Hello. I’m 37 years old and have naturally high testosterone (usually over 1000 ng/dl) but still feel like shit in general. For the past 6 months or so I have been experiencing some strange symptoms (nipples have a dull surging ache at various times) so I went ahead and started monitoring my estradiol. It is high as well. I will post a year or so of blood work numbers for reference.
My questions are as follows… Why is my SHBG so high and can anything be done to lower it? Am I converting my testosterone to estrogen and if so what is causing this? My endo has me take 1mg Anastrozole whenever it gets bad. It almost instantly make the dull ache in my nipples go away. Is there anything else I can do to lower my estrogen besides taking that medication? Any ideas as to why I feel relatively shitty even though my testosterone is high? Thanks in advance for any help and insight. Oh I also have hypothyroidism and take meds for that if its of any significance.
Maybe you eat a low carb diet. Maybe you are overtreating your hypothyroidism. Maybe you drink too much coffee. Maybe it’s your genes. What do you think you’ll gain if you lower your SHBG though? All you would accomplish is a reduction of total testosterone.
Maybe there’s something wrong with your diet, sleep, stress, exercise, mental health, microbiome, relationships, nutritional deficiencies, sun exposure, indoor environment, etc, etc, etc.
Thanks for clarifying the ranges and units. Good job getting decent fT test through Quest (equiibrium dialysis).
More mythology IMO. Intelligent opinion and clinical data indicate HPTA controls free testosterone (fT) not total testosterone (TT) and SHBG+fT yields TT. Hence, if you waved a magic wand and lowered your SHBG your fT would stay the same and TT would drop. I tried this on myself by using medication (oxandrolone) that lowers SHBG. Some additional comments about this:
@FunkOdyssey also has a much better analogy called the “sponge” analogy (super learning tool) and also look up cataceous over at ExcelMale. He has been preaching about this for years.
Unfortunately the myth that lowering SHBG increases absolute fT has been repeated over and over. I will agree lowering SHBG increases relative percentage of fT (fT/TT) but that isn’t the important driver.
Long term unsure and if it was me I would use the minimum effective dose that would do the job. You may find you could use much less.
The conventional thinking is that higher SHBG reduces free testosterone and causes hypogonadal symptoms as a result. The Sponge Theory of SHBG suggests the conventional thinking is wrong: SHBG only influences total testosterone, and your body will regulate to its preferred level of free testosterone regardless of SHBG value. Regardless of what you believe about SHBG though, free testosterone isn’t your problem here, because your free testosterone values are high normal. You’re at the top of the range with what looks like Quest’s free testosterone by equilibrium dialysis and your Vermeulen calculated free T is between 16 and 18.5 ng/dL. Those are great values for a natural guy.
I think the folks here could offer better suggestions if you described in detail what you mean when you say that you “feel awful”.
This is incorrect, people with metabolic syndrome typically have low SHBG. My SHBG was low (11) pre-TRT and as I’ve improved my health, my SHBG has more than doubled. You even get a temporarily increase in SHBG after weight lifting sessions.
SHBG is thought to activate testosterone at the receptor level.
The oura ring will help you troubleshoot your sleep and make connections between the lifestyle factors that influence sleep and the results. Since they added SpO2 tracking, the ring is also able to diagnose sleep apnea with what appears to be a reasonable degree of accuracy. If you have sleep apnea, treatment is likely to be life-changing.
I suggest a sleep study. I was always on the verge of a nap before getting my CPAP. I attributed my fatigue and fog to hormones but it turned out I was having 90 episodes and hour while sleeping. Get the study… thank me later.
I take Anastrozole 1/2 to 3/4 mg per week week in and week out and have for years.
When I took 1mg/week my Total Testosterone was 1100 and my Estradiol was 8. Yes, 8.
I felt pretty crappy with an E2 of 8.
You sound as though you are really sensitive to E2, and convert T easily, as do I.
An older friend of mine took 0.25mg every 7 days for 4 weeks, and then 0.25mg every 6 days for 4 weeks, and then 0.25 every 5 days for 4 weeks, and for him, 0.25mg every 5 days for 4 weeks, and got the response he was looking for.
This worked for him, it might work for you too.