DHEA or Testosterone for Women?
by Pete Hueseman, RPh, PharmD
brought to you by Bellevue Pharmacy, a ProjectAWARE
Dehydroepiandrosterone, more commonly known as "DHEA" and its sulfated
form dehydropiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) are endogenous steroids,
having a wide variety of biological and biochemical effects. Essentially,
DHEA can be called the adrenal stress, immunity and longevity hormone.
- anti-aging effects
- significant improvement of performance in the aged
- regulation of lean muscle mass production
- fat "burning"
- anti-depressant effects
- increased cognition
- memory and learning
- post menopausal benefits
In a study done in 1994, by Morales, Nolan, Nelson and Yen1,
82% of the 17 women were found to show an increased sense of well-being
after 12 weeks of administration. Well-being was reported as improved
quality of sleep, better relaxation, increased energy, and better
ability to handle stress. No difference was noted in libido, but
5 of the 17 did show improvements in preexisting joint pains and
mobility during DHEA therapy at 50.mg per day. Most women and men
above 40 years of age would benefit by using 25 to 50 mg per day
in several ways.
Another study done by Dr. Cranton, M.D. showed that in women, correct
levels of DHEA can convert into testosterone as the body needs,
but men do not experience much conversion of DHEA into testosterone.
In fact, after monitoring patients over 5 years, he showed that
once the dose restored the DHEA to normal levels, energy levels
increased, skin became thicker and moister, sleep was better and
patients awakened rested. The patients felt 10 years younger and
had significantly increased sex drive. At the pharmacy we have found
that both men and women on the proper dose range of our product
do very well and have less ups and downs as we help them fine-tune
their natural "human identical" doses to fit them best.
Many women also require testosterone in the form of creams, gels,
or sublinguals in order to fully balance their hormones, restore
their libido and eliminate minor depression. In order to obtain
a baseline reading it is advised to do a saliva or blood test before
using hormones and periodically thereafter to check levels and keep
them in range. When using the testosterone creams or gels to increase
libido, we always suggest application to the area behind the knee
continuing down the back of the calf and up the back of the thigh.
If it causes any unwanted hair growth, then this is an area that
can be shaved. Lastly, the testosterone "thick" gel 2% can be used
locally, with directions as follows: Apply a small amount (Lentil
pea size) to the clitoris and the surrounding area about one half
hour before bedtime each night. This dose form is used by thousands
of women with much reported success. Sometimes it is necessary to
use two of the above forms in combination therapy to achieve the
Effects of Replacement Dose of Dehydroepiandrosterone in Men and
Women of Advancing Age. Arlene J. Morales, John J. Nolan, Jerald
C. Nelson, and Samuel S. C. Yen Department of Reproductive Medicine,
University of California School of Medicine, LaJolla, California
92093-0802; and Nichols Institute Reference Laboratories, San Jaun
Capistrano, California 92690. (J. Clin Endocrinol Metab 78:1360-1367,
For questions and further information, contact Bellevue