Low Testosterone, Low Estradiol, Low LH, Low FSH, HIGH Progesterone! Help!
- 02-16-2011, 04:56 PM
Low Testosterone, Low Estradiol, Low LH, Low FSH, HIGH Progesterone! Help!
Posted in a different forum, so I thought I'd copy and paste here to get some other potential feedback.
QUICK BACKGROUND...I'm 42. Always led a clean life. No drugs. Don't drink. Smoke etc. Eat clean. Lots of raw foods, lean meats and so on. Exercise moderately...meaning not crazy like I did in my 20's when I was more of a bodybuilder (natural).
Body fat about 15%. Weight 195.
I've had low testosterone for about the last 5 years with little success in elevating it naturally. Blood work ranges for total have been a low of 126 and a high of 270...which is about 4X lower than what it should be for my age.
My last draw a few months ago was 270 Total with 2.2% free. My SHGB is normal or on the low side a smide. My DHT is only 23. My DHEA is normal at about 410. Thyroid normal with TSH around 2.4. Estradiol is low and healthy. Prostate PSA is excellent barely a .1. LH is low. FSH is low.
The issue is that my progesterone levels are 212. Yep, 212. WHICH IS CRAZY HIGH. Most things I read when men have testosterone issues its because they have to much estrogen influence or thyroid issues etc. My levels of progesterone are higher than my wifes...NOT what a male should be experiencing.
Needless to say, I have a host of health issues...depressed, can't sleep, no libido or drive or hardness at times, no appetite, no strength and so on and its been getting significantly worse over the last 6 months. I have an apt with an endocrinoligist, but that doesnt happen for another 6 weeks. Of course the regular doc didn't seemed concerned and offered an anti-depressant or using some testosterone shots, but i passed as I know there is something else going on and/or a better course of therapy.
This was the first time I got Progesterone checked so I have no previous baselines. I've been on androgel years ago and while it bumped up my levels it created other issues so I only stayed on it a few months.
Curious, what would make such a high progesterone level in a male when estrogen is low and DHEA is normal. Usually, that extra progesterone makes more adrenal hormones which then can make more Testosterone and Estrogens. Any takers here for some suggestions.
For those wanting to take a crack at neurotransmitters, I am off the chart low on serotonin, dopamine, Histamine & PEA. GABA is normal or high normal. Norephinerine and ephinerine normal to low normal. Thus of course the issues with depression and sleep and enjoyment of life.
I know how to modulate the neurotransmitters with things like 5-htp, tyrosine and so on, but I also know how they influence sex hormones and visca versa. Thus a potential link?
Feel free to take on any of this and share your insights. Much appreciated.
- 02-16-2011, 11:02 PM
Well, I'm about to go to bed, so I don't have too much time to research this at the moment. But before I do, I just wanted to TRY to help you. I'm pretty sure I remember reading that low dopamine increased progesterone (or maybe prolactin, can't remember). You may want to look into the dopamine issue, as there is also a relationship between dopamine and gyno/depression/lactation/etc.! Even intestinal motility! I would definitely look into the dopamine first if I were you, but I'm also not a doctor, so I could be COMPLETELY wrong! Just trying to help! I'll see if I can find anything else after school tomorrow!
- 02-18-2011, 12:06 PM
HIGH progesterone, low testosterone, low estradiol, low cortisol...advice?
Thanks for the dopamine comments. Yes Dopamine is very low, but the research I have done has a correlation with testosterone. Have to check with the progesterone correlation.
Also not mentioned previously, my cortisol levels are 1/2 what they should be during the day and a tad above normal for night...but overall, low cortisol...prolactin levels are normal as well.
so the progesterone isn't really getting shuttled to cortisol or adrenal hormones and so on. Just not sure where its going and why its so high.
Thanks for the comments so far.
I'm just stabbing in the dark here, but here's a few questions for you:
1. Have you had your pituitary checked (anterior pituitary gland)? It is responsible for releasing LH and FSH (which you stated were low).
2. Have you had your hypothalamus checked? Hypothalamus release GnRH, which is responsible for signalling the anterior pituitary gland to release LH and FSH.
The reason I ask these questions is that I am following what I believe to be the flow-chart of hormones in the body.
1. Estradiol binds to hypothalamus, signalling either greater (low Estradiol) or lesser production (high Estradiol) of Gonadotropin-Releasing-Hormone (GnRH)
2. The GnRH then signals the anterior pituitary gland to either increase or decrease the production of LH & FSH, based on the GnRH levels.
3. The LH then signals the testes to produce testosterone (Total Testosterone), and the FSH signals them to produce sperm.
4. The testosterone then binds to Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), thereby inactivating the testosterone, leaving only Unbound Testosterone.
5. The Unbound Testosterone then converts to estradiol through the aromatase enzyme, leaving only Free Testosterone, Estradiol, and Bound Testosterone (In-Active)
6. Some Estradiol binds to SHBG, thus decreasing levels of estradiol some, leaving only Free Estradiol (Active) and Bound Estradiol (In-Active)
7. The Free Estradiol then binds to receptors in the hypothalamus, indirectly relaying the current level of hormones in the body.
8. The process then starts all over again.
Also, the adrenal glands produce hormones, such as test/estrogen/progesterone/cortisone/cortisol/etc., but the majority are made by the testes, with the exception of corticosteroids (DHEA/Cortisol/Prednisone/etc).
So, since your SHBG is normal, we can eliminate that factor from the equation, which leaves us with this. If you follow the path up the chain, the LH and FSH are responsible for testosterone and estradiol production, I would say the following is possible:
1. Your adrenal gland is secreting too much progesterone, which is also included in the HPTA flowchart (progesterone will also inhibit LH and FSH production, thus further inhibiting testosterone)
1. Your pituitary is not secreting enough LH and FSH ---or---
2. Your hypothalamus is not secreting enough GnRH
Also of note is that progesterone increases the number of dopamine neurons, which I believe would lower serum dopamine levels (as more dopamine would be bound to receptors), and dopamine is responsible for the following (pulled from Wikipedia @ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dopamine):
2. Muscle Movement Control (as in Parkinson's Disease, or jerking muscle movements)
3. Cognition (brain fog; widely thought to be responsible for ADD)
4. Prolactin secretion inhibition (main function)
5. Motivation and Pleasure (appetite/libido/reward-seeking behavior)
7. Pain Tolerance
8. Restless Leg Syndrome
Hypopituitarism will cause many of your symptoms (pulled from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypopituitarism):
Signal...........|....TRH..... ......CRH............GnRH..... .....GHRH........Dopamine
Pituitary cells |Thyrotrope Corticotrope Gonadotrope Somatotrope Lactotrope
Hormone Prod.|...TSH..........ACTH.... ......LH/FSH..........GH...........Prol actin
End organ......|.Thyroid.......Adr enal........Testes.........Liv er...........Breast
Since your Cortisol (and probably ACTH)/LH/FSH/Test/Estradiol/Dopamine (and probably Prolactin, since Dopamine is the main inhibitor of prolactin, which is low) are low, I would check for hypopituitarism (which is still unlikely, but becoming more probable). There are a lot of variables in the equation, but they all go back to the same single source: the pituitary gland (anterior). I know this was long, but I was working this through my head as well! Hope I helped, and I REALLY hope I didn't scare you! I'm still sure it's going to be something relatively simple to fix (it could be something as simple as adrenal fatigue!) Either way, have a good day, and please keep us informed!
1. Your testes are not producing testosterone (for WHATEVER reason)
2. Your body senses this, and attempts to compensate by ramping up production with your adrenal glands. They produce testosterone, estradiol, dhea, progesterone, etc.
3. The testosterone is low, so the DHEA converts to testosterone
3. The testosterone (which is low) then binds to SHBG (which was normal)
4. The unbound test then converts to DHT (which was low)
5. The remaining test converts to estradiol
6. Some estradiol binds to SHBG.
7. The remaining estradiol (low) acts on your hypothalamus to attempt to increase LH and FSH, by indicating low levels of steroid hormones.
8. EVENTUALLY, the testosterone reaches levels that inhibit the conversion of DHEA to testosterone
9. The HIGHER levels of progesterone act on the hypothalamus to inhibit LH and FSH.
This process would result in low (but stable) levels of testosterone and estradiol (as your adrenal glands are making up for the low production from the testes), normal DHEA (or slightly low), and HIGH progesterone, due to the overstimulated adrenal glands. I would think that over time, the adrenals will stary reducing its output because of over-stimulation. Just a theory though! I really don't have any scientific background in this stuff, I'm just a curious AMer trying ta help!
Just found this as well: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Steroidogenesis.svg
"The enzymes affected in CAH are represented by one red and four green bars on the top half of the diagram (for example, "21α-hydroxylase" is visible near the top center. "17α-hydroxylase" and "17,20 lyase" are carried out by a single enzyme.) Depending upon which enzyme is unavailable, there is a reduced production of androgens (lower left) or mineralocorticoids (upper right). This in turn can lead to increased production of other molecules, due to a buildup of precursors."--Wikipedia
Could be that you have low levels of 17a-hydroxylase and/or 21a-hydroxylase enzyme(s), causing your adrenals to work harder to produce enough cortisol (which is the feedback to inhibit ACTH (stimulating hormone for the Adrenal glands), which would result in excess progesterone.
Great info. Thanks so much for your time and guidance. Good stuff in your response to talk to my endocrinoligist with.
im only 23
go see an endo doc- they specialize in hormones,
or come see me, im no doc but i specialize in hormones too
no jk for real bruddah see a professional
quick question can anyone recommend a test booster that would actually work 4 a 38 yo male iNEED THE HELP
just curious , what is a good test land free test level? i am 48 and in shape. thanks
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