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DHEAS Test – What It Is, Procedure, Results

Did you know your body makes steroid hormones? Yes, your body produces something called the DHEAS - Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate. Both males and females have this particular steroid hormone, and their levels go up and down at different times. A DHEAS test allows healthcare professionals to measure how much DHEA hormone is in your blood. What is the purpose of this hormone? Why should you measure it? Read on to find out.

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What is DHEAS?

DHEAS  - Dehydroepiandrosterone is a hormone responsible for producing 2 other hormones – androgen and estrogen. The adrenal gland produces the DHEA hormone, later converted into DHEA-S – Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulphate in the adrenal gland and the liver.

Androgen and estrogen are the sex hormones in males and females, respectively. The DHEAS is, more specifically, a male sex hormone present in both males and females. So, if a female makes more of this hormone, she will have issues with her female reproductive system, like irregular periods, low sex drive, or thin vaginal tissues.

What is the DHEAS Test?

The DHEAS test in a regular blood test measures the levels of the DHEA hormone in your blood. The DHEAS test will reveal how high or low the DHEA hormone is in the blood. Different ranges can indicate different issues or disorders. This helps the doctors narrow down the issues and make the right diagnosis with further tests.

Why Do I Need a DHEA Test?

Biologically, men produce more testosterone, and women produce more estrogen. The DHEAS helps in creating both of these hormones. When a male or female exhibits signs or symptoms of the adrenal disorder or tumours in the adrenal gland, a doctor will first ask for the DHEAS test and other hormone tests if necessary. The test will help identify if the hormone levels are high or low in the blood. The doctors can decide on the treatment accordingly and understand the reason for other health issues or hormonal imbalances the person is experiencing.  

How is the DHEA Test Done?

The DHEA test is a very simple blood test. A lab technician will draw blood and send it to the lab to check your DHEA levels. The DHEA level in the blood does not fluctuate like glucose. So, the time of your test will not impact your test results. Unlike blood sugar or other simple tests, the DHEA test results may not be available immediately. Some labs can take a few days to give you the results.

What if DHEA is High?

DHEA hormone levels go up around puberty. So, if a male child has a high level of the DHEA hormone, they can reach puberty at a very early age. For females, high levels of the DHEA hormone can lead to:

  • Abnormal menstrual cycles
  • Missed periods
  • Excess hair growth
  • Severe hair loss
  • Acne
  • Vaginal atrophy
  • Infertility

High DHEA levels can lead to health issues like PCOS, ovarian cancer, adrenal tumours (cancerous or noncancerous), or congenital adrenal hyperplasia. If you experience symptoms of any of these health issues, your doctor will ask for a DHEAS test to check your hormone levels. 

What if DHEA is low?

When the body does not make enough DHEA hormone, it can lead to the following:

  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Low libido
  • Erectile dysfunction in males
  • Dehydration
  • Craving for salt
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Weight loss

A low DHEA level can lead to health issues like Addison's disease or pituitary adenomas, dementia, osteoporosis and diabetes. Since the sex hormone controls various functions in the body, when the body does not produce a sufficient amount of these hormones, it can lead to various issues.

Increasing DHEA Levels

DHEA is an important hormone in the body. You can increase the DHEA levels in your blood through supplements or natural methods. Your doctor might prescribe DHEA supplements if your levels are very low. Ensure you take them within the recommended time or dosage.

You can also increase the DHEA levels through natural methods. Stress and cholesterol lead to the production of steroid hormones in your body. So, by keeping your stress and cholesterol levels in check, you can prevent or control your body from producing too much DHEA. For deficient DHEA levels, you can incorporate regular exercises and eat foods rich in DHEA. Foods like eggs, soybeans, nuts, whole grains, wild yams, seeds, legumes, lean meat and even dark chocolates are DHEA-rich foods.


Hormonal imbalance can cause many issues in the body. DHEAS is an important hormone that regulates the production of sex hormones in the body. If you are showing any symptoms of a possible high or low DHEAS, getting the DHEAS test and getting the appropriate treatment without delay is advisable.


1. What happens when DHEA is high?

For a male child, high levels of DHEAS can lead to early puberty. For an adult male, high DHEAS may not have any impact. For females, a high level of DHEAS can affect their fertility, cause irregular or no menstruation, excess hair growth, or severe hair loss and in some cases, can also cause tumours or extra muscle growth.

2. How can I increase my DHEA naturally?

You can increase your DHEA levels naturally by changing your diet. Follow a healthy lifestyle by incorporating regular exercises, eating DHEA-rich foods and reducing cholesterol-rich foods. Nuts, seeds, whole grains, dairy products and eggs are some foods rich in DHEA.

3. What is the normal DHEA level for a woman?

The ideal DHEA level varies from lab to lab and according to the person's age. The most reliable answer would be from the doctor or the lab you go to.

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