T Nation

Low T-Cognitive Impairment Connected?

Hello all

I’m having issues with my vocabulary and other cognitive problems like “connecting the dots” with daily stuff. I want to ask those who had low on testosterone if this sounds familiar. I will give an example although it’s kind of long.

I am 39 years old and my testosterone has been less than 250 for at least 5 years. I’m considering having it treated.

But I’ve also been taking a beta blocker for my heart for the past 4 years.

Here’s a kind of long story to give you an example of what I’m dealing with every day…

The other day I was shopping for a car and I found one on ebay. The pictures on ebay showed that the car did not have a screen in the middle, so that means there was no built-in navigation.

Although I did not “file away” the picture in my mind that the screen was missing, I did file away something much simpler to remember (because I have trouble remembering short term): “this car has no navigation”.

So the next day I told my wife that the car I found had no navigation. She said “ok, but does it have a backup camera?”.

Obviously there must be a screen for a backup camera. But I was driving and preoccupied with checking for oncoming cars at an intersection, I just took my beta blocker an hour earlier (not sure if that is important), and so I said to her “of course it has a backup camera”.

Why did I say that when I knew there was no screen for a backup camera? Well, as I just mentioned, I did not file that picture away. My mind took a shortcut and only remembered one fact, that there was no navigation. I also thought to myself “I never saw another car like this that did NOT have a backup camera, so it MUST have a backup camera - they must be standard”.

This is stupid, my mind is short circuiting. I have similar problems finding words and I feel the two are related, but not sure.

I’m a little worried that I did not “connect the dots” regardless of if I had filed the picture away in my memory. I’m worried I might have the beginning signs of dementia or something. But I tend to think it’s related to short term memory and again, that can be a side effect of the beta blocker. I also read it can be related to low testosterone.

This is really affecting my every day life. I am not able to “connect the dots” like I used to with many things. I often wonder why I miss simple things and I get upset with myself.

Can anyone relate to this, do you think it’s low T, or more likely the beta blocker, or worse?

Low T can cause a number of focus and cognition problems. One of the easiest to define and recognize is word finding.

Please read the advice for new guys sticky and come back with more info. !!!

  • need your lab work!
  • with lab ranges
  • list all supplements and meds, Rx and OTC

There can be more than one problem and low -T is the symptom not a cause.

Which beta blocker? They are not all the same.

[quote]KSman wrote:
Low T can cause a number of focus and cognition problems. One of the easiest to define and recognize is word finding.

Please read the advice for new guys sticky and come back with more info. !!!

  • need your lab work!
  • with lab ranges
  • list all supplements and meds, Rx and OTC

There can be more than one problem and low -T is the symptom not a cause.

Which beta blocker? They are not all the same.

[/quote]
Sorry I missed the sticky. Some of my blood tests were done by my doctor, but a couple I had done at a walk-in lab.

Testosterone 232 (350-900)
DHT 24 (30-85) - I checked this myself and it is low
SHBG 30.8 (14.5-48.4)

IGF 1 283 (115-307) - I checked this myself

Estradiol 24.1 (7.6 to 42.6)

ACTH 58 (7.2-63.3)
Cortisol 15 (6.2-19.4)
DHEA-Sulfate 614 (88.9-427) - this is high
Progesterone 1.1 (0.2-1.4)

TSH 2.320 (0.45-4.5)
T4 1.47 (0.82-1.77)
FT3 3.7 (2.5-3.9)
RT3 290 (90-350)

Lyme IgG/IgM Ab NEGATIVE

Medications: I only take Metoporol ER 50MG a day.

Supplements:
2,000mg vitamin C
200mg bioflavinoids
1000 iu vit D3
250mg magnesium to help with my heart rhythm

I had a bone density scan two years ago that was normal. Also a abdomen CT scan for some reason, it was normal. I had an MRI of my brain, normal. And I went to a urologist and they did an ultrasound and found a small varicocele but did not recommend surgery. The urologist checked my FSH and LH and he said they were “normal” but did not give me the numbers of my results.

I had the same prblems. I started a new job shortly before I started HRT and we had some classes to take for 2 weeks. I felt like I was stupid, I couldn’t retain what I was learning. I would read things over and over again, which was also a challenge when I found this place trying to educate myself. So you are not alone it is a very common symptom.

So what is the cause of the need for Metoporol?
High blood pressure
From endothelial dysfunction
Caused by or associated with:

  • low T
  • estrogen dominance
  • bad BMI
  • insulin resistance and diabetes

Suggest:

  • fish oil cals, flax seed oil or meal, nuts for EFA’s
  • high potency B-complex multi-vit with trace elements and iodine
  • natural source vit-E
  • 5000iu vit-D3 in tiny oil based caps, see [USA] Walmart

Not taking a statin drug?

Thyroid:

  • read the tyroid basics sticky and come back with history of iodine intake and body temperatures
  • ARE YOU ON A SALT RESTRICTED DIET?

[quote]KSman wrote:

So what is the cause of the need for Metoporol?
High blood pressure
From endothelial dysfunction
Caused by or associated with:

  • low T
  • estrogen dominance
  • bad BMI
  • insulin resistance and diabetes

Suggest:

  • fish oil cals, flax seed oil or meal, nuts for EFA’s
  • high potency B-complex multi-vit with trace elements and iodine
  • natural source vit-E
  • 5000iu vit-D3 in tiny oil based caps, see [USA] Walmart

Not taking a statin drug?

Thyroid:

  • read the tyroid basics sticky and come back with history of iodine intake and body temperatures
  • ARE YOU ON A SALT RESTRICTED DIET?

[/quote]

Not taking any statins. I’m supposed to be on a salt restricted diet but I’m not really. Never have taken iodine other than table salt.

I will read the sticky about thyroid and report back. I tested under my arm for a few days around Christmas and it’s was 98 degrees avg (I read that’s normal on the STTM site). But I will read the sticky.

I will also try some B vitamins. I was trying B5 and that made a difference but then I ran out and didn’t reorder. Will also try all the other recommendations including fish oil. Great idea.

The need for the beta blocker was for high blood pressure that runs in the family. I was told to limit my salt intake but that is all.

I’m 160lb. I have a lot of stomach fat and skinny arms, and a skinny upper body where I can see my upper ribs, no pec muscles, but have like 40% fat measured with a caliper on my abdomen. Not good at all, but I peddle on my exercise bike 30 minutes every morning except for Wednesdays and Sundays and I have a good diet. I cannot get rid of my mid section fat.

My testosterone levels have been 250 even before I started taking the beta blocker, for your info. I think my T went in the tank shortly after I got married and had kids, that’s when I started having these symptoms.

[quote]cobra003 wrote:
I had the same prblems. I started a new job shortly before I started HRT and we had some classes to take for 2 weeks. I felt like I was stupid, I couldn’t retain what I was learning. I would read things over and over again, which was also a challenge when I found this place trying to educate myself. So you are not alone it is a very common symptom.[/quote]

Sounds the same, I cannot retain anything. Is it getting any better for you? I look at the work I did when I was younger and it’s like man I have really gone down hill mentally. But every morning I have a brief period of clear thinking… right before I get out of bed. Maybe coincidentally that’s when my natural T supply starts to tank.

Low T and/or elevated E2 and/or thyroid problems can make you unable to loose weight.

Docs put people on restricted sodium diets without any regard for the consequences for thyroid function.

Be sure that your table sale is iodized. Many are now using sea salt.
You have been on low salt for 4 years now?

How do you react to stress? Many high stress events/crisis?
Your rT3 is a concern.

so low

[quote]MrSmithers wrote:

[quote]cobra003 wrote:
I had the same prblems. I started a new job shortly before I started HRT and we had some classes to take for 2 weeks. I felt like I was stupid, I couldn’t retain what I was learning. I would read things over and over again, which was also a challenge when I found this place trying to educate myself. So you are not alone it is a very common symptom.[/quote]

Sounds the same, I cannot retain anything. Is it getting any better for you? I look at the work I did when I was younger and it’s like man I have really gone down hill mentally. But every morning I have a brief period of clear thinking… right before I get out of bed. Maybe coincidentally that’s when my natural T supply starts to tank.[/quote]

Yes it has gotten a lot better! Mainly dealing with mood problems, and feeling bad some days. Could be related to other things though. I am waiting on lab from yesterday to make sure I haven’t lowered E2 to low.
I know what you mean about waking up and feeling good. I also used to beable to take naps when I was like that and wake up feeling good for about 30 minuts then the same old thing again severe brain fog ect.

[quote]cobra003 wrote:
I also used to beable to take naps when I was like that and wake up feeling good for about 30 minuts then the same old thing again severe brain fog ect.[/quote]

YES! That’s how it is. I take two naps a day sometimes (and I sleep well at night). I can’t even make it 30 minutes after the nap. I can think clearly while I’m half way awake, while I’m waking up from a nap or for a minute afterwards. After that I’m in brain fog again. Also I am able to think a little better for about 5 or 10 minutes especially if it’s sugary food. The vitamin B5 or pantethine helped me a little. Thinking about reordering it. My glucose is normal.

[quote]KSman wrote:
Low T and/or elevated E2 and/or thyroid problems can make you unable to loose weight.

Docs put people on restricted sodium diets without any regard for the consequences for thyroid function.

Be sure that your table sale is iodized. Many are now using sea salt.
You have been on low salt for 4 years now?

How do you react to stress? Many high stress events/crisis?
Your rT3 is a concern.

so low
[/quote]

My doctor said to lower my salt intake, but I only did that for a few months. I get a normal amount of salt. Just checked my salt and it is not iodized. It is sea salt.

I react poorly to stress. My inlaws were over for two days and MY GOD I wanted to jump out of my skin. I had to take a nap after they left.

The brain fog has gotten a lot better since HRT. I noticed a even bigger improvement with it right after starting HCG. It worked really fast and I thought it was the placebo effect, but not after 6 months. lol I do still have some days where I don’t think real clear and foggy. Like right now I have had a cold for several days, and feel that way today. But nothing like it used to ne.

I’ll be honest with you. I am ON TRT and currently I have not had much of an improvement in that regard. I find my biggest issue is focus in conversation- I tend to lose my train of thought or forget exactly what I said and that ends up frustrating me (it also makes it difficult to win an argument!!! haha). I definitely feel my short term memory is less and honestly, at 27, it scares the crap out of me that I will experience dementia/alzheimers later in life.

I am still very much new to all of it and still have to hone in my E2 so I am hopeful that is part of the problem. I have begun taking DHEA and 7keto DHEA to raise my DHEA-S. I am going to be adding a potassium iodide supplement per the thyroid sticky to see if that will correct issues. Based on that sticky, it seems that many people will under-respond to TRT and it can be linked to thyroid/iodine deficiency. I am very hopeful that is a fix for me but I think it may be something you want to address BEFORE TRT. Do the temperature test. It’s easy, free, and can be beneficial to you.

I would see about getting the LH and FSH values if you can call and get those.

[quote]coolnatedawg wrote:
I’ll be honest with you. I am ON TRT and currently I have not had much of an improvement in that regard. I find my biggest issue is focus in conversation- I tend to lose my train of thought or forget exactly what I said and that ends up frustrating me (it also makes it difficult to win an argument!!! haha). I definitely feel my short term memory is less and honestly, at 27, it scares the crap out of me that I will experience dementia/alzheimers later in life.[/quote]

I doubt you will get dementia. Do you have problems with your long term memory? Does it run in your family? Actually my vocabulary is better than ever and I can concentrate very well, but short term memory is completely hosed.

Have you tried luminocity (the site) to sharpen your brain? I tried it and it made me stupider.

I’m working on getting my LH and FSH numbers and been taking my under arm temp twice a day. Just got these new blood test results in that I ordered myself (I should have added LH & FSH):

Testosterone, Serum 237 LOW (348-1197)
TSH 3.210 (0.45-4.5)
ACTH, Plasma 32.6 (7.2-63.3)
Estradiol 18.2 (7.6-42.6)
Cortisol - AM 11.7 (6.2-19.4)

No problems that run in my family that I know of. And no, I’m good on long term memory. I still remember some of the stuff I had to memorize back in teh fraternity days haha! I signed up for Luminocity but have never gone on there since.

KSman recommends oral temperature not under arm. I’m not gonna comment on your lab values as I’ll let KSman chime in.

KSMan, or anyone here, have you ever checked ACTH and AM Cortisol on the same morning, and if so, would you post the numbers? I want to compare with mine.

Alright this may sound bizarre, but I have an excel chart of all my ACTH and Cortisol numbers for the past 10 years.

One time I went to an endocrinologist back in 2001 or 2002 and he ran ACTH and cortisol. They were both out of range, so I have been checking them myself every year. He just dismissed it because everything else was normal except for testosterone (that he didn’t want to treat).

I see a very disturbing trend in the excel sheet. Every year, my ACTH and cortisol ratio keep getting worse and this is a very pronounced trend. When I draw a chart it is like a linear line going down on a 45 degree angle.

Right now if my ACTH is 33 I output only 9 of cortisol, a ratio of under 28% normalized. It used to be 90% back in 2001.

In fact I made a forecast in excel that by the year 2016, for any amount of ACTH my head outputs, there will be 0% cortisol output. Not good.

Any doctor will call my excel sheet pseudoscience because they won’t have time to look at it, but all I’m doing is charting the numbers.

Pregnenolone is good for cognitive and mood improvement as well as helping other hormones. Personally it has helped me.

cheers!!

Get some KAL OTC progesterone cream [amazon]. It is 2%. Apply small amount, size of a pea, to forearms in the morning.

As you can see here: https://www.google.com/search?q=steroid+hormone+wiki

  • progesterone is converted to cortisol

If you apply at night, that might increase cortisol at times when it should be dropping for sleep.

Your wife may find progesterone helpful. She can apply a lot more. Some women sleep better applying at night, some the opposite, so she can find out.

AM cortisol is near the bottom end of where it should be.

Get iodine on board.

I do not know why, but I often have to ask for body temps over and over again. Have you read the thyroid basics sticky yet? When guys are iodine deficient and get going with iodine replenishment, they often report mental clarity. This the 5th time that this subject has been brought up!

Stress and adrenal fatigue: Get Wilson’s book on adrenal fatigue from amazon.com, you probably thing that the book is writing about you.

[quote]KSman wrote:
Get some KAL OTC progesterone cream [amazon]. It is 2%. Apply small amount, size of a pea, to forearms in the morning.

As you can see here: https://www.google.com/search?q=steroid+hormone+wiki

  • progesterone is converted to cortisol

If you apply at night, that might increase cortisol at times when it should be dropping for sleep.

Your wife may find progesterone helpful. She can apply a lot more. Some women sleep better applying at night, some the opposite, so she can find out.

AM cortisol is near the bottom end of where it should be.

Get iodine on board.

I do not know why, but I often have to ask for body temps over and over again. Have you read the thyroid basics sticky yet? When guys are iodine deficient and get going with iodine replenishment, they often report mental clarity. This the 5th time that this subject has been brought up!

Stress and adrenal fatigue: Get Wilson’s book on adrenal fatigue from amazon.com, you probably thing that the book is writing about you.[/quote]

“How many times do I need to ask a guy here before he checks his temperatures”

Apparently missed the part about not using under the arm.

I checked just now and I’m 98.3 under my tongue.

Wilson’s book and KAL cream ordered with overnight shipping. Will also find some iodine.

Just saying, Iodine is crazy… be careful… make sure u get logals if you’re going to try it…my friend and I used potassium iodide and we both had really bad sides and discontinued use…