T Nation

Low Pregnenolone and Low Free Testosterone Fixes?

Hi all, I recently received my bloodwork back which confirmed low free testosterone. but I want to dig deeper on potential causes and see if I can mitigate this at the root of the problem. Questions:

  1. Givean that DHEA sees in range, any theories why Pregnenolone and free testosterone would be low, or how I can fix?
  2. Any other tests you think I should order to get more leads?
  3. Has anyone else had success boosting free testosterone without needing pure testosterone? If so which changes work?

Background on me:
-41 year old Male
-Used to lift in my thirties but now consumed by Office work and kids.
-Symptoms: Some muscle loss, brain fog (difficulty remembering names for example), low energy.
-Some autoimmune issues (mild Crohns disease, hayfever).

  • Eating clean paleo diet. Improved diet has reduced C Reactive Protein levels to 0.5 (very low)


"In range"
TSH: 1.56 mIU/L
T4 Free: 1.3 ng/DL
T3: Free 3.1 pg/mL
T3 Reverse, LC/MS/MS 20 ng/dL
Cortisol 8.3 mcg/DL
Estradiol 26 pg/mL
DHEA Sulphate 245 mcg/DL
Testosterone Free (dialysis) and total (LC.MS/MS) testosterone total 631 ng/dL
Free Testosterone 63.3 pg/mL

Low hormones
Pregnenolone LC/MS/MS 11 ng/dL
Testosterone Free (dialysis) and total (LC.MS/MS) testosterone total 631 ng/dL
Free Testosterone 63.3 pg/mL

I have a very similar situation as you, however read the stickies in this forum for the additional labs you should include with your post because that’ll help you get some good info from the experienced guys in here.

So far in my journey to biohack my issues I’ve seen 4 separate docs and still the most valuable and insightful info I’ve received has been from guys on this forum.

I’ve tested low for pregnenolone and at the same time “in range” DHEA around the same as yours and I’m treating it now with Preg supps while also seeking the cause of it. I take 50mg daily and you can buy this stuff OTC, it’ll help A LOT with the brain fog and memory as Preg itself is mainly used in the brain when not cascading to other hormones.

Pregnenolone is metabolized inside the mitochondria, mostly within the adrenals, so you could be looking at adrenal disfunction which is known to be caused by high stress, or at a deeper level mitochondria disfunction since this is where Preg is metabolized from cholesterol, and this mitos disfunction could have been caused by your autoimmune issues which are also a type of high stress on your body.

Your FT3 to RT3 ratio is low 15.5, should be over 20 according to http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/rt3-ratio/ but that may be causing your low energy levels. I also had a similar RT3 issue and working on a treatment now. Also read KSman’s thyroid sticky and pay attention to the part where he talks about recording body temperatures because this will give you a good lead on any issues you may have regarding thyroid and adrenals.

My T levels were similar to yours, lower TT but higher FT, however haven’t jumped on TRT as I’m still digging deeper in to the cause of them.

Please use the pencil icon below your post and add lab ranges to the list.

Cortisol=8.3 is way to low for 8-9AM testing. Best done at 8AM.

You need to test LH/FSH to know something about why/if T is low.

Males make a lot of pregnenolone in their testes, but testes require good LH/FSH stimulation.

TSH better near 1.0, are you not using iodized salt?
fT4 and ft4 are nicely mid-range.
Cannot eval rT3 without lab range.
Check oral body temperatures as per the thyroid basics sticky.

rT3 can be elevated by various types of stress
rT3 blocks the active hormone fT3

Low thyroid function could explain some of your symptoms.

Also take 5000iu Vit-D3 and later on test Vit-D25 an essential active hormone.

Read these stickies found here: About the T Replacement Category

  • advice for new guys
  • things that damage your hormones
  • thyroid basic