September 19, 2021

DHEA Side Effects

For medical purposes, DHEA is created from chemicals found in wild yam or soy. This hormone is created by the human body naturally, but it cannot be absorbed from food. If individuals try to eat wild yam or soy to increase DHEA levels, it will not work.

DHEA Usage

DHEA is normally prescribed to slow down the process of aging. It can also be used to improve the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and increase mental acuity. On occasion, women will take it in an attempt to improve their health and sexual experiences. Athletes will also use this chemical as a way to increase muscle mass and athletic performance. Anyone taking it to improve their athletic performance should be wary because this chemical is outlawed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

This supplement has also developed a following among individuals who suffer from multiple sclerosis, lupus, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease and chronic fatigue syndrome. Proponents of DHEA think that it can support weight loss and improve the immune system. Since DHEA is listed as a supplement, it is not closely regulated by the FDA. Individuals taking this supplement may find it difficult to receive a consistent dosage because products may not contain the same amount of the active substance.

Common DHEA Side Effects

This chemical supplement is generally considered sage for most users. In some people, it could cause symptoms like high blood pressure, facial hair, acne, hair loss or a deeper voice. It could also cause an upset stomach or changes in the menstrual cycle.

Some of the overall side effects of using DHEA may include:

dhea side effects– Oily skin
– Deeper voice
– High blood pressure
– Nasal congestion
– Rapid or irregular heartbeats
– Insomnia
– Facial hair
– Acne
– Upset stomach
– Changes to liver function
– Abdominal pain
– Fatigue
– Heart palpitations
– Weight gain

Individuals who should have liver problems or mental disorders should consult with a doctor before taking DHEA because DHEA can make the problems worse. This chemical can also increase the release of hormones in men and women. When it does this, it can cause greasy skin, weight gain, facial hair growth, high blood pressure, breast tenderness and hair loss. Some men may also experience breast enlargement. In theory, this increase in hormones can also increase a patient’s risk of prostate, ovarian and breast cancer.


Patients should always talk with their doctor before using any medication or supplement. DHEA is generally safe as long as it is used according to directions for less than six months. Like every supplement, DHEA can interact with other medications that a patient is taking. Some drugs like tamoxifen and insulin have been shown to cause problems when used with DHEA.

DHEA in Pregnant and Nursing Women

Large doses are potentially unsafe. Patients should never use DHEA for extended periods of time unless told to do so by a doctor. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should avoid using DHEA. It is considered potentially unsafe because it can increase levels of androgen in the body. Any changes to the body’s hormones could negatively impact the body.

This chemical is not intended for people with cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome or liver problems because it can make the condition worse. It is also not recommended for people who have cholesterol problems because it can lower the body’s levels of HDL cholesterol. Individuals who already have low levels of HDL cholesterol may have their “good cholesterol” reduced to dangerously low amounts.

Although DHEA is a supplement, it still contains just as many risks as traditional medications and drugs. Patients who have a history of allergies or medical problems should see their doctor before taking DHEA. In some cases, DHEA can cause severe side effects. Anyone who experience negative side effects should immediately visit their doctor or an emergency care center. Medications and supplements should always be taken under a physician’s supervision.