First, I’d like to thank all contributors to this forum - the information provided here has been invaluable while dealing with my hormonal issues this past month. While waiting (impatiently) for my next doctor visit, I thought I’d share my situation and see what thoughts and advice you might have.
I’m 56, 6’ and for the past few years 185 to 190 pounds. Last two body fat measurements had me between 12 and 13%. I lift three to four time a week, and do hard cardio two to three times per week. Overall, always felt good for my age. This summer my weight jumped to 195 - 200, and was having a heck of a time dropping it down. I chalked it up to getting older.
In mid September I started getting what I describe as hot ‘flushes’. They happen a couple times a day and only last a couple seconds. I didn’t give them much thought.
Then in mid October, the hot ‘flushes’ suddenly became full-on hot flashes. Big time clothes drenching/sheet drenching sweats. I’d get 12 to 20 a day. They sucked. No other hormonal symptoms - I had energy, no ED,etc.
Went to the doctor. He did basic bloodwork plus total testosterone. Nothing more, and at the time, I had no clue to ask for additional testing (results are below). Most all results came back ‘normal’, but cholesterol (especially LDL) was high (I’m usually under 200), and my total T came back at 35 (280-800). That’s not a typo. Doctor put me on 5g Androgel daily and said come back in a couple months.
Well, I wanted to know why T was low. As I began researching, it didn’t take long to realize I wasn’t just low T - I have virtually no T production. I also quickly learned that a lot more tests should have been done. I scheduled an appointment for two weeks after starting Androgel.
I didn’t get all I asked for, but some (see below). Free T is low (duh), and the result that jumps out of this limited panel is my Prolactin level - 46 ng/mL (4.0 - 15.2). Other items were within range, which somewhat surprises me considering my low T. I’m also really disappointed my total T wasn’t retested. The doctor figured he had just done this, not figuring it was before Androgel, and that it was so low it might be wise to retest for errors.
Doctor set me up with an Endocrinologist. My appointment is December 9.
To date, Androgel eliminated the hot flashes. I definitely have less energy, but I’m realizing that came on the same time as the hot flashes. Sexual function seems normal, though for the first week or so after the hot flashes I had no morning wood. It’s back now. I do have enlarged/sensitive nipples (prolactin?), but no gyno.
About the only other info that might have some pertinence is that for the past eight or nine months I had gotten into the habit of drinking lots of coffee - 80 to 100oz per day. Don’t know if there’s any relationship to my issue, but it very well could have been keeping my (perceived) energy level up this past summer. As of mid October I’m 20-24oz/day.
My uneducated analysis is that whatever I’m dealing with came on relatively fast. I’m expecting the need for an MRI (prolactinoma??). I’m also very interested in your thoughts.
First blood work (outside ‘normal’ in bold)
Glucose, serum 101mg/dL (65-99)
BUN 33mg/dL (5-26)
BUN/Creatine ratio 29 (8-27)
Sodium, serum 140mmol/L (135-145)
Potassium, serum 4.7mmol/L (3.5-5.2)
Chloride, serum 102mmol/L (97-108)
Carbon Dioxide, total 27mmol/L (20-32)
Calcium, serum 9.5mg/dL (8.7-10.2)
Protein total, serum 7.4g/dL (6.0-8.5)
Albumin, serum 4.3g/dL (3.5-5.5)
Globulin, total 3.1g/dL (1.5-4.5)
A/G ratio 1.4 (1.1-2.5)
Bilirubin, total .4mg/dL (.0-1.2)
Alkaline Phosphate, serum 60IU/L (25-150)
AST (SGOT) 24IU/L (0-40)
ALT (SGPT) 25IU/L (0-55)
Cholesterol, total 251mg/dL (100-199)
Triglycerides 61mg/dL (0-149)
VLDL cholesterol Cal 12mg/dL (5-49)
LDL 182mg/dL (0-99)
Total cholesterol/HDL ratio 4.4 (0-5.0)
TSH 1.380 uIU/mL (.45-4.5)
Prostate specific Ag, serum .8ng/mL (.0-4.0)
Testosterone, serum 35ng/dL (280-800)
Second Blood work (23 days after first, 16 days after starting Androgel)
Dihydrotesterone 93ng/dL (30-85)
Free testosterone, direct free 7.1pg/mL (7.2-24)
Cortisol (morning test) 14.1ug/dL (6.2-19.4)
LH, serum 3.6mIU/mL (1.7-8.6)
Prolactin, serum 46ng/mL (4-15.2)
Esrtradoil (roache ECLIA methodology) 8.6pg/mL (7.6-42.6)
FSH, serum 3.3mIU/mL (1.5-12.4)
DHEA-sulfate 254.6ug/dL (51.7-295)