Your body produces dozens of hormones that, when working together, help keep us happy, energetic and healthy. But when one or more of your hormones are out of balance, it can leave you with symptoms and complications like exhaustion, decreased bone density, aching joints and loss of libido. Hormone replacement therapy can help balance these physical effects and boost health. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is one such hormone that you may consider for hormone replacement therapy.
What is DHEA?
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone produced by the adrenal gland and is considered a “parent” hormone. After being changed in the body, DHEA produces other major hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. In most adults, DHEA production typically begins to decrease after age 30.
Low DHEA levels can leave you with symptoms like:
- Decreased sexual desire
- Painful joints
- Reduced bone density
- Decreased muscle mass
In addition, lower than normal DHEA levels are common in people with chronic diseases, such as Addison’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBS).
DHEA Replacement Therapy
Women in menopause can speak with their OBGYN about DHEA replacement therapy. While hormone replacement is sometimes taken orally, hormone pellet implants may be the best option. DHEA hormone pellets are about the size of a grain of rice. Your OBGYN will insert the pellet just under the skin, typically on the lower abdomen or upper buttocks to release a slow, consistent dose of DHEA over a period of 3-4 months.
Hormone Pellet Insertion
Through an in-office, outpatient procedure, your OBGYN will use local anesthesia to numb a small area identified for hormone pellet implantation. Using a small incision, the hormone pellet is inserted just under the skin. No stitches are required, as the site is sealed using a Steri-strip.
If you are interested in learning more about DHEA, hormone replacement therapy or hormone pellets- speak with your OBGYN for more information.