How does the test work?
DHEA (or dihydroepialdosterone) is a master hormone produced from cholesterol in your adrenal glands. Besides being essential for adrenal function, DHEA is also needed for sex hormone production and immune function. It is also known that low levels of DHEA are associated with premature aging. DHEA-S is the storage form of DHEA in the body and is therefore a more accurate measure of body DHEA levels.
Cortisol is also produced in the adrenal glands from cholesterol and is needed for stress adaption, immune function, blood sugar regulation, vascular tone and bone metabolism. Under acute times of stress, cortisol levels can increase significantly and can also remain elevated at night time, thereby affecting sleep. Furthermore, if our stress doesn’t go away and becomes long-term chronic stress, our adrenal glands cannot keep up and function can begin to decline.