10 Tips to Boost DHEA Levels
What is DHEA?
Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, is a steroid hormone synthesized from cholesterol and secreted by the adrenal glands. The adrenals are walnut-sized glands located right above your kidneys. The average adult makes about 25 mg of DHEA per day (some more, some less) with dwindling production as we get older. Men at all ages have more DHEA than women.
Natural DHEA for men production is at its highest in your twenties: by the time we reach seventy we only make about 20% of the DHEA we had when we were young. A decline in DHEA with the passage of time is clearly what nature intended — and as far as we know, a healthy process. This is only one of the major reasons we don’t recommend self-prescribing DHEA through over-the-counter products.
Another reason is that DHEA for women is a very powerful precursor to all of your major sex hormones: estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. (It’s molecular structure is closely related to testosterone). We call it the “mother hormone” — the source that fuels the body’s metabolic pathway.
10 Tips to Boost DHEA Levels:
1. Prioritize Sleep: You must focus on getting good sleep on a regular basis. If you are sleeping in late in the morning, try getting up early and allowing yourself to get real tired early the following evening and going to sleep around 9–10pm and waking around 6–7am. Use this as your regular schedule getting 8–9 hours of high quality sleep each night.
2. Clean Up Your Diet: Follow an Anti-inflammatory nutrition plan as discussed. You can find specific shopping plans and many great recipes on affinitywholehealth.com.
3. Get Outside on a Regular Basis: It is so important to get outside in nature. Go to a park everyday and take a long walk and do lots of deep breathing. Nature is its own healer and if you find ways to get out in nature, you will see huge improvements in mood and mental clarity.
4. Exercise Daily: Bike, walk, run, lift weights, dance, yoga, etc. Find something or multiple things you love that challenge your body and are enjoyable.
5. Breath Deeply: Take time to practice deep diaphragmatic breathing on a regular basis. This will help to relax the adrenals and teach your body that you are in a safe, low-stress environment.
6. Optimize Vitamin D: Boost your vitamin D3 levels by getting more whole body sun exposure and/or using a high quality supplement. I recommend a D3 with vitamin K2.
7. Thriving Under Stress: We cannot eliminate stress but we can find strategies to improve our ability to thrive, grow and adapt to stress.
8. Use Essential Oils: The aromatherapy of essential oils can help to reduce stress and improve neurotransmitter function. Additionally, they have a positive effect on anti-aging hormone production. Some of the best for this include lavendar, ylang-ylang, sandalwood and peppermint.
9. Eliminate Food Sensitivities: Food sensitivities can contribute to chronic stress in your life. Identify any major food sensitivities through either a lab test or biofeedback test and come off of these for 90 days.
10. Use Adaptogenic Herbs: Adaptogenic herbs such as rhodiola, cordyceps, ginseng, etc. have a positive effect on DHEA and women. Vitamins B5 and B6 are also key for healthy adrenal function and sex hormone expression. I will often recommend the product Adapt-Strong to help people adapt to stress better and promote DHEA production.