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Although not yet formally validated, DHEA testing can be performed on blood, saliva or urine samples. DHEA levels from these sources generally reflect a person's DHEA status. The most common blood test to evaluate this hormone is one that measures DHEAS (sulfate).
When having your blood tested for DHEAS, it is recommended that blood should be drawn 3-4 hours after the last dose, if you are taking DHEA. When testing blood levels for DHEA, which has a shorter life than DHEAS in the blood stream, consider testing 2 hours after your last dose. Testing at least 12 hours since your last dose of DHEA should reflect unsupplemented levels.
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DHEA: Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a steroid produced by the adrenal glands and is the most abundant one found in humans. DHEA may be transformed into testosterone, estrogen or other steroids. It is found in the body as DHEA or in the sulfated form known as DHEA-S. One form is converted into the other as needed.
Hormones: Chemical substances secreted by a variety of body organs that are carried by the bloodstream and usually influence cells some distance from the source of production. Hormones signal certain enzymes to perform their functions and, in this way, regulate such body functions as blood sugar levels, insulin levels, the menstrual cycle, and growth. These can be prescription, over-the-counter, synthetic or natural agents. Examples include adrenal hormones such as corticosteroids and aldosterone; glucagon, growth hormone, insulin, testosterone, estrogens, progestins, progesterone, DHEA, melatonin, and thyroid hormones such as thyroxine and calcitonin.