Everyone knows that having a healthy immune system is crucial to fight off colds and infection. However, short of having a disease diagnosis, how do we know if our immune system function is lagging in potency? Do you have to wait to get sick, or struggle to recover from infection or worse, succumb to some disease to first become concerned with your immune system’s function?  Does your blood work have to test abnormal to become concerned? The answer is no to all these questions. In fact, blood work mostly tests normal even with low immune function, yet this one parameter will test low.

There is an easy way to test one factor that plays a crucial part in your stamina and immune function. A saliva test for DHEA, (dehydroepindrosterone), a hormone that is a precursor for many hormones, including cortisol, a hormone made by the adrenal glands, responsible for your energy, stamina and immune stamina. Lab kits can be ordered online at Immune Matrix. Most patients with allergies or histories of chronic infections (yeast, candida, bacterial, lyme, viral (herpes, Epstein Bar) will have lower than normal DHEA levels.

Low DHEA levels prevent the adequate synthesis of cortisol and can account for fatigue morning, noon, mid-afternoon, early evening or late evenings. It can contribute therefore to low blood sugar, the development of hypoglycemia, fatigue after meals containing carbohydrates and contribute to brain fatigue, brain fog and lack of focus and concentration.

Low DHEA levels will also result in lowered immune function especially to virus. (J.Immunol.2002 Feb 15;168(4):1753-8, J.Am Geriatr Soc. 1997 June;45(6):747-51, J Neuroimmunol. 1997 Sept;78(1-2):203-11, J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 1999 Feb;54(2):59-64.)  Studies in which  50 mg daily of DHEA saw the increase by 35% in monocytes, 29% of B cells, 62% B cell activity, 40 % T cell activity, 50% interleukin-2 levels, 22-37% increase in natural killer cell count and 45% increase in natural killer cell activity. Now that is impressive! It was recommended that besides optimizing DHEA levels, taking high dose levels of DHEA at 200-400mg daily during times of viral stress would help temporarily boost immune function and shorten viral episodes.

As people age, their DHEA levels decline. With chronic lifestyle stress, and stress to the body from allergies, food sensitivities and infections from gums, gut, cold and the flu, the DHEA levels can decline further. Knowing your DHEA level is crucial to determining if all your other efforts at good diet, taking adequate vitamin D and other supplements can work to their maximum benefit when adequate levels of immune cells and immune cell function are crucial.

Immune Matrix patients are regularly tested for their salivary DHEA and cortisol levels in a simple to do at home spit test. It takes 2 weeks to get the results and taking sublingual DHEA can then be approximated in dose depending upon your lab results. Don’t delay, know your DHEA level today!

Please note:
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

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Anna Manayan

Anna Manayan