T Nation

Low Test After Diet and Overtraining

Hello,
I`m a 20 years old guy from Germany.
My height is 6,2 feet. My weight is 192 lbs. BF 15 %.

November 2013 I made a diet and in 6 weeks I put my BF from 16% to 5-7%.
I didn’t eat much fat and during the diet I started to feel very bad. I lost my sexdrive and my ejaculate volume sank every day. In December 2013 I nearly didn’t produce ejaculate during an orgasm.
But I loved my form at this low BF and so i held the very low BF for 2 more month.

I also worked out very hard. 6 days a week and every day very hard. I felt very bad during the workouts and had not much energy.
In february 2014 I felt so bad, that I went to my doctor.

A bloodtest showed, that my Testosterone levels were very low:
0,9ng/ml (3,3-10)

I realized that the hard diet and the low bodyfat could be the reason for the low T levels.
I started to raise the fats and ate 30% fats from total daily calorie intake.
I paused the workout for 1 Month and after that month I started to workout very easy.
I put on BF and in June 2014 I had a BF of 15 % again.
I felt a bit better.
My T levels in May 2014
1,77 ng/ml (3,3-10)

I lost my hope that I will recover and I felt fat. So I started a diet again for 7 days and went to the doctor during the diet.
My T levels were at 0,8ng/ml(3,3-10).

I paused training for 9 days.
I realized that it must be the diet and I started to eat A LOT.
I ate 4000kcal per day for 6 days.
I went to the doctor again and my test levels were at 2,92 ng/ml (3,3-10). In 15 days from 0,8ng/ml to 2,92ng/ml.

I am afraid that I only get fat and my test levels don’t recover. Than I would be fat and still have low T levels. My current kcal intake is 3600 kcal per day but Im still very hungry.

My biggest problem is that I still have no sex drive and low ejaculate volume. Before I started the diet I masturbated for 3-4 times a day and produced a lot of cum.
I recover for 6 months now but I still have low t levels and no sex drive plus I feel not very well.
My current BF is 15 %. I think this is a healthy BF and my T levels should be normal again but they aren’t. Im loosing hope again.
Currently I work out for 4 days a week and 2 times very easy cardio for 20 minutes.
I think thats not too much.

Last bloodtest 30.7.14:

FSH: 3,2mIU/ml (1,5-12)
LH: 2,6mIU/ml (1,7-8,6)
SHBG:48,2 nmol/l (18-54)
Testosterone:2,96ng/ml (3,3-10)

When I eat more calories I will get in the 15%+ BF. So I don’t know what to do anymore.
Will my T levels ever recover ?
Will I ever get my sex drive back ?
How long does it take to reover ?
Should I eat more calories and get in the 15%+ BF to recover ? ( This was my first diet. I always was in the 15%+ BF. My whole life.)
Do I need TRT ? I really don’t want to star TRT. I think my body should recover himself without medicine.
Do I work out too much ? I don’t work out hard to avoid overtraining.

I hope you guys can help me and say me what I have to do and how long it takes to recover.

Best regards from germany.
Joe

Please read the advice for new guys sticky and note causes that can lead to low T or complicate low T.

Also check your body temperatures: see the thyroid basics sticky. Are you using iodized salt? [should be]

You should get lab work for complete blood count, fasting cholesterol[might be too low], TSH.

You could attempt a “HPTA restart” with hCG or a SERM[Nolvadex suggested]. Search this forum to find posts.

We have seen your problem before. Starvation and over training can change one’s body and epi-genetic changes are also possible.

I have read this sticky but it doesn’t give me the answers I need.
Cholesterol ( Bloodpanel shows only cholesterol, not fasting cholesterol)

124mg/dl (0-200) Its normal.

TSH: 2,53 uU/ml (0,4-4,5)
Also normal.

I currently eat 3500 kcal per day but I am hungry anyway. Im always hungry but Im afraid to eat more and get to fat.
Do you think I just need to eat more and gain some more fat so that I get to my weight that I had before the hard diet ?
I read an article about leptin and reproductive hormones and that article said exactly that.
Yesterday I ate some more kcal and this morning I had morning wood and a sex dream.

Im really sure I just need to eat more and that would heal my T levels completely. But I don’t want to get fat AND still have low t levels and no libido.

Hope you can help me. I couldn’t find any post for these questions.

In range doesn’t mean optimal. Your cholesterol is way too low. Stock up on eggs.

Don’t get sucked into “normal” like most doctors…

Your TSH is a train wreck should be near 1.0
The ranges are ridiculous. A 11:1 range!
Read the tyroid basics sticky, check temperatures and long term iodine intake from iodized salt.

Cholesterol below 160 is associated with increased all-cause mortality. Cholesterol is the foundation for all of your steroid hormones, including cortisol, vit-D3 and others.

SHBG:48,2 nmol/l (18-54) - suggests elevated E2, can you get that tested?

Are you looking to learn something here or simply want to be dismissive?

I`m so sorry ! I really want to learn something but you should know that Im from Germany andI don’t speak english very well.
So its hard to understand difficult texts. But it doesnt matter ! I want to learn and I want to get healthy.

I have read the this morning and I understanded a lot.
I checked my nutrition and found out, that I don’t eat any food during the day which includes Iodine ! Only Wakame alga 2g with 10mg/100g Iodine. I don’t take iodized salt !
Today Im going to buy a thermostate and tomorrow morning I will check my body temperature.
These are my current stats:
TSH: 2,29
FT3_R: 2,3
FT4_R: 1.06

Shall I start today with IR ? Im not sure I understand the dosage right and I don’t want to do it wrong so can you please say me the dosage in simple english ? Can I use Wakame alga for IR ?

Shall I eat more saturated fats to up my cholesterol level ?

Im going to see a new endo today.
Which stats should be tested ?
Cholesterol, thyroid and E2 ?

I really want to learn and understand all these things.
Thank you so much for your help !

Joe,

Will my T levels ever recover ? YES
Will I ever get my sex drive back ? YES
How long does it take to reover ? You are an individual, and it depends on your system. LET IT RECOVER. Have a bit more patience, mate. I know it is frustrating.

Look, prior to your very hard diet, your body worked PERFECTLY WELL on the diet you were in and at the 15% bf level.

Your body is trying to reach homeostasis (a leveling out) of its hormone production after a very harsh hit to your system (3+ months at 5% bf as a natural lifter (no steroids ) l is a very, very hard hit to your system unless you are a genetic freak that can handle that. You, apparently, are not a genetic freak. Except it, learn from your experience and move on. 99% of us are in the same boat, so don’t feel bad.

Joe, IT HAS ONLY BEEN 5 MONTHS since you started raising your calories. I know that it feels like a long time, but everyone has a unique system and your body is telling you that it needs a bit more time. LISTEN TO IT.

YOUR NATURAL TESTOSTERONE IS TRENDING IN THE RIGHT WAY! LET CONTINUE NATURALLY BEFORE YOU START CONSIDERING TRT, HCG, NOLVADEX or any other drug. It doesn’t mean you have to continue on a calorie surplus and turn into a fat ass. You got to your 15% weight now, just eat at maintenance (stay at the weight) for 3-4 months and continue to make sure you are not restricting your fat intake too much. Most nutrition experts I’ve read recommend at least a 0.45 x body weight (in lbs) of fat grams (so a 160 lb man would need at least 72 grams of fat). Just because you are at 15% bf doesn’t mean your T level should be back at where it was at. Everyone is different (some can regain it, some never lose, etc) and you’re body is telling you it needs more time.

I recommend you eat at maintenance for 3 or 4 more months. Keep working out (primarily weight training and try to keep the cardio low). Don’t do any mini cuts during the period. Enjoy your life. Stop stressing over it. Check again in 3 or 4 months. If your levels are still trending the right way, GREAT! Do it again until you naturally hit your leveling point. IT WILL COME BACK.

You are 20 years old and your body is trying to regain its natural level. The risk of coming here and asking us (primarily a bunch of middle aged guys with unique circumstances what to do is that you’ll might get pointed to drugs that will mess with your natural hormones, and the effects may be permanent).

Your instinct was to not consider TRT or any other drugs. I agree. Follow your instinct for a bit more. Focus on the positives 1) your Test level is trending up! 2) I go to the gym now and can work out and not feel like sh*t (have energy) 3) You are lifting more weights (you are building muscle). Don’t let the fact that you are not feeling the way you felt pre diet cloud these positives. The right answer is often times not the easy answer. Buck up and do what you need to do.

If it comes to the point where you don’t see a trending toward normal levels then consider going to a doctor again and discussing other options, but it’s too early in the game for that in my opinion.

Good luck.

[quote]SixString wrote:
Joe,

Will my T levels ever recover ? YES
Will I ever get my sex drive back ? YES
How long does it take to reover ? You are an individual, and it depends on your system. LET IT RECOVER. Have a bit more patience, mate. I know it is frustrating.

Look, prior to your very hard diet, your body worked PERFECTLY WELL on the diet you were in and at the 15% bf level.

Your body is trying to reach homeostasis (a leveling out) of its hormone production after a very harsh hit to your system (3+ months at 5% bf as a natural lifter (no steroids ) l is a very, very hard hit to your system unless you are a genetic freak that can handle that. You, apparently, are not a genetic freak. Except it, learn from your experience and move on. 99% of us are in the same boat, so don’t feel bad.

Joe, IT HAS ONLY BEEN 5 MONTHS since you started raising your calories. I know that it feels like a long time, but everyone has a unique system and your body is telling you that it needs a bit more time. LISTEN TO IT.

YOUR NATURAL TESTOSTERONE IS TRENDING IN THE RIGHT WAY! LET CONTINUE NATURALLY BEFORE YOU START CONSIDERING TRT, HCG, NOLVADEX or any other drug. It doesn’t mean you have to continue on a calorie surplus and turn into a fat ass. You got to your 15% weight now, just eat at maintenance (stay at the weight) for 3-4 months and continue to make sure you are not restricting your fat intake too much. Most nutrition experts I’ve read recommend at least a 0.45 x body weight (in lbs) of fat grams (so a 160 lb man would need at least 72 grams of fat). Just because you are at 15% bf doesn’t mean your T level should be back at where it was at. Everyone is different (some can regain it, some never lose, etc) and you’re body is telling you it needs more time.

I recommend you eat at maintenance for 3 or 4 more months. Keep working out (primarily weight training and try to keep the cardio low). Don’t do any mini cuts during the period. Enjoy your life. Stop stressing over it. Check again in 3 or 4 months. If your levels are still trending the right way, GREAT! Do it again until you naturally hit your leveling point. IT WILL COME BACK.

You are 20 years old and your body is trying to regain its natural level. The risk of coming here and asking us (primarily a bunch of middle aged guys with unique circumstances what to do is that you’ll might get pointed to drugs that will mess with your natural hormones, and the effects may be permanent).

Your instinct was to not consider TRT or any other drugs. I agree. Follow your instinct for a bit more. Focus on the positives 1) your Test level is trending up! 2) I go to the gym now and can work out and not feel like sh*t (have energy) 3) You are lifting more weights (you are building muscle). Don’t let the fact that you are not feeling the way you felt pre diet cloud these positives. The right answer is often times not the easy answer. Buck up and do what you need to do.

If it comes to the point where you don’t see a trending toward normal levels then consider going to a doctor again and discussing other options, but it’s too early in the game for that in my opinion.

Good luck.
[/quote]

Thank you so much for these words !!! Since 6 months I can’t think about anything else than my low T levels and your post gave me SO much energy and hope !
I found so many young people with low T levels after diet and I was sure that the diet is the cause for the low t levels. In the first couple of month all these people seem to recover and their T levels go up. But then after 3-4 months they loose hope, just like me and start TRT.
In every forum they said me, that I need TRT, HCG, Clomid, Tamoxifen but I was sure, that my T levels will return to normal when I wait, recover and eat enough.

And my T level is getting better ! You are so right. My body only needs time and enough calories.
The last two days I ate 4000 kcal daily and today I feel so good ! Im still very, very hungry but I read a lot about Leptin and Im sure that I only need to gain little more fat, so that my Leptin levels get back to normal. If they are normalized, my hunger stops and my test levels go up to normal.

I really want to workout again but I think it could be bad for my body because he needs all the energy to repair and not to build muscles.

Do you think I should start to workout hard again ?

I also read some more articles about thyroid. Today I bought a basal thermostate for a perfect measurement tomorrow.
I will post my body temperature here tomorrow. Im also going to check my TSH, T3, T4 and cholesterol again tomorrow.

Thank you so much for your help.

Joe,

Get iodized salt, you are iodine deficient. You should take .75grams, 750mg, 750,000 micro grams in a few weeks. You may not be able to find a strong product there. Many are using a product that contains 12.5mg and one can take 50mg per day if they can tolerate that. Can affect digestion. You can take 50mg for two weeks, 25mg for 4 weeks etc. Ask in a health food store or vitamin store.

You cannot fix an iodine deficiency by taking maintenance doses like 150-300 micrograms.

Reading: I thought that from your posts that you were very good with English. You will have to read the stickies more than once to understand. The advice for new guys sticky has definitions and links to wikipedia <-- which you should be able to read in German.

TSH: 2,29
FT3_R: 2,3
FT4_R: 1.06

TSH is too high, should be near 1.0

You should have fT3 and fT4 near mid range. Please add the units and ranges from your lab report, we always need that.

Do you think I should start to workout hard again ? YES

Yes, I do, because you have to consider your general mood and psychology. Stress and anxiousness are not beneficial to getting you back on a normalized state.

You already feel “bad” (which you shouldn’t) that you regained all of the pounds back. If you keep on putting calories in and not working out you are going to recomposition the wrong way… i.e. your weight will stay the same but you’ll decrease the muscle you worked so hard to get and get fat => leads you to feel even worse and more anxious => will take your body longer to recover. REMEMBER, BESIDES YOUR INCREASED ANXIOUSNESS, EVERYTHING IS GETTING A BIT BETTER… SLOWLY BUT BETTER, RIGHT?

You need to get your mind of this sh*t for a while and let your body keep healing.

Go back to the gym. Don’t go crazy and try to hit “Personal Records”. Don’t start comparing yourself to where you were and get all depressed. Don’t work out so hard you feel exhausted. Go to the gym IF IT IS A FUN activity that you miss and work the strength and muscles you have. You are in a process of regaining your health, and exercise should be a part of that (remember it WAS NOT the EXERCISE that your body is reacting badly to, Joe, it is the fact that you were asking it to do strenuous work while you were effectively STARVING yourself (and, yes, that is what you were doing by naturally going to 5% bf and staying there a sustained period of time).

So go back in the gym, regain some strength, and get back in a positive mind set. Send your body signals that it is strong and healthy. But only do the gym thing if it is something you miss and enjoy, remember this is as much about your mindset (if you rather go out and play some soccer (World Cup Champs!) do that instead… whatever sends the right signals to your body that you are a strong and healthy 20 year old and that you are going to give it the fuel it needs to do its job (not starve yourself in the process).

Just remember, if you see your weight start to go down because of the extra activity, just raise your calories up a bit. Send your body signals that it will get plenty of food to do its job, just like the old days. There is no need to keep eating and just become a fat f*ck, man.

If you start acting like your normal self it will send beneficial signal to your body that it is on the right path, as opposed to a constant state of stress and anxiety (staying at home in bed or on the internet eating cheese cake is not helping your body recover as much as you think). Your body wants to be strong and active. Also, unless you know what your levels were before all this stuff happened, no one can tell you where you should be on these ranges… no one. Stay positive, bud, you are driving yourself crazy and it’s not helping you.

Remember, this doesn’t mean that in the future you won’t be able to try to get below 15% if that is what you want. You are supposed to learn from this experience and from what your body is telling you. THIS IS ALL A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE. YOU ARE LEARNING ABOUT YOUR INDIVIDUAL LIMITS AND WHAT YOUR BODY IS WILLING TO DO. You do realize that not everyone can even get to 5% body fat and retain significant muscle naturally, right? You learned that YOU can actually get there, it’s just that you pushed to hard too fast.

But first keep letting yourself get better. Until you see a clear sign that you are not getting better, try not to stress too much. You’ll have plenty of time when your 45 years old like most us to worry about “ranges” and “TSH” and “thermometers” and all this sh*t. Stay well.

[quote]KSman wrote:
Joe,

Get iodized salt, you are iodine deficient. You should take .75grams, 750mg, 750,000 micro grams in a few weeks. You may not be able to find a strong product there. Many are using a product that contains 12.5mg and one can take 50mg per day if they can tolerate that. Can affect digestion. You can take 50mg for two weeks, 25mg for 4 weeks etc. Ask in a health food store or vitamin store.

You cannot fix an iodine deficiency by taking maintenance doses like 150-300 micrograms.

Reading: I thought that from your posts that you were very good with English. You will have to read the stickies more than once to understand. The advice for new guys sticky has definitions and links to wikipedia <-- which you should be able to read in German.

TSH: 2,29
FT3_R: 2,3
FT4_R: 1.06

TSH is too high, should be near 1.0

You should have fT3 and fT4 near mid range. Please add the units and ranges from your lab report, we always need that.

[/quote]

Thank you for these very detailed information ! I can understand them very well.
My body temperature this morning was 99,86 degrees or 98,06 degrees. I was a bit excited and forget to write it down. But Im pretty sure it was 98,06 degrees.
I will measure them again tomorrow morning.

There are no units on my bloodpanel. I add a photo to show it to you.

Does these high iodine doses kill the bacterias in my intestinal ?
That could be bad in my current state because I need them for a perfect digestion to resorb all macros to gain weight and get healthy again. Shouldn’t I first regain my weight and get my test levels back to normal before I start with IR ?
But Im also afraid to get goiter.
And when my body temperature was 98,06 degrees, it wasn’t too low or am I wrong ?

The lab ranges all that I need. The units are obviously the same as we use here. Those levels are low!

Is your thyroid big. Neck looks thick in that area [goiter]?

The higher dose iodine can cause gut bacterial problems for some, gas, loose shits. If that happens, reduce dose by 1/2
Guys on IR do not end up with absorption issues and you can use a probiotic afterwards as well.

You get goiter from low iodine and long term elevated TSH levels. Goiter can then develop nodules that can evolve to create T4 and T3 disconnected from TSH control signals and one can then become hypothyroid with TSH=0 and dangerous levels of T4, T3 and that can progress to cancer. All of that from iodine deficiency.

98.06? That must be a calculation from Celsius. That is low for an afternoon temperature but good for morning temperatures. What do you mean by 99.86 or 98.06? Did you test before getting out of bed?

I have tested my body temperature this morning. It was 36,5 degrees Celsius.
Yesterday it was 36,6 degrees Celsius.
My thyroid is not big and I don’t have goiter.

These stats are from 25.4.2014 and afterwards I ate everyday Wakame alga with high iodine.
TSH: 2,29
FT3_R: 2,3
FT4_R: 1.06

Maybe I don’t have iodine deficiency anymore. I will make a new thyroid bloodtest next monday and post the lab results here.

Personally, I don’t think you’re iodine deficient.

I don’t think you have goiter or an enlarged thyroid.

I think your diet f*cked you up.

I think you need to be patient, keep your weight at your current healthy range, do some moderate weight training and continue experiencing the progress you were previously seeing (you were seeing progress until you decided to do some stupid mini cut in the middle of your recovery and dragged yourself back). You, my friend, are not in need of a magic pill.

The U.S. National Institute of Health cautions that: “…taking iodine drops or eating foods containing large amounts of iodine?such as seaweed, dulse, or kelp?may cause or worsen hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.” As such, only consume iodine in moderate amounts to maintain a proper level. So, before you self medicate, make sure you truly are deficient (there are tests for that) if that is the course you are taking.

I’ll say no more, kid. I hope turn off your computer for a while and de-stress a bit.

Good luck.


I got my new laboratory findings.

Testosterone is still very low. I still have no libido and low ejaculate volume.
I feel much better since I eat 4500 kcal per day.
My endo is sure that these are still symptoms from the extreme diet.
What do you think ?

TSH levels are much better now.
I dont understand why LH is that high. Is that a good sign ? Maybe my body produces more LH now and my testicles need some more time to raise testosterone production.

Given your high LH, it looks like it could be primary hypogonadism.

I agree that this 'looks like" primary. I have some other feelings…


LH and FSH levels are typically about the same levels. FSH has a longer half life and levels are quite steady. LH is quite the opposite. Suggest that you test LH/FSH once again. If LH is then also high, something is wrong and there might be a LH secreting pituitary adinoma. High levels of LH can desensitize the testicles. In any case, with high LH and low T this appears to be primary hypogonadism, but things may not be that simple. If LH remains high, a MRI can be used to see whats going on. It is my understanding that high and constant [non pulsing] LH can shut down the testes. But I was not able to find that just now on the WWW.

fT3 and fT4 are low, should be near fT3=2.7 and fT4=1.1

If those body temperatures are when you wake up, that seems OK, but during the day, that is way too low.

There are these possibilities:

  • you are iodine deficient [how many mg’s total have you taken?]
  • you have a thyroid disease and a test for thyroid antibodies would determine


I am sure it is not primary.
18 days ago my LH was low. FSH also.

What make you so sure that the diet and overtraining are not the causes for the symptoms ?
I found at least 50 people in different forums all over the world that have exactly the same symptoms after a hard diet.
The laboratory findings from these people are very similar to my ones.

Furthermore all symptoms of low T sat in when I dieted for 2 months. And since I eat more my ejaculate volume has increased.
Also I feel much better but I am still very hungry. That is because I still have low leptin levels. The low leptin levels are the reason why T levels are still low. My body is still in starvation mode.
That is also the reason for low T3 and T4 AND high SHGB.
“When you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras”

My last post was wrong. The high LH was because of the GNRH test. Basal LH was 0,84 miU/ml (2,0-12 miU/ml). During the GNRH test it rised up to 12,8 miU/ml.

I still feel very bad and I have low test symptoms over a year now. I hate my life so much and don’t want to waste time anymore.

Do you think I should try anything else before I start TRT ? I read Tamoxifen could restart the HPTA and maybe thats exactly what I need in my current situation ? Because the GNRH test showed that I can produce LH.

When I start TRT should I try test first or start with injections ? I read that 250 mg test E every 10 days is a good dosage to start.

I hope you can help me with these questions and this nightmare will end next week.

Best regards from germany

Joe

Note that starvation can change methylation of DNA causing epigenetic changes in DNA expression. How this happens, if at all, is very individualistic. So you cannot in such cases make assumptions about how these things will play out. I am only saying this because there are complexities that make things difficult and unpredictable. You can only go through these steps and see what works. But in the end, TRT will be the light at the tunnel if it comes to that. So take some comfort that this will eventually work.

As for what you should inject. Please study the “protocol for injections” sticky. What you suggest is a disaster.