Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, or DHEA sulfate, is a water-soluble hormone produced by the adrenal glands. A healthy human body usually produces DHEA sulfate naturally, but production declines after age 30. Patients with low levels of DHEA sulfate in their blood may be at a higher risk for heart disease and kidney disease, according to the National Institutes of Health. DHEA sulfate has been used to treat several autoimmune conditions, including Addison's disease and systemic lupus erythmatosis. Certain symptoms are associated with DHEA sulfate. If you are taking DHEA sulfate, discuss these symptoms with your doctor if they become bothersome.
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The human body uses DHEA sulfate as a building block for hormones like estrogen and testosterone, according to the National Institutes of Health; therefore, many symptoms associated with DHEA sulfate use are hormonal in nature. Such symptoms may include changes in the menstrual cycle, hair loss and weight gain around the waist for women as well as breast tenderness, testicular wasting and increased aggressiveness in men. Patients may also experience problems with their thyroid or adrenal gland function, since DHEA sulfate also affects the hormones that operate these glands.
Mental Health Effects
Some patients experience one or more symptoms related to mental health while taking DHEA sulfate. According to the National Institutes of health, these symptoms may include "insomnia, agitation, delusions, mania, nervousness, irritability, or psychosis." If you experience any of these symptoms, stop taking DHEA sulfate and contact your physician immediately. Your physician may want to do a blood test or another test if the symptoms persist.
Altered Heart Rhythm
In rare cases, DHEA sulfate can affect heart rhythm, according to the National Institutes of health. You are more likely to experience altered heart rhythms while on DHEA sulfate if you already have heart disease or another condition that affects heart rhythm. Since alcohol can increase the severity of this symptom, you should not drink while on DHEA sulfate, according to the National Institutes of Health. DHEA sulfate may also affect the heart because it encourages the blood to form clots. If your heart condition involves clogged arteries, a heart attack or a stroke, do not begin taking DHEA sulfate until your doctor gives you permission.