Survey Says…

I was nervous and excited to get today’s blood work results.

As you may recall, I had my Vitamin D, thyroid panel, and DHEA (whatever that is) tested yesterday.  When the nurse called with the results today, I was fully expecting that since I live in a not-so-sunshiney climate that my Vitamin D was going to be super-low, and that increasing it would be the magical answer to all of my infertility woes.


My D3 is just a smidge below normal at 29.5.  The low end of the normal range is 30.  An over the counter vitamin D supplement in addition to my prenatal should do the trick.


My thyroid results were also normal.  Anticlimactic.

Then the nurse (the nice one!) told me that my DHEA levels seemed high.  I scored a 399 where the high end of normal is 266.

Uhh… what?

I don’t even know what DHEA is!  I just asked for it because it was on a list of tests to have when you’re unexplained!

What does high DHEA mean??

Apparently, high DHEA means that my doctor doesn’t really deal with adrenal issues, in his words.  He would be happy to refer me to another doctor if I want to follow this particular rabbit hole, but his recommendations to pursue another injectables cycle still stands.

Well, I consulted my go-to doctor, Dr. Google.

And now I’ve opened Pandora’s box of link chasing.

I know that having a test result come back abnormal isn’t a joke, and honestly after being unexplained for all this time, it’s kind of refreshing, but I did learn one funny thing in my Googlizing:  DHEA is considered to be the stress hormone.  Too much of it means you’re too stressed out.

Wouldn’t that just be a swift kick to the lady-balls if all those people who told me I need to relax were right??


Okay, so it’s not really funny ha-ha, more like funny waaaaaaaaah.

So anyway, I really am just starting at the tip of the iceberg in my research of high DHEA.  Apparently it can be common with PCOS, which three doctors have assured me that I do not have.

It can also be linked to Addison’s disease, which affects adrenal function.

I’ve also read that high DHEA is found many times with high testosterone.  I don’t think my T is high, but I do recall one test at my first RE appointment coming back a teensy bit high, and the doc was going to keep an eye on it.  She never mentioned it again, though, so I assumed it was a non-issue.  No other doc since then has mentioned high T to me, but who knows if I kept track…

Which brings me to another point.  I have not been great at keeping track of all of these test results I’ve received over the years.  Sometimes the information I get in a phone call gets filed into my brain and lost forever.  So that this does not keep happening, and so I can keep my stats straight for dealing with doctors, I created a separate page here at the old blog to record my info.

Feel free to check it out if you’re into diagnosing strangers on the internet.  🙂

Anyway, I’m planning to call Dr. K tomorrow and ask what I should do.  If he wants me to see an endocrinology specialist, I will.  If he wants me to have an MRI to rule out an adrenal tumor, I will freak out a little.  I guess only time will tell.

Is this the something that might lead me down the path to a diagnosis and subsequent miraculous cure for my infertile tendencies?

Maybe.  Maybe not.

Either way, though… it’s something.

And I’m tenacious about chasing down a lead.  😉

6 comments on “Survey Says…

  1. Sarah
    February 13, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    I’ve been following your blog for a while, and I used to see Dr. K as well – I can give you a referral for a great RE that is in the area once a week. I haven’t gotten pregnant yet, but he has helped me with so many other issues I was having, and we’re still working on the whole baby thing, but I have a much better feeling it’s going to happen with the new doc. Please feel free to contact me if you’d like his name.

    I understand the frustration – I hope things work out soon for you and your husband, and I just want to say that you are an inspiration, whenever I’m having a particularly bad day on the IF train, you always have a “keep a good attitude” post ready and waiting when I get home. You remind me to look on the bright side. 🙂


    • Tracy
      February 14, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

      Hi Sarah! Is the other RE in the area that you see Dr. S? I would love some more information! You can email me at 🙂

      And thank you so much for your kind words. Some days, this blog and the people who read and email and comment are the only things that get me through. It’s a tough road, and I hope that we are both off of it soon!!


  2. swisswife
    February 14, 2013 at 1:19 am #

    Not getting pregnant is a vicious cycle of stress! Have you noticed increased hair loss, like when you wash your hair? Just curious bc mine seems to be falling out more! Unless I’m just paranoid, in which case you can add paranoia to the list of emotions I’m feeling. I hope this gives you some answers!


    • Tracy
      February 14, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

      I do lose a lot of hair when I wash it. The husband always yells about the hairball in the drain, lol. I just assumed it was normal wear and tear since I color and heat and product the heck out of my ‘do.

      I just want some answers! All I seem to get is more questions! I haven’t been this frustrated since back when I watched LOST! 😉


  3. Erin
    February 14, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    Well I’m baffled. I am wondering, though, if you’ve had your progesterone levels checked recently. Since DHEA can throw off all sorts of hormones it stands to reason your progesterone could be low …


    • Tracy
      February 14, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

      I am too! My progesterone has typically been fine, although one Femara cycle it was in the lowish range and I was given Prometrium to help out. I always have a great lining measurement (sometimes scary thick!), so my current RE doesn’t test me…


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