationally, Dr. Klein has authored many articles on topics relating to pain, injury and nutritionally modulated illness. His radio show, “Pain Free Living,” received top ratings during the 6 years it was on the air. Currently practicing in Longwood, Florida, Dr. Klein practices entirely in the office setting.