Hi everyone. Thank you for taking the time to read my post, and for your consideration …
I landed on this board with the hope of educating myself, and better understanding what’s going on with my own body. Rather than continue to read posts, ad infinitum, learning more, but at the same time becoming more confused and frustrated, I’ve decided to share my labs and whatever information may be needed to find some answers. Answers which my doctor clearly does not have. A little about me:
Weight: 195 lbs.
Body hair: Full, thick goatee, but sparse hair everywhere else on my body (I could not grow a beard if you paid me).
Exercise: Lived in the gym half of my life. Always strong, well-developed and built muscle easily. Always lean. Never taken PED’s. That said, have not worked out in 2+ years.
Diet: The cleanest of diets. I have Celiac Disease and am strictly gluten free, including no dairy. Prepare all of my own meals.
Health history: Non-Hodgkins lymphoma at age 36. Six months of chemotherapy; no radiation.
Alcohol: Far more than I should
Supplements: Cal/Mag, Zinc, B-12, Vitamin D (last few months only)
For the past 6-12 months I’ve been experiencing a few symptoms of low T (less overall drive; mental dullness; some aches and pains), but primarily diminished libido. I am normally very highly-sexed, but lately I haven’t had the desire. Though I have little problem with performance, my recovery/refractory period is much longer and ejaculate is noticeably reduced.
I attributed much of this to stress and being overworked, as 6 months ago I accepted a new position which is very demanding. I’m working 60+ hours/week and under a great deal of stress.
I decided to visit my GP for a checkup and asked him to run my labs. He is a progressive, forward-thinking doctor who understands the difference between “within range” and “ideal”, and has no reservations about using pharmaceuticals to improve a person’s well-being if he sees the need.
Following are the results of the first lab test, run in early June 2018. This is not all-inclusive, but select results based upon what I feel you may need from reading posts from others:
DHEA-S: 159.8 ug/dL (Ref: 80-560)
Estradiol: 44 pg/mL (Ref: 0-52)
Ferratin: 456 ng/mL (Ref: 22-322)
T4, total: 8.59 ug/dL (Ref: 4.87-11.72)
TSH3 (3rd Gen): 1.060 ulU/ml (Ref: 0.350-5.500)
T3, Free: 3.9 pg/mL (2.3-4.2)
DHT: 36 ng/dL (Ref: 30-85)
Testosterone, Total: 400 (Ref: 241-827)
Albumin: 4.67 g/dL (Ref: 3.50-5.50)
SHBG: 34.9 nmol/L (Ref: 13.3-89.5)
Testosterone, Free: 7.57 ng/dL (Ref: 4.26-16.4)
Bioavailable Testosterone %: 48 (No reference range given)
Hemocrit: 47.9% (Ref: 39-51)
Subsequent to seeing my results, and especially considering that my lab results from 2013 showed total testosterone closer to 600, he prescribed 0.4 mL units of HCG 2x/week for 6 weeks. He theorized the lower Test #’s could be stress-related and hopefully the HCG would jump start my Leydig cells and after one or two courses of HCG they would return to normal production.
I took the HCG for 8 weeks. During that time I felt a slight increase is testicle size, slight increase in recovery and generally felt better. However, I had no increase in libido and had terrible, terrible cystic acne on my back and shoulders. When I returned to the Dr. for a follow-up he said the acne was very rare and does not generally happen with HCG. He proceeded to run the labs again, but only the hormone panel. They are as follows:
DHEA-S: 203.1 ug/dL (Ref: 80-560)
Estradiol: 17 pg/mL (Ref: 0-52)
Ferratin: 402 ng/mL (Ref: 22-322)
DHT: 39 ng/dL (Ref: 30-85)
Testosterone, Total: 397 (Ref: 241-827)
Albumin: 4.69 g/dL (Ref: 3.50-5.50)
SHBG: 39.5 nmol/L (Ref: 13.3-89.5)
Testosterone, Free: 6.95 ng/dL (Ref: 4.26-16.4)
Bioavailable Testosterone %: 44.6 (No reference range given)
Hemocrit: 47.3% (Ref: 39-51)
After seeing the results I asked him how these numbers were possible. My bioavailable testosterone was actually lower! He literally said, “I don’t understand, maybe the HCG was bad”. You can imagine the faith I had in my doctor plummeted. Among others, my questions remain:
- How is it possible for HCG to have NO effect on my testosterone levels (which could indicate primary Hypogonadism? “edited”) yet it changed my estrogen, DHT, SHBG, DHEA, etc.? Also, after reading this forum, I now understand that my doctor should have also tested for LH and FSH.
- How could I have such terrible acne on my back with so little change in my Testosterone levels?
- How could my estrogen levels have dropped so low without any other change in my testosterone levels?
Any pearls of wisdom are immensely appreciated.