The DHEA melodrama, a tale of one drug's rejection, resurrection, and rehabilitation, is quite extraordinary. Spurned by the Food and Drug Administration as being unworthy of approval as a "safe and effective" drug, DHEA has risen phoenixlike from the ashes of FDA rejection to become accepted and endorsed by some as a bulwark of alternative medicine. In this chapter, you will find discussion of the following topics:
1. What is DHEA? 2. Who needs DHEA? 3. The DHEA mystery 4. Life, death, DHEA, and the FDA 5. Rancho Bernardo: DHEA gets some respect 6. Restoring youthful DHEA levels in mature men and women 7. DHEA and the Internet
"I'll be honest with you," Margaret began, "I really had serious doubts that these pills would help."
Originally from St. Louis, with "show me" indelibly engraved into her soul, this fifty-four-year-old grade-school teacher had an inbred distrust of all medications. She was not at all pleased when tests from her prior visit suggested that she might benefit from a daily regimen of one pill a day. Just one month earlier, she had sat in my office on the verge of tears as she described her plight. Struggling to compose herself, she first took time to smooth some creases out of her hound's-tooth skirt, liberated a carefully folded floral ascot from the pocket of her camel blazer, paused another moment and began. Margaret spoke softly at first, but as her anguish mounted, her calm, deliberately measured tones receded as the increasing intensity in her voice betrayed her gloom. Wrenching and twisting the ascot, she described her overwhelming sense of exhaustion and fatigue.
"It's sucking me dry." Everything was an effort, from dragging herself out of bed in the morning to going to work. Coping with her fourth-grade class drained her so much that she could only go home, microwave a frozen dinner, pay some bills, attend to a few household chores, crawl into bed, sleep