Huge drop in testosterone

Thread starter #1
I can’t wrap my head around what’s going on with my hormone levels. I’ve been getting my blood checked 2-3 times a year, just out of curiosity. However, I’ve noticed recently my testosterone levels have drop almost 40%. Here is a quick run down of the blood work.

- Winter 2014- 991 ng/dL
- Spring 2015- 1024 ng/dl
- Fall 2015- 1014 ng/dl
- Spring 2016- 981 ng/dl
- Fall 2016- 740 ng/dl
- Summer 2017- 782 ng/dl
- Winter 2017- 730 ng/dl
- Spring 2018- 610 ng/dl

Estradiol has increased slightly to 17.6 pg/ml (most recent test). Thyroid values are right where they should be, maybe T4 being on the higher end of the range. Most blood work was done before 9:30am, within 30-45 minutes of waking up. Except for spring 2016 which was at 11:43am.

I’ll be getting new blood work done soon (total test, free test, sbgh, thyroid panel, estradiol, and dhea). I just can’t understand why my levels have tanked so hard.

I’m 26 years old. Since late 2016 I’ve definitely had less overall energy, drive/motivation, and libido. I just chalked that up to losing my job and starting a new stressful one (have quit this year). I stopped working out entirely around the same time.

What do y’all think?
 
#2
1- Sleep well. At least 7 -8 hours and keeping proper sleeping hours.
For reference click here

2- Moderate alcohol consumption to no more than 2 drinks a day.
Reference

3- Exercise for an hour , 3-4 times a week. Do not over train since this can decrease testosterone.
Reference

4- Lower stress. Learn breathing exercises and set your phone up for alerts every 2 hours to remind you to take a deep breath.
Reference

5- Some men may be deficient in zinc. Zinc is needed for proper testosterone production. 30-50 mg per day plus 3 mg of copper should be enough.
Reference

6- Do not wear tight underwear. Let your testicles hang and cool off since high temperatures can affect sperm quality. Sleep in boxers or naked if you can to allow nocturnal blood flow and erections to your penis. It is nature's way to feed and regenerate your penis' tissues.
Reference

7- Lose weight if overweight. Probably the most effective way to increase testosterone
Reference

8- Avoid pesticide exposure and do not heat up your food in plastic containers. Toxins can increase the conversion of testosterone to estradiol, a female based hormone.
Reference

9- Have sex or masturbate. People who do tend to have higher testosterone. Even the use of Viagra has been associated with increased testosterone.
Reference

10- Be aware that certain medications can decrease testosterone. These drugs include Ketoconazole, prednisone and corticoid steroids, anabolic steroids, Tagamet, Acutane, Proscar, Propecia, chemotherapy, metformin, statins, ibuprofen, prostate cancer treatments, and others. Cocaine, excessive pot use, and other street drugs can also decrease testosterone.
Reference
Reference
Reference
https://www.excelmale.com/showthread.php?501-How-to-Increase-Testosterone-Naturally
 
#3
The mechanism behind the curtains is thyroid output can fluctuate so as SHBG changes your total testosterone will also fluctuate. Then you have the fact that testosterone fluctuates independently of the thyroid output of SHBG. So my point is if thyroid is in distress this could help explain the fluctuations in total testosterone.
 
Thread starter #4
The mechanism behind the curtains is thyroid output can fluctuate so as SHBG changes your total testosterone will also fluctuate. Then you have the fact that testosterone fluctuates independently of the thyroid output of SHBG. So my point is if thyroid is in distress this could help explain the fluctuations in total testosterone.
Im not sure how to interpret that. My thyroid levels haven’t hanged much and are right in the middle of reference ranges. Do you mind explaining a bit more?
 
#5
Im not sure how to interpret that. My thyroid levels haven't hanged much and are right in the middle of reference ranges. Do you mind explaining a bit more?
Thyroid hormones levels are not static, they can and do fluctuate. When you workout SHBG can increase and decrease after 24 hours, important not to workout within 24 hours of a blood draw. You talked about the stress of losing a job, that will raise Reverse T3 which inhibits Free T3 which can lower SHBG, which can lower Total T and raise Free T. Stress, being sick will increases Reverse T3. Thyroid problems are mostly intermittent acting up only briefly, you draw labs and miss it completely.

Run a hormone panel every week and you'll see levels fluctuate, labs are a snapshot in time of a moving target.
 
Thread starter #6
Thyroid hormones levels are not static, they can and do fluctuate. When you workout SHBG can increase and decrease after 24 hours, important not to workout within 24 hours of a blood draw. You talked about the stress of losing a job, that will raise Reverse T3 which inhibits Free T3 which can lower SHBG, which can lower Total T and raise Free T. Stress, being sick will increases Reverse T3. Thyroid problems are mostly intermittent acting up only briefly, you draw labs and miss it completely.

Run a hormone panel every week and you'll see levels fluctuate, labs are a snapshot in time of a moving target.
Alright, I’ve got you. There’s a lot going on. I’ll be getting new labs drawn soon (low stress, not sick, not working out hard, solid eating habits, good sleep, no drinking) and I’ll see what it looks like.

I suppose I was just surprised my levels dropped as hard as they did. If it was one or two tests that fluctuated, I would have wrote it off as “normal” fluctuations. However, at least in my eyes, it looked like my hormones fell off a cliff.

Side question: does each person have their own “normal”? Like if my “normal” is naturally higher than what I’m now at, would I feel low testosterone symptoms, even though for many people my levels would be “normal”?
 
#7
Alright, I've got you. There's a lot going on. I'll be getting new labs drawn soon (low stress, not sick, not working out hard, solid eating habits, good sleep, no drinking) and I'll see what it looks like.

I suppose I was just surprised my levels dropped as hard as they did. If it was one or two tests that fluctuated, I would have wrote it off as “normal” fluctuations. However, at least in my eyes, it looked like my hormones fell off a cliff.

Side question: does each person have their own “normal”? Like if my “normal” is naturally higher than what I'm now at, would I feel low testosterone symptoms, even though for many people my levels would be “normal”?
Your normal is different from my own, the moment I get into the 600 ranges I get terrible acne on a level not seen even in my teenage years. My normal is a bit lower than most guys, I suspect I'm very sensitive to androgens as my muscle harden fast when I up my dosage or switch from two injections a week to EOD. The different between twice weekly and EOD is profound!

Your normal could be higher than 600, some men are past 1000 naturally so midrange for them is normal for me.
 
#8
Im not sure how to interpret that. My thyroid levels haven't hanged much and are right in the middle of reference ranges. Do you mind explaining a bit more?
To understand thyroid levels better (NOT just TSH and FT4):
Information on on testing....
Read here:
http://www.tiredthyroid.com/what-labs.html
And here:
http://www.tiredthyroid.com/optimal-labs.html
and here:
https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/recommended-labwork/
and here:
https://www.restartmed.com/thyroid-tests/
and here:
https://www.restartmed.com/hormone-testing/
And here:
https://www.restartmed.com/normal-thyroid-levels/
**************************************
 
Thread starter #10
To understand thyroid levels better (NOT just TSH and FT4):
Information on on testing....
Read here:

**************************************
A lot of good info here. Thanks for sending all this. I’ll definitely need to see what the new tests show. This test will include T3 uptake, T4 free, T4 (thyroxine) total, and TSH. I’ll see what I can do about adding in the other recommended labs.
 
Thread starter #12
Your normal is different from my own, the moment I get into the 600 ranges I get terrible acne on a level not seen even in my teenage years. My normal is a bit lower than most guys, I suspect I'm very sensitive to androgens as my muscle harden fast when I up my dosage or switch from two injections a week to EOD. The different between twice weekly and EOD is profound!

Your normal could be higher than 600, some men are past 1000 naturally so midrange for them is normal for me.
Hmm... interesting. So using the numbers you provided, at what point would be the effects lowered testosterone be felt? As per your example, for you 600 is right where you need to be. For some men, they may need to be at 1000. If they were to drop to 600, would they feel low T symptoms/effects? That’s a 60% reduction, so that’d be the equivalent as you’re testosterone dropping to 360. I’m sure for you 360 would be rough and certainly would be considered low T. Is this he same for a guy who went from 1000 to 600?

(
obviously there are some parallels to my situation in the hypothetical, but I’m asking out of curiosity, not for a medical decision)
 
#13
Hmm... interesting. So using the numbers you provided, at what point would be the effects lowered testosterone be felt? As per your example, for you 600 is right where you need to be. For some men, they may need to be at 1000. If they were to drop to 600, would they feel low T symptoms/effects? That’s a 60% reduction, so that’d be the equivalent as you’re testosterone dropping to 360. I’m sure for you 360 would be rough and certainly would be considered low T. Is this he same for a guy who went from 1000 to 600?

(
obviously there are some parallels to my situation in the hypothetical, but I’m asking out of curiosity, not for a medical decision)

You should not compare yourself to someone else let alone just shooting for numbers.

Free T is the active fraction and it comes down to where your levels need to be regarding free T whether that requires you to have a mid-normal TT or high normal TT in order to get your free t where it needs to be (in order to feel relief/improvements of your low t symptoms ) and your shbg levels will play a big part in that.
 
Thread starter #14
Alright, finally got the blood work back. I'd love to get your input/interpretation on the results. I first went to a doctor locally who claims to focus on hormones, however, the only thing they said to me was "You're way to young to even be having this discussion. If you were thirty, we could talk but at this age ... it is what is is. There is nothing to look at". Only thing I mentioned was I had been having symptoms commonly associated with low T and I wanted to get her feedback on the results I had gotten.

If y'all would prefer to open a new thread for this, just let me know.

Free T4 Index (T7): 3.2 (1.4-3.8)
T3 Reverse: 22 ng/dL (8-25)
T3 Uptake: 29 % (22-35)
T3 Total: 125 ng/mL (75-181)
T3 Free: 3.4 pg/mL (2.3-4.2)
T4 Total: 11.1 mcg/dL (2.5-12.0)
T4 Free: 1.5 ng/dL (0.8-1.8)
TSH: 2.09 mIU/L (0.40-4.50)

DHEA Sulfate: 264 mcg/dL (85-690)
Estradiol: 19 pg/mL (< or = 39)
Free Testosterone: 75.7 pg/mL (35.0-155.0)
FSH: 1.6 mIU/mL (1.6-8.0)
LH: 3.9 mIU/mL (1.5-9.3)
SHBG: 66 mol/L (10-50) *HIGH*
Testosterone Total*: 719 ng/dL (250-1100)
[if it matters, my albumin for every single prior test has been 4.6 g/dL]

*the total testosterone bumped back to the 700s. Could be due to eating way more calories, way more time in the sun, lifting again, sex the nights before, and being on vacation so no work stress. Wanted to note some of the changes made recently, some won't stick around obviously, but they'd explain the rise in TT
 
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#15
"You're way too young to even be having this discussion".
That statement is a red flag this doctor doesn't specialist in hormone therapy, if he did he would have recognised by now that young men all over the world are seeing more and more problems with young men's testosterone levels being lower than they should be. Only 1.39% of your testosterone is bioavailable, 2-3 percent is considered normal and high SHBG is the cause. So much for a doctor that focuses on hormones.

Reverse T3 explains the slightly elevated TSH, which competes for the same receptor as Free T3 by blocking it. I have an excuse for my elevated Reverse T3, had a chronic cough for 6 months that's almost at an end.


So you have two problems, high Reverse T3 and low bioavailable testosterone.

Have you been chronically sick?
 
#16
At first glance your Total T looks okay but your Free T is on the low end. Estradiol at 19 is certainly not high and is on the low end or normal. SHBG is high and because of where it is sitting I am surprised your Free T is as high as it is. Your SHBG must not be binding very aggressively. Your Albumin looks okay at 4.6%. I'd say your Bioavailable T is probably in the 35% range based off math in my head and that might be a lower normal range. If your SHBG has risen over the last couple of years that will bring your testosterone numbers down.


Your original post states .........."less overall energy, drive/motivation, and libido". Just thinking out loud here, you could have an underperforming thyroid. Your Reverse T3 (RT3) looks high at 22 compared to your Free T3 of 3.4. That is giving you a ratio of FT3:RT3 of just over 15 and based off my research that ratio should be greater than 20. So your Reverse T3 should fall at right around 15. You should probably have your Thyroid Antibodies tested (ATA and TPO). If your thyroid is not performing properly it can give you symptoms of low T such as you mentioned. You should probably have your Thyroid Antibodies tested and I would also get my iron and ferritin checked while I was at it. Low ferritin can have a big impact on the functioning your thyroid and give you hypothyroid symptoms.
 
Thread starter #17
That statement is a red flag this doctor doesn't specialist in hormone therapy, if he did he would have recognised by now that young men all over the world are seeing more and more problems with young men's testosterone levels being lower than they should be. Only 1.39% of your testosterone is bioavailable, 2-3 percent is considered normal and high SHBG is the cause. So much for a doctor that focuses on hormones.

Reverse T3 explains the slightly elevated TSH, which competes for the same receptor as Free T3 by blocking it. I have an excuse for my elevated Reverse T3, had a chronic cough for 6 months that's almost at an end.


So you have two problems, high Reverse T3 and low bioavailable testosterone.

Have you been chronically sick?
I was totally blown away by the doctor's response. After what she said, she essentially shooed me out the door and to her receptionist to pay for the appointment. Definitely not a fun experience.

I haven't been sick. I was dealing with allergies that wouldn't let up a few months ago but recently I've been totally fine. No chronic illness, no acute illness, no (or mild) allergies.
 
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Thread starter #18
At first glance your Total T looks okay but your Free T is on the low end. Estradiol at 19 is certainly not high and is on the low end or normal. SHBG is high and because of where it is sitting I am surprised your Free T is as high as it is. Your SHBG must not be binding very aggressively. Your Albumin looks okay at 4.6%. I'd say your Bioavailable T is probably in the 35% range based off math in my head and that might be a lower normal range. If your SHBG has risen over the last couple of years that will bring your testosterone numbers down.


Your original post states .........."less overall energy, drive/motivation, and libido". Just thinking out loud here, you could have an underperforming thyroid. Your Reverse T3 (RT3) looks high at 22 compared to your Free T3 of 3.4. That is giving you a ratio of FT3:RT3 of just over 15 and based off my research that ratio should be greater than 20. So your Reverse T3 should fall at right around 15. You should probably have your Thyroid Antibodies tested (ATA and TPO). If your thyroid is not performing properly it can give you symptoms of low T such as you mentioned. You should probably have your Thyroid Antibodies tested and I would also get my iron and ferritin checked while I was at it. Low ferritin can have a big impact on the functioning your thyroid and give you hypothyroid symptoms.
I believe I've had a dramatic increase in SHBG over the years. Using a calculator online and reversing the math, I think my SHBG would around 14 in fall 2016.

Wow, I hadn't thought much of the reverse T3 value till y'all pointed it out. I looked at Free T3 and T4 and assumed all was well. I had heard in the past that thyroid issues could be a factor based on symptoms, however, my blood work always came back normal (for what I was testing, which wasn't comprehensive enough I suppose). I'll schedule to have ATA, TPO, iron, and ferritin tested.

After a brief glance online, while I have some symptoms of hypothyroidism (fatigue, depression, possibly impaired memory, possible muscle weakness, possible muscle stiffness/aches) I don't have the majority (constipation, dry skin, weight gain, puffy face, hoarseness, elevated cholesterol, stiff joints, thinning hair). Just thought I'd mention that, not sure if it means anything.

p.s seriously, guys, thanks for all the help. I really appreciate it.
 
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#19
Ranges can be funny things.........they are a range. All your thyroid labs looks within range to some degree or another and there has been discussion within the medical community based on my readings to change them because they are so broad in some cases. In the end it is how you feel and you have symptoms that can be related to low T and a potential underperforming thyroid. If your thyroid antibodies are high it means these antibodies are attacking your normal thyroid tissue preventing it from performing properly. If they are normal then it could be your Reverse T3 interfering with your with Free T3.

It is probably easier to get your testosterone dialed in than your thyroid from what I've learned from others experiences.
 
#20
After a brief glance online, while I have some symptoms of hypothyroidism (fatigue, depression, possibly impaired memory, possible muscle weakness, possible muscle stiffness/aches) I don't have the majority (constipation, dry skin, weight gain, puffy face, hoarseness, elevated cholesterol, stiff joints, thinning hair). Just thought I'd mention that, not sure if it means anything.
p.s seriously, guys, thanks for all the help. I really appreciate it.
You do not need ALL the symptoms to be HYPO.
While I still like "Tiredthyroid" as a 1st stop I am reeeealy starting to be impressed with RESTARTMED for follow-on deeper discussions.
The more sections I read and the more vids I watch to more impressed I am.
Suggest you read this post reference Thyroid:
https://www.restartmed.com/hypothyroidism/
 
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