Some intital data: Female, age 48 (in January she will be 49), perimenopause. Not physically active and is 5-4 and of 200 lbs. Total T of 53 (2-45) and serum Free T of 4.3 (0.2-5)
Since there is no real place for women’s issue with Low T, I thought I would create this thread to document my wife’s journey with low T.
A brief history. She has had a LONG journey with getting her Thyroid treated properly. MANY years and several Doctors and she is finally pretty much optimized. But even with this optimized, she still had many symptoms and lack of libido. We had hoped these would be all remedied by her low thyroid.
When several symptoms remained, I started doing on-line research as to what that may be from. She had her sex hormones tested as early as mid-July 2014. And she had unmeasurable level of Testosterone (less than 20). Several additional tests I think up to 3 over the following years also ALL showed her to have unmeasurable level of T. Despite my continued pleas for her and her DR to do something about that. Nothing was done.
When her thyroid was clearly about optimized, and the symptoms remained, we FINALLY convinced the Dr to do something about the T-Levels. I believe this doctor has treated several men with low T, but I do not think he treated a single female. So my wife may likely be one of the first, if not THE first.
As a result, he started VERY cautiously. He prescribed a compounded T cream at a very low dosage. I can’t remember it was something like 0.5 or 1 Mcg per day.
Each successive test resulted in still zero measurable T level. Which corresponded to two or 3 increases in dosage of the T-Cream.
At this time we investigated going to see a true female hormone specialist. The firm is Biobalance health based in St. Louis and Kansas City. Watched a TON of healthcast videos, bought the doctors book (The Secret Female Hormone) by Kathy Maupin and Bret Newcomb. I would HIGHLY recommend both the book and the archive of over 400 half hour video healthcast. These cover both men and women’s health issues, mostly around hormones, but also other general health issues.
This investigation led to us setting up an appointment for my wife at Biobalance in St. Louis as it is “only” about 350 miles from us. But she continued to use the T-cream.
I started seeing or noticing my wife losing weight with the T-cream. In fact I noticed this before my wife did. And she “wrote it off” as just normal weight fluctuation. But I kept asking and eventually she did indicate that she was losing.
In prep for her biobalance appointment, the clinic required a significant battery of blood labs and ultrasounds etc. A detailed health history survey etc. Very though.
Part of the blood work of course retested for sex hormones. And her T level FINALLY registered. Total T was now above the range, but her free T was still only 4.3. Yet at this point she had lost 14 lbs (she started out and was overweight/obese at over 200 lbs). Still even with this low amount of T, and little to no change in lifestyle changes, she lost 14 Lbs (about 7% of her body weight)
Her appointment was just yesterday 10/29/18
The appointment was outstanding. The doctor took OVER an hour with BOTH of us. The Dr talks with and went over and confirmed symptoms and history. The Doctor went over every blood test result. What was good, what was bad, where it “should” be and how they can help her get to that point. They provided recommendations and why those recommendations were made, what they would expect to see as a result and how everything would progress. This not only discussed the Sex hormones, but overall health. Diet, exercise. Changes to supplements, which supplements to stop, which to add, and which to change dosage etc. Recommended books to read and specific supplements brands that they have had good luck with and having science to back up the quality and consistency, as the unregulated area of supplements means that some are great, and other brands not so much. So that was great.
The result was that my wife was insulin resistant. Her being overweight contributed to this as well as other things, Her blood sugar is also on the higher side etc. This resulted in recommendation of Metformin prescription. This should help the insulin resistance, along with the changes in diet and exercise program as well as getting Testosterone all should help her lose weight. The Dr believes that Metformin may only be needed for a fairly short time, as once she loses weight and changes life styles her insulin resistance should reduce. But this will be monitored. But the goal is to eliminate this over time in maybe 6 months or so.
Wife also had bad liver enzymes and early indication of liver disease. They also felt that fatty liver was probably the issue and again the loss of weight and visceral fat may get these back in line over time.
She was given Testosterone pellets along with Airimidex. Unlike men, controlling estrogen is easier and more straight forward then men. Which is almost always recommended to NOT add an AI until you prove you need it. Estrogen control is a bit easier in women it would seem. There is more “margin for error” as women have so much more estrogen. Also the idea along with DIM was prescribed to help change the estrogen from Estrone (E1), to more estradiol (E2).
The experience is that FREE T is really the only thing they concentrate on. And the range they use for women to feel well is to have the free Testosterone to be I think 15 to 25. My wife is only at 4.3, So they want to at least more than TRIPLE her T level.
My wife has NEVER, EVER had a libido. And the reports are that usually about 2 weeks after getting pellets, the women will go through a “honeymoon period”. This is due to the testosterone receptors having been starved of T when suddenly getting testosterone, they women will be EXTREMELY horny. This is a one time event. Not every woman experiences it, but most do. This honeymoon period is pretty short lived lasting only a few days!
I CANNOT WAIT for this time. IF it happens. I am a bit dubious that it will happen due to the fact that my wife so slowly built up some Testosterone with the T-Cream that her receptors will have had a chance to adjust and she wo n’t experience this phase. I pray this is not true. After 28+ years of marriage to a wife with zero libido I have always hoped and prayed for a wife who would be interested and passionate about sex! Time will tell. My wife just cannot believe this will happen to her, because in her own words “This is soooo much NOT like “me, that I just can’t see myself being like that.”
My wife is super excited. She cannot wait for “the new her” to come alive. She also cannot imagine herself 40 lbs lighter as she has ALWAYS, ALWAYS struggled with her weight. And no matter how hard she worked or changed diet etc it always resulted in nothing! So to believe that she has a means to actually have her body work and lose weight given diet and exercise and medicine etc has her extremely excited. She also is looking forward to better mood, better health and immunity etc. She just cannot imagine herself healthy and happy. Something she also has struggled with her whole life.
I can’t think of anything else at the moment to add. But I wanted to have a place to document her journey. And maybe some of you men out there have a wife that similarly has, or you suspect has a low T problem, but the Doctors won’t do a dang thing about it! or eve test for testosterone in women! I hope this will document a success story that other can use to inspire their wives to become their own best advocate and seek treatment.
Ultimately, I would love to have this forum set up a separate folder for female low T issues. As I think it is extremely important issue that is TOTALLY under diagnosed. There are a LOT of women, and marriages that are suffering as a result of this relatively easy and treatable situation.
So in brief summary:
Pellets inserted 10/29/18
Continue T cream for 2 weeks while pellets start to dissolve and get into blood stream. Stop T-Cream after 2 weeks!
Start DIM – Cannot remember the dosage, I will come back and update
Start Metformin – (10/30/18) I will have to get dosage
Start walking/exercising regularly (wife has bad knee so running/biking is OUT)
Eliminate sugar. Sugar fast and detox for 10 days, minimize carbs. Eat fresh. Diet similar to Whole30 or Paleo/Meditranian diet.