T Nation

35 YO Male, Low T Symptoms, Fluctuating Test Levels


#1

Good Evening T Forum members,

This is my very first post, so please forgive me if I have missed anything or not provided some of the information that is required.

I have been reading the various posts on here for a little while now and finally plucked up the courage to register to share my story and to see if any of you can help.

Over the last few years my health has somewhat deteriorated, I have suffered with depression and just haven’t been my usual self. I went to the doctors in April 2016 to get my blood checked to see if all my levels were all okay, just out of curiosity. My testosterone was at 10.2, which is on the low end of the scale, but everything else seemed fine. Over the past few months I have had some real ups and downs and I have struggled to stay focused and motivated with everything. I have overwhelming bouts of real sadness and become emotional for no reason. I get irritated very easily and become agitated and angry at the least little thing. I suffer with anxiety and I have noticed that I have become more anti-social and don’t feel like doing anything anymore. It is really affecting me and it has taken over my life. I don’t know what has happened but I just don’t feel like ‘ME’ anymore. The more I look at the side effects associated with low t, the more I think it could be this that is ruining my life.

I have had some recent tests done, which I have included below for you all to take a look at. Just a few days ago I went to get another blood test done, which returned a low t level of 7.0.

I was kind of relieved as it confirmed the way I had been feeling. Not sleeping (broken pattern), sore, itchy and dry eyes, dry scalp with flaky skin and frequently scratching and itching all over. I have also been feeling really stressed and depressed with a negative outlook on life.

The doctor sent me for another test two days later (similar time, am) and my low t returned at 14.3. I was devastated. One minute it was so low and then it returned within the normal range. I just couldn’t understand it as it was not a true reflection of the way I am feeling.

Can some of the experts on here help me out? I’m at a loss, completely!

Personal Information:

-age: 35
-height: 5’ 10"
-waist: 34
-weight: 12 stone 7 lbs

-describe body and facial hair:

Normal body and facial hair growth. Getting very itchy, dry scalp, dry skin on the head around the ears.

-describe where you carry fat and how changed:

Ectomorph type frame. Skinny fat, mainly mid-section, abdomen. Struggle to lose fat from this particular area when dieting. Find it difficult to build muscle.

-health conditions, symptoms:

Previously suffered with a long spell of depression. Was administered Citalopram during this time, for approximately three months before making the decision to discontinue use.

-Rx and OTC drugs, any hair loss drugs or prostate drugs ever:

Citalopram for depression.
No hair loss drugs.
Accutane for Acne / Oily skin when I was in my teens.
It is important to note that I did take steroids in my very early 20’s, for a period of 3-6 months. Substances used were: Nandrolone Decanoate, Testex, along with oral Dianabol. I have also taken Oxymetholone 50’s. I DID NOT do any form of PCT. I was young, naive and completely unaware of the implications this would have at the time.

-lab results with ranges:

Firstly, my apologies here. I can only post the results I have in front of me and I have not had extensive tests done. It seems my doctor has not asked for all the specific tests that may be required. So I can only post the basic information I have available.

April 2016: (NHS)
**Serum TSH Level: satisfactory 0.81 miu/L (0.30 - 5.00 miu/L)
**Serum Testosterone: satisfactory 10.2 nmol/L (9.00 - 29.00 nmol/L)

**Serum total Vit D level: adequate 65 (75.00 - 150 nmol/L)
Advised on Vitamin D supplementation.

October 25th 2016: (NHS)
Blood taken at: 08:50 hours.

**Serum Testosterone: 7.0 nmol/L (9.0 - 29.0 nmol/L)
No TSH taken.

**Other areas that were flagged:

Haematocrit: 0.510 (0.390 - 0.500)
MCHC: 304 g/L (310 - 360 g/L)

October 27th 2016: (NHS)
Blood Taken at: Approx. 09:00 hours.

Test Result given via telephone conversation:
**Serum Testosterone 14.3 nmol/L (09.00 - 29.00 nmol/L)

Currently awaiting to see doctor to discuss results and possible issues and treatment etc. TRT had previously been discussed. Gels and a referral to Endo.

-describe diet [some create substantial damage with starvation diets]

Balanced diet, combination of flexible dieting and a more nutritious approach used when ‘bulking’ and ‘cutting’. Whey supplementation, Creatine, Pre-Workout, BCAA’s. Drink a lot of water, varies on a daily basis.(2-4 litres) At the moment diet is very relaxed as not in a cutting phase.

-describe training [some ruin there hormones by over training]

Train on average 4-5 days per week. Progressive overload principles, 6-8 rep ranges. Some occasional higher rep range work 8-10 reps. Focus on good form. Training has recently become very difficult, feel lethargic, lifts have decreased. It’s always a struggle to gain quality muscle. I seem to put on size but seem gain a lot of fat. I train hard and I have been very consistent over the past 2 years. Lifted on and off since I was 17.

-testes ache, ever, with a fever?

Yes, I have occasional dull aches that come and go in that particular area. No swelling or changes that I can tell though. No fever.

-how have morning wood and nocturnal erections changed

This has become more noticeable, less frequent in mornings and evenings. Decreased sex drive, although no issues maintaining erections etc. Generally average Libido. Previously high sex drive.

Apologies for the long post, I hope I have at least given you an insight as to my current situation. If you require any further information, I will do my best to provide you with all you need. Thanks in advance. O_L_R :slight_smile:


What Works for You - Supplementation!
Clomid or Nolvadex? Stand-Alone to Improve Low T
#2

Here are a few thoughts mate.

Seems to me that your issues are caused by or exacerbated by your Testosterone levels. Testing at 7,10 and even 14 are too low for a guy your age. Your pituitary or testes are having a hard time keeping you within normal ranges. Could me from any anxiety / depression meds (if you are taking any) or simply from your system is starting to misfire and you will need TRT.

Also, start supplementing with D3 3,000 IUs / day for a few weeks and then taper to 1-2,000 for life. You will feel better with D in a normal range - trust me.

Check out an adaptogen herb called Rhodiola Rosea - works wonders for depression, fatigue and anxiety. 250 mg/day.

Thyroid is on the low side but I don’t have any experience in this area - maybe some others can chime in. We know that thyroid affects many aspects of health as well - so look further into this area as well.

If I were a betting man, I think you are heading for TRT my friend - but that is not a bad thing IMO and you will find plenty of support for that here.


#3

Thanks for the post mate, much appreciated!

I agree, I think my levels are far too low and for some reason they are constantly fluctuating and this is causing some major issues and making me feel the way I do. I stopped taking the Citalopram in 2015 and was only on the medication for a short spell to help with the depression at that time, but it only supressed my feelings and emotions and I made the decision to come off them.

I will look into supplementation and the herb you mentioned. Cheers.

Not sure how much of an impact this is having jim, but from what I understand, the lower the numbers here, the more active the Thyroid is, which I believe is ‘HYPERTHYROIDISM’.

I don’t want to self medicate at this stage and would much rather get a legitimate prescription from the Doctor / Endocrinologist. But I am considering the TRT option as I can’t go on feeling the way I do.


#4

Okay Guys, a quick update on things …

Just returned from my appointment with the Doctor and had a brief discussion about my current situation.

She says that my levels are a little on the low side and she is going to give the Endocrinologist a call and discuss what the best course of action is to take from here. She did also say that she may be advised to send me for more specific tests to get a better idea of what is going on. I told her that I did not want to have to ‘self medicate’ and she told me not to take that route.

Current Blood Test Levels for Testosterone and Thyroid:

Serum Testosterone: 14.3 nmol/L (09.00 - 29.00 nmol/L)
Serum TSH: 1.27 miu/L (0.30 - 5.00 miu/L)

I have thought about looking into private treatment if all else fails. If anyone can provide any information, advice and give me some guidance on the matter that would be fantastic. I am in the UK. Thanks in advance. :+1:


#5

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

  • advice for new guys - need more info about you
  • things that damage your hormones
  • protocol for injections
  • finding a TRT doc

Please eval your overall thyroid status by checking oral body temperatures as per the thyroid basics sticky.
Are your outer eyebrows sparse?
Do you get cold easily?
What is your history of using iodized salt?
TSH is a very incomplete picture of thyroid status.

Labs:
TT
FT
LH/FSH
E2
AM cortisol, at 8AM please
CBC
hematocrit
fasting cholesterol
fasting glucose
If body temperatures are low:
fT3
fT4 - please not T3, T4 or related indexes

Total testosterone is a very incomplete picture by itself.

Describe stress levels and events.
Does a stress event knock you down?

If you have trouble loosing fat, never do a bulking phase.


#6

Firstly, KSman, thank you for taking the time to review my post. I understand you are a bit of an expert around here so your input is highly valued and greatly appreciated.

In relation to the ‘stickies’ … I have started to work my way through the various threads and I will add all the relevant information as and when I can. It is a lot to take on board, but I do want to try and gain a better understanding of it all.

I will purchase a digital thermometer and carry out the tests as stated in the thyroid basics sticky.

I can’t really say my outer eyebrows are sparse. They are a little on the thin side, but in general I do have quite thick eyebrows. It is not something I have noticed a lot of change in to be honest.

I don’t really get cold easily. I have spent the vast majority of my working life outside in all weather conditions so it is not something that has particularly concerned me. It’s difficult to say really. I don’t seem to suffer with cold hands or feet. I do find myself getting agitated and more irritable in warmer weather conditions though. I also do tend to sweat quite a bit at times and do find I feel much warmer from time to time.

I cut added salt out of my diet (90% of the time) as I was always of the assumption ‘too much salt is bad for you’. I assumed there would be plenty enough salt intake from foods in general. Forgive my ignorance on this topic. I do occasionally add in a little table salt on certain foods, but this is very rare.

I have only had TSH tested to date, no specific thyroid tests have been asked for by my doctor.

In relation to the above, I have not had some of the more specific tests done.

My doctor called me Monday afternoon (31/10/16) stating she had spoken to the Endocrinologist and asked for his opinion on my current situation. The Endo had asked her to send me for more tests and they are as follows:

IFSH
ILH
PROL2
TESTOS

At this stage I am unaware of the specific blood work tests that need to be run and I do not want to jeopardise any form of help at this stage as I am desperate to get my health and quality of life back.

I had the tests done yesterday morning (01/11/16) at 09:15 hours. I am still awaiting the results.

My apologies if I can’t give you what you need at this stage KSman. It seems they have run 3 total testosterone level tests to date but nothing more specific, which is a little frustrating.

My current stress levels are very high. I am obviously really concerned about my health and there are some health related issues with family at the moment too, which is not helping matters. There has also just been a death in our close family circle. I would say my stress, anxiety and depression has not been helped by any of this, but I was experiencing many of these issues well before any of this happened.

Stress events do seem to knock me down, although I do consider myself to be a resilient character in general. All of this has finally taken it’s toll though and I am struggling at the moment.

When I bulk I seem to gain more fat than anything and when cutting down I always seem to lose all my muscle as a result of trying to get very lean. Abdominal area has always been an issue. Never really seen a true six pack or had a ripped physique.

Okay, sorry for the long post, I hope some of this information is useful and helps towards getting me the help I need. Thanks again mate! :+1:


#7

Update on current situation …

Just rang the doctors to find out if my latest results were back. Spoke with the receptionist who stated the doctor has looked at my results and there are no issues and everything is within ‘normal’ range. :worried:

I did not even get an update call to discuss matters further, so would more than likely have been left in limbo. I have made yet another appointment for tomorrow, but my own doctor can not see me now for at least another week, so I will need to discuss this with the doctor that is at the surgery in the morning.

I asked what my latest testosterone result was and she confirmed it was 18.4 nmol/L (09.00 - 29.00 nmol/L)

So, within a 7 day period I have had 3 separate tests and all show varied levels of testosterone. All the tests were taken around the same time in the morning too. This is so confusing and frustrating as I definitely don’t feel ‘normal’ at all. I’m the complete opposite in fact and I’m getting really distressed as I don’t know where to turn for answers.

3 latest Serum Testosterone results:

01/11/16: 18.4 nmol/L (09.00 - 29.00 nmol/L)
27/10/16: 14.3 nmol/L (09.00 - 29.00 nmol/L)
25/10/16: 7.0 nmol/L (9.0 - 29.0 nmol/L)

April 2016 Result:

10.2 nmol/L (9.00 - 29.00 nmol/L)

I’m at a loss with all of this and could really do with some help. Where do I go from here? :confused:


#8

Just been to see the locum doctor, described all of symptoms and asked for further tests to be done. I asked for the specific tests that KSman mentioned in his post, but the doctor didn’t seem too keen or helpful. He said it would be best to go back to my own doctor and discuss matters further with her.

He said a lot of the symptoms can also be psychological and offered me some anti-depressants and asked if I would like some counselling. I refused the medication he was offering and explained I had been down this route before and it was not the answer. I left feeling really deflated and it seems like no-one truly understands how I am feeling.

I got a print off of the results from recent blood work. Here they are:

Serum Testosterone: 18.4 nmol/L (09.00 - 29.00 nmol/L)
Serum Prolactin: 139 miu/L (86.00 - 324.00 miu/L)
Serum LH: 7.6 iu/L (1.00 - 10.00 iu/L)
Serum FSH: 8.6 iu/L (1.50 - 12.40 iu/L)

This is where I am currently up to with everything. I am now contemplating seeing a private specialist to get some more advice.