T Nation

31 Y/O Looking to Optimize Health, $ No Issue


#1

31 years old
5’8"
165lbs
Good muscular physique, could use improvement of course
30 inch waist
Facial hair: full, thick beard
Body carries fat almost entirely on stomach, achieving visible abs is incredibly difficult and only happens after months of a protein sparing modified fast or similar diet. If I eat one carb It all goes to hell.
No health conditions
Currently taking finasteride at 1mg EOD. I’ve been on this for over a year and have noticed benefits to my hair while not experiencing sides that j can tell. I feel exactly the same as I did before I began taking it, and keeping my hair is a priority because my head would look terrible bald.
Diet lately has been strict paleo, I have good muscle mass so focusing on fat loss (visible abs). To that end I have been eating very low calories and no carbs. An average day would be 3/4 pound strip steak and 1 pound of chicken breast. No sauces or marinades. I’m aware it’s not sustainable forever but I am definitely not “ripped” yet.
Training is usually hot yoga 5x/week, bjj/boxing 4x/week, lifting twice a week, low reps high weight full body compound lifts.
No testes issues
No morning wood ever anymore :frowning: but no problems getting and maintaining an erection during sex. With the exception of using tight condoms (I am well endowed) which has lately been causing me to go unprotected. Magnum series usually does the trick but still not as raging as I would like when using them.


#2

Thyroid function is critical for fat patterns, energy, mood, body temperatures and libido.

Low DHT is reducing libido.

TSH=1.37 would be better nearer to 1.0
Doc will think that things are perfect.
fT3 is low and should be mid-range or a bit higher.
fT4 is well above mid-range.
This suggests impaired fT4–>fT3 conversion
Low ferritin is a possible cause of that.

IMPORTANT: Eval overall thyroid function by checking oral body temperatures as per the thyroid basics sticky.

Tyroid hormone T3 regulates mitochondrial activity, making ATP, the universal currency of cellular energy as part of the body’s temperature control loop.

Please read the stickies found here: About the T Replacement Category

  • advice for new guys
  • things that damage your hormones
  • protocol for injections
  • finding a TRT doc
  • thyroid basics

Extremes of low dietary fat, low body fat, extreme diets or over-training can wreck your hormones.

TT is low. FT is low. LH is low. Always test LH and FSH, not LH alone. LH is pulsatile with a short half-life. FSH is often a better indicator of LH status than LT itself. I think that these could be caused by finasteride. But that does not fit with “not experiencing sides that I can tell. I feel exactly the same as I did before”, but then there is “No morning wood ever anymore”

Your thick beard suggests that you are fully virilized and in that context a lower T level may be more difficult for you VS guys who have always had lower T levels.

You need ample healthy fats in your diet and EFA’s such as fish oils are important. Please focus on how you feel, not how you look.

If taking Vit-D3, take a bit less.


#3

Unbelievable response, I appreciate it so much!

I am using Defy Medical as they are local and the opinion on them seems to be positive. Appointment with the doc is next week. I would like to try clomid therapy first. They claim the emotional side effects experienced by some clomid users is due to increased estradiol and can be mitigated with an AI…I think they said they sell tablets that are a clomid/arimidex combo. If that could get my levels to 1000 or so I would be quite happy.

I had not even considered the thyroid being a culprit. I am extremely high achieving and productive but I am fueled by about 600mg per day of coffee. One of my girlfriends thought I was bipolar until she realized I was just zonked out until I had my coffee. I am going to try the iodine replacement protocol that you outlined in the thyroid thread. However, how can I increase my ferritin? I purchased an iron supplement but have a feeling I am not on the right track with that…

I take two men’s life force multivitamins daily, 10,000iu vit d3 (and I am in a sunny climate so I will cut this in half), 5g fish oil, BCAAs. I drink a lot of water and yes, I am on a rather extreme diet at the moment. Your post has caused me to reconsider and I may throw in some cashew or almond butter on top of my current diet to increase calories and fat a bit. Weight loss will be slower but honestly I don’t have much to lose, it’s just a matter of getting it to come off of the right place and maintaining mass while doing so.


#4

Oh also, I am hesitant to drop the finasteride. I think being bald may make me feel worse than I do now. I don’t have the head shape for it. My libido is good in the sense that I take the initiative with women sexually, I’ve had no complaints of lackluster sex, if anything I’ve had a few that it’s too aggressive. But I have noticed a marked decrease in the desire to socialize. Part of it is because I no longer drink, I’ve had maybe two drinks in the last two years, and “going out” seems pointless. I have become rather cynical about people in general. I also went through a nasty breakup recently (hey it happens when you date the young ones, she was 22) and I am having issues moving on, as I can’t find much of an interest in other girls. I hesitate to conclude it is hormonal, as breakups do have this effect on people.


#5

The effect of clomid that many guys get are way deeper that E2. Better of switching to Nolvadex that creates the same results and does not have that side effect profile that some guys experience.

We do not know if ferritin is low, you can test that. I deliberately stated “possible cause”.

Are you an adrenaline junky? You gave lots of energy or have to get hyped into workouts?


#6

Good call, hopefully they will let me have the nolvadex instead. I will ask. I will test for low ferritin, but if that’s indeed the case what is the resolution?

I am not an adrenaline junky really, I am an entrepreneur with a million balls in the air in high risk industries so my life is basically balls to the wall, do nothing, balls to the wall, do nothing, etc.


#7

Stress can affect thyroid function, lets see where your body temperatures are.


#8

Ok! Will report back


#9

96.9 !

I will have iodoral tomorrow morning.

In the meantime I bought this bush league liquid stuff that is in micrograms and God does it taste horrible.

Also what about adrenal fatigue? With all these stimulants I would think I have it.

Do you have an adrenal fatigue specific thread?

Does my low temp possibly have something to do with my seeming inability to lose fat without extreme dieting?


#10

Temp actually went DOWN to 96.5 around 11am, then measured again at 2pm at 98.2 but this was after coffee. I have cut down to 1 cup (70% reduction) and will try not to have any at all tomorrow.

Dosed 50mg iodine today along with 400mcg selenium. Is it weird that I feel absolutely fantastic? It’s too early for this to work already I would think? I truly feel amazing today. And this is day 1, and I think I still need to correct probable adrenal fatigue and get on a test booster. I can’t imagine how I will feel in six months if this continues.

Also cut down to 5000iu vit d, added a 3rd men’s life force multi, did 15 fish oil caps instead of the usual 5 just because, also added vitamin c and iron. Drinking plenty of water.

I upped my calories as well. Enjoyed a pound of steak and a pound of chicken breast as well as some cashew butter, total 1600 kcal or so and most of the additional is fat.

I did some reading and I believe I have been abusing coffee and ephedra for too long. It’s ironic because although ephedra allows me to shed weight rapidly, I have never been able to get as lean as I really want, and I read on one of the t nation articles that it is common for ephedra users to not be able to lose that stubborn lower abdominal fat due to elevated stress hormones.

I’ve almost entirely forgot about this breakup business, it’s literally like a switch has flipped.

Placebo or is this what is supposed to be happening?


#11

Bro, you need to simplify your game plan and stop taking all that shit. That’s your problem – too many supplements of the wrong type and extreme dieting is a recipe for disaster.

First of all with your vitamin D you should stop taking it completely. The symptoms of high vitamin D mimic the symptoms of low D And it causes other downstream problems. So just lay off that for a while. Stop the ephedrine completely! This causes emotional and psychological issues – and creates a dependency. You need to start eating more wholesome food and start doing resistance training as well as some high-intensity training – and the fat will melt off. If there is a kickboxing class near you – do that for a while – and in three months you’ll be a new person and a new body.

I have been working out for over 40 years, and I have competed in numerous sports, including boxing, bodybuilding, powerlifting, etc. when I was younger – and I have seen, and tried numerous fad diet plans, and watched supplement junkies try to shortcut the basics which always work – which is eating right, training hard, and getting adequate rest and hydration… Unfortunately – this is you bro and it’s going to be a long downward spiral if you keep relying on all this bullshit for your health.


#12

We sometimes see a response to iodine as you posted, but see what happens after a week.

The thyroid basics sticky is the only resource re adrenal fatigue. There I explain the need to test rT3 to see if that is the problem. But where rT3 can diminish the effects of fT3, in your case, fT3 is simply way too low! So rT3 is not needed to explain low body temperatures.

Many/most guys who come here have some thyroid issues, but there labs are “normal”. Is there a connection or are these thyroid issues simply that common?


#13

96.6 this morning. So it’s gone DOWN, but it’s probably variance. I used to have my thermostat set at 79…I’ve got that down to 76 now and feeling somewhat hot, so something seems to be changing. Iodoral came today and I took some…I have taken 135mg so far. I do feel much better and have better energy levels. Went to yoga this morning and will hit the weights here in a bit as well. Did not have coffee or any stimulants today.

Jimgainz, I appreciate the advice and the extreme dieting has stopped now, I see the error of my ways. I cut the vitamin D way down. The other supplements are just the usual EFAs and vitamins though, no crazy cocktails. Selenium is in there because you must have selenium if you’re going to do the iodine replenishment. Ephedra definitely messed me up, I would be interested in any articles on the negative effects of the stuff…particularly as it pertains to stubborn fat due to excess cortisol. I do kickbox, as well as BJJ and yoga and starting to incorporate weights back in. I lifted for many years but these other types of workouts are really helping out my weaknesses, giving me functional strength, and better mobility.

KSMan, for adrenals I have stopped coffee/stimulants and I am taking magnesium, vitamin c, and plenty of EFAs and a multi. I went to that Wilson guy’s site and he sells a bunch of supplements that are supposed to speed up the healing process. Something with licorice root, something with extract from a pig’s adrenal glands…what do you think about this stuff? My initial impression is to ignore it. However I’m reading that adrenal fatigue can take over a year to recover from. That really sucks if true.


#14

Had my consultation today. So we skipped straight to 140mg/week test cyp with hcg. I already have plenty of swimmers banked because I had considered a vasectomy in the past. The reason for this instead of clomid/nolvadex is because while LH is very low, indicating a SERM would be effective, SHBG is too high and all the test gained from therapy would likely be bound up by the SHBG. They said they normally wouldn’t do this at a 570 TT Level but they will in this case because my FT is very low due to high SHBG. They said SHBG is genetic and cannot be changed through lifestyle. They also recommended stinging nettle root 400mg/day to free up more test.

They considered a small dose of dessicated thyroid but we both agreed it would be better to wait to see how iodine replenishment goes and see the values after testosterone. At that point if my t3 is still low, a small dose of dessicated thyroid may be added.

No AI was necessary as my estradiol was already low at 15, so if it goes up to 25 or 30 on test that would actually be a good thing. My high SHBG will likely make an AI unnecessary.

I may come off of finasteride as well, though I don’t want to lose my hair. I suppose if it go bad enough I do have the money for a good transplant.

I am really excited for the changes this might make in my life!


#15

Good path.

re E2: Your E2 was low because FT was low. When you double FT, E2 production rate will ~double. At 140mg T per week, probably more. I fully expect that E2 will get too high relative to my recommended E2=22pg/ml.