T Nation

Improving Libido


'sup guys

Age: 22
Height: 6’3’’ (1.90m)
Waist: 77cm
Weight: 183 lbs (82,8 kg)
Describe body and facial hair: sitting at around 11%, some fat around my lower belly and hips, rest of my body is fairly lean.
Describe where you carry fat and how changed: my skinfold caliper measurements are now 11/5/8 (navel/chest/thigh), whereas they used to be 36/12/12 in April '13.

My problems are:

  • heart palpitations (since 3 weeks)
  • sometimes unable to sleep because of that
  • sometimes wake up randomly at night
  • no morning wood (can’t remember last time I had this, tbh)
  • erectile issues, can get it up but not always very easily, plus doesn’t always stay hard for very long

My diet is as follows:

  • 6 whole eggs, 1 liter milk, 40g coconut oil, 100g chicken, 250g broccoli, 30g macadamia nuts, 80g rice, 4 slices of whole wheat bread, 70g cereal grains, 500g quark, and dinner with parents.
    Macro’s: 180g protein, 255g carbs, 115g fat

Supplements: vitamin D3 (5000 IU p/d), vitamin C (4x500mg p/d), zinc (22mg p/d), copper (2.5mg p/d), magnesium (2x200mg p/d), DHA (fish oil, 500mg p/d), vitamin K2 (5mg, once per week), TMG (betaine, 3x1g p/d)

I train around 5 days per week, and I follow Kelei’s revised routine from bb.com

No testes aches, ever.

Bloodwork: http://i60.tinypic.com/3537ads.jpg
I’ve attached the image with the results to the topic as well. [EDIT: I attached the wrong pic, it’s slightly incomplete. The link above is correct]

I’ve been reading around, and from what I can tell, my TSH levels are too high (3.5 mU/l), and my E2 is too (0,12 nmol/l which translates to 33 pg/mL I believe). Total testosterone is good at 720 ng/dl, SHBG is alright at 32 nmol/l.

I’ve already ordered iodoral (12.5 mg tablets). Other than that I’m not sure what to do, my libido, although def not absent, is not what I feel it should be like. More importantly, my erections are generally not very good, which bothers me the most.

What do you guys think about my bloodwork, and what should my next step be? I hope I provided all the right information.

[EDIT 1] Link to bloodwork was wrong.

My impression is that this may be stress related. Have you had an EKG to rule out Afib?

my libido is incredibly sensitive to E2. Much more than 20 and it’s non-existent…unless provoked. You’re TSH is a potential flag. More comprehensive thyroid testing wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Yes, I’ve had an EKG scan (because of the heart palpitations) and the results were perfectly fine. My blood pressure is good too, 124/77 yesterday morning.

Libido/ED issues are bothering me for a longer while now.

My doctor is calling me today, I hope I can convince him to do extra thyroid testing.

E2 = 33 is not high for a natural guy. It’s about average, maybe just slightly above but nothing to be concerned about usually. It is unlikely to be that, so I would look into other things first.

Medications (prescribed and recreational) are the first culprit usually. All kinds of meds can affect libido, including ADHD meds, study drugs, antidepressants, painkillers, sleep aids, and drugs for acne and hair loss. Any medications recently? Smoking can affect it. As can alcohol and party drugs.

Performance anxiety can also be a killer of libido as well as erections. In this case something like a small dose of viagra or cialis could be helpful for a short period.

Depression can be a cause as well. Also recent life changes such as a breakup. As can the type of sex you are having - I’m all for promiscuity but some people just do better in more stable relationships than the hookup culture.

Other people know more about thyroid here but if that is an issue it can certainly affect libido.

Doctor thinks extra thyroid testing isn’t really warranted because TSH levels are within range, too bad…

I do experience the following symptoms:

  • mild erectile dysfunction
  • no morning wood, ever really
  • not a particularly high libido (although not absent)
  • heart palpitations (not really elevated, 80-90 bpm, although I can feel my heart pounding)
  • disturbed sleep sometimes, or difficulty falling asleep (likely due to heart palpitations)
  • hands and feet are cold atm (especially feet), but perhaps my room is just cold.
  • having a slight cough every now and then, although nothing too big

Are these all symptoms of subclinical hypothyroidism (TSH 3,5 mU/l)?

I’ve started with 12.5mg iodoral yesterday, I will build this up and see how it goes (12.5mg p/d this week, 25mg p/d next week, 50mg p/d after that until I’ve reached the 0.75g number).

This is a great forum, but one of the things I strongly disagree with is jumping the gun on supplementing a high iodine dosage. Check your temp with an accurate liquid thermometer. Make sure you leave it in for at least 5 minutes, more if possible(and do it without eating/drinking for some time). Your temp will be low in the morning, but generally if you can reach 98.6 at some point during the day (this will depend when you start the day) you can pretty much rule out iodine deficiency. Also, low temps can be caused by adrenal issues as well instead of iodine.

In other words, you need a more detailed thyroid test. Like others above said, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is caused by stress. And stress can disrupt t4>t3 conversion thus creating a high TSH even though t4 levels are fine.

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Thanks, will see if I can get one tomorrow.

I’d ask for more detailed thyroid work, as mentioned.

A lot of people unnecessarily worry about absence of morning erections, when they probably still have nocturnal erections much of the night without being aware of it. You only notice a nocturnal erection as “morning wood” as long as you wake up from a specific REM sleep stage, and many people don’t.

Update:

So I had a TSH of 3.5, and the following symptoms:

  • heart palpitations
  • elevated heart rate (80 BPM)
  • erectile dysfunction (usually cannot achieve a normal erection)
  • lower libido than normal
  • no morning wood
  • poor concentration (not sure if this is related, or if it is just me)
  • high cholesterol
  • fat accumulates mostly around hips and belly
  • I feel like I wake more frequently at night
  • sometimes my feet seem to go sleepy more easily when I sit with my legs crossed

All of this seems related. I have had times that my erections were better, and at these times my heart rate is lower and my libido seems higher, just a slightly better overal well-being.

I have also had bad times, that getting a proper erection seems impossible. At these times my balls also seem more shrunk and my BPM is consistently ~80. I consider ~60 normal for me.

So, after researching my symptoms and finding out that my TSH of 3.5 was apparantly high, I decided to do iodine replenishment. I bought iodoral (12.5 mg caps), and started taking it. 1 cap per day for the first week, 2 caps per day for the next 2 weeks, and 4 caps per day to bring the total to 750 mg, as suggested. Interestingly, during the second week I had 2 days where I felt much better. Erections were much better and my libido seemed much higher. Also I felt clearer and more energetic in my head. However, after those 2 days I returned to where I was before again.

A few months later, the heart palpitations are gone (elevated heart rate still there though). I had another blood test done, and my TSH had been lowered to 1,7. The other symptoms still persist though.

For the record, I do not use drugs or medication, and never have. My testosterone levels are good for a natural guy, my E2 is in balance and my FT levels are good too.
I do not feel stressed, and there are no stressful occassions that could have caused this. It feels like the problem has slowly been growing on me.

Last week I decided to buy a thermometer to measure my body temperatures (orally), as suggested. They are as follows:

Saturday Sept 6th: (4pm) 97.9F
Sunday 7th: (8am) 96.8F, (10:20am) 97.3F, (4pm) 97.9F, (11.45pm) 97.5F
Monday 8th: (9.15am) 96.6F
Tuesday 9th: (9.15am) 96.8F, (1.30pm) 97.9F
Wednesday 10th: (9.40am) 97.0F, (10.15pm) 97.7F
Thursday 11th: (7.15am) 95.5F, (9.30am) 96.3F, (2pm) 97.7F, (11.30pm) 97.7F
Friday 12th: (9am) 97.0F
Saturday 13th: (9.20am) 95.9F

Very low in the morning, can’t get up to 98.6F in the afternoon. Slight decline towards the evening. Overall fairly consistent, no big fluctuations throughout the day.

Monday I have to see a cardiologist (heart murmur), and after that I will see my doctor again and ask for another bloodtest, I mean to have several hormones tested (TSH, fT3, fT4, DHEA-S, cortisol 8am, prolactine).

Is this the right course of action? Do you guys have any advice/suggestions for me?

“having a slight cough every now and then” taking a statin drug for cholesterol -NO?

“- heart palpitations” try more vit-K2

“hands and feet are cold” could be thyroid issue

TSH=3.5 is a big problem. The lab normal ranges include people in the sample population with thyroid problems and docs do not understand

How much iodine have you used so far. I suggest 750mg for IR

Have you read the thyroid basics sticky?

Were you not using iodized salt for a long time. That would be the deficiency and this should have been part of your IR decision process.

Did you read the things that mess with your hormones sticky and advice for new guys?

How do you react to stress? That can complicate thyroid issues with elevated rT3 and can cause heart palpations for some. You may be over training! Stress from that while hypothyroid … If stress is an issue, note comments about adrenal fatigue in the stickies and Wilson’s book.

When I was iodine deficient, it took two years to get my TSH back near 1.0 again. So you may not have TSH move as fast as you might hope for. Body temperatures are the bottom line. If rT3 is mid range or higher and temps are low, then one suspects elevated rT3.

Thanks for replying KSman, please see the update post above yours as well

I do not take statins.

I have taken a vit K2 supplement for a while, plus I also regularly eat foods that are rich in vit K2 (eggs, red meat, liver, cheese, butter). Won’t make a difference.

Did a 750mg IR, no maintenance afterwards. About a month ago another 250mg.

I have read the stickies.

I never used iodized salt before. Since I started lifting I haven’t been eating a lot of bread (Dutch law forces bakers to use iodized salt). It is likely that I was deficient.

I am not at all a stressful person, rather I am extremely laid back. I react very well to stress, almost always keep a positive attitude, never really startled or whatever. I can always keep my head cool.

Don’t think overtraining is an issue, didn’t train for a week last summer and made no difference.

That exhausts my ideas about heart palpations other than the implications of low body temperatures and a known connection of hypothyroidism and heart palpitations. You are not iodine deficient at this point in time and we can safely take iodine deficiency off the table as an easy fix.

Assuming that fT3 is not an issue, I suggest that you ask your doctor to do a trial of thyroid hormone medication to see if your body temperature can be improved and see what else that does for you. If it works that is your diagnostic and your solution. You can use body temperatures as a dosing guide. If thyroid meds to not improve your life, then that is also a diagnostic point.

If someone is making too much rT3, then Rx T4 can increase T4–>rT3 with adverse effects.

Did you have grandmother[s] who suffered starvation during WW-II? There can be some odd trans-generational effects from epigenetic changes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics

No my grandmothers did not suffer starvation.

I will suggest a thyroid hormone medication trial along with the blood test. Thanks for taking the time to help out.

I quickly scanned the thread and may have missed this – did you check DHEA-S? The symptoms you described – palpitations, rapid heart rate – are correlated to adrenal adenoma in rare instances. DHEA-S may present as elevated and then you can further explore this with your doc.

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I haven’t checked DHEA-S yet but it’s on my list, along with cortisol 8am, prolactine, DHT, and more thyroid testing.

On a side note, I have found that since I started eating liver now and then, and half a pound of red meat per day, my overall well being seems to have improved. Erections are a bit better and I notice nocturnal erections more often whenever I wake at night. Also my libido is a bit better.

I saw something on stopthethyroidmadness about a certain link between iron and the thyroid, so I plan on having my ferritin levels checked as well. My diet was pretty low in iron in the past, although I did take desiccated liver tablets at the time, and on several sites I found some anecdotal evidence that these tabs restored ferritin levels to normal, so I am not sure about this link but I will see if I can get it checked regardless.

old thread i know but what else could a high DHEA S be caused by? i dont have heart issues but my DHEAS was around 430 i think