T Nation

Extremely High SHBG

Hey guys,

Hoping some of you vets could chime in and be of some help here. I went to see an endocrinologist for my yearly checkup since I knew the year previous I had high testosterone, and she wanted to test my FreeT - she said she’s not concerned about my high SHBG levels, but I am… See below for my testosterone results. All my other bloodwork is good.

TESTOSTERONE TOTAL: 793 ng/dL (249 - 836 range)
SHBG: 137.3 nmol/L (19.3 - 76.4 range)
CALC FREE TESTOSTERONE: 57.5 pg/mL (48 - 250 range)

Other info:

  • I’ve been keto carnivore for almost 3 years and eat ungodly amounts of fat and lowish protein. I do keto in order to focus my best at work and feel good - I never had to lose weight.
  • My hair has definitely gotten thinner with less volume. I used to be complimented by how thick my hair was not too long ago.
  • Sex drive/libido has definitely taken a hit, not performance though.
  • Oftentimes I wake up many times per night

I really have a feeling that if I upped my protein and consumed a little less fat, it’ll lower my SHBG. I’m really hesitant to do that though since being in ketosis does so much for my energy/focus.

Thanks all,

Keto is the likely cause for your high SHBG, starvation diets known as cutting can increase SHBG via carb restriction. The Free T calculator has your Free T at 5.78 ng/dL = 0.729 % 2-3 percent which is normal.

Even if your Free T measurements were accurate it’s still on the lower end where most would be symptomatic and if you stay on the keto diet, things will most likely get worse. Your thyroid needs carbs.

I find it crazy that your endocrinologist isn’t concerned about your SHBG because if it gets any higher you’ll be moving closer to an androgen deficiency. I suggest you locate someone who is knowledgeable in TRT if you are unable to turn things around.

Without other numbers, I would say that your diet isn’t doing you even the favours you think it is. You are exhibiting all the symptoms of being ill. What’s your A1C? Any annual bloods from a physical available? Keto isn’t for everyone, and fat can be overdone. /you do need SOME carbs for healthy function, how many is individual.