T Nation

IGF-1 Level Question


#1

I am a 46 year old male.I started HRT this past Jan.Everything is progressing nicely,feeling so much better.Today I get a call from Dr. and she informs me that my labs from two weeks ago are in.Test is up to 590,estradiol is at 18.And then she tells me that she is very concerned with my IGF-1,it is at 54,I believe the range is 91-250.So obviously I am low.

She wants to start me on HGH.I do not believe my insurance will cover this.She stated that it would be about $350.00 a month.What alternatives are out there? I've read a little bit about GHRP-6,is this a possible alternative for me? I'm looking at getting my number closer to normal,not looking for bodybuilder type benefits.I am not opposed to doing my due diligence,but I need to be pointed in a direction.Thank you in advance for any help.


#2

yikes!

what about testing for Cortisol, Thyroid, Vitamin D, ferritin, B12, Prolactin, DHEA-S, Pregnenolone, etc. etc. etc. per the blood sticky before jumping into HGH?


#3

I don't believe the deficiencies of this are as well understood as test deficicency. At least you are in the normal range for that, and are feeling good. It's a shame the government's classification of HGH has prevented most people but the very wealthy access to this potentially health-advantageous substance.


#4

Thanks for responding.I have an appointment in three weeks,I'm sure we will go over all the results.This was my sixth time for labs since last Nov.I do have confidence in her understanding of HRT.She is very conservative with her treatment,so I do not think she is jumping into this.Do you have an alternative that I could research? Thanks again


#5

Thanks for responding.I have an appointment in three weeks,I'm sure we will go over all the results.This was my sixth time for labs since last Nov.I do have confidence in her understanding of HRT.She is very conservative with her treatment,so I do not think she is jumping into this.Do you have an alternative that I could research? Thanks again


#6

can you post your blood test results? did you get copies? if not, call and have them faxed to you. You need them.


#7

You can run HGH for about $100 a month. If I were you I'd run CJC-1295 with DAC. It worked really well for me but I was one of few that got the injection site reaction from it. I went back to HGH.


#8

no alternatives, just associated factors. Read through the sticky posts at the top of the forum.

Best case - you get a complete blood work up with all of the recommended tests (per the sticky) so that you can fix everything at the same time. Most of us have years of partial tests slowly uncovering what is wrong with us.

I.E. - not that it was in this exact order, but...
I started with low T,
fixing that lead to high E2,
but still had symptoms then uncovered low D3,
but still had symptoms then uncovered low ferritin,
but still had symptoms then uncovered low thyroid,
but still had symptoms then uncovered low cortisol,
but still had symptoms then uncovered low aldosterone,

If I had the right blood tests at the start (and I still am probably missing one or two things), I could have shaved two years off of my struggles.


#9

I think the point of this post is:

  1. How important are igf-1 levels?
  2. What are the therapy options if levels do make a difference, and one finds that he is low?

I agree that all of these other tests are important, just not the topic of this thread.


#10

ok, but igf-1 levels do not just exist in a vacuum.

Take me for example, I had igf-1 levels of 234. They dropped to 171 while trying different HRT plans. I worked on Testosterone, Estradiol, Ferritin, D3, etc. and what do you know? My igf-1 levels jumped to 313 on my last test.

The problem a lot of people seem to have (not anyone in particular here, just in general) is that they want to find one quick easy answer to all of their problems, but our bodies are not designed that way. Everything interacts or influences something else.

I.E. you start taking T. Result = no natural LH/FSH production
No natural LH/FSH production. Result = testicles shutting down & less CHOL to pregnenolone conversion & only God knows what else.

every single supplement/medication we take has the chance to supress or alter some other function in our body. Sometime is a beneficial way, other times not so much.

I personally do not know much about IGF-1 levels except that they are suppose to be an indicator of Growth Hormone AND several other things. I also don't know much about HGH replacement except that it is extremely expensive and so I was trying to help see if there were any other underlying causes that could be addressed first which may in turn fix the low IGF-1 issue.


#11

Fair enough - I see your point. Clearly there is much to this that we do not understand.


#12

I have come to realize that true HRT is insanely complicated. I have even forgiven all of the doctors who gave me terrible advice because I now understand that they were simply completely outmatched and had the deck stacked against them.

The sheer number of possibilities is mind boggling. hormone balance ratios, enzyme conversion ratios, cascading effects, synergistic properties, vitamin interactions, first pass liver effects, blood brain barrier interactions, gut tolerances, allergies, adrenal systems, toxins, pollutants, genetics, micro-RNA interactions, brain chemical balance, viruses, bacteria, and the list goes on and on and on.

some people are lucky - a simply patch, shot, pill, or vitamin clears up their symptoms with no negative side effects or interactions, but most of us do not have ideal genetics, diets, jobs, or countless other things.


#13

I have an appointment the 2nd of next month.I will get a copy of all my labs. pcdude has hit the nail on the head in his read on my question.Will I feel alot better if my IGF-1 levels get close to normal? I know the bodybuilder type advantages to hgh,but those come with huge doses.I dont know if those type of benefits come with low doses over a long period of time.I am looking for real life experiences with low dose hgh use and/or an alternative to hgh as to how quality of life was improved.PureChance and pcdude I greatly appreciate your responses.


#14

why not call the doctors office now and ask them to fax and send them to you?

then you can post your results, do some research, and get some advice.

then when you go to the doctor if you don't like what you hear, you will have some talking points, or maybe have an actual discussion with the doctor about the pros and cons of your options/

otherwise if you get bad advice or don't like what you hear, you will be stuck and have to wait several months until your next visit, or pay to go see another doctor.

It never hurts to be prepared, but it can hurt to not have any options.


#15

correcting other hormones with return igf-1 to normal status over time.
igf-1 is not a true indicator for GH levels. I know guys that are low igf-2 and convert to GH very well. The 24 hour urinary out put will give your answer. To many people on the boards are number crunchers and end up meaning well, but make people more paranoid then anything. Again you need to look at all parameters from hormones,vitamin D, and other nutrients before implementing GH. If 24 hours levels are low on GH and DHEA. Supplmeneting with dhea is all some one may need to bring up igf-1 level. I have seen it happen 100 times over.


#16

Good point.