T Nation

Need High SHBG Advice


#1

OK so without getting into too many details. This is an average profile when I draw labs.

Trough numbers
TT= 550
E2= 26
SHBG = 58 Reference 10-50

My SHBG has always been high, since I started checking it at least, which was about 8 years ago. I have never seen it lower than 50. (56, 58, 62) I know that is is affecting my Free testosterone. On TRT, I generally feel better, more energy, more libido. However, some days I just don’t “feel it” and I know its not my e2 or TT, so it has to be my SHBG, affecting my free. I actually started on TRT because my free was so low, from the SHBG being high.

  1. My liver is fine, I have liver enzyme tests done frequently and my numbers are always low normal.

  2. I do take clonazepam (currently) but have been taking a benzo for almost 10 years, I know that this medication can cause liver problems, which increase SHBG. I am currently in the process of cutting down, although I only use as needed. Maybe .5-1mg 2-3 times a week, generally on weekends.

  3. I see that there are lots of herbal options. Tongkat Ali, Stinging nettle. But I don’t know where to start. I know that people talk about using the Tongkat Ali for several days on , then a few days off.

I was looking more at Tongkat Ali because I saw that stinging nettle can affect DHT levels. I also inject twice a week, but have heard that once a week is better for high shbg. However, I don’t think I would be able to do a since dose a week, my BP is affected if my TT goes too high.

Any experience of advice would be helpful. Thanks guys.


#2

I also recently was able to finally get my Vitamin D level up from 30, where it had been for months, maybe years. When I first checked it was 30’s and I supplemented vitamin D but got nowhere close. So I did 20K iu for a few weeks now im back to 10K.

My Vitamin D is now at 80, which is much better. I know that having vitamin D in check is important for SHBG, and im wondering if maybe I just need to give the increased vitamin D levels a chance to bring down the SHBG.


#3

OK well can anyone give me an idea of doseages for stinging nettle? I know you have to cycle it, but I am having trouble finding a dose for lowering SHBG.


#4

Ok so my SHBG is getting insanely high, 69-70. Ive seen those numbers when people have Cirrhoses or NFALD. Im fairly certain I have neither of these issues. My liver values are good.

Alkaline Phospate 39 AST 14 ALT 19.

So you can see my liver values are low normal.

Plan to attack SHBG

  1. Stopping all benzodiazepine use. Its going to be hard for me to stop, but I think these are contributing to the increase.

  2. Stop DIM? ( I read on another forum that DIM can increase SHBG, would make sense because it works in the liver, but im not sure, will need to lose weight to drop DIM from my protocol, although, my E2 doesn’t get too high. Usually around 30 with no DIM, 16-20 with DIM.

  3. Activate Extreme from Driven Sports. Just picked up a few bottles, it uses the active ingredient that binds to SHBG. Will take for 6 weeks and see what happens.

I will post up labs to show if any drop in SHBG.


#5

Good Plan, benzo’s have shown some correlation to modest increases in SHBG. However, do not eliminate benzo’s without the assistance of a qualified physician. Benzo withdraw is one of few withdraws than can be fatal.


#6

Luckily I have beaten the withdrawal stage before and for some reason now I don’t have them. I use to take it everyday ,but now I take them maybe twice a week? And I never have withdrawal symptoms. Even if I take it for multiple days in a row and then stop cold turkey, I still don’t have the withdrawal symptoms. So I am lucky in that regard. Ill be able to stop cold turkey with no issues. ( will keep a few just in case, but it wont be an issue).

My other worry is that DIM is increasing my SHBG, although I don’t see that in other peoples posts. I will keep updating, because I know there are a lot of people that have high SHBG and no real answers.

Last resort, Danozol


#7

The SHBG will still be there to show up in labs.

Hmm, Benzos+liver=+SHBG and reduced DHEA

And more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1650416

When not on TRT, benzo’s lower T production and bind more of what is left with increased SHBG.


#8

Sounds like you may be lucky. Just remember GABA rebound is 5 days delayed (from last dose). So if you take it on Sunday, withdraw may not appear until Friday or even Saturday. As for the DIM after doing some reading it seems like it may lower SHBG.


#9

I thought that too about the bound SHBG still showing up on labwork, but I guess it doesn’t. I have seen some labs from people who took this supplement when it was hot , like 06-07. Lowered SHBG on the labs as well as huge increase in free test from the unbinding. I always wondered about that as well.

Reduced DHEA? Actually my DHEA was high when it was checked both times. Have been on benzos approx. 10 years.

Ive never heard of the gaba rebound issue. I know that you have to watch your half life on whatever medication you take , because that’s when you will start to withdrawal. Usually withdrawal symptoms started for me as soon as I missed a dose or within a day or 2.


#10

Boron brought my SHBG from 75 to 55. Tongkat Ali, Stinging Nettle, and all the other commonly recommended supps didn’t affect it one bit.

I’ve heard it theorized that high SHBG results from cortisol irregularities. If cortisol is too low, it must regulate all the other hormones and it does that to testosterone by raising SHBG. Might just be shooting from the hip, but I’ve heard that concept thrown around a lot on several other trt boards. Maybe get your DHEA/salivary cortisol checked?

My SHBG hasn’t dropped below 55 except when I tried aromasin monotherapy which isn’t sustainable for me long term due to pricing. I honestly didn’t feel any different when it dropped either. Makes me think my issues are thyroid and cortisol related and that fixing those will indirectly bring SHBG and free test values into normal ranges.


#11

Thanks for the info, I’ve tried boron and felt some effect. What was your protocol? How much, how long, and what brand?

My cortisol has been checked several times and it was normal. Dheas above range.


#12

I used NOW Foods Boron. Each pill is 3 mg if I recall correctly. I take 3 with breakfast every morning for a total of 9 mg. SHBG takes a while to go down. Took mine almost a month to go down.


#13

So did you stay on? Take breaks? Feel
Any better? Morning woods? Haha sorry I’m just trying to get as much info as possible. I’m gonna try the boron again after
the activate run. I’ve
Read that SHBG has a half life of 20
Days! So that sounds about right!


#14

I’ve stayed on it for the last 6 months and my SHBG has remained at 55ish. Didn’t feel any different. Morning wood hasn’t improved at all (although I attribute that to previous excessive porn use).

As many have begun to discover, SHBG is not something that should be directly manipulated. It is a sign of an underlying issue elsewhere. SHBG that is to high or to low is a symptom of some other hormone imbalance. Either that or a damaged liver. I’m still searching for the underlying issue that’s causing mine. Headed to Arizona in June to see a world renowned integrative medicine doc. Hopefully he’ll have some answers for me.


#15

Yea I’m aware. Recent liver labs had my enzymes at low normal. I really think it’s the benzo use. If I don’t take benzodiazepines
For a few days my woods start to return, but then I usually have to dose so I lose my progress.

Starting fresh and trying the activate and boron to see if I can get just a jump start and or see if the numbers budge at all.

Bring back all your info bro! I’m gonna update this as I go with labs. And eventually down the line when I’ve been benzo free for a month or so.


#16

alphagunner- I’m curious to see if you were able to quit benzos completely and what, if any, effect it had on your free T levels and libido. I’m in a similar situation in that I’ve been on clonazepam 1mg/day for the past 11 years and I’m pretty sure it is effecting my free T levels. My TT is 415 which isn’t great but still not super low and my free T is very low (52pg/mL on a scale of 46 to 224pg/ml). My SHBG is moderately high at 34 but not too high. My doc has prescribed T cypionate but I suspect the clonazepam is reducing my free T either by increase of SHBG slightly, lowering output of T or some other mechanism. Benzos are known to reduce dopamine, so my almost nonexistent libido may not even be a T problem.


#17

Hello, its funny that you answered this, as I was actually just looking at it earlier today.

To answer the benzo question. Yes and No. I do not regularly take it anymore. Meaning, I sometimes go a week or more without it. So I have no physical addiction to it or anything. But I still will take it if my neighbor pisses me off, or if I have to do some social interaction that is giving me a terrible anxiety.

Cutting back on benzos has helped, but not at the degree at which I thought it would.

I actually just got done reading a research paper regarding SHBG and alcohol. They took several alcoholics and monitored their SHBG as they detoxed.

It said it took 12 weeks for the SHBG to normalize. HOWEVER, and this is important. It stated that those who relapsed, had their SHBG return to the “high” level, and stay there for a long time.

Meaning, if your drinking, you might be resetting the clock when it comes to SHBG.

I drink off and on, weekends usually. My SHBG is usually around 50. And that’s about where it has been recently.

Another interesting thing I found out is regarding Glucuronidation.

So, lorazepam, the benzo I was on for a while, is metabolized by the glucuronidation process.

Lorazepam also INHIBITS glucornidation. So when you take lorazepam, it inhibits the metabolic process that is used to clear it.

I did have a strange occurrence happen. I was using calcium D glucarate to help with E2, and it actually lowered my SHBG to 37 (lowest its ever been). When I stopped the CDG, it returned.

I recently have been dealing with higher Bilirubin levels, and have found out that Bilirubin is metabolized by … Glucuronidation. So… I think either I have Gilberts Syndrome. OR lorazepam has altered my liver to where now my Glucuronidation process is altered and slowed down.

I am going to try another experiment with CDG again and see if it has any effect on my SHBG.


#18

Hi, just another piece of information.

I take “Vibrant Health - Super Natural Boron, Bone and Metabolism Support with Boron and Calcium, 60 Count” available at amazon. Each has 3mg and I only take 2 per day.

Because I have CRAZY shbg levels, I verified with labs that my shbg decreased from 104 to 86 while using boron. None of the other supplements (stinging nettle, etc.) did anything for me. However, during my next set of labs, SHBG had risen to 97 even though I was still taking boron so it makes it difficult to determine its overall value. I view it as “it can’t hurt”.

I’m on danazol now, which dropped me from 97 to 60. However, I am due for labs next week and will get a chance to see whether it has created stability or not.


#19

That’s great info, second person I saw today that said boron worked. Took a few months the other guy said. He said he was taking 9mg a day. I have some on hand so I’ll also try that again for an extended time.

Did the Boron affect your e2 at all?

Did you feel any different?

How about now that your on danazol? Side effects?

This is a good thread.


#20

I try to keep my thread updated with all the details, lab work and my comments that are specifically related to my experiences so far …

Boron had no effect on e2 as far as I could tell.
It did not make me feel any different … but realize how high my shbg is.
No side effects on danazol as far as I can tell. Lab work again next week. I’m on a low dose.

BTW, I saw no difference from when I was taking 2 capsules from when I was taking 4 capsules - which really doesn’t make sense. My multi-vitamin also has a small amount of Boron in it.