T Nation

Journey Towards a Better Me


#1

-age: 35
-height: 6'2"
-waist: 33"
-weight: 215
-describe body and facial hair: Full beard, hairy torso/arms/legs but no back hair (Thank goodness)
-describe where you carry fat and how changed: Stomach, hasn't really changed

-health conditions, symptoms [history]: Have had lots of injuries like broken bones, torn muscles/labrums/ligaments, stuff like that.

-Rx and OTC drugs, any hair loss drugs or prostate drugs ever: Just did two weeks of TB500 (stopped in case it is somehow affecting things), Allegra, and Flonaise

-lab results with ranges
Blood was drawn at 2:30pm (will get another draw soon done in the morning)
TT is 270 for range [292-1052]
Free T is 6.4 for range [4.8-25]
SHBG is 23 for range [17-66]
FSH is 2 for range [1.3-11.4]
LH is 2.5 for range [1.2-7.8]
Free T4 is 1.17 for range [.73-1.95]
TSH is .8 for range [.5-4.7]
prolactin is 5.9. for range [3.0-30]

-describe diet: make pretty much everything, salads, chicken salad, eggs and bacon, steaks, etc. Try to have some protein in every meal, try to have something green in every meal. Also take ZMA, Vitamin D3, Chromium, and fish oils.

-describe training: Coming back off of an injury so Starting Strength three times a week and just added in sprinting twice a week.

-testes ache, ever, with a fever? As I'm writing this it feels like I got kicked in the balls. This is somewhat recent, highly uncomfortable, and seems to be getting worse.

-how have morning wood and nocturnal erections changed: Over the past year or so morning wood has gone away completely

I am going to take my temperature tomorrow morning and mid afternoon and add it in to this post. However I expect to get normal readings as historically I run pretty hot and I've never felt chilled. I just wanted to get this up here because the ache in the balls thing has me really worried and I want to feel like I'm doing something.

Would really like some help with what may be going on and what further tests should be run. I have great insurance and get paid decent money so price really isn't a concern here. Doctor is my GP who's known me for about 30 years now. However, he told me that other than the low TT score everything else is perfect so I shouldn't worry about anything. He hasn't really given me a chance to tell him about the brain fog, low libido, and hurting testes.


KSman is Here
KSman is Here
KSman is Here
#2

This would be better at mid range:
Free T4 is 1.17 for range [.73-1.95]

Try fT3 at some point.

Nice write up.

When did the problems start?
Did you have a blow to the head or whiplash prior to that?

Were your testes examined for physical/vascular problems?

We are looking for things that suppress your HPTA - LH/FSH. Prolactin is low, but where is E2?

Any loss of peripheral vision or headaches?

Skin changes?

In the thyroid basics sticky, you will find references to:
stress
illnesses
injury
inflammation
over training
starvation diets
rT3

  • these will be important if body temperatures are low.

What is your long term history with iodized salt or vitamins that list iodine and selenium?

How old are labs?
Balls started to hurt when?


#3

[quote]KSman wrote:
Try fT3 at some point.
[/quote]

Will try to look at that with next blood test.

[quote]When did the problems start?
Did you have a blow to the head or whiplash prior to that?
[/quote]

I would have to say the brain fog and hating life probably started years ago, just didn’t notice since it was so gradual. I just chalked it up to growing up and having responsibilities wear you down. As far as I know I’ve not had a blow to the head or whiplash. However the car I was driving was hit from the side back in December. I wasn’t even sore the next day so I didn’t think anything of it until now.

[quote]Were your testes examined for physical/vascular problems?
[/quote]

Nope, but they might be tomorrow morning!

[quote]Prolactin is low, but where is E2?
[/quote]

I had asked for them to do my estrogen levels, but I guess that got lost in the mix. Will ask for the next time. …I think my GP is just worried about insurance paying for it or not. I don’t think he’s used to federal employee’s plans.

[quote]Any loss of peripheral vision or headaches?

Skin changes?
[/quote]

Nope, skin still looks/feels normal. No headaches or vision issues that I can tell.

I think I use iodized salt a lot in my cooking (gotta season that stuff). …I also eat a lot of mushrooms, which are supposed to be high in selenium right? Other then that I don’t take iodine/selenium supplements. I will look into buying some tomorrow after the doctor’s visit.

Concerning the thyroid sticky (which I’ve read several times and thank you so much for putting in so much work and helping out so many others), I didn’t really think the stress, etc seem to fit me. I will have my temp in the morning and if low I’ll have the doc test for rT3 the next time I get tested.

Labs are about a week old. The balls started hurting probably this week or so, kind of snuck up on me. …I have been getting varicose vein treatments lately, so perhaps there has been a change of bloodflow/pressure? I will check with GP.

Also, I just realized I have a habit of massaging my neck with my hand in an effort to release my scalenes, has repeated palpitations ever been known to irritate a thyroid?


#4

Palpation of thyroid can affect lab work done for a few hours.

See if you can find a good massage therapist. This might be from or aggravated by that wreck.

Find a good multi-vit that contains selenium, iodine and other trace elements.


#5

It’s weird now that I’m aware of it I pinch my neck all the time. Trying to refrain from this from now on.

My neck muscles (on the left side) are tight because of an old high school injury that damaged my shoulder/clavicle/top ribs. The muscles are tight in an effort to stabilize some damaged joints/tissue. I’m currently getting this treated with PRP/prolotherapy. I’ve had only one treatment but so far after that one treatment I’ve seen great, great improvement so I expect this issue to be resolved this year. …Good massage therapists are sooo hard to find, have been looking for a while, but so far no one has proved better than me at releasing knots (Thank you Kstar!!!)

So I keep forgetting to take my temperature when I wake up. I have the thermometer on my nightstand I just keep forgetting it during the morning rush. Will hope to take it tomorrow on the weekend. However, the past two days I do remember to take it about an hour after waking, and it reads 97.1, which is lower than the 97.3 threshold that KSman sets. I will try to remember to take my temp mid afternoon today. Sorry I’m a creature of habit and breaking my routine can be hard. So perhaps it is the thyroid.

I’m going to try to buy an iodine/selenium supplement at a store today. If I can’t get to the store I will order Iodoral tonight.

Had the Dr check out my balls. Couldn’t find anything wrong. He ordered an Ultrasound, so this should be real fun. It seems that during and shortly after exercise things get better. My boys are also feeling better since when I wrote my first post, but they still do not feel right.

After hearing about how I just don’t want to do anything, Dr. wants to see if the cause for everything is depression, so he wants me to try 20mg of citalopram for 30 days and see how I feel. He agrees with me that the low T is a symptom of something else going on upstream, and his theory is that the depression is affecting my sleep, which is affecting my pituitary, which is affecting my T. He doesn’t think that the depression is from repressed anger or anything (I agree I’m a pretty peaceful guy), but thinks perhaps years of having having sole responsibility for those I care about has simply worn me out. I’m not going to disagree with him on this.

I brought to him the idea about the thyroid, and he pointed to the lab results and said thyroid levels are perfect and it just simply could not be the thyroid. So if I start feeling better in a couple of days I guess we will know who’s right (Dr says it will take a week or two for the SSRI to take affect).


#6

Ask you could first try Wellbutrin, now available as a generic.


it will not rewire your brain.

I , and many others here, will point out that your depression is a result of your hormone imbalances, not a cause.

“perhaps years of having having sole responsibility for those I care about has simply worn me out”

Carefully read this again:
In the thyroid basics sticky, you will find references to:
stress <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
illnesses
injury <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
inflammation
over training
starvation diets
rT3

  • these will be important if body temperatures are low.

Read the stickies :wink:


#7

I will ask for the switch in meds in an hour when I can step away from work to use the phone.

Just bought some 50mcg Selenium tablets and some kelp pills that contain 360 mcg of iodine. I imagine following the 1-per-day instructions would be the way to go? It’s funny they have these expensive “thyroid health” tablets whose three main components are iodine, Molybdenum, and copper with selenium being a close second. …I didn’t buy the thyroid complex since I am already taking other supplements like ZMA and don’t want to overdose on something like Zinc.

Any suggestions on when I should get bloodwork redone? In addition to the previous hormones I would imagine I should add fT3, rT3 and E2. Any others? It’s all just $25 to me no matter what tests get done.

GP said he will do any test I like (whether he will do anything based off of those tests is another story). I will keep trying to take my temperatures. Speaking of which, it’s 4:30 and I’m reading a 97.3. Hmmmm… So yeah taking my iodine and selenium.

[quote]KSman wrote:
Read the stickies :wink:
[/quote]

Sigh. For most of my life I have wished my reading comprehension was better. Combine that with the brain fog and you get me missing a lot of stuff.


#8

So yesterday was the second day of taking iodine. Waking temperature was a scorching 97.6, and shortly after waking up I had a raging boner, and something like that hasn’t happened in a looooong time. Also just felt a whole lot better in general, felt… happy. Afternoon temperature was only 97.8, but the good feelings continued.

Today morning temp was 96.0. Think I will at least double the dose of iodine for at least the week since KSman’s iodoral is so much more and see how that goes. I’m going to continue to take my temperature and make a report after a week if nothing else comes up to report. …KSman is right iodine can really mess with the GI tract.


#9

So here are my temps:
Morning/Afternoon
97.1/97.3
97.6/97.8
96/97.3
97.3/98
97.9/forgot
96.6/forgot
Forgot
97.5/forgot
95.6*/97.3 *Woke up 2 hours before normal to get on a flight
Forgot/97.7
96.8/forgot
97.3/97.6

I still feel better and have more energy than before the iodine supplements. My wife has also commented that I am running a lot warmer than previously. Obviously though my temperatures are still low, I?ve been taking about 1 miligram of iodine with each meal (about four times a day). Since that doesn?t seem to be enough to get my temps up I have iodoral on order and plan to start that tomorrow.

I talked to my doc about welbutrin and he reminded me that I tried taking it back when I was a teenager and it made me feel anti-social. So I gave the SSRI a shot (started the same time I started iodine supps) and after like the third day I had my first experience with aorgasmia. That?s kind of a deal breaker for me so I stopped after like four days. …Interestingly enough the random boners seem to have gone away with the SSRI. If the SSRI gives me boner with aorgasmia that is the simply the worst combination of side effects I have ever heard of. I have also noticed I’m not quite as happy as when on the SSRI, but still happier than when I typed out my first entry in this log.

I?m thinking of trying the SSRI again, if it is going to be just for a month. My doc (I know I know, we?ve established docs are idiots) really thinks this could help so I?m thinking of obliging him, especially if there is a workaround the orgasmia.

I?m not sure when I should go in for a retest on all the bloodwork. I figure once my temps are up to what they should be, or after the 30 days of SSRI, whichever one comes first. Also I?m no longer pinching my neck, so I?ve gotten out of that habit.


#10

It would not hurt to trial Wellbutrin again and don’t start with large amounts. It is in a class of such things that is stimulating and perhaps your social skills slip if you feel wired up. If you don’t care for it, you did not have to go through the SSRI problems of getting your brain re-wired getting on and off.

SSRI’s can also strip one out emotionally.

What SSRI are you talking about?


#11

Started Welbutrion yesterday (3/8/15)

When I started this thread I was having trouble sleeping. Would go to sleep quickly and then wake up after like 6 hours and not be able to get back to sleep. About a week ago I tried melatonin time release for 2 days and this fixed it right up, now sleeping 8+ hours. It?s good to be back to sleeping soundly.

Got the ultrasound back and everything was clear. I think the pain is/was some referral pain from hurting my groin/pectineus. Having dry needled the muscle the pain in the balls has diminished greatly. I think my psoas is also tight and I know for a fact addressing my psoas has caused me to feel like my balls are in a vice. So I don?t think the ball pain is from hormones, though obviously will keep an eye on this.

I think something is wrong with my thermometer so I am going to go get a new one. Just took my afternoon temp and it read 97.0


#12

New thermometer, morning temps are reading higher (97.7) but afternoon temps are about the same if not lower. Not sure what this indicates, like if I’m still iodine deficient or not.

Feel like I should list the supps I’m taking. Couple of months ago I was taking only a few things and not with the best of regularity. Now I feel like I’m taking everything, and I’m making sure I take them every day. Here goes:

Iodoral 12.5 mg
Selenium 50 mcg
Creatine 1 teaspoon
Vitamin D3 2000 i.u.
Fish Oil 2400 Mg I think?
Chromium 500 mcg
Zinc 30 mg
Magnesium 450 mg
Vitamin B6: 10.5 mg

Thinking about taking l-acetyl carnitine because I’ve read on the E2 sticky it’s supposed to help with testosterone upregulation (I think I’ve got that right)

So far so good on the Wellbutrin, haven’t noticed any side effects yet.

That’s all I have for now, I guess in about 20 days I’ll have my blood drawn again (when I’m done with my 30 days of Wellbutrin). This time I will make sure it’s drawn in the morning and I will make sure the doc adds in E2, ft3, and rt3. I do feel better than before the iodine, laughing more. I just wonder why my afternoon temps are about the same as my morning temps.

I hope my test will be up to normal levels. I know the doc will take credit for the improvement, and perhaps the Wellbutrin actually is helping, but I am definitely feeling a difference with the iodine supplementation.


#13

So I think I know now why my afternoon temps are so low. It seems my peak temps are in the later afternoon times. For example, I’m in the 98+ degrees when I take my temp at like 5pm instead of 3pm, which is what I was doing previously. …About a week until I get tested again, am excited.


#14

Well apparently the lab my doctor sent the bloodwork to is having a hard time figuring out my rt3. It has been over a week and my doctor still has not received the report. Thought you’d get a kick out of that KSman. I expect all of my thyroid stuff to come back great, as I’ve noticed an improvement in mood and temperatures since taking iodine supps. …I really wish my rT3 had been tested last time so I could compare.

However, I’m still worried about my T levels. This time the blood was drawn in the morning, but because of a medical treatment (PRP injections) I hadn’t exercised in about two weeks at the time the blood was taken.

Not sure what to do if the levels come back low. I know I have been doing a lot of things right when it comes to increasing T levels (8+ hours of sleep, bacon, Vit D, lifting, sprinting, etc), and I definitely do feel better than before I started this.

Thing is, I want to see what it’s like to have normal/high testosterone. I don’t think anyone has ever met me and thought “Hey this guy is a man’s man”. I can grow a beard (will post a pic soon) but I just have never really been agressive. Always been more goofy. Also never really been competitive, although that could stem from always being on a oh-fer team in childhood.

Hopefully I will get the results soon, I just want to know and am tired of waiting.


#15

Alright I got the results back and it’s not that encouraging. This time the blood was drawn at 9:21 instead of 2:30. It seems that the three weeks I’ve had off from working out have definitely decreased my test.

I decided to post the first results first, then the second results.

TT is 270; 213 for range [292-1052]
Free T is 6.4; 5.4 for range [4.8-25]
SHBG is 23; 19 for range [17-66]
Total Estrogen 51 for range [40-115]
FSH is 2; 2.3 for range [1.3-11.4]
LH is 2.5; 3.5 for range [1.2-7.8]
Free T4 is 1.17; 1.12 for range [.73-1.95]
TSH is .8; 1.8 for range [.5-4.7]
Free T3 3.6 for range [2.3-4.2]
rt3 17.8 for range [9.0-27.0]
prolactin is 5.9; 7.4 for range [3.0-30]

I’m not sure what to make of these numbers, except for obviously I have low T.

From what I’ve figured out with low T I should have really high LH and FSH if it was primary hypogonadism. So I guess I’m secondary then???

Looking at my thyroid stuff. I’m reading Wilson’s book right now, trying to figure it out. TSH is higher than before, perhaps as an effect from the iodine? Free T4 is down a fraction, but I’m guessing KSman would still say it’s higher then optimal.

I have no idea why the lab did “total Estrogen” when I asked the dr to test for E2, estradiol. The range given is what they have for a man. rT3 is almost right in the middle of the range, so I figure that’s a good thing. But I’m still unsure if this is looking like subclinical hyperthyroidism? I am kind of low with TSH and higher with the other thyroid hormones, so that’s what is making me think hyperthyroidism.

I am stressed with looking for a house to buy, but for the past three weeks it’s been no exercise, lots of food, fun, and sleep.


#16

So I?ve been doing more research and I definitely think I am suffering from adrenal fatigue. I?m a little surprised by it just because I?m not tired during the day (I usually don?t take caffeine either) and that seems to be a big characteristic of it. I haven?t had my cortisol levels checked but I?m going to assume that they are elevated. To help counter this I?ve been taking 500mg Rhodiola twice daily (this would also work if my cortisol levels are too low) and I?ve noticed that I?m a lot less?. On edge, I guess. It feels good.

So I?m glad that so far I?ve treated the iodine deficiency and am now treating the adrenal fatigue. This is a complicated system but I?m enjoying figuring it out.

So my next step is to read up on adrenal fatigue (have the book just need to read it), figure out what hormones I need tested, and then go from there to see what nutrients I need. That reminds me, I?ve bought some brewer?s yeast and plan to add that to the mix. From what I?ve read B vitamins are good for the HPTA and brewer?s yeast is a great source of B vitamins.

My hope is to try Clomid (if needed) and have that be a success. From what I?ve read if Clomid doesn?t work that?s a sign that your HPTA isn?t working correctly, and so far it seems my HPTA needs some fixing. So if Clomid successfully raises my levels then that means everything else is working.

I am excited at the idea of trying Clomid, have no idea if/when that will happen, just playing this by ear. I guess I?m already assuming that I won?t be able to get my test up naturally. I figure I should first try to fully treat the adrenal fatigue, see where I?m at, and go from there. It seems that my estrogen is fairly low as well so I might not need Arimidex. Again if it comes to taking clomid I?ll check to see if my E2 levels are in a good place, as at least one person thinks all the problems from Clomid stem from too much estrogen.


#17

I finally figured out how to interpret my thyroid levels, and my thyroid is still not where I want it to be. The website www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/lab-values/ is where I am basing all of my judgments on. Meaning, I am saying my Free T3 is in an optimal range because this website says it is. Anyone who has a differing opinion on this please feel free to chime in, I by no means have tunnel vision with this because Iâ??m just learning about this stuff.

Free T3: Optimal range is on the higher side of the lab ranges. My free T3 of 3.6 is on the high side of the range (but not over the range, that could indicate hashimotos or hyperthyroid)

Free T4: Optimal value is around mid-range when you have higher free T3. My result of 1.12 is very close to dead center of the lab’s ranges.

Reverse T3: Optimal value of RT3 is 1/20th of Free T3. Meaning, you should have at least 20 times more free T3 than RT3. It turns out I have only 6.3 times. This shows possibly an iron problem, a cortisol problem, both, or an inflammation problem or something else, though it is most likely one of the first three causes.

TSH: This is value is actually not really helpful for evaluating Thyroid performance because it is not telling of whether the tissues are receiving this hormone. However, it is helpful in evaluating the pituitary. A very low TSH with low free T3 is a sign of a pituitary issue. My TSH is lowish but not that low, and my free T3 is on the higher side, so I think I can ignore this hormone results.

So upon evaluation of all this it seems most likely I have a cortisol problem. In addition to the Brewerâ??s yeast Iâ??m now taking 50mg of DHEA daily, so looks like I wonâ??t be competing in a sanctioned weightlifting competition any time soon.

I asked my GP for a saliva test of cortisol and he would only do a blood test. This is the last straw and Iâ??m going to go find a doctor who will work with me on these things. He knows Iâ??ve been reading up on stuff, but he simply doesnâ??t believe in the whole process of optimizing oneself. Iâ??ve been staying with him because he said Heâ??d do any test that Iâ??d want, and I want consistency with the labs. But now that heâ??s not allowing me to get the tests I want I need to move on. I told him about my body temps being low and how I took iodine and theyâ??re now higher and Iâ??m feeling better. His first response was â??maybe your body is supposed to run colder.â?? Definitely not buying what Iâ??m selling. I am getting one more test from him tomorrow and then Iâ??m moving on to a diff doctor.

I think once I find a good doc (easier said than done) and get more tests for the thyroid Iâ??m going to be much closer to figuring this out. Who knows, perhaps Iâ??ll be able to have 600+ testosterone without needing injections!

Hormones/things that I want to get checked out:

Cortisol (saliva test)
B-12
DHEA
Ferritin
Folate
Free T3
Free T4
Reverse T3
TSH (why not?)
Serum Iron
Vitamin D

We will see what the GP decides to get tested. Jerk.


#18

Two things to report in: Got the lab results and made an appointment for the Endo.

Endo appointment is for September about six weeks out, which was unfortunately his first available.

The GP ordered (other than a lipid panel for my yearly physical), only total test. While I was super happy with my lipid panel, test was at 247 with a new (for that lab) range of 300-1180. I was a little disappointed that he didn’t order everything else, but it doesn’t matter as I’m leaving the moron for an Endo who came recommended by a friend. I can only hope he’s willing to work with me on this.

Also unhappy that my test was this low as I’ve been lifting and sprinting, as well as taking some new supplements. Can not wait until I get my cortisol levels checked as I feel like this will be the answer as to what to do next and what treatment/supplements to try.

…I think the most frustrating thing with this whole experience with my GP is that he keeps telling me my test levels are fine, even though they are below range. He thinks the mental fog and whatnot are just all in my head. Idiot.


#19

So I see the Endo in two weeks, and I cannot wait. I saw my PRP doc to see what is going on with my hip/shoulder, and he found a substantial tear in my trap, and some damage to the tendon that goes from my adductor magnus to my abdominal rectus. Not too happy to realize how much damage there still is going on in my body.

I am of the notion that all these injuries/damage to my body stems from working out with low testosterone.

KSman, my question to you is if injuries affect the HPTA then if I get the injuries fixed will the HPTA go back to normal? Or does the imbalance in the HPTA require work on my part? I’m asking simply out of curiosity because I?m going to try to address this stuff in two weeks. My PRP doc (understandably) wants to wait until my test levels are up before treating the torn trap and damaged tendon. I’m getting very tired of being in pain all the time so I want this hormone shit done with asap. I’m going to really try to press this endo to act quickly. I know these things will take time. That the body doesn’t (usually) respond to things overnight. But I don’t want to be waiting around for tests to come back and paperwork to be filled out. If there is something wrong with my HPTA I want to get on those meds asap. And if test still doesn’t come up then I want novadex stat. And if that doesn’t work out then HCG (am going to try having kids in a couple of months).

I’m so ready for this. Can’t wait.


#20

Free T4 is 1.17; 1.12 for range [.73-1.95]

Mid range is 2.68/2=1.34, 1.17, 1.12 is not good enough.

TSH gets elevated during IR dosing.
TSH=0.8 was reasonably close to 1.0

fT3 should support higher body temperatures.
Are you checking after not talking, exercising, drinking eating?

Do not test DHEA, test DHEA-S!
Why are you taking DHEA now? It is not anabolic.

Test vit-D25!

Did you read the ‘things that damage your hormones’ sticky?

See new forum topic “hormones and health”