T Nation

Not on Any Protocol. High SHBG, Feeling Overtrained

I recently came down with the flue and fell off a 5x5 routine about a month before I was about to change up to another program, I came back the other week and lifted at 20% deload. I felt fine then a bit fluey after the session, then my sleep went to bits over the next few days.

Albumin 39 g/L (Range: 35 - 50)
SHBG X 75.7 nmol/L (Range: 18.3 - 54.1)
FSH 7.98 IU/L (Range: 1.5 - 12.4)
LH 10 IU/L (Range: 1.7 - 8.6)
Oestradiol 130 pmol/L (Range: 41 - 159)
Testosterone 24.6 nmol/L (Range: 8.64 - 29)
Prolactin 227 mU/L (Range: 86 - 324)
DHEA Sulphate 4.160 umol/L (Range: 1.2 - 8.98)

My liver function has also been consistently elevated - right at the top end and slightly higher for some of the analytes. I’ve also been eating at least 200g protein per day, up to 280 some days and I’m wondering whether my liver is basically overworked and unable to flush excess estrogen, thus high SHBG??

Also my total cholesterol is 6.7, with LDL around 4.7 and HDL was about 1.3 and the 6 illness week break means I’m now up around 22% body fat. Also good sleep has been non-existent for a while due to some horrible life events, I also read that cortisol increases E2.

My AM cortisol was in late 2018 was 430 (up from 310 in 6 months), right now I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s getting towards 450 or much higher.

Can provide info on CBC and thyroid panels if needed.

Welcome pottera. What is your question?

First let me start out by saying you have a mighty strong pituitary gland going by your LH-Luteinizing Hormone value, which stimulates the testiscles to produce testosterone, which your pituitary gland has increased in order to get Free T to increase, sadly it isn’t going to be enough to compete with your livers over-production of SHBG. SHBG increase do to liver scarring or damage and can’t be undone, only managed from getting worse.

SHBG binds sex hormones and if you tested for Free T, you would find it very low. As usual I don’t expect UK doctors to test for Free T, but if your SHBG is any indication, it’s most likely very low.

You need TRT and not from the NHS, most of those doctors would fixate on your Total T which isn’t even bioavailable, Free T is bioavailable and wasn’t tested, so doctors will say you’re within range and normal.

Low testosterone raise my cortisol and TRT lowered it, testosterone can positively or negatively affect many other hormones if low. I had very poor sleep when testosterone was low, cortisol was high and sleep was difficult because my body was in a constant state of stress from high cortisol.

I’ll be taking my results to the GP next week, the NHS tested my SHBG this time last year and it was 55. Total T and LH/FSH remain more or less unchanged from last year.

The only things that have changed over the last 2-3 years are increased Estrogen and SHBG.

I’ve also had a ton of sustained, high-level stress in my life that has consistently impacted my sleep and my cortisol levels. One source of stress is my noisy home environment that I’m struggling to move from due to finances. My cortisol was 311 in June 2018 and 439 in October, it’s probably higher now.

From what I’ve researched over the last few years and my own experiences, is that increased cortisol directly reduces testosterone and libido. There’s also a connection between increased cortisol and increased estrogen via pregnenolone uptake, although this seems more common for women.

I suppose basically when a person gets to that elevated state for extended periods, the HPA axis gets stuck in dysregulation. I need to fix that by moving somewhere quieter where I can sleep well again and find a better training program that doesn’t beat me up. My elderly neighbour is still going to be banging around and disrupting my sleep at night, whether I’m on TRT or not.

My estrogen levels in 2015 where 95 - not ideal but a lot lower than now and that time, I was living in a different property that was less stressful and still had my career.

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