T Nation

Is HCG the Problem?

Been on TRT for 5 years, the last year alone has been the worst ever. Added Hcg and AI to T for the past year.

Pregnenolone levels were low (22ng/dl) before starting Hcg. 3 months later, with 250iu EOD and a higher dose of T it dropped to 17ng/dl. At the six month mark, preg levels were <5 ng/dl!!!

Been able to get levels a little higher with oral preg…last test 40 ng/dl.

Upped the dose from then and had test last week, so new results are pending.

Could the Hcg actually cause a reduction in preg? I thought it was supposed to help increase, but never has.

I assume the higher T numbers can strain this process as well, so I have decreased my dose of T by about 40% to no real benefit in energy.

I have low cortisol(I assume from a large lack of preg, and problably prog too) and have to supplement with HC just to get by. I have a feeling if I could figure out how to fix the pregneneolone problem, I would not need the HC for it would convert to cortisol by itself, in theory.

Is the Hcg causing a greater steal of preg more than it can produce based on how it works with the p450 enzyme process??? Chol numbers have been okay too…so that leaves me lost.

OR, does the constant lack and worsining of preg mean that I am not using enough Hcg??

I know increasing Hcg can cause higher E2, but mine has been super low for a while. Had to d/c AI completely and have been off for over a month. E2 has yet to rebound much yet.

I realize this train of thought may or may not crazy, but am wondering if anyone has experienced worsining of energy and such from Hcg.

Lack of Cholesterol Hurts Pregnenolone Levels

Now, scientists and researchers are again looking at the value of pregnenolone. The research that D. Gary Young found establishes how pregnenolone declines in the body more than 60 percent between the ages of 35 and 75. Along with this natural bodily decline, our bodies have had to deal with a decrease in the building block of pregnenolone - cholesterol. “Low cholesterol” or “no cholesterol” has been pounded into the heads of health-conscious consumers. While the cholesterol link to heart disease is under question today, cholesterol-lowering drugs are causing hormone imbalance. Without cholesterol, there is no pregnenolone, which means the body cannot create the hormones it needs.

The lack of cholesterol (and thus pregnenolone) in our diets may be the cause of many cases of depression. Dr. William Regelson writes that,

"A recent study conducted by the National Institutes of Mental Health showed that people with clinical depression have lower than normal amounts of pregnenolone in their cerebral spinal fluid (the fluid that bathes the brain)."3

Spinal cord injuries may be minimized with pregnenolone according to a number of rat studies. Dr. Eugene Roberts would like to see a pregnenolone cream placed in first aid kits for use on the spine following earthquakes or accidents.

Read the advice for new guys sticky if you have not already. Read thyroid basics. Review your iodine intake and check your oral body temperatures.

Low E2 is a problem, glad that you are off.

Trying to remember, are you in NE KS? You have my email addr? PM’s not working here now.

Get some KAL brand progesterone cream, sold on amazon. Apply a little bit on forearms. Wife might find it useful.

Yes…it’s me, from the Wichita area. Haven’t wrote you in a while due to PM issues…and the fact that not much has changed since our last correspondence. I don’t have your email, but still have your phone # from our PM’s.

Got a portion of labs in from last week:

E2 is back up at 18

FreeT4 is 1.7 ng/dl (0.8-1.8)
FreeT3 is 4.1 ng/dl (2.3-4.2)

RevT3 not in yet, but has been in mid twenties.

Still taking Iodoral, 12.5 daily.

Temps still suck, can never get it to change from 96.8-97.0 in the morning to 97.9 late afternoon, the highest its ever been in the last year. Even adding HC for adrenals hasn’t helped that. I’m afraid it’s due to some sort of metabolic damage from too many years of dieting/eating low carb.

Pregnenolone has been a mess. I don’t have current values, but taking the preg always pushes my progesterone over max range.

Prog labs were 3.5 ng/dl last week (<1.4)!!! So, it seems the preg readily converts to prog, but then doesn’t get converted in to cortisol very well, or at all. So, there’s another problem to worry about.

Good to get back in touch, have another appt with doc next week!

With high fT3, my first reaction is that fT3 is blocking T3 at receptors.

With your iodoral use, any bromine contamination would be resolved by now.

Have you seen the new stickies?

Feel free to phone in the afternoons ;}

I really like the new thyroid sticky, very usful and informative!

I too, think that RT3 is at the very least a large component of my problem. I know that is not an easy fix, and have been trying to eat more calories for I believe that I have undereaten for quite some time…at least according to calorie calculators and what number of calories I “should” be eating. Hard to believe that, when this past year I have gotten fatter than I ever have before, and have gained about 15 lbs just since November!!

So, a chronic stress of undereating and exercising, for years, probably landed me where I am at. Amazing how the body can put up with it for a long time, like 5-6 years for me!!

I have no other ideas about how in the world I can still be feeling less than steller at this point in the game.

Oh…and what do you think about the elevated prog? Someone once told me it’s not a big deal to go that high, but I trust your opinon more.

Any reason to add MORE Iodoral with numbers as high as mine??? (trying it incr. temps)

I assume my “more Hcg” thought was way off due to you not talking about it…right?

Be careful with Preg cream if you use it. I used a conservative dose and ended up with cataracts and an irregular heart beat that cleared itself up after a couple of months. Unfortunately I had to have the cataract in my left eye addressed. Three surgeries later the eye is fine but that wasn’t exactly a good time.

[quote]brentf13 wrote:
Be careful with Preg cream if you use it. I used a conservative dose and ended up with cataracts and an irregular heart beat that cleared itself up after a couple of months. Unfortunately I had to have the cataract in my left eye addressed. Three surgeries later the eye is fine but that wasn’t exactly a good time.[/quote]

I actually use preg tablets. Thanks for the heads up, if my levels weren’t consistantly <5 without supplementation, I would be very concerned based on what you just said.

Take less preg!

What is your total IR iodoral target? 750mg?

[quote]brentf13 wrote:
Be careful with Preg cream if you use it. I used a conservative dose and ended up with cataracts and an irregular heart beat that cleared itself up after a couple of months. Unfortunately I had to have the cataract in my left eye addressed. Three surgeries later the eye is fine but that wasn’t exactly a good time.[/quote]

Weird, I got the irregular heartbeat too from a small dose of preg cream, despite my DHEA (downstream metbolite of preg) being super low (about 80). I wonder why this happens. I feel horrible also when supplementing DHEA.

[quote]KSman wrote:

What is your total IR iodoral target? 750mg?[/quote]

yes, but I have been taking 12.5mg Iodoral for close to a year, so I don’t know exactly if I need more for a short while or if I am fine due to the year-long intake. I read you took 50mg for a couple weeks, but was that starting with nothing?? Didn’t know if that kind of plan applies in my situation.

RT3 may still be the major factor in temps anyway…

[quote]seekonk wrote:

Weird, I got the irregular heartbeat too from a small dose of preg cream, despite my DHEA (downstream metbolite of preg) being super low (about 80). I wonder why this happens. I feel horrible also when supplementing DHEA. [/quote]

DHEA might raise your E2 too high, or may lower your cortisol…perhaps that’s why you don’t do well taking it??

Thought I would update.

Latest labs:

Free T4, 1.7 (0.8-1.8)
Free T3, 4.1 (2.3-4.2)
RT3, 33 H (11-32)

Pregnenolone 17 (13-201)

All other labs are good (T, E2, etc) Except for saliva cortisol, which still has me at a low level when not supported.

Surprised pregnenolone still sucks. I’ve taken a lot with no improvement. This latest result was lower than before, when before I was taking less. It appears to convert readily to progesterone, but then conversion seems to stop from there, and not get turned to cortisol.

I didn’t take HC for a week or so before doing labs, so perhaps the preg got all used up in the absence of HC supporting my adrenals, but have no clue, really.

Was surprised doc wasn’t concerned with the RT3 level. Didn’t want to do anything about it at this time.

I did forget to mention body temps during the appt but I know low cortisol can contribute to that as well.

I’ve been fighting adrenal issues as well. I take oral DHEA and Preg. I take KAL Prog. You could also try transdermal pregnenolone.

All my levels are fine on these but cortisol is still low. I tried some things from this article before going on TRT.

Noticeable improvements from licorice root, astragaulus, huperzine and ashwaganda. Might start adding them in one at time again to see I can make some improvements again. Trying to sort genetic test first.

rT3 is pointing towards adrenal fatigue, consistent with your cortisol experiences.