The Symptoms and Treatment of Low Pregnenolone Levels
Pregnenoloneis a naturally-occurring steroid hormone produced by the body. It is synthesized from cholesterol and is a precursor to testosterone, DHEA, estrogen, and cortisol. It is also found in large amounts in the brain, where it helps create neurohormones for regulating your mood. This is essential for helping nerve cells to function at their most optimal levels, keeping you alert and emotionally stable.
This makes it one of the most important of all the steroidal hormones produced by the body. Studies have been conductedas early as the 1940s on its effectiveness at easing fatigue and auto-immune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Despite the positive results and the fact that it was proven as a safe treatment, research on this hormone was set aside when another steroid hormone,cortisone, was discovered to have positive results on arthritis patients in 1949.
While cortisone was proven effective, long-term side effects such as increased muscle degeneration were discovered. Nowadays, the reliance on this particular agent is starting to decline as researchers seek better alternative hormonal treatments.
Pregnenolone levels have been shown to slowly decrease as the body ages – as low as 60 percent. Since this is a precursor used to synthesize critical hormones, people with insufficient levels of it have been shown to exhibit memory problems and cognitive deficits. Since this hormone also plays a role in the development of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a lack of it prevents your brain from forming neural connections to function effectively.
For both sexes, the following symptoms have been observed:
– Low testosterone levels, resulting in an increased risk of exposure to beta-amyloid toxins. These have been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease.
– Decreased brain volume due to a lack of estrogen. This affects areas in the brain associated with memory and critical thinking
– Low DHEA levels, which heightens the risk of memory loss and decreased mental functions.
In addition to these, women also have specific symptoms resulting from a lack of this hormone. These include depression, low moods, and increased symptoms of menstruation. Thus, women are sometimes recommended to undergo pregnenolone replacement therapy.
How to treat it:
Since pregnenolone is made from cholesterol, eating foods that contain it is an ideal starting point for restoring your hormone level. These include meats, eggs and dairy products. Wild yams have also been found to contain the chemical diosgenin, which assists in the production of this hormone as well. Your liver is also capable of producing cholesterol to circulate through the bloodstream.
Balancing your meals to accommodate these foods will give the body sufficient amounts of cholesterol to metabolize within the cells. Once the Pregnenolone has been synthesized, different enzymes found in the cytoplasm of the adrenal glands can also convert this into DHEA or progesterone. From there, these hormones can be converted further into cortisol, aldosterone, estrogen and testosterone.
If you need further assistance with balancing your hormone levels, you can also ask your doctor abouthormone replacement therapy, a medical procedure that involves treating hormonal imbalances with hormones that are bioidentical to those found in your body.