Your Anti-Stress Hormone

Today I feel strongly compelled to bring something up with you.

Now before you say “I already know about that,” give me a chance to point out what most of my colleagues are getting wrong about this substance.

I’m talking about DHEA. You’ve probably heard about this, right? It stands for dehydroepi-androsterone.

Most people will tell you that it’s a precursor to testosterone. And you take it to enhance libido in women and it enhances sexual performance in men. But I can tell you from experience that it has very little effect for both of these.

But the point is there’s something else that it’s much better at doing.

It’s your body’s built-in stress diffuser.

I call it the “anti-stress hormone.” Your body makes it when times are good – when you are well-fed, secure and free of stressors. The more of it in your body, the less effect stress will have on you.

When your DHEA is at the level it should be, you’ll notice:

  • Enhanced energy
  • A boost in immune system function
  • Reduced body fat
  • Increased libido
  • Sharper memory
  • Halt in wrinkles and signs of physical aging

Your DHEA peaks when you’re in your 20s and gradually declines with age. By the time you’re 65 years old, you’ll only have about 10% of the DHEA that you had when you were 20.

Plus the modern world causes you to overuse your DHEA – draining your levels faster than nature intended. Your ancestors had only brief periods of stress, lasting a few minutes at a time.

The culprit is your stress hormone – cortisol. Unlike other hormones that decline with age, cortisol is one that increases as you get older. It works against your body inhibiting maintenance and repair, which accelerates aging. It’s like burning your candle at both ends.

Too much cortisol drains your DHEA faster than aging alone – wearing you down emotionally and physically.

It’s why people with DHEA deficiency have been documented to experience:

  • Shortened life spans
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Depression
  • Cognitive decline
  • Aged appearance

But you don’t have to worry about your DHEA depleting or cortisol taking over. I developed a 5-step “de-stressing” plan to increase my patients’ – and your – DHEA and lower their stress levels. It’s all natural, easy-to-follow and from my experience, very effective.

Here’s how you can implement it into your daily routine:

  1. Eat anti-inflammatory foods to de-stress and boost DHEA. Reduce your intake of processed foods high in sugar and starchy carbohydrates. Instead load up on fresh, locally grown, organic produce that contain powerful phytonutrients and minerals to reduce inflammation in your body. When cooking, try to incorporate more anti-inflammatory herbs like: ginger, rosemary, thyme, cinnamon and turmeric.
  2. Step up your exercise routine. Regular high intensity exercise is also very important for improving intracellular anti-oxidant capabilities while boosting anti-aging hormone secretions.
  3. Sleep more. Be sure to get at least seven hours of sleep a night. This will allow your body to effectively heal and repair itself from the stress it encountered throughout the day. If you suffer from insomnia or have trouble falling asleep, look into a natural sleeping aid like melatonin or valerian root.
  4. Breathe. Take a few minutes each day to sit and watch your breath. Deep, slow breathing in through the nose and out through your nose will focus your mind and allow you to let go of stressful conditions.
  5. Supplement with DHEA. DHEA is becoming more popular as a supplement. I use DHEA at my Wellness Center regularly. DHEA therapy has successfully treated many of my patients who suffer from lack of energy, depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

DHEA is absorbed well and can be taken at any time, but best mimics the natural daily fluctuation when taken first thing in the morning. For women, I recommend starting at 5mg. For men start at 10mg. Men can tolerate much higher doses in some circumstances, but you should always start in low doses regardless of your gender. For the most accurate dosage, it’s important for you to get your DHEA levels checked. Your doctor can perform the simple test.