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DHEA is a hormone produced by your body’s adrenal glands, which can be found above your kidneys. It works as a precursor to male and female sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen. Precursors are substances that are converted by the body into a hormone. After your mid-20s, DHEA production slowly declines along with testosterone and estrogen production. In your 70s, the human body naturally only makes about 20 percent of the DHEA hormone that you had when you were younger. Healthy levels of DHEA has also been connected with delaying or staving off Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, osteoporosis, depression and heart disease. (via WebMD)

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Adequate levels of DHEA are needed to make sure that your body can produce the hormones it needs when it needs them. In your hormone-balanced state your mood is stable and you feel joyful and clear-headed. When your DHEA levels are low, this can throw off your hormone production, leading you to feel uncomfortable, sad and tired. Your diet, lifestyle and stress levels all contribute to the amount of DHEA that your body can produce.

>> Read More: 7 Signs You Need to Revamp Your Routine

If your body starts producing low levels of DHEA, it may be a sign of an adrenal imbalance. Other indicators are extreme fatigue, depression, aching joints, lowered immunity and loss of libido. An increase in your DHEA levels can help to fix an adrenal imbalance. You can increase your DHEA levels by taking DHEA supplements, which are made with wild yams or soy.

The benefits of taking a DHEA supplement are that it:

  • builds up the adrenal gland
  • strengthens the immune system
  • slows natural changes in the body
  • provides more energy
  • improves mood and memory
  • builds up bone and muscle strength

The supplement has also been linked to helping people with depression, obesity, systemic lupus and adrenal insufficiency.

There are a few natural ways to boost your DHEA levels if you don’t want to take a supplement, though. There are a few easy things you can do like getting enough rest and plenty of sunlight. Try exercising regularly and setting aside time just for yourself! Studies have also found a connection between people with a more positive outlook on life and DHEA levels. They have a natural self-sustaining cycle of DHEA. What happens is that they produce more DHEA, which affects their level of serotonin and helps them to have a better outlook on life. This better outlook boosts their DHEA and the cycle just keeps continuing. (via Women To Women)

So, one way to naturally boost DHEA levels is to create joy in your life. People do tons of different things to create this joy! You can check out Skinny Mom’s 5 Ways to Get Happy Today.

>> Read More: 6 Steps to a Happy + Healthy Skinny Mom

To see the rest of our Glossary of Supplements, click here!