T Nation

My Recent Bloodwork (Pre-TRT). Help Understanding It?

Hi everyone,

For the last 5 years I’ve gradually been experiencing increasing signs of low testosterone. At first I didn’t even consider low testosterone, I have good muscle mass and can grow a full beard. My symptoms are getting worse every year to a point I feel like I’m starting to lose my mind.

I’m 36, I workout 4/5 times a week, I eat a healthy diet with the odd treat here and there.

The symptoms I experience:

  • I wake up throughout the night
  • Horrible brain fog to the point I feel like I’ve lost about 50 IQ points
  • No energy, I feel like a 70 year old man
  • I have muscle mass but I’m not finding it harder to keep off the fat
  • I have a low libido and struggle to maintain errections without cialis

From my own research my levels are low. I’ve attached my blood work, would anyone help me confirm this and point out anything else that is concerning or interesting? Would TRT be a good treatment for me?

Regarding the cholesterol results which are high. Everyday for breakfast I eat eggs and tuna, including on the day of the test. Could that have thrown these results out of whack?

Any feedback really appreciated!

Progesterone is very anti sexual but i doubt is the cause of yout symptoms

Your Iron is weird. You shouldn’t have transferrin and iron that high with a TIBC that high.

Is this something to be worried about? Do you know what might cause this?

Those numbers need additional investigation. Two questions: 1. Why such limited blood work; no free testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, LH etc?
2. Are you at all concerned with the potential risks known to be associated with eating tuna everyday, like heavy metal accumulation?

Personally, if I were you, I would stop eating tuna immediately. You may be accumulating mercury, which would explain feeling like you’ve lost 50 IQ points, no energy and if you have no energy you’ll also have no libido.

Thanks for the reply. There should be 3 images, including all testosterone, E2, cortisol etc. I’m not sure why you can’t see that, seems fine on my screen?

I wasn’t aware of those risks, thanks for pointing them out, I’ll definitely reduce my intake of tuna now. I don’t think this would have been the cause I haven’t been eating tuna everyday since when this symptoms started happening, but I’ll definitely reduce this now you’ve bought it to my attention

Sorry I don’t know how I missed that on page 2. Those numbers aren’t the worst I’ve seen, but are also low for your age; I’m also 36 and have been on TRT for approaching 6 years.

I have to think something else is going on with you, especially looking at some of your flagged numbers. Often, low T occurs as a downstream effect, caused by other issues.

High cholesterol isn’t as huge a red flag as previously believed, but high LDL is a real red flag. High progesterone is apparently associated with premature coronary artery disease in young healthy adult men. I’d be a little worried about your cardiovascular system currently with naturally high progesterone and high LDL.

High iron could help cause high haemoglobin. Are you taking any supplements with iron or eating a lot of iron fortified foods?

Your thyroid numbers look ok, but it would have been nice if rt3 was also tested. When rt3 is high, it blocks ft3 and can effectively make you hypothyroid.

I personally wouldnt just reduce the tuna intake, I would drop it completely. There’s no point eating it when there’s other protein sources available that come without any heavy metal toxicity risks. If you want omega 3’s, pop some fish oil caps.

Has your Dr reviewed your results?

Did your doctor mention Hemachromatosis? Did the doctor want to investigate anything further? I wouldn’t worry about mercury particularly, you have some glaring markers to investigate already. You have symptoms of high iron, and blood numbers that indicate an issue. They should have checked your B12 as well.

Thanks for all that, some really good information there. I’ve just been reading about tuna and turns out it’s really high in iron, so me eating it 5 days a weeks for months would explain my high levels there. I’ll stop eating it.

I need to work on reducing my LDL. My level of LDL is high, but is it dangerously high? Do you know how I can reduce that and reduce my progesterone? I can’t find anything online about reducing progesterone.

I paid for this blood test from MediChecks so I don’t have a doctor to talk to. I could talk to my GP though.

Many can tolerate a diet relatively high in saturated fat and cholesterol but I listened to a Ben greenfield podcast where he indicated some people actually don’t metabolize it well and do end up with elevated cholesterol which can lead to high LDL. These people actually should avoid eating a lot of things high in cholesterol, like eggs.

How’s your body fat percentage?

If I were you, I’d go 35 protein, 40 carb, 25 fat for macros and drop the whole eggs and tuna.

You’re already lifting, which can lower LDL. Next thing I would try would be a diet to lose some fat if you’re over 15%.

All of this may be difficult while feeling shirty, so at first id just start with dropping the eggs and tuna and other high fat foods and see if that alone helps after 4 weeks or so.

Anyone reccomending against eggs is blinkered and reactionary to simplified data. Eggs have been villified unjustly by people looking for something to write about when they have nothing useful to say.

I agree with you for most of the population. There are some who don’t tolerate high amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol in their diets which results in high cholesterol levels, which in turn can increase LDL which is always bad. Before you take the stance as if there’s nothing left to learn, perhaps listen to the podcast yourself. Ben greenfield is extremely knowledgeable in the nutrition field.

I am aware of Ben Greenfield, although I do not share your enthusiasm. Eggs contain a lot of different things, and it is at least as reasonable to expect that they would in fact lower your cholesterol by their consumption. If you want to argue that frying them could have a negative impact, sure. If you wantto argue that they are in fact worse for you without the yolks, I am on board. If you want to make that claim about eggs as a blanket statement, you are talking out of the wrong orifice.

It’s fact that a small percent of humans are negatively impacted by diets high in cholesterol and saturated fats, which would be contained in the egg yolk. Most humans are not negatively impacted by diets high in egg yolks, saturated fats or cholesterol. No blanket statements are being made by me. I left quite a bit of wiggle room. You seem strangely offended by this. It looks like we agree besides this small point, so ill settle to agree to disagree.

It’s fiction that the egg yolk has this effect. All of the useful nutrients in an egg are in the yolk, and eggs are in most ways a very healthy food. My lowest cholesterol numbers have been when consuming eggs daily, at one point a dozen a day as a basic part of my diet. And I do in fact tend towards high cholesterol and so does most of my family. But my total has been 167 and 166 on high egg diets. Well over 200 t other times, and no cholesterol drugs ever. Just because there is cholesterol in an egg, doesn’t mean it will raise cholesterol. That’s simplified and stupid.

Eggs were previously associated with heart disease risk as a result of their high cholesterol content. However, a solid body of research shows that for most people, cholesterol in food has a smaller effect on blood levels of total cholesterol and harmful LDL cholesterol than does the mix of fats in the diet. [2-4]

I’d say your conclusions are simplified and purely anecdotal.

Notice your quote in red says the same thing I’ve said “research shows that for most people…”. Most people.

This now has me questioning if you’re fully reading or just skimming posts.

I’m reading, you are making blanket diet suggestions. A better suggestion if cholesterol is a legitimate concern would be to supplement Co-Q-10 than eliminate eggs.

No, I stated the same thing your excerpt from the study said and suggested he may fall in the small minority of people who don’t process a diet high in fat well and to experiment with a change for a few weeks and then revisit how he feels and potentially get more lab work done. Im not concerned with total cholesterol and stated as such. Im concerned with elevated LDL. Ive already stated this previously. We’re really just beating a dead horse now. Let’s stop derailing the Ops thread.