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Topics - tre

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1
I thought I had my blood work reasonably figured out, but my most recent blood work showed that my Total Testosterone is just over 1200ng/dl, SHBG at 8.3, Estradiol at 19.9 and Free Testosterone at less than .2pg/ml.  My new doctor said it all looks good and handed me the bloodwork for my own records.  However, I don't think that .2 pg/ml is good at all.  I didn't notice it until I left the office and I'm really baffled by it.  I have been getting blood work done regularly and my Free Testosterone is ALWAYS high along with my Total Testosterone.  My SHBG is always low.  This makes some sense to me, but having non-existent Free Testosterone does not.  Any ideas?  I can't help but think that this is a lab error, but it stated on the lab report that "results were verified by repeat testing" specifically regarding the Free Testosterone test. How can I have Low SHBG and non-existent Free Testosterone when my overall total Testosterone is high (slightly higher than most tests I might add)?

2
I think most here are against taking supplements such as Saw Palmetto and Beta-Sitosterol.  However, be aware that Beta-Sitosterol is found in MANY foods that you eat and having high blood levels of this is very unhealthy.  Despite the lowering of my overall Cholesterol levels and many other flags in my blood work, I found that my elevated (for nearly a year) blood Sitosterol levels have not lowered very much.  So, as I usually do, I dug in to find out why.  Saw Palmetto has Beta Sitosterol and it's also found in many Prostate Support supplements as well as supplements for lowering Cholesterol.  It is also found in high amounts in:

1) Vegetable Oils
2) Avocados and Avocado Oils
3) Margarine
4) Nuts and Seeds
5) Any snacks made of corn
6) Unsweetened Baking Chocolate
7) Mayonnaise
8 ) Cilantro leaves
9) Whole Eggs
10) Whole Pomegranates

I have some more adjustments to make.....

3
I was going over my blood work and found something interesting.  My TSH is now 1.3 down from 4.5 since starting on Naturethroid.  However, my Free T3 and Free T4 have BOTH lowered since starting on the med.  This tells me that I'm not taking enough and that the desiccated Thyroid I am now on has shut down my natural levels which were actually higher than they are now.  In order for my Thyroid levels to be optimal, my Free T3 must be at the high end of the range and my Free T4 must be at least mid-range.  Instead, my Free T3 isn't even to mid-range and my Free T4 is low.  I am going to try to get my Naturethroid upped to 2 grains instead of 1 grain per day.  I should see additional weightloss and probably improved blood work over the next few months just from that....

4
As you know, I have doing a Primal type diet and lifestyle plan for the last 4 months.  The result has been that I have dropped 17 pounds of fat without losing any muscle or strength overall.  I was curious what this type of diet/lifestyle plan would do to my blood work and now I finally got to see it. 

Here are the results compared to my blood work 4 months ago:

Total Cholesterol
-4 months ago....162
-Now....124

LDL-C Direct
-4 months ago....116
-Now....92

HDL-C Direct
-4 months ago....28
-Now....34

Triglycerides
-4 months ago....101
-Now...45

LDL- P
-4 months ago....1570
-Now....955

Glucose
-4 months ago....83
-Now....93

Estimated Average Glucose (calculated)
-4 months ago....82.5
-Now....71

HbA1c
-4 months ago....4.5
-Now....4.1

Insulin
-4 months ago....10
-Now....7

Proinsulin
-4 Months ago....31
-Now....16

Ferritin
-4 months ago....195
-Now....127

SHBG
-4 months ago....11
-Now....13


While I was excited to see some improvements in Cholestrol and Insulin Resistance, I'm still not completely optimal in those areas.  I was very disappointed to only see a 2 point rise in my SHBG.  It's improvement, but I was hoping to see it rise quite a bit more. Also, I have some weird flags on my blood work.  My blood Choride is elevated.  My blood Eosinophils is elevated.  My a-hydroxybutyrate is elevated. My Fructosamine is elevated.  These are all new flags not seen before. 

One thing that is not improving at all is my blood Adiponectin levels....they remain way too low.  I still have evidence of Insulin Resistance, even though I am showing some improvements. 

So what now?  I have been using Flush Free Niacin as well as Red Yeast Rice.  I will continue the Red Yeast Rice, but will taper over to real flushing Niacin and then slowly increase it until I can handle higher doses of it 3 times per day. I will continue to take plenty of Omega 3 as well as Vitamin D.  I will continue to take Co-Q10.  I will continue my diet and exercise routine.  Hopefully I can get my Cholesterol and Insulin Resistance to optimal improvement by the end of the year. 

SHBG continues to be the biggest frustration, but at least I am seeing some improvements.  Adiponectin...not sure what to do in order to increase it that I'm not already doing.  Same thing goes for my blood pressure.  I think reducing stress is the only thing that will work for reducing my hypertension, but that just isn't possible right now.  I will do everything else I can do in the meantime.  I also suspect that some of the new flags were caused by an increase of stress over the past few weeks. 

5
My father is pretty healthy at 63 years old.  His blood work had many fewer flags than mine did.  However, i noticed he had a total Testosterone level of nearly 900ng/dl with an SHBG that was very high as well (well over 100).  His estrogen levels were fine I believe.  He takes absolutely NO prescription drugs or hormones and his diet is pretty good as well.  His biggest complaint is prostate issues and has been for quite some time.  His PSA is high normal I believe.  He doesn't have sex at all and he doesn't believe in masturbation...this likely will never change.

My question is....how does he get his SHBG down?  I have the opposite problem so it's tough for me to give any advice.  I think getting his SHBG down to around 30 would make a dramatic difference for him and might even help with his prostate issue.  He does not have any Insulin Resistance issues, Thyroid issues, Cholesterol issues, etc.  He exercises 6 days per week for 30 minutes and stays very active (still works for a living). I think his SHBG must have risen over the years and he simply needs to adjust something or add something in order to drive it down....

6
While BMI is better than nothing, it sure isn't accurate for a good percentage of the population.  Someone that is really big boned and heavily muscled will nearly always be at what is now considered an "unhealthy high BMI" even though they are perfectly healthy.  I am now BARELY in the "healthy" BMI range.  If I gained 5 pounds (muscle or fat), I'd be in an "unhealthy" BMI range again. I'll likely lose 10 more pounds of fat and then replace those pounds with muscle (plus more) over the next year or so. I would go over the healthy BMI range by doing so.   I have a good amount of muscle built over the past 15 years, but I have a very small bone structure...my bones are quite small.  I have a brother in law who is my height and is currently 260lbs.  His bones are nearly twice as large as mine are if not fully twice as large. He has a very big boned frame.  Even if he got down to 8% body fat, he still wouldn't come close to being at what would be considered a healthy BMI.  BMI has been around for awhile, but why not switch to body fat percentage?  This would be so much more accurate in identifying obesity.  It's more challenging to get an accurate reading for body fat percentage, but it would be so much more helpful...

7
I was within range on most, but showed problems in these areas:

Glutathione....Severely deficient
Glucose-Insulin Interaction....Severely deficient
Carnitine....solidly deficient
Oleic Acid....solidly deficient
Serine....borderline deficient
Asparagine.....borderline deficient
Manganese....borderline deficient

Since getting this blood work from Spectracell, I have changed my diet and some supplements.  My new multi-vitamin has plenty of Manganese.  I eat Asparagus, Walnuts and Avocados regularly now (didn't before).  I eat plenty of Kale and Spinach. I eat more vegetables than I used to period.  I eat a bit more eggs and meat and quite a bit more fish (never really ate it before).  Many of the deficiencies above should resolve due to my new diet with additional exercise.  The top two are my main concerns as they are not so easy to fix and can cause many health issues.  I'm going to be taking a Liposomal Glutathione supplement and see how that feels.  If it works out well, I may make my own Liposomal version with Bulk Reduced Glutathione as these supplements are ridiculously expensive and can be made with instructions found online. If Liposomal doesn't work, I may take some Glutathione via IV for awhile (doctor offers this).   I may also take a Carnitine supplement and some sort of Liver protection supplement to support Glutathione levels in he Liver. 

Positive note is that my B-Complex levels are all optimal, especially Folate...at the very top of the scale (due to Methyl-Folate supplementation).  Individual Antioxidants (Cysteine, CO-Q10, Selenium, Vitamin E, ALA) are all optimal.  I could use a little more Vitamin C (I already take 4grams per day) while Glutathione is rock bottom deficient.  All vitamins and minerals are good besides the ones mentioned above. 

I'm going to stick with my current program while doing what I can for the Glutathione and Insulin Resistance.  I'll retest in about 5-6 months. 



8
I have Visceral fat and I have Insulin Resistance, but I am not 100% sure which came first?  Knowing which caused which would help me determine a better plan of attack.  I know that this combination causes low SHBG, Cholesterol issues and Hypertension...I'm pretty confident about that.  However, determining which came first, Visceral fat or Insulin Resistance, seems tougher to figure out.  They both can cause each other and the proven causes of each are absolutely not black and white....

9
Testosterone, Hormones and General Men's Health / UFC bans TRT
« on: March 01, 2014, 01:02:42 am »
The UFC announced yesterday that it will ban TRT completely immediately after the Nevada State Athletic Commission banned it.  Brazil has stated that they will also ban it. 

This might not seem like a big deal, but this is causing A LOT of misinformation to float around about TRT.  The vast majority of people see TRT as: unnecessary, cheating, legalized steroid abuse, pathetic, etc..  They are completely ignorant about TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY.  The idea that "men should just grow old like they are supposed to" REALLY aggravates me to no end.  They don't understand that their 21 year old UFC warrior hero probably registers around 1000ng/dl.  They seem offended that an older fighter should be able to have those same levels.  They seem to be saying that the old fighter should just get old, shrivel up and go away. 

What SHOULD have been done is to test fighters with blood tests to insure that they don't go over a certain Testosterone level.  That would level the playing field and give older fighters a chance to compete against youth successfully.  I LIKE seeing guys my age competing at the top level....it's motivating to me.  This ban will cause even more unfairness.  They can't random test everyone as then they'd have few fighters left to fight.  They will focus in on those that have been honest about being on TRT instead of those that hide it and badmouth it at the same time...ridiculous hypocrisy.   

10
What about using Glucophage (Metformin) for raising SHBG?  I know many women use Metformin to help them with PCOS so this might work.  I am thinking that MOST people with low SHBG have some sort of Insulin Resistance so Metformin makes sense to me.  Unfortunately, I can't seem to handle Metformin.  My plan for treating Adrenal Fatigue, Hypothyroidism, Insulin Resistance and SHBG are:

1) Start taking Adrenal Glandular and Adrenal Support supplements throughout the day
2) Start taking Naturethroid
3) Start taking Insulin Control Supplements through out the day (Burn24 and R-Lipoic Acid)
4) Keep taking Liver Support and Liver Cleansing supplements
5) Donate blood to clear high Ferritin levels
6) Modified Paleo diet tapered to strict Paleo diet
7) More cardio workouts (hard to do as I have an injured knee currently)

I'm waiting on blood work before I start the above.  If things are how I imagine, I'll begin this immediately following the review of the blood work.  I will then test again in 3 months.  I expect SOME improvement.  I may go ahead with Metformin (extended release version this time) if the supplements don't cut it.  I may also consider adding in Progesterone cream:

From Pubmed:

Thirty-one women with severe premenstrual syndrome had low sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) binding capacities 30.2 +/- 9.4 nmol DHT bound/l. The SHBG binding capacities rose when they were treated with three different doses of progesterone. On 400 mg (17 women) SHBG level was 45.11 +/- 11.80. On 800 mg (8 women) SHBG binding capacity rose to 64.75 +/- 14.30 and on the six women who took 1200 mg progesterone daily SHBG binding capacity was 78.5 +/- 23.10. "

I expect that my BP will lower as I do the above routine.  My goal is to get off of Benicar as soon as it makes sense and then I'll focus on getting off the Doxazosin as soon as I can after that.  BP meds are bad for health...it's easy to feel that. 

11
What would be an interesting study is to measure the testosterone levels of college aged men in a bar and compare the ones who aggressively go after the chicks and stay up all night vs. the guys that hang back and wait for a window of opportunity.

I was a hang back guy.  I did ok, but I know I could have done a lot better if I was just a tad more aggressive.   Maybe it was my t levels...

Okay, this is interesting.  I had seen this before but never in such detail:  as you know, per Paul Zaks as testosterone goes up, oxytocin goes down.  Let's assume that low testosterone can have elevated oxytocin:

http://psychcentral.com/news/2013/07/27/love-hormone-oxytocin-tied-to-social-anxiety-fear-in-mice/57652.html
"
'Love Hormone' Oxytocin Tied to Social Anxiety, Fear in MiceAlthough the hormone oxytocin is well-known for its ability to promote feelings of love, social bonding and well-being, new Northwestern Medicine research shows that oxytocin can also intensify painful emotional memories.

The findings are important as chronic social stress is strongly linked to anxiety and depression, and positive social interactions are known to enhance emotional health. The research, which was conducted on mice, is significant because oxytocin currently is being tested as an anti-anxiety drug in several clinical trials.

According to the study, oxytocin seems to play a major role in turning a stressful social situation into a long-term, painful emotional memory.

For example, when a social experience is negative or stressful, oxytocin activates a part of the brain that intensifies the memory and increases the likelihood of feeling anxious during future stressful events."

This described me perfectly post-puberty.  My personality dramatically changed - scared my parents a bit - and became a complete introvert due to social anxiety.  Now I'm the opposite - no real fear there...

This is very interesting.  I think I've always had low testosterone and thus, high Oxytocin...until I got on TRT many years ago.  However, what happens to these long-term, painful emotional memories during the time that we have high Oxytocin?  Do they go away with TRT or remain under the surface?

Have you ever heard of the Emotion Code?  My aunt, now is on her deathbed due to obesity, used to be a very good practitioner of the Emotion Code.  I thought it was hocus pocus frankly and said so.  However, my aunt asked if she could have permission to treat me.  She thought it could help my high BP.  I was on no BP meds at the time.   I saw no harm in it and it wouldn't take any of my time as I didn't even have to be present in order for her to treat me.  She told me that it would take only a few days to start seeing some results.   Within ONE WEEK, my BP went from 170's/100's to 130's over 80's....no joke.  Even now, I wonder if it was some kind of fluke.  It stayed that way for MANY months until life hit an extremely stressful point again and the BP rose again.  I am actually going to look into finding another good practitioner of emotional healing as there just might be something to this.  It seems crazy to me, but I can't get over those previous results.  I'm currently on all this BP medication so I don't die of a stroke or heart attack and my aunt was able to get that down by clearing negative emotions....at least that is how it seemed.  It's ironic that she is on her deathbed due to obesity (she lives to eat), but was able to help me significantly even with her own shortcomings...

13
I neglected to mention that I also have the mutated MTHFR (A1298C).  It was in my last comprehensive blood panel, but doesn't give me much more info other than that I have it. My doctor did bring it up and I'm taking a certain supplement for it (Methyl CpG) that he recommended.   It isn't THE Comprehensive Methylation Panel so I think I should get that blood draw...what do you think?  Perhaps this will be part of my next blood draw....we will see.  This could ALSO be the cause of many of my symptoms.  Man....why does the human body have to be so complicated!?

14
I have read about Red Tart Cherry, POM and Tumeric being great for reducing inflammation.  Since I have signs of inflammation (although more blood work will need to be done to confirm), I'm thinking about trying them.  POM is available everywhere, but kind of expensive.  Red Tart Cherry is available in juice or capsule form (which do you recommend) and Tumeric is offered in various forms as well. 

Should I try these now or wait for more blood work to determine that I truly have inflammation?  I'll have to admit that I'm getting impatient and want to fix my health issues....yesterday...lol. 

15
I have been browsing (found the site during a Google search somehow) and have found the info to be great.  I am mostly interested in Adrenal and Thyroid function as well as Inflammation.

I am concerned with those areas as I have most of the symptoms of metabolic syndrome besides the Triglycerides which are normal.  I had blood work taken 6 months ago, but unfortunately...I neglected to FAST.  So, much of the results may or may not be correct.  I just did two sets of recent blood work through. 

The first one was just Thyroid Bloodwork, my results:

TSH: 4.95 (.450-4.50)
T4: 6.2 (4.5-12.0)
FT4: 1.18 (.82-1.77)
Reverse T3: 13.7 (9.2-24.1)
T3: 117 (71-180)
FT3: 3.8 (2.0-4.4)

The 2nd is a very comprehensive blood test that was ordered by my doctor.  I should have those results in 2 weeks and will post them up then.  If it's anything like my last blood work, there will be FLAGS in several places.   I have also ordered Cortisol/DHEA Saliva test online and should have those results in about 2 weeks as well. 

A few months ago, I did Saliva Cortisol/DHEA test, my results:

Cortisol Morning: 8
Cortisol Noon: 3.45
Cortisol Evening: 1.50
Cortisol Night: 1.14
DHEA: 176.06


A couple of things from my last blood work (again, it wasn't fasted so not sure how accurate some of the numbers are) stood out.  Insulin was EXTREMELY high and Glucose was high (of course...it wasn't fasted).  HDL was quite low.  LDL was slightly high.  TSH was high, but not as high as the recent test (4.63 instead of the 4.95 that it is now).  In contrast, T4, FT4 and T3 were all lower in this recent test.   Ferritin was EXTREMELY high...more than double what is normal (it was 316).  My ALT/GPT was high (57).    I am usually on doctor prescribed TRT, but he had me go off (take a break) so that I might feel better than I was.  While OFF TRT (immediately after a run of Clomid and HCG), my numbers were:

Testosterone: 374
Free Testosterone: 12.74
Estradiol: 7
DHEA: 316
SHBG: 9

My blood pressure has been an issue for years and I, unfortunately, let it go for years until I did anything about it.  I've tried a couple of types over the last few months, but my last reading was 179/111....way too high.  I have just picked up Benicar 20mg tablets and I think this should do the trick...hopefully.  There is research about this type that shows that it's one of the best BP meds for those suffering with Metabolic Syndrome/Insulin Resistance/Inflammation.  Hopefully my body will tolerate it and that my BP will lower...

Anyway, that's it for now.  I'll have more Blood Work and Saliva Cortisol/DHEA tests in 2 weeks.  Thanks for all the great info and glad to be a part of this forum:)






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