The DHEA Cure for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

By George Eby
George Eby Research Institute
Austin, Texas

Obstructive sleep apnea is a health condition characterized by a reduction or a pause of breathing (airflow) during sleep, mainly in overweight, over age-40 adult males. It has long been treated using CPAP masks of one type or another. The masks are uncomfortable to most people and some people can not use them due to claustrophobia.

I HAD sleep apnea and could not use the masks, so I set off to find a "pill" that would treat sleep apnea. I discovered that DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) was effective against sleep apnea by accident. I had been using DHEA for years for general health reasons, a period of time that was not accompanied by sleep apnea. I had had sleep apnea previously, but did not associate the absense of sleep apnea with use of DHEA. Earlier this year (2010), I stopped taking DHEA, and the sleep apnea symptoms came back a few weeks to a month later. At first I did not associate the return of sleep apnea with stopping DHEA supplementation. One morning about 5:00AM, I awoke with the idea that sleep apnea could be caused by a DHEA deficiency. Afterall, DHEA is a natural product of the adrenal gland that often becomes reduced in aging (over 40). Well, it seemed to me that since sleep apnea is also a disorder that acompanies aging, there might be a connection.

WHOA! Could it be possible that sleep apnea is just a symptom of a DHEA deficiency? I wondered, and I bought a bottle of DHEA from a local health food store. I took 5 mg of DHEA in the morning, 5 mg at lunch, 5 mg in late afternoon and 5 mg in the evening. I used Apex Energetics liquid DHEA (K-18) product, and held the liquid (one dropper full) in my mouth for about ten minutes.

There is some discussion that the liquid forms are more bioavailable than pills. Why? It is simple, the liquids when held in the mouth slowly coat the affected throat tissues that are causing the sleep apnea problem. You directly treat these tissues, rather than indirectly treat them through the blood when using a swallowed "pill". We need the direct contact for it to work. I suspect that it would work even better (what is better than perfectly though?) if the DHEA was held in the mouth for longer than 10 minutes.

I wondered if I would have sleep apnea that night. I went to bed with some aprehension since I was not wearing a CPAP amask. The next thing I realized, it was morning! What a beautiful morning! I had no sleep apnea that night and it was the best sleep I have ever had! Yea! Yea for DHEA! To hell with CPAP masks! CPAP masks suck! CPAP masks are terrible for me! I was so pleased.

To make a long story short, continued use of DHEA (5 to 20 mg total per day) has completely prevented me from having sleep apnea for more than a month. What is now needed is more people to try this method for curing sleep apnea. Is it a cure? Technically, no it is not, since if one stops taking it, the sleep apnea is likely to return, although perhaps not for a few days to a few weeks. How wrong I am here! Eventually, I forgot to get more DHEA and no longer took it. That was over a year ago, and I still don't have any symptoms of sleep apnea.

There is a possibility that too much DHEA could increase testosterone so much that the excess testosterone could cause sleep apnea, so the dosage, especially on a long-term basis may be more critical than I suspect. It is slowly becoming evident that super-atheletes, such as pro-football players, have a higher incidence of sleep apnea (see this article) than non-atheletes, but the medical literature has not caught up with the lay observations. However, there is at least one medical journal article that suggests that too much testosterone may cause sleep apnea. See it here. Also, since DHEA is expensive, I have tried to find the minimum effective dose, which for me is abut 5 to 10 mg per day. Everyone should try to find their "minimum effective dose" and stay with it to avoid worsening sleep apnea through excess testosterone production. NOTE: DHEA may improve one's sex life by increasing one's sexual attractiveness, since there is a bit of evidence that pheromones are stimulated by DHEA, although it is not yet in the medical literature. I know a woman that found this to be startlingly true! She had not been "hit on" in 15 years, and after starting DHEA, was "hit on" 3 times in 2 weeks.

An additional and important benefit is the reduction in Nocturia or nocturnal urination, which is a major problem with most sleep apnea patients. At the peak of my sleep apnea, I emptied a full bladder 6 times a night. Now, it is sometimes once at about 3:30 AM, and it is not a full bladder. Even after awakening in the mornings (6:30 to 7:00 AM) my bladder is still not full. The most likely reason patients with untreated sleep apnea have more frequent urination at night is related to the increased pressure in the right side of the heart. This increased pressure is usually the result of low oxygen levels in the bloodstream caused by the apnea events and is a sign that there is too much liquid in the body. When the heart receives the stimulus of the increased pressure, higher levels of a hormone called atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) are secreted. ANP is a diuretic that is associated with the increased need to urinate. When sleep apnea is effectively treated, nighttime urination is also reduced. Studies have shown that ANP levels in patients with untreated sleep apnea are increased while levels are reduced in patients using CPAP effectively. I suspect that using DHEA will reduce ANP also. I could not find any report to demonstrate an effect of administering DHEA on ANP levels. Elevated ANP does not seem to have an effect on DHEA according to reports.

I also have atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm condition which is closely associated with sleep apnea. DHEA did not influence my atrial fibrillation.

Since I am in an inventor with many patents shown here, I immediately checked to see if the DHEA cure for sleep apnea was "known in the art", and it was. I was not the first to discover this amazing treatment for sleep apnea. I went to the United States Patent Office website and entered he search terms "DHEA" and "sleep apnea". Thirty eight patents were returned. One of those was titled U.S. Patent 6,818,665, Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea Too bad, I would love to have had that patent since DHEA is the real cure for sleep apnea.

What did the patent report? Cutting out the BS, "the method of the present invention is for a hormonal treatment to compensate for the weakening of pharynx components, tongue, tonsils, uvula, soft palate that occur during sleep and blocks the airways to cause obstructive sleep apnea. About 0.5-5 mg of melatonin is orally administered to a person between 10-80 years old before the person sleeps and dehydroepiandrosteron (DHEA) is simultaneously administered in combination with andrenokortikotropt hormone (ACTH)." Also, "The parallel intake of another stimulant such as a DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) hormone provides a synergistic increase of the desired effect as described above especially in combination with the hormone ACTH that stimulates DHEA. DHEA prevents unwanted complete or total (100%) relaxation of the muscles in the throat region caused melatonin. DHEA stimulates those muscles, including farynx components, tongue, tonsils, uvula, soft palate, so that the tongue and other components do not interfere with the breathing during sleep."

What are the side effects of DHEA? I could not find evidence that DHEA was harmful in these small amounts. However, please read this article on side effects.

Here is a list of illneses in which DHEA has been shown to be effective. They include adrenal insufficiency, depression, obesity, systemic lupus erythematosus, alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease, cervical cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, infertility, menopausal disorders, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, schizophrenia, sexual function / libido / erectile dysfunction, memory and muscle strength.

There you have it, two votes for DHEA as an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, the inventor and me.

What we need now are confirmations. Anyone having a comment about this is invited to email me and I will post their comments below.


Thanks for your article on DHEA and obstructive sleep apnea.  I have obstructive sleep apnea and it does seem to go away when I use DHEA.  I noticed it by accident too.

Just wanted to let you know, DHEA absorbs in the skin easily.  You probably already know that but I buy it very cheap, mix it with olive oil, rub it into my wrists and it works very well.  Be careful to use much less when you do this though as it is very bioavailable so you don't need near the dosage you would take if you were taking a pill.

I get it for about $14 for 10g which will last probably forever from

Anyway thanks for the article.

Also, I have read but not sure if it's true, DHEA tends to convert to estrogen more if you take it orally and tends to convert to testosterone more when used transdermally you may want to research that for yourself.

Brian K.

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