Adrenal fatigue is a growing concern in health care. Our daily levels of situational stressfrom a demanding boss or from our childrenand fatigue can cause major adrenal imbalances. Measuring levels of the cortisol hormone throughout the day (morning, noon, evening and nighttime) highlights potential issues.
Adding the DHEA-S measurement provides additional detail to the hormone balance in the body.
Specifically tests for:
When you are stressed or frightened, your adrenal glands release a surge of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Most people know about adrenaline. Its what makes your heart beat faster and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol is the lesser known. This hormone is actually the primary stress hormone, increasing sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhancing the brain's utilization of glucose and increasing ability to repair tissues.
Cortisol also slows nonessential functions, saving strength for systems necessary during a fight-or-flight response. As a result, cortisol negatively affects immune system responses and slows the digestive and reproductive systems. Mood, fear and motivation are also affected.
The body's stress-response system usually regulates itself, decreasing hormone levels normalizing everything once the stressor has passed. However, when stressors are always present or when we feel constantly out of control, our body doesnt normalize, and the hormone levels never stabilize.
Overexposure to cortisolevidenced by increased levels in the cortisol testcan cause several health problems like heart disease, sleep issues, digestive problems, obesity, depression, skin conditions and memory impairment. Lowering cortisol levels is important to overall health and wellness.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal cortex and secreted primarily by the adrenal glands. The body uses cholesterol to produce DHEA, which the body can then convert into testosterone or estrogen. The hormone plays an important role in stress response and immune function.
DHEA-sulfate (DHEA-S) is an indicator of heart health. Those with optimal levels have a lower risk of death and cardiovascular disease. DHEA-S also helps to reduce oxidative stress and protects diabetics against damaging effects from high blood sugar.
According to a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in 2008, low levels of DHEA-S are linked to a shorter life span, while higher levels are linked with longer life spans. This is true for both men and women. Your doctor can help you determine the cause of lower levels and determine if a supplement is right for you.
The DHEA-S test also checks adrenal gland function especially for women who have excessive hair growth or other male body characteristics and for children who are entering puberty prematurely. Individuals with increased levels of DHEA-sulfate may have congenital adrenal hyperplasia, adrenal carcinoma, polycystic ovary syndrome or a tumor on the adrenal gland.
How it works: We mail the collection kit to the address you provide at checkout. After you follow the specimen collection instructions, simply mail the sample in the return envelope provided.
After the lab receives the sample, results will be ready in about a week. You will receive the report by email in a PDF. Be sure to include your email address at checkout.