T Nation

Good Total T but Extremely High SHBG (90nmol/l)

Hey guys, this is my first time posting here and I really wanted to hear your thoughts on my recent blood work results. First and foremost, I am 22 and male and I have been weight training and tracking my food intake consequently for over 2 years now. I rarely drink alcohol, don’t smoke and overall lead a rather stress-free life. I’ve had low libido as long as I remembers (I masturbate regularly but I’ve never had any extreme desire in sex; although I find women attractive).
I have difficulty progressing/and gaining muscle mass in the gym. My strength numbers are very low after 2,5 years of training and I seem to mostly gain fat. Average sleep quality although I follow almost all tips to maximize it. (black curtains, no sound, no blue screens for at least an hour, good mattress etc.). I was just curious and finally decided to check some of the more commonly recommended values.

Here is an image of my blood work with reference ranges. It is in German but that should not matter at all.

This was 3 months ago. I tried taking 9mg boron and stinging nettle root and retested some values 2 weeks ago. I don’t have an image right now but basically not much changed. Lh/FSH and prolactin are the same. I tested my liver values now, since a bad liver can influence shbg production, but my bilirubin/albumin and the liver enzymes are all very good.

SHBG is still at 87 nmol/l but my testosterone increased from 848 Ng/dl to 960. This of course increases my free testosterone to 11 Ng/dl (calculated) but it’s very low for my age. Funnily the free T measurement by my lab shows my free T in the upper range now.

So my liver is fine, my thyroid is fine, I don’t drink alcohol nor have any prior alcoholism experience. Why the fuck is my shbg so extremely high and what can I do about it since boron and stinging nettle root do not work?

No doctor will ever consider prescribing me trt with a TT of 960 lmao.

My current plan ( since last Saturday): 25mg proviron/day. And retesting shbg and TT in a few weeks

Any other ideas/suggestions??

Would love any help or maybe your own experiences with super high shbg

Your free T doesn’t look bad in my eyes, despite your high SHBG. I have half of your free T.

Beste Grüße!

Any idea what’s up with the different ratios? Calculated free T shows a completely different value then measured free t (on the lab work)

what causes one to have a high SHGB level?

technically what purpose does SHBG serve?

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It’s a carrier protein that binds estrogen, testosterone, and DHT. It affects how much of your total T is available to the body to use. It’s the part T that’s not “taken” by SHGB.

so its correct to say that its a natural biological protein that has a role to bind to other hormones such as T, and in some people there is simply too much of it? throwing their available levels out of whack?

I am just learning about SHGB now … you could have low T values yet a low SHBG and that combo (in theory) would yield enough free T to have a normal ____ (libido, energy, focus, etc) ??

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Yes, total T is pretty much irrelevant. You can have high total T and high SHBG, so your total T is low.

The main problem is your high is SHBG is lowering your Free T to a level seen in older men midway through life. I’m 46 years old and would absolutely have symptoms with Free T at 15.0. You pituitary gland isn’t responding the way it should, by increase LH to increase Free T. Total T is useless to the body as it’s not bioavailable, only Free T matters.

SHBG is almost impossible to manipulate so TRT is your only option, the big problem you face is finding a knowledgeable doctor willing to shut down a 22 year old which is unlikely under the care of a sick care doctor, they just aren’t progressive enough to step in and take action as they wait for disease to strike before offering treatments.

They get paid to diagnose you with a disease and while these may not be disease state levels, it doesn’t mean you’re going to feel your best at these Free T levels, I wouldn’t.

A private doctor would prescribe TRT because they have more medical freedom.

@systemlord what would you think if i showed you labs that had low e, low t, low free t, and middle of the road shbg? interested in your thoughts in general

Testosterone, Tot ng/dL 264 - 916 122

Free T (Direct) pg/mL 6.8 - 21.5 6.7

Dihydrotestoseterone ng/dL 30 - 85 7.1

Thyroxin (T4) ng/dL 0.82 - 1.77 1.44

|DHEA-Sulfate ug/dL 102.6 - 416.3 418.3

TSH uIU/mL 0.450 - 4.500 1.19

Luteinizing Hormone (LH) mIU/mL 1.7 - 8.6 8.4

Prolactin ng/mL 4.0 - 15.2 10.9

Estradiol, Sensitive pg/mL 8.0 - 35.0 3.2

Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) nmol/L 16.5 - 55.9 21.2

So I mentioned a new blood test in the first post and since I am home now, I will upload the new results. It does not have thyroid, but it does have liver enzymes at the top (all within ranges) and overall my values are not really different. Vitamin d is higher now and in the optimal range, that is definitely good. My total t increased to 960 ng/dl somehow, and the measured free T looks pretty good. But once again, I do not know whether I should trust calculated free T by using online calculators or the free T measurement. I have heard that a direct free t measurement is rather inaccurate.

Your Free is very low, only 1.17 % is bioavailable. Normally we have 2-3 percent of our Free T bioavailable.

Free T calculator

Yeah it is the calculator that I’ve used too.

Does the percentage or the actual number matter more though?

Is the free T measurement by the lab worth nothing?

PS: What do you think about solo proviron to try to free more testosterone by lowering shbg?

Full diet please. literally full diet, what you eat and macros.

Proviron isn’t a common treatment in the US, Proviron on its own is considered to be a weak steroid. I’ve never seen a guy with SHBG as high as yours and have healthy Free T levels.

Your symptoms is more telling than any number will ever be, it seems doctors ignore symptoms and place too much importance on the numbers, but seem more willing to prescribe frankenstein drugs that are unnatural to the body that harm hormone production.

Okay sure.

Have been bulking for a few months now from 78kg to 85kg.

Calories ~3500 which is around 300 cal surplus. Carbs 450+, 80ish fat, 170-190 protein.

Breakfast is usually oatmeal with berries, milk, some yogurt.
Rice/pasta/potatoes with chicken or beef and 500g veggies for dinner. Some snacks like sweet potatoes or bananas, rice crackers.
Eggs with toast and/or some yogurt with protein powder and cornflakes. Just whatever to fit my macros in the end. Main things I try to follow is enough potassium ever from potatoes or avocado and at least 500g veggies and some fruit.

Supplements: Creatine, D3, K2, Fish Oil, Magnesium, Zinc every other day, Boron 9mg/d (started after the first blood test since I’ve read that it might help lower shbg, whcih it did not for me), 3g glycine before sleep and occasional 0,3mcg melatonin.

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weird and whatsyour sugar intake? usually low carb diet causes high shbg hows your progress in the gym you say not good but can you add micro plates atleast? what program you follow?

Well I’m not doing linear progression since it hasn’t worked for a while now.
Are you familiar with gzcl? I’ve done his jacked and tan 2.0 for 10 weeks. 2 more weeks to go. It’s pretty high volume and 4 days per week. Started with squat 115kgx2 now 120x3, Bench from 82,5kgx2 to 85x3, OHP from 52x5 to 56x5. That’s like really slow and my numbers are shit in the first place. I’ve also gained around 3kg in those 10 weeks.

hey mate yeah i did a one or two weeks with gzcl 3 days and did not like it. the 10 sets (if i remember correctly) for every compound was meh.

i was doing 5/3/1 beginners and will probably do it in the future but i dont know .

i feel you mate. i asked your diet and training to see if something was off, but unless training is causing you to much stress then i wouldnt change routine.