Blog changes

Thanks to everyone who followed Training Because I Can! over the last nine years. This blog started with Addison's Disease, hypothyroidism and a crazy idea of doing an Ironman distance triathlon. My life has changed and so has this blog. I am using this blog strictly for Addison's Support topics from here on out. I hope to continue providing people with hints for living life well with adrenal insufficiency.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

More reinforcement that you need DHEA in your body

Most Addisonian's don't produce adequate amounts of DHEA. Have your doctor test DHEA-S, the stable form of DHEA in your body before and during supplementation. Thanks to Heather N for passing this article on!

Medical News Today

Hormone Levels Contribute To Stress Resilience

06 Aug 2009

It is important to understand what biological mechanisms contribute to an individual's capacity to be resilient under conditions of extreme stress, such as those regularly experienced by soldiers, police, and firefighters. Dr. Charles A. Morgan III and his colleagues from Yale University and the VA National Center for PTSD have worked closely with collaborators at the Special Forces Underwater Warfare Operations Center to study special operations soldiers enrolled in the military Combat Diver Qualification Course (CDQC).

Dehydroepiandrosterone, or "DHEA" as it is commonly known, is a hormone that is secreted by the adrenal gland in response to stress. Although medical scientists have known for over a decade that DHEA provides beneficial, anti-stress effects in animals, they did not know until now whether this was also true for humans.

The scientists completed psychological and hormone assessments on a group of soldiers the day before they began the month-long CDQC, and immediately after their final pass/fail exam - a highly stressful, nocturnal, underwater navigation exercise.

They found that soldiers with more DHEA performed better during the final underwater navigation exam than those with less DHEA. These findings are being published by Elsevier in the August 15th issue of Biological Psychiatry.

Underwater navigation is a task that relies on an area of the brain called the hippocampus that is very sensitive to the negative effects of stress. "Animal studies have shown that DHEA buffers against stress, in part, by modulating receptors in this region of the brain," explained Dr. Morgan. "These findings are important in understanding why and how soldiers may differ in their ability to tolerate stress and also raise the possibility that, in the future, compounds like DHEA might be used to protect military personnel from the negative impact of operational stress."

Clearly, additional research is still needed but these findings are a step forward in the quest to help prevent or better treat the symptoms of stress-related disorders that these high-risk individuals experience.

The article is "Relationships Among Plasma Dehydroepiandrosterone and Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate, Cortisol, Symptoms of Dissociation, and Objective Performance in Humans Exposed to Underwater Navigation Stress" by Charles A. Morgan III, Ann Rasmusson, Robert H. Pietrzak, Vladimir Coric, and Steven M. Southwick. Authors Morgan, Pietrzak, Coric, and Southwick are affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut. Morgan, Pietrzak, and Southwick are also with the National Center for PTSD, VA CT Healthcare System, West Haven, Connecticut. Rasmusson is from the Department of Psychiatry, Boston University, and the National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, in Boston, Massachusetts. The article appears in Biological Psychiatry, Volume 66, Issue 4 (August 15, 2009), published by Elsevier.

Jayne Dawkins

Article URL:
Main News Category: Anxiety / Stress
Also Appears In: Psychology / Psychiatry, Endocrinology,

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Anonymous said...

Oh this is sooo good to know. That's what I was talking about Dusty in that email to you, being in range with DHEA I think is one of the things that helps you to be relatively healthy with your AD.
Thanks for posting this...

Unknown said...

Hi Shelley! Are you OK? You don't email me back :(



lynn said...

Every time I take DHEA, I get acne. Apparently, this is a common problem if thyroid is not optimised. I am titrating my dose back up to where it was (LONG story) though. Any other ideas why DHEA would cause acne?

My DHEA is very low!

Unknown said...


We're an experiment of one. In my case, I was not able to tolerate DHEA in the slightest until my thyroid was replaced properly. I was really angry and would throw things! I was in a constant state of PMS.

If I were getting acne from DHEA, I would wait until my thyroid was corrected and start over with the DHEA starting with a very low dose for a week or two at a time, titrate up from there.

:) Dusty

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