T Nation

26 and T < 300?


I got some bloodwork done for secondary hyperhidrosis, looking for a thyroid problem, and I hear back that my testosterone is low enough to qualify for TRT. I've always been very skinny (6'3, ~180) and can't put on muscle without adding fat (spare tire area, chest), but I've never been able to get rid of the fat that I have, either. Other than possibly low energy and a natural tendency towards irritability and depression, OTOH, I've had acne issues since high school and I have plenty of body hair (if those are contrasting factors), and very high sex drive, and no erectile issue. I have long assumed I have low testosterone, but chose to chalk up my lack of physique progress due to inevitable joint pain right when I seem to be making progress.

Lab results:
TSH, 3rd Generation: 2.33 range 0.40 - 4.50 mIU/ml
T4, Free: 1.2 range 0.8 - 1.8 ng/dL
T3, Total: 80 range 76 - 181 ng/dL
Cortisol, Total, Serum: 6.3 range 3 - 17 mcg/dL
DHEA Sulfate: 195 range 110 - 510 mcg/dL
Testosterone: 296 range 241 - 827 ng/dL
C-Reactive Protein: 0.3 range <0.8mg/dL

I talked to the doctor, who said that it's not necessarily an issue, and that the test was done in the afternoon, so it may be a fluke. Should I be worried?


Your bloodwork would be concerning if it was done at the proper time (especially cortisol). As it is, you can't draw too many conclusions because of the time it was done.

I would say though that your thyroid hormones seem to be less than ideal. TSH is a bit on the higher side, and your total T3 is abysmal--since T3 is what gets the job done, you want this to be high.

But it doesn't sound like you are having QOL issues from these, and symptoms are mild and could be related to a number of things (maybe your diet/training sucks while you try to lose that spare tire).

You could get the panel redone at the proper time (add in Free T3 instead of Total, as well as Free Testosterone, and Estradiol[E2]), or you could just gone about living your life since you dont have any QOL issues.


I suppose I should get the tests redone in the morning. I get pretty extreme with both my diet and training, but I can't gain weight without gaining a significant amount of fat, and I can't lose weight without getting scrawny, so I'm constantly in limbo. The only progress I can generally make is strength/endurance (small comfort for the time and energy I've put into training).

Is there anything that can be done about T3?


You could take some T3...but I suppose you mean practical solutions...iodine has been shown to help thyroid function, primarily by increasing T4 (I think)...I'm not sure what the benefits are of converting T4->T3, but it is worth a shot...Do you eat iodized salt


I wouldn't worry about T3 yet... you need free T3 tested, not total. Iodine supplementation may help you if you are deficient (do you eat much seafood or used iodized salt?), but it won't help if you aren't deficient. You need 8am cortisol and Free T3 added to those tests, as VT said.

Tyrosine is a supplement that can help thyroid function as well. Without more tests though we are shooting in the dark.


Thanks guys.

I followed up with my doc, he gave me a referral to a urologist. I'll write these suggestions down and ask about it.

I don't eat seafood frequently, and actually, I don't know if I ever have iodized salt (I've been using kosher salt in cooking). I don't have much salt in general and I drink a ton of water, making me think recently I'm often low on electrolytes. Should I be experiencing symptoms of low T3?


Your T3 is indeed low. Almost everyone is deficient in iodine for various reasons from low intake (which most people don't take in enough) to overload of other halides (fluoride, bromide, chlorine) which is present in water, food, drugs, etc. I would look into taking iodine+selenium. I found it very helpful in helping with depression and fatigue (I also have hypothyroidism). I still think you would benefit with thyroid hormone (either dessicated or synthetic t4+t3 NOT Synthroid). You may also benefit from DHEA supplementation, which is over the counter. I would definitely take the test again in the morning, but you most likely have a low-t problem. Taking some thyroid hormone, iodine+selenium and DHEA may be enough to give you a boost.


You are iodine deficient. None in Kosher salt! You must fix this. You do not treat iodine deficiency with drugs. Check and report your body temperatures. Then start taking iodine.

Read the "advice for new guys" sticky. And come back with more data.

You will need an iodine rich supplement. You cannot replenish iodine stores with a 150 microgram RDA.

Supplement DHEA.

Your TT is very low and that has nothing to do with time of day.

You need to test LH and FSH as well.

If your adrenals are weak and you have thyroid problems, a urologist is not going to be helpful. Urologists seems to be mostly useless and oddly enough endocrinologists are even worse.

See stickies for more info re blood work and docs.


Iodized salt is not enough to satisfy the requirement for our whole body's need for iodine and to handle the other halides and estrogenic environment (which iodine helps modulate).150mcg of iodine/iodide a day is as laughable as 400IUs of vitamin d a day.

I've taken as much as 50-75mg a day for a month to saturate myself and then go down to around 10mg a day of iodide and iodine drops. With selenium of course. However I don't suggest people jump into 50-75mg, when I first started iodine I started with kelp and had a very bad flare up of acne (most likely due to bromide) for a week and a bad flare up of eczema which plagued me for years. After about 2 weeks these skin issues subsided and I haven't had a flareup of eczema since (like 6 months ago).


As I found out - larger amounts of iodine kill off some bacteria types in the gut and the ones that persist get out of control. Translation: Gave me the runs. More details.... search for 'KSman has a thyroid problem'


Yeah I am not sure how beneficial high doses are for a long time especially. For a month it may be okay to kill off candida and just overall help detoxify your body but then people should go down to lower levels. I also drank some keifer while doing it.