I am 28 years old and had been feeling very crappy for a while and went to the doc and got my testosterone levels tested and had an total test. level of 153 (normal range 241-827). I then had it tested again and it was similar. I then got referred to a endocrinologist and got more tests done. My prolaction was 4.8 (normal 2.1-17.7); FSH 3.0 (normal 1.4-18.1); LH 1.4 (normal 1.5-9.3); IGF-1 320 (normal 63-373); morning cortisol 15.7 (normal 4.3-22.4), Free T4 .87 (normal .76-1.46). He has diagnosed me with secondary hypogonadism, which makes sense from all that I have read ( I have read and researched this topic A LOT). He next wants me to go and get a pituitary MRI done. I am very hesitant on doing this because of the use of gadolinium dye. I try to be a natural as I can and don't want to put this heavy metal in my body if I don't have to. On top of that I have read about all of the warnings the FDA had issued about the dye. I have also heard of a lot of people having very bad reactions and conditions when having this dye injected, some have even died. So my first question is should I be worried about the MRI scan, primarily the gadolinium? Have you had one with the dye? Did you have ANY adverse reactions?
So after doing a lot of reading I thought that my hypogonadism was caused by over-exercising and under eating. I'm currently 6'1'' 167 pounds and about 10% body fat. I have been working out since I was 20. I was mainly into lifting weights. I got up to about 185 pounds when I was about 25 and about 10% body fat. I then got into running and started running about 40 miles a week and also doing some body weight exercises. Over this time I lost a ton of weight, basically not eating enough to sustain my exercising level. I was eating about 2500 cals a day, but this obviously not enough because I got down to 155 pounds at one point. I stayed around this weight for about a year and then about a year ago started getting back into lifting and was lifting 4x a week and running 2x a week for about 5 miles eat. This when my sleep started getting very bad. I started waking up 2x a night to urinate even though I wasn't drinking a lot of liquids before bed. I was also waking up many times, tossing and turning. SO I would wake up exhausted. I also have low sex drive (can get an erection if i want to though), low energy, usually not in a good mood, and always have cold hands and feet.
These are the symptoms that led me to get the initial Testosterone test. I have also had a sleep study done, which ruled out sleep apnea. So not wanting to get the pituitary MRI (because of the gadolinium dye), I read from reputable sources that low T can be caused by over exercising and under eating. So I decided to drastically reduce my exercising to only lifting 3 times a week and drastically increasing my food intake to around 3500 cals a day. I have been doing this for about a month and a half now and have gained about 10 pounds. I do feel good some days, but others feel the same as before. Like last week I had about 4 days of feeling good with good sleep and then about 2 0r 3 days where I slept bad and felt like crap, like before. My plan is to keep up the eating and cut back on lifting for the rest of the month and then get my levels rechecked.
Another wierd thing happened too. After talking to my parents about my situation my dad decided to get his levels checked (hes 57) because he had some symptoms and his T levels where very low too. So this kind of scared me that my "under eating and over exercise theory" may not be the case. Like I said I am all about trying to be as natural as I can and want to avoid HRT if possible. I eat very healthy and don't do drugs or drink alcohol or smoke.
Sorry for the long post, but does anyone else have a similar story or suggestions about my situation as a whole and or about the gadolinium issue? Can overtraining and diet issues cause these problems? How long will it take to restore my levels and feel better naturally? Should I totally stop working out for a while? Any other suggestions?