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 Natural Hormones: The ABCs of DHEA  

What if my doctor is not knowledgeable about DHEA?
Unfortunately, most doctors at this time are not familiar with DHEA therapy. I had a telephone conversation with a colleague from residency, Lou Mancano, M.D. He is now the co-director of the Family Practice Residency Program at Montgomery Hospital in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Because he is involved in a teaching hospital supervising residents, Dr. Mancano keeps up with the latest standard medical research. His account is probably typical of most doctors:

I practice traditional medicine, in a traditional hospital, and I am familiar with DHEA, but only in the context of checking levels in women who present to the office with hirsutism (excess hair) and uncontrolled acne. Basically, the reason for checking DHEA levels is to find out if there is an adrenal tumor, or polysystic ovary, that account for the excess. When the DHEA levels are very high, I order a CAT scan or ultrasound of the abdomen, and if an abnormality is found, I refer the patient to a specialist.

I didn't know that this hormone was available without a prescription. I also didn't know that DHEA levels decline with age until now that you told me. I religiously read all the medical journals that are sent to doctors, and I don't remember seeing any articles on DHEA.

It wouldn't surprise me if the majority of physicians in the country also are not aware that DHEA levels decline with age. I've never thought of this steroid in terms of a deficiency state, but always in terms of excess.

The concept that DHEA can be used as hormone replacement therapy either by itself or with estrogen and other hormones is intriguing. Keep me in touch with your latest findings.

(Excerpted from DHEA: A Practical Guide ISBN: 0895297744)
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 About The Author
Ray Sahelian MDRay Sahelian, M.D., is a popular and respected physician who has been seen on numerous television programs including NBC Today, Dateline NBC, and CNN, and quoted by countless major magazines such as Newsweek He......more
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