Going through menopause can be difficult for women. Menopause doesn’t officially begin until 12 months after a woman’s last period. On average, the process begins around age 51 but can start as early as 40 or as late as 60, and it typically lasts around seven years but can last up to 14 years. While menopause is a perfectly natural part of aging for women, it is often accompanied by some unpleasant side effects. The unpleasant side effects of menopause are primarily driven by decreasing hormones.
Most women may experience hot flashes, diminished skin tone, changes in mood, increased anxiety, forgetfulness, and a lack of concentration. These symptoms vary in intensity for each individual; however, most women experience at least some of these symptoms during menopause. Unfortunately, these unpleasant side effects can make it difficult to sleep at night. For many women, menopause-induced insomnia can be caused by declining hormone levels. A decrease in estrogen production can cause some women to experience hot flashes, which can make sleeping difficult.
A lack of quality sleep can lead to:
- Thin papery skin
- Loss of cognitive function
- Weight gain
- Impaired ability to make decisions
- Increased risk of health conditions, including high blood pressure and cholesterol
In addition to an inability to sleep, when some women reach menopause, their progesterone and estrogen levels decline and they may experience rapid bone loss if nothing is done to address the decline in hormone levels. Estrogen helps retard the progression of bone resorption, and progesterone and DHEA help rebuild bone.
Menopause may be unpleasant, but there is no need to resort to controversial synthetic hormone replacement therapy. DHEA has been shown to help reduce many of the side effects of menopause and has no dangerous side effects.
What Is DHEA?
DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, is a naturally occurring prohormone made and processed in the adrenal glands, gonads and dermis. DHEA is a base building block or hormone precursor for more than 50 hormones, including the estrogenic hormones and androgens like testosterone. The body produces more andd more DHEA from birth until around age 25, when we reach our “physical prime,” and decreases at a rate of around 2% each year after age 25. By age 35, women have about 20% less DHEA in the body than when they were age 25; and by age 50, women produce about half as much DHEA as when they were healthiest.
DHEA plays a key role in regulating hormone production and may be able to naturally reduce the severity of menopause symptoms by maintaining the crucial base precursor for healthy hormone levels.
How DHEA Improves Menopause Symptoms
In a 2006 study, 28 women were given 50 mg of DHEA for four weeks to test the effects the prohormone had on their menopause symptoms. The study suggested that participants who received DHEA treatment experienced notable improvement in their quality of life and experienced fewer, less intense hot flashes.
A 2003 report from the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology found that it’s common for women to experience sexual dysfunction, depression, food cravings, muscle weakness, poor sleep, and other unpleasant health issues as their natural DHEA production decreases.
Research also suggests that DHEA plays a role in maintaining bone density and strength as we age. DHEA is a precursor to estrogen and testosterone, which help reduce bone loss, and DHEA has been shown to have its own bone-preserving effects. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Evidence suggests that higher DHEA levels may be linked to higher bone density, particularly in women who have undergone menopause. Research reports that DHEA supplements may help increase bone density.”
Research from Washington University School of Medicine suggests that DHEA supplementation in older women may help improve age-related changes in fat mass and improve bone mineral density (Villarreal, 2000). DHEA has also been shown to balance stress hormones, which benefits bone growth. The body responds to stress by producing more cortisol, and when stress is not managed, cortisol may block bone growth. DHEA plays a significant role in counterbalancing the body’s cortisol levels.
How To Use DHEA
Twist 25 DHEA cream should be applied to the skin twice a day. The best option is a specially made bioidentical skin cream called Twist 25 made in a pharmaceutical grade coconut oil base, vitamin E and coenzyme Q-10. It’s one of the best things you can do to maintain your health, mood, quality of sleep, energy, muscle tone, cardiovascular health, skin softness and immune system. DHEA is the most abundant naturally occurring prohormone in the human body.
DHEA is naturally metabolized in the skin, so it’s more effective to use a DHEA cream than it is to take an oral DHEA supplement. Oral DHEA supplements are largely eliminated by the first-pass effect of the liver, and the DHEA that does get absorbed into the the bloodstream through the gut is DHEA sulfate, not free DHEA. DHEA-S is not bad for your health; it is just far less effective than free DHEA.