T Nation

Steps to Improve My Health


#1

I would like your advice on what steps I could take in the next few months to improve my health. I have been feeling unhealthy with low hormone levels for about 9 years. I have visited numerous doctors in the last couple years trying to make some progress, but it has not really helped.

The main areas that I am having problems with are my hormone levels, insulin resistance (which is causing excessive hunger/weight gain), and possibly heavy metals/detoxifcation issues.

I do have a few other things going on such as anemia, low cholesterol, and a few vitamin/mineral deficiencies, but I think that if I can correct some of the bigger problems going on, then everything else should get better as well.

In regards to labs, my T is usually around 150-300, tsh around 3.0-4.5, cortisol a.m. is around 12-14. LH and FSH are usually in middle of range. SHGB low I believe and dht low as well. Estrodial is usually in the middle of the range or on the low end. I can look old labs for more tests and ranges if you think it would help.

I recently changed my diet to a more low carb, Paleo diet, and it does seem to be helping a little. I am not as hungry as before, but my increased appetite is still a major problem. I am very worried about this issue because it seems like the more carbs and sugar I eat over time, the worse it is making my health, which often can signal pre-diabetes or diabetes. My increased appetite has been a serious problem for many years. I am confident that if I can rebalance my hormone levels and my insulin resistance starts to improve that this area will get better.

My key focus right now is rebalancing my hormone levels. When I first discovered this problem, I tried testosterone shots and cream, but it did not work. I tried both shots and cream for a few weeks, but could not take the side effects it was placing on my body. It ended up causing terrible chest pain, heart racing, just overall felt like it was too much for my heart to handle at the time.

I then tried cortef and thyroid medicine to see if this might be the root of the problem and maybe start me on the right track. I did the cortef for about 1 month and started experiencing bad side effects. And then started thyroid and did not feel any improvement in my health and my thyroid labs did not get better.

I have went to a few doctors after this who tried to rebalance my hormones through natural medicine or put me on 1-2 grains on armour for my thyroid, but it has not had any positive effect.

So overall, I have never really been on any good plan to treat my hormone levels. I have been on sporadic treatment here and there for a few weeks or maybe a 1-2 months max.

I am currently set to meet with a very good doctor in Florida who has a lot of experience with hormones, weight management, and detoxification. I am excited about the next few months and think that this time I will be able to figure out a way to rebalance my hormone levels and improve my health.

I need your advice on what things I should consider trying or mentioning to my doctor to see if it will help me out.

After reviewing all my labs and reading up on various information, I think one of the first things I need to do is try and restart my hpta. I have never done a restart and since I am so young, I think there is a great chance that this can be successful for me.

I have looked into clomid, tamoxifen, hcg, toremifene, and hmg. I think with one or a combination of these, I should be able to see if my body will respond in a positive way.

My main goal going through this process is do whatever I restart my natural testosterone production without having to use Androgel or shots, etc. I am willing to try any combination of restart medications for months, year, however long it might take. And do multiple restarts if that might help as well. If after awhile it does not look like I can rebalance my hormones levels by doing a restart and my health is still not improving, than I move on the next step of using replacement T, but I am trying to avoid that if possible.

There is one issue with rebalancing my hormone levels that might be causing problems. And that is a potential high mercury level or other heavy metals. I have tested a little high on a hair test and blood test for mercury. But these were done through Genova labs, so it hard to tell if it is accurate and there is a lot of controversy surrounding mercury in general. One thing that was mentioned before was a possibly that the reason the testosterone therapy did not work and made me feel so bad, was because adding the testosterone might have made my mercury symptoms worse. This area is very controversial so I am not sure how to approach it.

The doctor I am going to see in Florida is familiar with detoxification/chelation of heavy metals. If she thinks treating this area my help me, then I probably will try using oral dmps. I have always just been a little hesistant on this issue because I did not feel comfortable with the doctors I have worked with before in this area.

To help with weight management, I think the new doctor is going to recommended certain diet changes, prescribe an appetite suppressant, and give me some supplements to help in this area.

One thing I wanted to point out is that I think my body is sensitive to medication and changes. And whatever I try is going to need to be slowly and in a controlled manner.

About my thyroid levels, I am thinking that maybe a good dose of T3 or T4 might help. I have tried armour in the past and it does not seem to do anything. I am a big guy weighing in at about 300 pounds, so maybe the dosages have been too small in the past. I could have thyroid hormone resistance, but I am not sure.

In regards to my adrenals and cortef, I donâ??t think I will ever try that medication again. It gave me terrible spine pain, extreme headaches, eye twitching, and just overall not a good feeling. I would consider maybe maca or something else to help in this area.

In summary, I really need some help to improve my health. I am confident that with right doctors and guidance that I can get healthy again. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to post them. It could be something a simple as supplement/medication to try or something detailed like a specific plan of things to do/take/dosages and then what to test for on labs, etc. I would really appreciate the help. Thank you.


#2

The T-Replacement forum is a better place to ask these questions. Here we'll just tell you to lift heavy and clean up your diet.


#3

Yeah testosterone will definitely resolve insulin resistance. You cannot expect to maintain an active lifestyle and be healthy with a testosterone level of an 8 year old boy at 150-300. You need shots 75 mg every 5 days. I have seen very little success on these forums in restarting natty production with things like clomid and hcg.


#4

?
age
duration of problems - 9 years
weight ~300
waist size
BPH or urine flow reduction
fasting serum glucose results
high blood pressure
bone density tests results
cholesterol
use iodized salt
work place exposure to chemicals
dry skin, brittle nails, feel cold easily
check waking body temp before you get feet on the floor, SB close to 97.8, 97 is too low
exposure to flame retardant clothing
react poorly to stress
lost of some peripheral vision
any degree of gynomastia

post your lab results in a list form, not paragraphs, include lab ranges, always get/retain copies of labs

sounds like syndrome X, aka metabolic disorder

Your HPTA will not 'restart' at your weight

Drugs Rx and OTC, alcohol, weed, can increase your E levels, repressing HPTA function [cimetidine is the worse and OTC]


#5

Thanks for the reply. On another forum, somebody asked me to give a little more detailed information in a reply post. I replied to their post and I am going to post what I said here. It gives a good background on my situation.

--To answer some of your questions specifically:
--My waist size is about 44.
--I have frequent urination and often go a few times a night.
--Fasting blood glucose is sometimes in the 70's in low 90's. Some docs thought I might be hypoglycemic because when it is in the 70's, they said that is not good.
--Fasting insulin was 16 the first time I did it and 11 the next, both are pretty high from my understanding.
--No high BP, usually normal. Last time was about 100/60 though, and the lady said this is ok. I thought it might be a little low at that level.
--Bone density scan was good.
--Cholesterol level is low. Usually around 100, sometimes maybe get upto 110-120.
--Do not use salt.
--No exposure to chemicals or flame retardent clothing.
--Dry skin yes, brittle nails are medium I guess (not too bad/but not that healthy either), and get hot often due to my heavy weight.
--React very poorly to stress. Eat more, gain more weight, fatigue, feel like crap, etc.
--Vision has defintely detoriated. I have to wear glasses and have noticed it slowly getting worse as time goes on.
--Yes, gynemastia very bad. I have man boobs for sure. Part of it is probably due to being overweight and the other part could be extra estrogen or not enough testosterone in my body. Not sure on this one.

I agree about the syndrome X situation. I know have a bad insulin resistance problem that it is getting worse. However, I think I can rebalance some of my hormone levels and lose some weight, might insulin resitance will get better and things will start to improve.

Hopefully might hpta can restart at this weight. Please read what I wrote and then answer this question again for me. I think because I used prohormoes/brief cycle of steroids, that I have a chance to restart my natural test production. I am also very young. And the fact the T replacement therapy did not go that well for me when I tried it, doing a restart or multiple restart is probably my best option in my opinion.

My age is 27. I am currently 6 feet, 300 pounds. I have been this weight for about 2-3 years. I do have extra body fat which is mostly located in my abdominal area, although there is extra fat all around.

I do not look like a typical heavy guy though as I have a muscular build and have lifted weights consistently since I was about 14 years old.

I grew up playing football and used prohormones when I was about 15 years. Andro and dhea. During this time I also was using a lot of drugs (marijuana/alcohol). Did use a little amount of cocaine for a few months when I was about 17. When I was about 18, I noticed that my body was not functioning as good as before. I could not put on muscle like I used to, my libido declined, started losing my sexual desire, etc. When I was 19, I was in college and used 1 cycle of deca/dbol. It was one bottle of deca and probably 50-75 dbol pills. After this I noticed that my libido took a real hit and I did not feel that good in general. However, during this time and over the next few years, I was using a lot of drugs so I did not really realize what was going on at the time.

Due to the drugs, my weight was around 200-225 for the next few years. I had a very bad cocaine problem in college. But when I finally sobered up, I started to gain weight. This was around 23. I gained about 75 pounds in 18-24 months. My libido was real bad, got sick all the time, and health was just going down the drain. I ended up graduating college and a few months after that I started looking into correcting my health.

One thing that may be important was that I used OTC heartburn medicines in excess for about 2 years. I took many pills of zantac (antihistamine I think) every day for along time and also alot of prilosec.

I do have a long history of gastro problems such as heartburn, esphogus acid damage (esophagitis), and peptic ulcer. Recently in the last few months, I was under extreme stress and developed chronic abdominal wall pain most likely from a trapped nerve or somehow nerve related. One doc who did an endoscopy said I had gastroparesis, but when I had a gastric emptying study done it was normal. So it hard to say what is going on and I am scheduled to receive nerve injection pain shots to see if it will help. This problem has caused me severe constipation, bloating, abdominal distention, etc.

About the labs, I will try to post more results when I can get them back from the doctor. I have not had any tests in a while and some were when I was on thyroid/cortef medication, so they are not baseline levels.

The doctor I am meeting with this week most likely will run an extensive panel of tests so I will post those for sure when I receive them.

I understand that my levels/numbers are low. I have been feeling like death for the last decade basically. I can only describe the side effects from the testosterone cream/shots as giving me extreme chest pain, and basically felt like my heart was hurting. I even met with a cardiologist to run tests to see if my heart was ok, and it was doing good. I do have heart murmur I believe, but that is the only thing I can think of related to this issue.

What I think might have happened is that my body is so used to not having any testosterone, that adding it in all of the sudden and not going very slow, might have been too much for my body to handle. I have also read about how testosterone is somehow connected to various catecholamines and this could have raised my adrenaline levels, norepinerdrine, or one of the similar things in this category.

Another thing that I can tell you is that I have not felt like I had a high level of testosterone since I was about 17. That is 10 years. My body has been messed up for along time so I could be very sensitive to any changes in the endocrine system.

I did take thyroid medicine, but my levels never really improved. The goal was to take the cortef for awhile to build up my adrenals, then add in thyroid and improve my thyroid levels (lower tsh, increase t3/t4 levels), but this never happened. The cortef ended up messing me up pretty bad and after that, my doctor just bailed on me. He did not want to be liable for any side effects from the cortef.

I met with naturopathic doctor who put me on 1-2 grains of armour, but she costs a lot of money and did not really seem that interested on focusing on treating my thyroid. And I never felt any better when I took the armour.

I think that I might need a high dose of either t3 or t4 as mentioned in my original post. I have read about how high doses of t3 could help someone with insulin resistance. Also how thyroid is very important to help with your metabolism. And it can cause low testosterone, fatigue, etc. One doctor who I think is knowledgeable mentioned that I might need t4, instead of armour or t3.

The only thing I am worried about is that most likely my adrenals are not functioning at a high level, so if I add in a bunch of thyroid medicine, this could put enormous strain on my adrenals and make me feel worse. However, this might not happen and I could feel better. So I am not sure how to approach this. I could always take an adrenal support formula or something while on thyroid medicine to help me out. Something with maca in it or licorice root.

I have tried to find the underlying cause of my altered hormone status and I believe it is a combination of things. Probably the prohormoes at a young age, the excessive drug use, the brief steroid cycle, and just living a lifestyle not caring about my body from about 18-23.

I have done extensive testing at big hospitals such as the Cleveland Clinic including various MRIâ??s, ct scans, etc. I have been tested head to toe and there is nothing they can find on a scan or test that is causing some of my hormone problems. I do have a dessicated disk or two in my spine. And a possibly pituatary tumor of 3mm. It says the pit tumor is 3mm but one doctor said he could barely see it, so I am not sure.

I am going to discuss extensively with my doctor doing the restart. I actually will be working with 2 very good doctors in the hormone field. One is familiar with restarts and has helped patients with this issue.

I agree that most of the mercury/chelation stuff is a scam and that is why I have been a little hesistant to try it out. However in my case, when someone has been as sick and unhealthy as I have for so many years, it is often worth a shot to see if it might help. Anything is worth a shot in my case.

I am overweight and have been for a few years. I do maintain a good diet and workout regularly. Its just that I never see any benefits from working out due to all my health problems, so you would not really know.

In regards to thyroid, I have taken Erfa in 1-2 grain doses for a month a so. And even bumped it up to 3-4 grains for a week or so. And have taken T3 for about a week or so. I have used compounded armour for a few weeks at doses of 1-2 grains. The cortef doses I took for about 1-2 months were starting with 2.5 mg. Working my way up to 20-30 mg.

After reviewing various labs and information recently, I think I am going to start on a restart medication asap. Probably clomid or tamoxifen, depending on what the doctor thinks is best. Stay on that for a few months to see how it is impacting my hormone levels. If is working and I feel better, then continue to stay on that and adjust doses to see what is the best area. I know that this might be a long process and I am in this for the long haul. If it takes me 6-12 months to restart my hpta and or find a sweet spot, then I am all for it. If one restart medication doesnâ??t work. Then I might try 2 of them such as tore + clomid/tamox to see if it might help.

Most likely the doctor will want to treat my thyroid somehow. Not sure with what, but I am open to any suggestions someone might have.

For weight management, I think this an area that might be improved with some changes in diet/supplements/prescription appetite suppressants.

And for detoxifaction, I might just hold out for a little while on that and try to restart medications and weight management changes and see how it goes. If things donâ??t really improve too much, then I probably will try some form of chelation.

And if after awhile my T levels are still low and continue to have zero libido, then I find some way to titrate or adjust exongenous T like you mentioned. If I have to do this, then I most likely will have start with very low dosage so my body can handle it. But as mentioned before, I am trying to avoid using replacement T in general.

I think this is a pretty solid plan for now. Am I missing anything? Or is there anything that you would do different? Thank you so much for responding to the post. I know it was long and most people donâ??t answer long posts. But I really appreciate it.


#6

Deca can break HPTAs for the few that are vulnerable. You are in a difficult situation. You need to fix three hormone systems and attempts find weaknesses in the others. And your brain may be altered from the coke and altered dopamine release and response actions. The challenge will be to introduce things slowly and in balance.

Have you read Wilson's book on Adrenal Fatigue? You seem to be there.

There will be concerns about low cortisol and rT3.

If you do not use iodized salt, you may have had an iodine deficiency contributing to your thyroid problems.

Get the labs posted and we will see what that suggests.

What supplements? fish oil, vit-D3 others?

Read the stickies here and ask questions based on that.


#7

Because he has potential autoimmune disorder cortef would not be wise choice because it can cause alteration in the immune system which can make matter worse. Since I have known about this case for well over 2 years, most logical solution to this is to start from bottom, scap off biofilm to help the body to release the stored mercury in his system as well as the bacteria which are trapped in this deep film. Chelating can push it deeper into the tissue. if mercury is present TRT can push mercury deeper into the brain and other organs making it more difficult to treat.


#8

I don't think that that makes sense to me or others. Links?


#9

It is a whole new field of research that Dr I am working with has been having some good succes in chronic fatigue cases. Again not too many people know about it. His assistance is at the conference now and I am waiting to hear the newest research.