This calculation represents anabolic and catabolic balance. Since DHEA acts not only as an anabolic hormone, but appears to down-regulate the cellular effects of cortisol, this measurement can theoretically enhance the predictive value of HPA axis dysfunction.
An optimal ratio indicates proper HPA axis homeostasis.
- A decreased ratio generally reflects a more catabolic state. It is associated with cortisol elevations and HPA-axis imbalances. Specific cortisol and DHEA abnormalities should be addressed.
- An elevated ratio reflects elevated DHEA levels as compared to cortisol, which favors anabolic activity. Specific cortisol and DHEA abnormalities should be evaluated as outlined previously.
- An increase in DHEAs/Cortisol ratio, was found in patients suffering from panic disorders. Suspect: An abnormal physiological response to stress, with shifting of the steroidogenic pathway to DHEA at the expense of cortisol.
Possible treatment options/lifestlye changes:
- Stress reduction: chronic stress can fatigue the adrenals. Rest, exercise, meditation, relaxation exercises
- Dietary changes: Balance blood sugar, lower calorie, high complex carbohydrate and high fiber diet
- Nutritional supplements: High-grade multivitamin and mineral. Additional Vitamin C, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, and zinc
- Herbal Support: American or Korean ginseng (Panax spp.), Siberian ginseng (Eleuthrococcus senticosus), Withania (Withania somnifera, aka ashwagandha), Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) to prolong the half-life of cortisol, Sarsaparilla (Smilax spp.) is a cortisol precursor.
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