How To Use DHEA & Pregnenolone To Reverse Your Adrenal Fatigue

These 2 safe & powerful supplements can go a long way towards resetting your HPA axis and reversing your adrenal fatigue.

Subscribe To My Newsletter

clinical tidbits + the latest research for reversing chronic fatigue syndrome

Count Me In
September 4, 2018

DHEA and pregneolone can both be an invaluable part of reversing your adrenal fatigue.

These plant-based and all natural supplements are technically considered “bioidentical hormones” (although that name is debated somewhat), and they’re completely safe in the small amounts I will talk about here.

Since DHEA is a precursor to other hormones like estrogen and testosterone, taking too much can have some weird side effects… like unwanted hair growth, acne, and irregular menstrual periods in women. 

But the studies that show these side effects generally use dosages upwards of hundreds (or even thousands) of milligrams per day. I don’t recommend that.

I recommend starting at 5 mg and working your way up to no more than 15 mg of DHEA per day.

This is just enough to help the process of reversing your HPA-axis dysfunction (AKA adrenal fatigue), as it mimics your adrenals production of DHEA. So then your body can more or less “get used to” having DHEA in your system, and your brain and your adrenals can eventually communicate like they’re supposed to again. Adrenal fatigue is really just a miscommunication between your brain and your adrenals, so taking small amounts of DHEA helps to restore that communication.


I highly recommend getting a lab test to see which stage of adrenal fatigue your results are consistent with. I can’t quite give an exact dosage without viewing each of your lab tests individually, but if you don’t have a test… you can kind of do this by trial and error.

I recommend to start with 5 mg of DHEA per day. Ideally DHEA should be taken twice per day, morning and evening. The easiest way to do this is to get 5 mg tablets and split them half with a kitchen knife or pill splitter. I recommend taking half with breakfast and half with dinner. 

You’ll probably notice increased energy within the first few days. I recommend doubling the dosage a week later as long as you aren’t feeling too antsy or anxious. Most people can go up to 15mg/day as long as they’re feeling energized and happy during the day, and NOT antsy, anxious or like an insomniac.

If you DO start to feel any of the anxiousness, antsy-ness, or insomniac-ness… I recommend doing a gentle liver cleanse for 2-6 weeks OR cutting back your DHEA dosage by 5 mg.

You may find that after taking it for a few months, your dosage will change and lessen. If you’ve been taking DHEA for 3 months or longer, feeling antsy or anxious may be a sign that your body doesn’t need it anymore! Try stopping it all together (no need to wean) and see if any fatigue comes back. If it doesn’t, you’re probably good to not take it again.

As a side note, I recommend not taking DHEA for longer that 18 months. I also do not recommend DHEA supplementation if you have a history of breast, ovarian, or any other hormonal related cancer. This isn’t because there’s any evidence showing a direct link between natural DHEA supplementation and hormonal related cancers (there is actually some evidence showing it may be protective against these cancers), but we know how the hormone cascade works and DHEA MAY increase estrogen and testosterone in the body because it is a precursor hormone.

We can’t talk about DHEA without talking about it’s perfect counterbalance supplement: Pregnenolone.

Pregnenolone is a precursor to other hormones, just like DHEA, although it’s actually needed to make DHEA as well as progesterone. If you looked up “hormone pathways” on Google, this would make a lot more sense. But you don’t need to know any of it to use this to help you reverse adrenal fatigue, so onward we go…

Without a lab test, pregnenolone (just like DHEA) may somewhat be “self tested” meaning you can start with one dosage and work downward (NOT upward like DHEA) to eventually get the right fit. I recommend modifying your pregnenolone dosage to whatever DHEA dosage you are taking.

I suggest starting with 50 mg of pregnenolone per day (again, in divided doses, so 25 mg at breakfast and 25 at dinner). 

As you increase the dosage of DHEA, you want to simultaneously decrease the dosage of pregnenolone. So if you start with 5 mg of DHEA, you would simultaneously start with 50mg of pregnenolone.

Subsequent daily dosages, if necessary, would look like this:

Stage 3: 5 mg DHEA & 50 mg pregnenolone

Stage 2: 10 mg DHEA & 40 mg of pregnenolone

Stage 1: 15 mg DHEA & 25 mg of pregnenolone

You may need to use a kitchen knife or a pill splitter if necessary, as DHEA and pregnenolone only come in specific dosages.

Pregnenolone and DHEA work together. Pregnenolone raises your cortisol and DHEA lowers it.

It’s important to have this perfect balance of the two because you want the perfect amount of cortisol in order to reset the HPA axis.

Again, I highly recommend getting an actual lab test for adrenal fatigue to see what stage you’re in. This way you know if you’re getting better or worse with time, and you know how to tailor your supplements. For the purposes of this article however, you may somewhat guess your ideal dosage simply by going by how you feel.

As a side note, just like DHEA, I recommend not taking pregnenolone for longer than 18 months.

DHEA and pregnenolone can be powerful to reset the HPA axis and pull you out of adrenal fatigue, but they won’t work on their own.

So many other factors need to be looked at and dealt with when you’re reversing adrenal fatigue: Things like the right diet that will restore energy production on your cellular level, the right lifestyle changes that will stimulate your adrenals just the right amount and not wear them out, and the right dosages of specific supplements besides DHEA and pregnenolone to decrease the stress response, normalize cortisol levels, nourish the adrenals, open up detox pathways, restore cellular energy production, and ultimately & completely reverse your adrenal fatigue.



Subscribe To My Newsletter

clinical tidbits + the latest research for reversing chronic fatigue syndrome

Count Me In