Low Dhea & Diabetes

Updated at: Jul 02, 2012
Low Dhea & Diabetes

With development of diabetes, level of DHEA in the body also decreases and can lead to chronic health issues, such as cancer and memory loss.

Gunjan Rastogi
DiabetesWritten by: Gunjan RastogiPublished at: Jun 22, 2012

Low Dhea and Diabetes

Our body produces Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a hormone, in abundance. It is secreted by the adrenal gland and is converted into male sexual hormone testosterone and female sexual hormone oestrogen. Diabetes prevents our body from producing normal levels of DHEA, though it naturally declines after the age of 30.

Effects of Low DHEA Levels

  • Fatigue: Diabetics are already prone to early fatigue. In addition, low levels of DHEA increases their tiredness and they feel lethargic and exhausted even after a sound sleep.
  • Loss of Libido: Low DHEA with diabetes can possibly decrease one’s sex drive.
  • Poor Muscle Health: Low DHEA levels affect body’s endurance for jerks. Poor muscle tissues and bones result from low level of this hormone. An optimum level of the hormone is needed for for maintenance of good muscle health.
  • Memory Loss: A perosn’s concentration level and power to retain information also suffers due to lower levels of DHEA.
  • Weight Gain: Type 2 diabetes causes weight gain and with low DHEA levels, one is at further risk of gaining unwanted weight. Low DHEA slows the process of metabolism which means more fat remains in the body and adds to one’s bulk.
  • Cancer: Immune system becomes more vulnerable making the person more susceptible to cancers. The older one gets the more susceptible he is to cancer due to lowering DHEA levels.

How to Raise DHEA Levels in Diabetics

Aerobic Exercise

Practicing aerobics is one way of boosting DHEA levels in diabetics. In a study conducted by researchers at Saint-Louis University Hospital, France, it was revealed that aerobics work favourably for diabetics, especially type 2. People who had diabetes were asked to perform aerobics twice in a week for two months. DHEA levels were measured before and after the aerobic sessions. It was found that subjects experienced better DHEA levels. The study was published August 2001 issue of "International Journal of Obesity Related Metabolic Disorders”.

DHEA Supplementation

DHEA Supplementation helps diabetics in improving blood sugar control. The severity of diabetes can be significantly decreased with DHEA treatment. Ask your endocrinologist about appropriate DHEA supplements and how you can maintain healthy blood glucose levels with them.

Study – DHEA Reduces Blood Glucose Levels

A Japanese study tracked 24 men (average age 54), who appeared healthy but had slightly higher than normal level of blood sugar, to measure the effects of DHEA supplementation.  Some men were given DHEA treatment and some were placed on placebo for 12 weeks. After this period, it was found that the men taking DHEA supplements had blood glucose levels decreased by 26 per cent whereas the other group showed no effect. It was also noted that there was no improvement in insulin levels of both the groups. Therefore, some other factor was altered by the DHEA treatment. However, the men were non-diabetics. Thus, effects of DHEA supplementation on diabetics is still unknown.


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