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mountaindreamer
12-05-2008, 12:09 PM
I was told that DHEA is a possible alternative for swelling control. Are any of you familiar with this? ie. what it is, and if it works. My cousin found it listed in his search for alternative treatment options. I will get more info from him if necessary.

thanks,
wishing each of you a good day
Phyllis

sits_inthe_corner
12-05-2008, 05:33 PM
Nope sorry, I've never heard that term before.

Hopefully one of the more educated of the bunch will be along soon with some information for you :)

KathyW1958
12-05-2008, 06:39 PM
Hi Phyllis,
I think that the drug is used to increase energy, but not to sure. Maybe Saysusie would know.

Hugs,
Kathy

Saysusie
12-07-2008, 09:45 PM
DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) is an old steroidal drug with potentially important antilupus properties. A natural body substance made by the adrenal gland, DHEA has been available for more than 50 years and is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as it is still in the study/trial phase. DHEA is a hormone with male-like properties. is a steroid hormone naturally produced by the adrenal glands and testis in men, and by the ovaries in women. Investigators have been interested in male hormones (androgens) because in animal studies they tend to decrease the immune response while female hormones (such as estrogen) tend to amplify it.

Levels of DHEA decrease with age, and lupus patients at any age have less DHEA than one might expect. Trials of this drug have shown evidence that suggests that it has anti-inflammatory effects in mild and moderate lupus and can steroid-sparing as well as being well tolerated with antimalarials. The therapeutic dose appears to be in the 50 mg to 200 mg range.

DHEA is not something found in the diet, so it's impossible to get the hormone from eating the right foods, or not enough from eating the wrong foods. However, deficiencies in the body may exist that can be corrected by supplementing with DHEA. DHEA improves the testosterone and estrogen levels in body, which plays an important role in strengthening immune system. As lupus disorders are autoimmune diseases, DHEA is thought to be helpful in the treatment of lupus by providing immune support. It has also been observed that estrogen and testosterone levels are often unbalanced in women suffering from lupus disease. DHEA supplements can therefore redress this balance and contribute towards lupus treatment.

Reduce Inflammatory cytokines: DHEA can also be used to treat the symptoms of lupus disease, providing instant relief while the disease itself subsides. DHEA reduces the production of inflammatory cytokines such as cytokine IL-4, 5, and 6 that can cause the most common lupus symptoms. It also plays an important role in enhancing the production of cytokine IL-2, an anti-inflammatory that can reduce lupus symptoms.

There is always controversy where hormones are concerned, especially steroid hormones. DHEA should not be taken without consulting a doctor as unsupervised use of any steroid hormones is something to be done with caution. That is why DHEA should not be considered as a "wonder-treatment"; that can cure lupus by itself. Thinking like this will always encourage some to take a "little booster" so that their lupus can be cleared up earlier. However, studies to date have shown that DHEA can be effective, and using it as part of treatment and/or to support the treatment of lupus is believed to help reduce symptoms.

Peace and Blessings
Saysusie