T Nation

Does E2 Raise SHBG or Does SHBG Lower E2?

What was your SHBG prior to starting TRT? Has it gone down at all? I also have high SHBG, mine was 77 prior to starting TRT, my TT and FT were astronomically low. My first blood work came back with high TT middle FT, it caused my SHBG to drop to 65. TRT should be bring your SHBG down, it shouldn’t be rising with TRT…

I see. Thanks. But what is the purpose of SHBG then? If it lowers androgens by binding to them, then why does it do it when androgens are already low?

It would make sense if SHBG would start binding when androgens are excessively high to lower them…

Systemlord had to explain this too me haha. Apparently SHBG is meant to hold on to hormones so your body doesn’t lose them. It makes sense, until it is elevated like we have and then it causes us to have less bio available hormones. Having severely low T can cause SHBG to rise, as can having a low fat diet along with intense exercise. All of those fit the bill for me, which explains why my SHBG was 77.

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They are not so bio-unavailable as people think. It’s your body responding to low levels by guarding enough to maintain minimum processes. Free T can be converted more readily to E2 and catecholamines. You have some important needs in your body for hormones like test that are not about feeling great, they are about basic function, and your body wants to make sure it has enough hormone on hand for that. In a famine you ration, which is way less fun than feasting, and that’s what’s going on.

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Excess testosterone has a large impact on SHBG levels, E2 has a minimal effect in either direction. Natural testosterone has no effect on SHBG levels, it’s the way cypionate peaks that causes a reduction in SHBG.

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Now that makes sense. Thank you all.

Are liver enzymes a good indicator of the cause of elevated SHBG? If liver enzymes are normal, does this rule out liveras the cause of SHBG?

Another question. Can 6 bottles of light beer on Friday (consumed over period of 6 hrs) and same on Saturday (so total 12 bottles per week) every week for 2 years, cause elevated SHBG of 70 ? Or does it take really to be an alcoholic to have liver be responsible for elevated SHBG?

The liver can be healthy and high SHBG can just be tied to genetics. Also starvation can increase SHBG even though liver enzymes are normal. Certain medications can even cause high SHBG, opioids and painkillers.

Perhaps if one is sensitive to the effects of alcohol, I’m very sensitive to alcohol. Everyone is different.

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I drank 2-5 beers a night Mon-Thurs and 6+ Fri-Sun for a while and had 41 shbg. I didn’t drink much for months and when tested again it was 39.9 so it didn’t make a major difference for me at least.

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This is a useful info. Thanks.

Does anyone know if excessive workouts can increase SHBG too high?

No, and no. Androgen levels directly affect SHBG 0endogynous OR exogynous. Higher androgen levels lead to lower SHBG and vice-versa. Here’s a link to aninteresting article talking about inflammation and adipokine affecting SHBG.


Maybe, depends on what else happens in your body related to the excessive workouts.

Oh… So if it’s not beer nor moderately-intense workouts only 20 min a day (Monday to Friday) then it must be too frequent Cypionate Injections of too low dosages, correct?

Is that true that T spikes of less frequent injections are needed in order to lower SHBG?

I used to inject every 3.5 days, E2 was all over the place and hard to control…

Then I switched to 24ml Cyp EOD, Total T became 1300 - 1000, E2 almost stopped raising (this was the goal of frequent Cyp), DHT went up to 60-75, no morning wood/libido. Somewhere around same time I intensified workouts somewhat, and increased beer to 5-6 drinks 2 times a week.

I was puzzled about lack of wood until tested SHBG which was high (60-70) which explains relatively high serum T and DHT while no libido. Serum E2 remained within my range but still no wood!!

I read on forums that some people just must have spikes… Is that true?

No, it’s not. Higher overall androgen levels help.

But at this thread

there are three members, KSman, systemlord, anon10035199 - all talk about higher, less frequent doses lowering SHBG. This is where I got this information from. Hardartery, have you found this not to be true for yourself?

Can other members chime in, please? Do less frequent Cypionate injections lower elevated SHBG?

If ksman is in the thread I would look for a more recent thread (he’s no longer here and hasn’t been for a while). Much of what he stated as fact really made my life miserable starting out so be careful. Much has changed in the last couple years.

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In some cases where genetics probably play a larger part of high SHBG, increasing your Testosterone may not lower your SHBG – it did not for me.

You begin looking at other possibilities Danazol (using now), Proviron (didn’t work for me) and Clomid (never tried).

If you are genetically disposed to high SHBG, there is no such thing as “looking for the cause of your high SHBG”.

Definitely don’t try clomid for lowering SHBG. It will have the opposite effect.

I’ve tried Clonid alone before TRT, it did nothing.

Prior to TRT, and prior to Cyp EOD my SHBG was normal. Looks like it’s either frequent small doses of Cyp, or workouts or beer… Nothing else comes to mind. Please clue me in other possibile causes.


Is it free DHT that affects prostate in terms of PSA (and causes acne), not total DHT, right?

So if someone’s total DHT is high but free DHT is low for whatever reason then DHT does not affect prostate/acne?

What about free T vs total T ? Same concept?