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Lab Test

Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulphate (DHEA-S)

Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulphate, commonly referred to as DHEA-S, is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It is the sulfated form of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). DHEA-S is one of the most abundant circulating steroid hormones and acts as a precursor to male and female sex hormones, including testosterone and estrogen. Levels of DHEA-S vary throughout a person’s life, generally peaking in early adulthood and declining as one ages.

  • Test Name Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulphate (DHEA-S)
  • Sample Type Blood
  • Preparations Required No specific preparation is required for this test.
  • Report Time 4 hours

The DHEA-S blood test measures the concentration of this hormone in the blood. It is often used to evaluate adrenal function and to diagnose conditions that affect the adrenal glands, such as adrenal tumors, Cushing’s syndrome, and adrenal insufficiency. It is also useful in evaluating polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women and understanding the causes of certain hormone imbalances, such as hirsutism (excessive hair growth) and virilization (development of male characteristics in females).

Home Sample Collection Process

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Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
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Reporting of the sample at lab
Reporting of the sample at lab
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Frequently Asked Questions

The DHEA-S test is often done to evaluate adrenal gland function, diagnose conditions that affect the adrenal glands, and to investigate symptoms of hormone imbalances. It can also be used in the diagnosis of PCOS in women.

A healthcare provider will draw a blood sample from a vein in your arm. The blood sample is then sent to a laboratory, where it is analyzed for DHEA-S levels.

Elevated levels of DHEA-S may indicate an adrenal tumor, PCOS, or other conditions that cause hormone imbalances. Low levels might suggest adrenal insufficiency or hypopituitarism. Your healthcare provider will interpret the results in the context of your symptoms and other test results.

In women, high levels of DHEA-S may cause hirsutism, acne, irregular periods, and virilization. In men, high levels might lead to early puberty. Low levels can cause fatigue, loss of body hair, and reduced libido in both sexes.

DHEA-S levels peak in early adulthood and decline with age. Men typically have higher levels of DHEA-S than women.

Yes, certain medications, especially hormonal therapies, can affect DHEA-S levels. Inform your healthcare provider of any medications you are taking.

The risks are minimal and similar to those of a regular blood draw, including slight pain or bruising at the needle site.

Yes, stress reduction, balanced diet, and regular exercise can positively influence DHEA-S levels.

DHEA-S supplements are available, but should be used cautiously and under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

The normal range for DHEA-S levels varies by age and sex. Your healthcare provider will help interpret what your specific results mean.

Yes, particularly in women, high levels of DHEA-S are associated with PCOS, which can affect fertility.

Conditions such as PCOS, adrenal tumors, Cushing’s syndrome, and adrenal insufficiency can affect DHEA-S levels.

Yes, abnormal DHEA-S levels can be indicative of adrenal gland disorders and hormone imbalances.

You should consult your primary care physician, who may then refer you to an endocrinologist.

There is ongoing research on the role of DHEA-S in aging. Levels naturally decline with age, and some studies suggest that low DHEA-S levels may be associated with certain age-related diseases.

Understanding and evaluating DHEA-S levels can be an important component of assessing hormonal health and adrenal gland function. If you have symptoms of hormone imbalance or a known condition affecting the adrenal glands, communicating with your healthcare provider and getting appropriate tests, including the DHEA-S test, can be critical in managing your health. It's important to interpret the results in context with other clinical information, and to follow the guidance of your healthcare provider for any necessary treatment or interventions.

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