What do my hormone levels say about my health?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
When you have an acute disease or illness, your body shuts down production of some hormones. We know the mechanism of some of these. For others, we don't. One of the hormones that shut down is dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a steroid produced by the adrenal glands. In fact, we now know that if you are a smoker and have a low DHEA level, your chance of dying in the next year is more than 150% higher than if you are a smoker and have a high DHEA level. That isn't because DHEA is so beneficial; it's because a low DHEA level is an indicator of acute illness in your system.

Continue Learning about Endocrine System

Endocrine System

Your endocrine system works with your nervous system to control important bodily functions. The endocrine systems responsibilities include regulating growth, sexual development and function, metabolism and mood. The endocrine syst...

em also helps give your body the energy it needs to function properly. Endocrine glands secrete hormones into the bloodstream. Hormones are considered chemical messengers, coordinating your body by transferring information from one set of cells to another. Your endocrine system health can be affected by hormone imbalances resulting from impaired glands. A hormone imbalance can cause problems with bodily growth, sexual development, metabolism and other bodily functions. Endocrine system diseases or conditions include diabetes, growth disorders and osteoporosis.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.