T Nation

Strange Hormone Levels (Test, E2, Cortisol)

Hey Guys,

What are your thoughts on the below numbers?

I’ve been under a good bit of stress, firing on all cylinders… but low T seems to have been a theme for me, since i started tracking it.

I’ve been in the 300-350’s all year.

Would love your thoughts. I’m 28, not lifting and dealing with fatigue, brain fog, muscle wasting in arms/legs. Previously given treatment for lymes. Low grade swelling in knees and nuts.


Yeah man, no reason to panic your free T looks good. You probably have a very low SHGB.
Which is making good use of the T you are producing. Now let me guess you have a bit too much weight/body fat happening? Your exercise is none existent?

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I suggest checking your prolactin, FSH, LH, SHBG and to try to optimize your lifestyle, nutrition and weighlifting. And loose excessive body fat.

What does your diet looks like?


Your Iron is low, but nothing serious probably. An iron supplement wouldn’t hurt though. Your Folate is very high, but your B12 is lower end of the range. If you have a serious form of the MTHFR gene mutation you would have a lot of trouble with Folic Acid, which would build up in your system and give a false Folate level. Folate is the natural form, Folic Acid is synthetic. They are not the same thing, especially if your body has trouble with the synthetic version. Excessive folic acid is very detrimental, it will interfere with your body using the Folate that it can actually process. It’s also virtually impossible to avoid, as the government mandates it’s inclusion in a variety of foods in a Big Brother approach to handling deficiencies in the general population. Google MTHFR and low B12. There is a lot of info. It’s a form of anemia.

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Hey All,

I eat pretty clean, but not tracking macros. My general diet looks like this:


  • 1 avocado
  • whey protein supp (20g Protein, 5g fat, 5g carbs - 200 cal)
  • Fiber supp
  • 2-3 servings of eggs
  • 1 slice of toast


  • Chicken breast
  • Rice or Beans
  • Veggies


  • Red Meat or Chicken/Fish
  • Rice or Beans
  • Veggies

I currently weigh about 190 lbs (5’10), and have the least muscle for this weight i’ve ever had.

I used to lift a few years ago and got up to 190 with a good amount of muscle mass, but now my physiology seems to have flipped.

I’m not FAT FAT, but definitely not in the right place in terms of composition. It’s got to be based on hormones and nutrient levels. My suspicion.

Have to work on fixing my postural issues too, for lifting.

No reason to have that in there. The dirty secret of the supplement industry is that very, very few people actually need protein shakes every day. But see if very few people need it then it’s harder to move units. So now protein powder is pitched as a good addition to any diet. You don’t need it. Eat real food (like the rest of your meals) and skip the processed powder bullshit.

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Here is a log of your diet.

How long have you been eating like this? From what you listed, even being generous with the portions, this is only about 1800 cals, which puts you at the bottom of the barrel. You’re in a deficit and if you’ve been doing this for a while, then there’s a good chance your metabolism is screwed.

I would start slowly increasing cals over a few weeks time and get that up to around 2500 and get back in the gym.

Edit to add… It would also be beneficial for you to eat 6 smaller meals a day instead of 3 larger size meals.

Damn, thank you for laying that out man. That’s very clear. I’ll be it’s likely even less than that.

Edit: How long? Probably a year… been so busy working/hustling…

What do you suggest I add into my diet to add calories?

I’m traveling for work right now, but when I get home tonight I’ll give you an example of at least my version of a 2500 cal clean diet day.

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If you make the jump all at once, expect to gain a little more fat until your metabolism recovers.

If you want to let it recover in a healthy way, add 100-200 cals to your day each week until you hit your goal.
Now 1800 cals/day
Week 1 - 1900-2000 cals/day
Week 2 - 2100-2200 cals/day
Week 3 - 2300-2400 cals/day
Week 4 - 2400-2500 cals/day
Thereafter - 2500 cals/day

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I cant speak for OP but for me its a convenience thing. It is literally better than eating nothing.


And it makes sense for you. You look great, you lift, you probably have your macros dialed in very well, and you need those calories and that protein in a convenient way. For the OP—who does not lift—it makes no sense.

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Some good ways of getting additional calories that aren’t dirty:
-hard boiled eggs (great mid day snack)
-cheese (I prefer Gouda or sharp cheddar)
-packets of tuna
-macadamia nuts
-Greek yogurt

Higher fat, higher protein, very satiating snacks can be a good tool in your arsenal when you’re looking to slowly ramp up calories. As someone else said, don’t go too hard too fast, it’ll get messy.



Sorry for the delay. It’s been a long day!! lol

Here is that example I promised for a day of ~2500 cals.

Meal #1 (Breakfast) (Post Workout if you workout in the morning)
Blended Protein Shake consisting of…
Black Coffee 4oz
ON Whey 100% Isolate (Chocolate) 1 scoop
Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk 1/2 cup
PB Fit Powder 2Tbsp
Organic Raw Baby Spinach 1cup
Stevia 1 packet

Oatmeal consisting of…
Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats 1/4 cup (dry before cooking)
Blueberries 1/4 cup
Stevia 1 packet

Meal #2 (Snack)
Oiko’s Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt 3/4 cup
Kirkland Ancient Grains Granola 1/2 cup
Kirkland Nut Bar w/Cocoa and Sea Salt 1 bar
Stevia 1 packet

Meal #3 (Lunch)
Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon (Grilled) 6oz
Long Grain Brown Rice 1 cup cooked
Steamed Broccoli 6oz

Meal#4 (Snack)
Protein Shake consisting of…
ON Whey 100% Isolate (Chocolate) 1 scoop
PB Fit Powder 2Tbsp

Meal #5 (Dinner)
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Grilled 6oz
Dave’s Killer 21 Grain Whole Wheat Bread 2 slices
California Blend Vegetables Steamed 1 cup

Meal #6 (Snack)
Blended Protein Shake consisting of…
ON Vanilla Whey Protein Powder 1 scoop
Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk 1/2 cup
Organic Daybreak Frozen Mixed Fruit Blend 1/2cup

Whole Fancy Cashews 30g

Note**** Make sure to drink 1-2 gallons of water every day!!
Note 2 **** I usually grill all meats with a coating of seasonings and avacado oil

That’s what a typical day looks like for me.
Protein 239g
Carbs 212g
Fats 74g
Total Cals 2455

Hope this helps!

Thanks for the valuable advice all. Odds my symptoms are just down to prolonged deficit?

Would this also account for rises in cortisol, e2 and lowered T?

U rock bro. Thank you so much. Love the community on TNation.

It’s very likely man. The body doesn’t like to be in survival mode, but that’s pretty much what you’ve put yours in for a year or so.

Your body loves to thrive and to be physically challenged. Get your eating back on track and start going back to the gym. I think you’ll be amazed in a couple of months at the changes in how you feel.

One more thing to look out for. An extended deficit can fatigue the adrenals. I would look into getting an adrenal support supplement and take that for a couple months to help get things back to firing on all cylinders.

You’re very welcome and thank you for your kind words.

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Any markers in particular to look out for re adrenals?

My TSH was 4.14 mIU/dl
Free t3: 3.1 pg/ml
Free t4: 1.3 ng/dl

I also drank a good amount of coffee over the past year to make up for the lack of energy (like a dumbass), so that’s great advice.