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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.

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