Questions about Testosterone levels
- 11-13-2012, 09:22 PM
Knowing my luck,
And a number of POSTers on this site have stated that it happened to them, everyone could be wrong.
But, it is something to consider, before you snip. It is trama, to the boys.
- 11-20-2012, 07:39 PM
So I saw an endocrinologist last week and they ordered some more extensive tests which I had done and got the results of most of them back. The Dr. indicated she suspected a HPA problem, but wasn't convinced my T levels were low because they were drawn in the afternoon. I'm waiting on results of a 24hr urine cortisol test, as well as TSH, and free T4 levels which I will post when I get them. I'm confused as to what is attributing to the low T levels because most of the other tests (E2, SHBG)seem to be within normal ranges. If anyone can see something jumping out at them please let me know. I know the cause is likely secondary, I'm just not sure what to look for. I will be following up with the endo after the other test results come back, but in the mean time I'd like to get some thoughts. Matrix, I'd love to here your take on this. I know you can't be sure without a detailed history and test results, but any insight is appreciated. Thanks guys.
Labs drawn at 7am
Total Test: 307 (250-1100ng/dl)
Free Test: 53.2 (46.0-224.0pg/ml)
Bioavailable Test: 109.4 (110.0-575.0ng/dl)
SHBG: 22 (10-50nmol-L)
Albumin: 4.5 (3.6-5.1g/dl)
Estradiol: 34 (11-44pg/ml)
LH: 4 (1-12miu/ml)
FSH: 3 (1-12miu/ml)
Prolactin: 8 (3-19ng/ml)
Also will include some other tests for referencing:
Fasting insulin: 2 (<17)
Fasting Glucose baseline: 82 (70-99)
Fasting Glucose 1hr: 138 (<200)
Fasting glucose 2hr: 92 (<140)
I've been having some elevated liver enzymes which my Dr and I don't know the cause of yet. Could there be any correlation between liver problems (probably caused by fatty liver) and low testo levels, or are they likely unrelated? I can't find any info that directly connects the two, but I'm no expert. Any help is very much appreciated.
11-23-2012, 09:30 PM
11-27-2012, 07:31 PM
So I got a call tonight from the CRNP at the endocrinology office that did the testing telling me my t levels are within normal range and provided the results of my cortisol and thyroid levels come back normal, they won't treat me with any trt, and most likely will do nothing other than moniter my levels via bloodwork periodically. I tried to explain to her that my levels are half of what a mans my age should be, but she told me that since my levels were 'normal' range, the insurance company wouldn't even pay for treatment... Is this bull****? I feel like that was just a cop out saying insurance wouldn't cover treatment, and the doctor just didn't feel like it was necessary. Has anyone had experience with insurance not covering treatment due to blood levels? Does my 307 total test even warrant treatment? I one hundred percent feel that it would make a huge difference. When I took dhea over the summer, I felt amazing! And it metabolizes into test in the body, so I'm sure trt would get me feeling like myself again. Please, advice, comments?
11-27-2012, 11:52 PM
I may have missed something, but what kind of body fat levels are you currently at? I know you said you had a history of obesity and poor life style, and since you mention fatty liver it sounds like you are very recently down in weight or are still working on it. I have seen some stuff about a correlation between liver problems and low test, but nothing about causation.
Also what about current diet? Is it balanced or is it hypo caloric in an effort to lose more weight?
I guess what i an getting at is if your life style may still not be at a state where you have fully recovered from your past. I do agree that your levels are lower than they could be, but if you can get them back without trt, our at least get to where you feel better without it you would be doing good. I know you may feel desperate and i understand that having home for several years of not feeling right and having levels at the bottom of the range....but i also have a different health history...
11-28-2012, 09:51 AM
I do have fatty liver, it was confirmed with an ultrasound last week. Since then I've been doing research on fatty liver, and it's connection to metabolism and hormones. I haven't found any definitive info, showing a connection with liver and hormones, but I've read that the liver produces the bulk of your bodies cholesterol, which all hormones are made from, and also that the liver metabolizes your thyroid and sex hormones, and also regulates your thyroid hormones (and I'm assuming sex hormones, too). The problem is that obesity seems to throw your body into this negative feedback loop, and the only way to reverse it is to lose weight. But my problem is, despite clean diet and exercise, I've hit a plateau and haven't been losing any weight for about two months now. I've varied my exercise routine, so it's not because my body got used to what I was doing. I suspect I'm having thyroid issues too, but will have to wait until this afternoon, or tomorrow to get the results of my tsh, and t4 levels to be sure. I say I suspect, because I have had some fluctuations with my thyroid levels in the past. I'll post those levels real quick for reference;
:>TSH 3rd gen 2.172uIU/ML
:>TSH 3rd gen 3.362uIU/ML (0.35-4.94)
:>T4 6.4ug/dl (4.5-12.0)
:>Total T3 1.6ng/ml (0.6-1.6)
:>FTI 1.6 (1.6-3.4)
:>TSH 3rd gen 2.617 (.35-4.94)
:>T4 5.6 (4.5-12.0)
:>Free T3 2.4 (1.71-3.71)
So you can see that the've been within range, but I was researching yesterday and supposedly the standard most doctors follow for an indicator of thyroid problems is TSH. Even though the lab parameters go up to 4.94 for tsh, most educated doctors now use an upper limit of 3.00 to indicate thyroid malfunction. And supposedly if your thyroid is working correctly, t3 and t4 shouldn't be fluctuating, and should be somewhat steady. I don't know alot about the thyroid yet, so if I'm wrong for thinking these show potential problems please tell me. I do have a family history of thyroid problems.
I've been having slightly elevated liver enzymes since about 2006. I had my gallbladder removed in 02, and seems like since then I've had liver and gi problems. I had to go have a bile duct opened by laproscope in 03. After that, no problems that I know of until 2006 when liver enzymes started staying elevated. They only remained elevated occasionally. In 2011 before I lost weight ALT was elevated to 102 (5-47) but other liver functions were fine. Since I have lost the weight the enzymes have shot waaay up, and my pcp still isnt sure why. He wants me to see a liver specialist. I've been tested for hep A,B,andC. All negative. I've been researching alot about NAFLD. It seems to go in stages, where if left to progress the fat and blockages will inflame it, and the inflammation will cause fibrosis, and eventually cirrhosis. Then your liveer fails, and your only options are transplant, or death. I think there's a good possibility that is what's happening, and it's inflamed due to being so clogged. I'll likely be getting a biopsy to see the extent of the damage in the coming weeks, and so I'll know more then. The thing is though, that there isn't any accepted treatment available to reverse the damage currently, as they don't understand the disease enough yet supposedly. I've read that it can be caused by consuming an imbalance of omega 6 to omega 3 fats. Also sugars seem to play a role. The only way the seems to slow or reverse progression is losing weight and eventually you will lose the fat on the liver as well. Which would be fine since I want to lose weight anyway, but I'm really struggling to lose weight lately... I read a few pubmed studies that show promise with using HGH as a treatment for NAFLD, because HGH promotes an increase in fat-free mass, and fat reduction, which makes me think that an anabolic state is very important factor in weight management for treating NAFLD. And at 307 total test, and EXTREMELY low bioavailable test, I'm obviously not in an anabolic state. That's a big reason why I think hrt would be beneficial, as well as the emotional issues and mental fatigue I suffer from taking a huge toll on my quality of life.
The problem is I seem to be stuck in this obesity induced negative feedback loop catabolic state that promotes fat retention and storage, and it's just causing my liver more strain and eventually if I don't lose the weight will lead to cirrhosis and eventually me having to get a liver transplant.. Which needless to say I don't want to happen. I haven't found a doctor who is open-minded about treating trt yet, and honestly I don't know what to do! I know to a doctor, I probably don't look like an ideal canidate, but I also know I need to lose weight, but as I said above, I'm struggling! I eat healthy, I exercise frequently, I'm not sure what I can be doing differently to continue losing weight. It seems like my hormones are working completely against me! I'm sick of feeling like **** emotionally, and not being able to remember stuff I did 2 days ago. I just want to get my body into balance, and continue my weight loss and live and enjoy my life. I'm 28, I just want to feel like it again.
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22268394 <---check this one out
I welcome anyone's thoughts and/or insights.
11-28-2012, 03:28 PM
I got my TSH and T4 levels back. My TSH is 5.013 (0.35-4.94) and T4 is 7.3 (4.5-12.0). Seems like my thyroid crapped out, and I have hypothyroidism as well. Am I correct in that thinking?
11-29-2012, 10:17 PM
Still looking for some sound advice. I don't really know for certain what is going on with my hormones, and I'm finding it really tough to get a doctor that's willing to take an in-depth look. I'm driving myself crazy trying to analyze EVERY single scenario of what is happening. The doctors I've seen just look at me like I'm an idiot when I mention all this stuff. I went to my pcp today, to discuss my thyroid levels and try to get him to help me understand what's going on with my hormones, but he just prescribed me .5mcg synthroid and sent me on my way. I spent about ten minutes talking to him about the possibility of being treated for trt, and gave him 6-7 pubmed articles and studies I printed out to justify my reasoning, but he told me it might be possible depending on what the doctor who operates the practice decides, and had me schedule to discuss it with him next week, which will likely be a waste of time and gas. I'm so frustrated right now. I just want a doctor who will look at the underlying cause of the hormone imbalances, and treat them so I can feel like a normal person again. I don't know where to go from here.
11-29-2012, 11:39 PM
why was the gallblader removed?
I agree with you, hormonally you def need some help.
If you have the cash just go to a clinique, they will put you on HRT. If you want insurance to pay then your test level needs to be lower than 300 or whatever the min range is these days.
As for Thyroid go with armour or a combo of t4/t3. Much better then taking t4 alone.
11-30-2012, 09:56 AM
I had it removed in '02 because I was having severe stomach pain and cramping. They took it out and I stopped having the pain. When you say clinique, do you mean like an anti-aging clinic? One of the things I don't understand is even though my free and total T were still considered within range, my bio available T was low. From what I've read, that's supposed to be the best indicator of how T is functioning. So I don't get why these doctors aren't going by that when deciding if I need to be treated. I did read a little about Armour Thyroid last night on the 'Stop the thyroid madness' website, and it does seem like it's the way to go, but I need to find a doc that's actually going to take these issues seriously so I can get properly evaluated, and find out what's going on and get treated.
11-30-2012, 10:15 AM
My bad yes anti-aging clinic. Your test is low but is not low off the chart. This chart is devised by the insurance co so unless your levels are off the chart they dont have to pay. A regular doc that doesnt deal with insurance will most likely start you on HRT. Also many doctors do not even want to deal with HRT because it's considered steroids and they dont want to deal with the stigma of helping you be on steroids. It's stupid to be honest.
You can also go underground if you find a person to show you the ropes it's actually quite easy.
The problem with removing the gallblader is that it does play a role in the body. Read up on it...im not sure you did the right thing by having it removed but that;s just me looking from the outside in.
11-30-2012, 11:22 AM
I agree. I was young at the time, and didn't know better. I realize if it was in there, it had important functions to serve, but hindsight's 20-20. If I had a source I'd probably go the underground route, just for the sheer fact that I don't want to spend who knows how many more weeks or months looking for a doc to actually treat me, and it'd prob be cheaper than going to an anti-aging clinic. I've researched proper dosing and techniques, as well as proper pct and blood work to watch for potential problems. I just don't have any access at this point. You're absolutely right about doctors not wanting to 'help you be on steroids'. When I discussed treatment with my pcp yesterday, he went into this spiel about testosterone being dangerous, and all of these bodybuilders in the past dying from it and all this other bs that isn't completely true. What's funny is that science is now proving that low testosterone is far more dangerous to one's health than high testosterone, especially when it comes to heart and circulation. High estrogen and/or extremely imbalanced hormones stemming from improper use of steroids or naturally occurring for whatever reason is what science is finding is causing all the negative side-effects. Doctors just really need to catch up to the times and continue their education so that they stay current on research in this field so people don't have to suffer needlessly with these problems.
11-30-2012, 04:38 PM
I wish i could offer more advice, it looks like you probably would benefit from hrt not so much from a sexual or performance perspective, but most definitely for increasing lean mass and reducing fat mass. It seems like your situation is WAY over your pcp's head though. A progressive endocrinologist or anti-aging clinic may be your best bet for progress. Just make sure that whoever you end up with understands that your goal is not to bee on drugs the ready of your life, but to restore natural function.
11-30-2012, 06:17 PM
12-17-2012, 10:02 PM
Quick update on my situation since I last posted. I mentioned I had some liver problems before. I was having elevated liver enzymes for the past 3 years and they spiked after recent weight loss without any explanation (that I'm aware of). I followed up with a hepatologist, who ran some more liver function tests, as well as more specific tests trying to see if I was having some type of auto-immune problem.
Anyway, long story short, I started taking milk thistle a few months ago, and when she tested my LFT's, they came back within normal ranges. She wanted to do a biopsy before the test results came back, but left it up to me whether or not I wanted to have it done after the tests came back normal. I'm gonna wait and monitor my LFT's and play it by ear before I do the biopsy.
I have been doing alot of reading about the liver, and how it affects metabolism. I've read articles and even some medical studies that tie fatty liver to thyroid dysfunction. I'm not exactly sure how it all works, as I'm just a simple man, but it's food for thought for some of the guys in here having thyroid problems and have no idea why. The majority of people don't even know they have fatty liver. I theorize it's like a clogged drain. Since your liver filters everything you need to remove from your body, if it's overloaded it gets clogged up and starts malfunctioning, which probably makes your body's metabolism slow down so that it doesn't over tax the liver and cause it to fail.
So I attribute my thyroid malfunction to the fatty liver. The only treatment for the fatty liver is weight loss, (which is tough with fatty liver, and hypothyroid) so I'm going to keep working towards accomplishing that. I'm going to try cutting out most sugars, and polyunsaturated fats from my diet, as they're both attributed to causing fatty liver, and I'm going to continue to supplement with milk thistle, vitamin E, and liver cleanses, as well as Choline and probably Resveratrol since I've read they can be beneficial.
I'm just putting this all in case it helps someone in the future. As far as the low test, since test effects metabolism as well, (and since I'm not smart enough to figure out the root cause, nor are any Drs' I've found yet) I'm going to attribute that to the fatty liver as well. Although I'd love to know for sure. It's not likely it's a pituitary problem if even though my LH and FSH are low normal, my TSH was high, right? That would show some activity up there. I feel like estrogen is playing a role, even though my E2 was supposed to be within normal limits. I wish I could find a smart Dr to help me figure this out for certain.
I did find an endo who put me on trt though. He saw my test levels, and was like "You're low, do you want the cream or injections?" I'm now on 100mg of test cyp weekly. I started my first injection fri, and I felt great the next day! Just like myself again. I had energy, the mental fog was gone. It's great! I'm starting to lose the rush though, which makes me think I could be aromatizing alot of it, since I'm still pretty fat. That's something I'm going to keep an eye on. I started running pes erase saturday just in case. Im going to use the bottle, then may look into a board sponser for some arimidex for my mice.
Does anyone have any info on the best estro tests to use for men, and how I would dose my mice with a very low dose protocol of adex? It's important for me to keep estro in check, but not so low it causes problems. I just want to lose more weight, and hopefully get my liver to shed the fat and start functioning correctly again. I know it's not going to happen over night, but I'm commited, and I'm in it for the long haul to make this happen. If anyone has any knowledge or experience with fatty liver, or a suitable diet to help reverse it, or trt and estro advice, please, help a guy out.
12-18-2012, 05:54 PM
I am 27 years old and I have low testosterone I have used testosterone for about five years on and off and I never took a pct is there anything I can do to bring back my testosterone levels
12-19-2012, 12:00 AM
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