Okay, I'm getting testing done next week (the most friggin' comprehensive testing ever -- literally 3 pages per Mariano, who is awesome) and Mariano asked me to try dropping my iodine dose from 6 mg to 2.5 mg (one drop if Lugol's) and also try stopping quercetin because I'm getting tryptase and histamine pulled (quercetin is a potent mast cell regulator, so much so that it's prescribed for people with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome). Also, because for the last lab pull I ended up with significantly lower than usual free thyroid levels while on a full dose of quercetin (4 pills/day of Q, which is known to inhibit thyroid at least slightly), in the last few days since doing these changes (iodine to 2.5 mg and quercetin to 2 pills a day), I've been having much more noticeable anxiety. Not cognitively; I'm feeling it more in my chest, tenser muscles, a few times of irritable bowel, things like that. I've also been retaining more water and weighing more as a result. All these symptoms are clearcut "high estrogen" symptoms for me.
Before making these changes I had increased my testosterone dose from 26 mg E3D to 34 mg E3D because my last lab showed low total testosterone and estradiol. Before making the drops in iodine and quercetin, and after adding PQQ and alpha lipoic acid (for mitochondrial function per Mariano's rec), I was feeling *much better* than I have been -- and well on my way to feeling the best in maybe a full year.
Worth noting that both iodine and quercetin change estrogen metabolism: iodine through draining away 16-hydroxyestrone in favor of estriol (good), and quercetin does it through more peripheral pathways I don't quite understand, but I think the main metabolite of estradiol reduced is 2-hydroxyestradiol
, as can be seen here:
From this study: http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/42/1/82
Also helpful for understanding iodine metabolism via 16-OHE:
So what can I conclude? Since I've kept all other variables constant, lowering quercetin and iodine seems clearly to contribute to "high estrogen" symptoms. Yet another reason to think it's not about "absolute" estradiol numbers, but also and in at least some cases more importantly
(17b) estradiol metabolites, i.e., how your body processes estrogen.