Distance: 25 KM
Original Price:


Also Known As:

  • Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S)
  • Sulfated dehydroepiandrosterone (SDS)

What is the Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) Test?

The DHEA-S test is a simple blood test that measures how much DHEA-S (Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate) you have in your system. This hormone is chiefly crafted by your adrenal glands—small, triangular-shaped glands perched right above your kidneys that are essential for many bodily functions, including stress response and metabolism.

DHEA-S plays a pivotal role in your endocrine system. Think of it as a building block that your body can convert into more specialized hormones like testosterone and estrogen. These hormones are critical because they regulate a vast array of processes in your body, ranging from the development of sexual characteristics to the maintenance of bone density, muscle strength, and even mood.

Testosterone and estrogen are often thought of as male and female hormones, respectively, but it's important to know that both are present and necessary in everyone, just typically in different proportions. These sex hormones, influenced by DHEA-S levels, can affect various aspects of your health, from physical features like muscle mass and body hair to reproductive functions.

The measurement of DHEA-S is a valuable tool in assessing your hormone health, giving your doctor a clearer picture of how your body is producing and handling hormones, particularly those related to the adrenal glands. Together with other medical evaluations and tests, the DHEA-S test assists in diagnosing and managing various hormonal disorders and conditions.

It's important to note that the DHEA-S test provides one piece of the puzzle, and a comprehensive evaluation, along with other tests and clinical findings, is essential for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. Therefore, it's crucial to discuss your test results and any concerns or questions you may have with your healthcare provider to fully understand their implications and potential next steps.

What is the Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) Test Used For?

This test has several uses, like:

1. Assessing Adrenal Gland Function: The adrenal glands have a monumental task; they produce vital hormones, including cortisol (which helps your body respond to stress) and aldosterone (which helps control blood pressure). DHEA-S is also one of those hormones. By measuring the levels of DHEA-S in your blood, your doctor can get a sense of whether your adrenal glands are doing their job properly. Abnormal levels could be a red flag that something's not quite right with your adrenal function.

2. Detecting Adrenal Tumors or Cancers: Although rare, tumors or cancers can form in the adrenal glands, potentially impacting their ability to produce hormones in a balanced way. An overproduction of DHEA-S could signal the presence of an adrenal gland tumor or cancer. Conversely, underproduction might also indicate potential problems. The DHEA-S test can help identify these issues. If a tumor is suspected, further imaging tests would likely be ordered to confirm and locate it.

3. Investigating Symptoms of High Androgen Levels in Women: In cases where a woman is experiencing symptoms that suggest an excess of male hormones (androgens), such as unexplained hair growth in a male pattern (hirsutism), severe acne, or irregular menstrual cycles, a DHEA-S test can help determine if androgens are at play. Conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and congenital adrenal hyperplasia can cause higher androgen levels in women, leading to these symptoms. Identifying high DHEA-S can direct the doctor toward the right diagnosis and treatment plan.

4. Evaluating Potential Precocious Puberty in Boys: Precocious puberty refers to the unusually early development of secondary sexual characteristics in boys (generally before the age of 9). This can be distressing and may lead to social challenges and stunted growth if left unmanaged. Elevated DHEA-S might be one contributor to these early changes, and if a young boy is showing signs of early puberty, the test can help determine if his adrenal glands are secreting hormones prematurely.

5. Monitoring Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH): CAH is a group of inherited disorders that affect the adrenal glands, leading to a deficiency of certain enzymes needed for hormone production. This results in an imbalance of cortisol, aldosterone, and androgen levels. The DHEA-S test is a crucial part of monitoring individuals with CAH, as it can give insight into how well treatments are working or whether medication adjustments are necessary to keep hormone levels within an appropriate range.

Overall, the DHEA-S test serves as a tool for clinicians to understand a spectrum of hormonal issues and provides crucial information to guide the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of individuals with hormone-related health concerns.

Why and When Do You Need to Get Tested?

Let's explore the scenarios where your doctor might recommend the DHEA-S test:

Adrenal Gland Function: If you're experiencing symptoms that suggest your adrenal glands may not function properly, such as persistent fatigue, weakness, dizziness, or unexplained weight changes, your doctor may want to assess your adrenal gland function. The DHEA-S test can provide valuable insights into whether your adrenal glands produce hormones appropriately.

Signs of Excess Male Hormones in Women: Women who notice symptoms indicating higher levels of male hormones, such as excessive hair growth in male patterns (hirsutism), severe acne, a deeper voice, a larger clitoris, or irregular menstrual cycles, may undergo the DHEA-S test. This helps determine if androgens (male hormones) are involved in these symptoms and assists in diagnosing conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Early Puberty in Boys: If a young boy is displaying signs of puberty earlier than expected, such as the development of secondary sexual characteristics before the age of 9, the DHEA-S test can be valuable. It helps evaluate if the adrenal glands are producing hormones prematurely, providing crucial information for diagnosis and management.

Concerns about Hormonal Conditions: The DHEA-S test can be a useful diagnostic tool when there are concerns about broader hormonal issues or conditions that affect hormone balance, such as pituitary gland disorders or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It aids in investigating and understanding the underlying hormonal imbalances associated with these conditions.

Remember, these scenarios serve as general guidelines, and the decision to conduct the DHEA-S test will depend on your specific symptoms, medical history, and the assessment of your healthcare provider. Their expertise ensures that testing is appropriate and tailored to your individual needs. If you have any concerns or questions about the test, don't hesitate to discuss them with your healthcare provider.

Which Kind of a Sample is Required for the Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate (DHEA-S) Test?

To conduct the DHEA-S test, a trained phlebotomist, nurse, or doctor will use a sterile needle to withdraw the blood from your vein. The sample is then collected in a tube and sent to a laboratory for analysis. After the blood collection, a cotton ball or bandage may be applied to the puncture site to stop any bleeding. It is a relatively quick and straightforward procedure, and while it may cause some temporary discomfort, most people tolerate it well. It's important to note that the blood sample is handled with proper care to ensure accurate and reliable test results.

If you have any concerns or questions about the procedure, be sure to reach out to your healthcare provider or the healthcare professional performing the blood draw. They can provide specific instructions or address any anxieties you may have.

Do You Need to Prepare for the Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate (DHEA-S) Test?

Typically, you don't need to do anything special to prepare. It's always advisable to discuss any medicines you're taking with your doctor since certain drugs can affect the test results.

What Does the Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate (DHEA-S) Test Result Mean?

When interpreting the test result for DHEA-S levels, it's important to consider various factors, such as age, sex, and the specific reference range established by the laboratory conducting the test. The normal range of DHEA-S can vary between individuals, and what might be considered within the normal range for one person may be high or low for another.

If your DHEA-S levels are found to be high, it could potentially indicate an issue with your adrenal glands. This could be due to conditions such as adrenal gland dysfunction or congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Additionally, high DHEA-S levels might suggest polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or other hormonal imbalances.

On the other hand, low levels of DHEA-S might indicate Addison's disease, a condition characterized by insufficient functioning of the adrenal glands. It could also suggest a problem with your pituitary gland or another underlying health condition.

It's important to note that DHEA-S levels alone cannot definitively diagnose a specific condition. The test results should be evaluated in conjunction with other clinical assessments, medical history, and possibly additional laboratory tests to interpret the meaning and significance of the results accurately.

Consulting with a healthcare professional or endocrinologist is recommended to discuss your test results and receive appropriate guidance and further evaluation, if necessary. They can provide personalized insight into the significance of your DHEA-S levels and help guide any necessary treatment or further investigations.

Our clinical experts continually monitor the health and medical content posted on CURA4U, and we update our blogs and articles when new information becomes available. Last reviewed by Dr.Saad Zia on February 06, 2024.

Related Tests:


Distance: 25 KM
Actual Price:
Order Now