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  1. #1
    Registered User BRbangle's Avatar
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    Question Dare try DHEA or pregnenolone supplements?

    Hi! I've started seeing an herbalist who has recommended that I take some supplements to boost my adrenal function. I've got some symptoms of low adrenal function; but, she also says that you have to "feed your adrenal gland" to boost thyroid function. (I have Hashimoto's hypothyroidism.) One of the supplements is DHEA; the other option is pregnenolone. From what I have read, they are both precursors to progesterone, DHEA, testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, etc.

    I am pretty terrified of taking either one of these for fear that they will increase my already-elevated testosterone level—they both come with warnings of increased acne, facial hair (in women), aggression, etc... All of the symptoms of excessive testosterone. However, I do trust my herbalist and believe that she is onto something with the concept of nurturing exhausted adrenals to help with both thyroid function and hormone imbalances.

    For the record, I have had my DHEA-S level checked recently and it came back "normal". But, I have been under a great deal of stress within the past year and have a lot of symptoms of sluggish adrenals.

    Does anyone have any experience with taking either of these supplements—DHEA or pregnenolone?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Registered User BookAddict's Avatar
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    did you end up trying it ?

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    Registered User bettylanguage's Avatar
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    that's odd that she'd recommend pregnenolone & dhea if you have elevated testosterone...since dhea is a precursor to testosterone (and pregnenolone is a precursor to dhea). there are plenty of herbal options to "feeding" your adrenal glands that aren't precurrsors to hormones. i would ask her to look into more adaptogens (ginseng, ashwaganda, shisandra, holy basil, rhodiola, etc...). and do some research yourself...there's a lot of information about herbal approaches to adrenal and thyroid health. if you still feel comfortable once you've done your own research, then let us know how it goes!

    (i have elevated dhea and have done a lot of research myself on adrenal health. i've had really good luck taking "adrenal health" by gaia herbs. their website has a lot of good information about herbs)

  4. #4
    Registered User BRbangle's Avatar
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    Red face

    Thank you for your reply, bettylanguage! A few updates: I never tried the DHEA or pregnenolone supplements that the herbalist suggested. But, of course, there was a slew of other herbal supplements that were included in the "regime" she put together for me, one of which was an adrenal-specific supplement: "Suma Combination" by Nature's Sunshine.

    I followed my herbal regime religiously for maybe a month or two, until I just couldn't handle it any more. I was having major heart palps and anxiety attacks daily, almost immediately after taking my herbs. I discovered that the first problem was iodine: she (the herbalist, NOT an M.D., by the way) had me taking 37mg Iodoral daily, which is 24,000% the recommended daily amount of iodine. Never having been iodine deficient to begin with, I quickly became very ill taking such high doses of iodine. So, I stopped taking the iodine, but continued taking the other herbs and continued having the anxiety issues. Eventually, I just stopped all of the herbal supplements and went back to my regular endocrinologist.

    Since then, my endocrinologist has run every blood test in the gamut, put me back on 2000mg/day Metformin ER and reduced my Synthroid dose from 125mcg to 75mcg. (My thyroid lab results showed my FT4 above the top of the range, and my TSH was very suppressed. Hence, the Synthroid drop). I've only been taking the full dose of Metformin ER for 2 months now; and, already, it has shortened my cycles from 36 days to around 30, improved PMS symptoms and acne, and reduced hair growth.

    An interesting thing about the adrenals: Only a month after taking Metformin, my blood work showed that my DHEA-S level doubled. Which, for me is a good thing, since my number was initially low in the "normal" range. So, while I do think my adrenals are on the road to recovery, I think they are still struggling. I still find that I do not tolerate stress well... My body seems to react to even the non-stressful events as stressful ones. Also, my blood pressure seems to be high every time I've gotten it checked at the doctor's office lately. This is really unusual, because I have a history of relatively low blood pressure. Also, my memory is poor and I am still waking frequently during the night. I've been trying to ride my bicycle more often to remedy these things; I have increased my daily dose of B vitamins; I have started taking vitamin C; and, I have found an herbal tea I like that has eleuthero in it.

    I am going to look into the Adrenal Health supplement by Gaia Herbs. Given your knowledge on adrenal health, betty language: if you have any other suggestions or recommendations, I would LOVE to hear them! Looking to get all of the information I can... Thank you!

  5. #5
    Registered User lulou's Avatar
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    hi BRbangle
    I am also hypothyroid and on 50mg synthroid.
    I have had good luck with licorice root tea for adrenals- it is a mild energizer and performs longer-acting work on the adrenals (and it is also an anti-androgen).
    I also take the adaptagen Siberian Ginseng (eleuthero root)- which is an energy and stamina buider and is a tonic for the thyroid (make sure you get siberian ginseng).
    I also drink a Yerba Mate Limeade everyday- I make it myself. Yerba mate is a short term energizer- like coffee, but without caffeine. Gurarana seed is also a short term energizer specifically for adrenals (you can take the short term energizers while you wait for the longer term herbs to take effect.
    I have found that with these herbs I sleep through the night and have an increase in mental clarity and stress response, as well as energy.
    An amazing book on herbal remedies is called Herbal Defense: positioning yourself to triumph over illness and aging. It is really the best herbal book I have ever read. It is by Robyn Landis and Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa.
    also make sure you excercise everyday! it helps everything!
    Multivitamin, Fish Oil, Cinnamon B, complex Vit B6/B5 combo, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Vit D, Spirilina, Evening Primrose Oil (second half of cycle),Maca, Ashwaganda, milk thistle (for liver cleansing), synthroid (I am hypothyroid),High Fibre- IR diet, Daily Excercise. I am trying to gain all of the above vitamins from food sources (and would eventually like to only supplement with Fish Oils, Spirilina, vit d, and herbs).

  6. #6
    Registered User lulou's Avatar
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    hi BRbangle
    I am also hypothyroid and on 50mg synthroid.
    I have had good luck with licorice root tea for adrenals- it is a mild energizer and performs longer-acting work on the adrenals (and it is also an anti-androgen).
    I also take the adaptagen Siberian Ginseng (eleuthero root)- which is an energy and stamina buider and is a tonic for the thyroid (make sure you get siberian ginseng).
    I also drink a Yerba Mate Limeade everyday- I make it myself. Yerba mate is a short term energizer- like coffee, but without caffeine. Gurarana seed is also a short term energizer specifically for adrenals (you can take the short term energizers while you wait for the longer term herbs to take effect.
    I have found that with these herbs I sleep through the night and have an increase in mental clarity and stress response, as well as energy.
    An amazing book on herbal remedies is called Herbal Defense: positioning yourself to triumph over illness and aging. It is really the best herbal book I have ever read. It is by Robyn Landis and Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa.
    also make sure you excercise everyday! it helps everything!
    Multivitamin, Fish Oil, Cinnamon B, complex Vit B6/B5 combo, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Vit D, Spirilina, Evening Primrose Oil (second half of cycle),Maca, Ashwaganda, milk thistle (for liver cleansing), synthroid (I am hypothyroid),High Fibre- IR diet, Daily Excercise. I am trying to gain all of the above vitamins from food sources (and would eventually like to only supplement with Fish Oils, Spirilina, vit d, and herbs).

  7. #7
    Registered User BRbangle's Avatar
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    Lulou, would you mind if I PM you about some of these adrenal topics and herbs? I'm scared to take anything other than vitamins at this point, due to my recent past experiences with "adrenal support" herbs that all seem to stimulate the adrenals in some fashion and, therefore, make matters worse for me!

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