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Pregnenolone Deficiency Symptoms

author image Verneda Lights
Verneda Lights has been writing and editing articles about art, science, health, business, history and religion since 1970. Her work has appeared in "Essence," "Working Women Stories & Poems" and "National Geographic." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Bryn Mawr College, a medical degree from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and a Master of Business Administration from Strayer University.
Pregnenolone Deficiency Symptoms
Photo Credit: SomkiatFakmee/iStock/Getty Images

The adrenal glands use cholesterol to make pregnenolone, an essential precursor hormone which is then converted into steroid hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and cortisol. Highly concentrated in the brain, it functions as an important neurotransmitter. According to the Integrative Medicine Center of Western Colorado, deficiency of pregnenolone leads to a deficiency of male and female sex hormones and cortisol. Pregnenolone deficit is established by means of a blood test. Pregnenolone supplements should be taken only under medical supervision; daily doses of pregnenolone greater than 200 to 300 mg can be toxic to the liver, and pregnenolone should be used with caution when there is coexisting liver disease.

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Decreased Libido and Secondary Sexual Characteristics

Pregnenolone deficiency can manifest as symptoms related to decreased male and female sex hormones. Pregnenolone production decreases with age, as do sex hormones. According to, estrogen deficiency can present as premature ovarian failure, vaginal atrophy and dryness, which essentially are symptoms of the post-menopausal state. states that testosterone levels decline with age, decreasing by 1 percent per year after age 30. Male hypogonadism or low testosterone can manifest as decreased libido, diminished sperm production, decreased bone density, changes in fat distribution and decreased muscle strength and mass. asserts that men with low testosterone levels can also experience emotional changes such as low self confidence, sadness, and difficulty concentrating. Clinically low testosterone levels can be treated with supplemental testosterone, but there is a risk of development of benign prostatic enlargement and growth stimulation of prostate cancer cells.

Other symptoms of low pregnenolone that present as diminished secondary sexual characteristics are: diminished to absent underarm and pubic hair, dry eyes, hot flashes and fatigue.

Decreased Memory and Mental Awareness

Pregnenolone is 10 times more concentrated in the brain than it is in the blood. It is an important neurotransmitter than helps with memory; pregnenolone deficiency can manifest as impaired memory. People rely upon memory to remain oriented to space, time and physical environment; memory impairment contributes to decreased awareness and ability to function and handle complex daily tasks. According to the Integrative Medicine Center of Western Colorado, decreased memory due to pregnenolone deficiency can be improved with pregnenolone supplementation.

Fatigue and Reduced Mobility

People with pregnenolone deficiency can also experience generalized fatigue, muscle weakness, and joint aches and pains. The combination of these symptoms may cause decreased mobility. Inactivity in general is known to contribute to ill health. Sedentary states contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

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