Next Steps?

Low testosterone issues, impacts on health & marriage, treatments, etc.
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SeekingChange
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Next Steps?

Postby SeekingChange » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:51 am

We just got back my husbands results:

    Testosterone, serum 443 Reference Interval 348 - 1197
    Free Testosterone, (Direct) 5.9 Low Reference Interval 6.8 - 21.5

He just turned 42 and weighs 185.

I know there is a lot of information on here, I've never paid much attention because it wasn't applicable, but enough that it helped me notice symptoms in him, which prompted me to urge him to get tested.

Right now, I need simple overview of things...because too much information is just too overwhelming at this point. Is there a link to an article, a thread, or anything that can point me to the most important things we should know?

What is the first step we should take now that we have tests in our hands?

What is the cheapest way to deal with this? That is going to be the #1 deterrent for us, because it will all have to be paid out of pocket.

Any natural alternatives?
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: Next Steps?

Postby txtwindad » Mon Nov 23, 2015 11:19 am

At 443, it is well worth trying diet, exercise and supplements for a time period. It is low, but not super low. Well within the range that could respond without T treatment, IMO.
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Re: Next Steps?

Postby SeekingChange » Mon Nov 23, 2015 11:27 am

Thanks. :D I will try to google what diet and supplements he should take. :shock:
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Re: Next Steps?

Postby SeekingChange » Mon Nov 23, 2015 12:55 pm

He called and talked to a LowT clinic. He actually got to talk to the doctor and he shared the numbers. He first shared the "443" and the doctor said that number doesn't really matter because they really can't do anything to change that. He needed the "T free" number, so he shared the "5.9" and the doctor said that was really low...because he likes to have that number between 10 - 25.

Does that^ sound right?
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Re: Next Steps?

Postby ledgemoor » Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:51 am

Hi--

What are his symptoms?

440 is low, but I also recommend trying supplements and exercise first (50 mg zinc, 2 mg copper, 1 DIM capsule, 5000 IU Vitamin D). And AT LEAST 1/2 hour of vigorous exercise at least three times a week. And vigorous. Walking doesn't count.

Is he overweight? Fat converts testosterone to estrogen, so weight is important.

Sleep is important for testosterone production too. Don't let him skimp on sleep.

If he needs testosterone supplementation, injections are not only the most effective, but least expensive and most convenient. It will cost $100 for what will probably last him for 20 weeks.

He first shared the "443" and the doctor said that number doesn't really matter because they really can't do anything to change that.
Not true. Total testosterone is a store for free testosterone. If he raises his testosterone by any means, the total will increase. My doctor checks both, but focuses more on total.

Let us know if any questions. Praying for him.
Last edited by ledgemoor on Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Next Steps?

Postby SeekingChange » Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:03 am

He is 5'10" and 185. I know he's complained about gaining weight this past year, but I don't call that excessively overweight, or overweight at all, but I'm not a man. He's been overall a healthy man.

His main symptoms are fatigue, trouble focusing, and lack of motivation. Sexually speaking, it takes a little more to get erect but he does, and I was wondering if he wasn't quite as hard...but it's not something he noticed and it's so slight that I was just wondering if it was just a shift in my own body and hormones. .

He hasn't been getting good sleep and he has been under stress.
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Re: Next Steps?

Postby ledgemoor » Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:53 pm

Low testosterone and weight is a Catch-22. His testosterone is a little low, so he gains a little more weight, which in turn lowers his testosterone even more (in conjunction with other factors including just getting older).

So it's good you caught it early. From what I've heard and read, sexual function has a threshold -- everything is OK until you drop below it, then suddenly you are out of commission. It happened to me over a 2-week period when DW was having surgery and recovering. My total testosterone was 275 when I started having ED, but looking back I'm sure it had been a bit low for years if not my entire life. I am literally in better physical shape than when I was a teenager.

What he could do right now is take melatonin to help him sleep (another hormone that goes west as you age).

Also, do something fun for exercise. If he is stressed, he doesn't need the additional stress of forcing himself to go to the gym or do something he really doesn't want to do. For now, the goal of "exercise" is to have fun and relieve stress.

Finally, I want to say that while there are things he can do to increase his natural testosterone production, don't be afraid to supplement it if his levels don't come up pretty quickly. Why do it the hard way if you don't have to. Contrary to popular opinion, the risks of sane amounts of testosterone are very low. Testosterone "replacement" sounds scary, but that isn't what really happens. "Supplementation" sounds less scary, and is in fact more accurate. Unless he takes a lot, his natural production will continue. There are also other hormones that can be taken with testosterone (HCG I think) that will keep his testicles producing.
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Re: Next Steps?

Postby SeekingChange » Tue Nov 24, 2015 8:46 pm

Thank you for your help and suggestions! I have mentioned things to him but I will also have him read through this thread more thoroughly.

He is so fed up with how his lack of focus and fatigue is affecting his life he was ready to walk in a clinic yesterday to get an injection, which is very much NOT like him and it's not how we operate as a family. This morning, after two of you said try naturally first, which IS how we try to operate as a family, I went to talk to him. I didn't have much talking to do because he had stayed up reading and had found out information and decided to go the natural route as well. I believe God answered our prayers when we were asking for His guidance...He brought us to unity, separately, and overnight.

Our plans are changing some lifestyle habits and then to get rechecked in 90 days, do you think that's a good amount of time or are we waiting too long to retest?
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Re: Next Steps?

Postby ledgemoor » Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:31 am

I don't know, but I'd say that if he hasn't noticed improvement in symptoms within in a month, it's time to try something else. I wouldn't worry so much about his numbers as I would his symptoms. If he eventually gets back to feeling like his old self, then you could check his numbers again to help determine if he could use a little extra help or not.

Where are you SquarePants? :D

That's great that he WANTS to get it treated. One of the symptoms of low testosterone is not caring and not wanting to do anything about it. Unfortunately, it probably won't be as simple as going to a clinic and walking out with a scrip for testosterone. They will want to do more tests. I estimate 2 -4 weeks between the initial visit and getting testosterone.

Some additional ideas: B-12 is THE go-to treatment for fatigue. It is inexpensive, and there is no risk. There are tablets, but shots would be better -- if he is low he will feel better within a day. My doctor is cleaning up by offering B-12 shot coupons on Groupon. But you can do it yourself without a prescription by ordering the B-12 from Canada. Take one shot weekly until he notices no improvement, then go every-other week or monthly. (I have a prescription, but don't need it because I order from Canada. I don't know what would happen if they caught you with it but without a prescription. My guess is nothing. It's not a narcotic or anything, and I don't think the post office is going to care. Just a head-up. The safe thing would be to go get a prescription. You could see what StrawberryBlonde & Nvr2Late think viewtopic.php?f=36&t=65678).

The unmotivated feeling comes from low T3 (thyroid). My T3 tested normally, but my doctor checked my REVERSE T3, and it was sky-high. Reverse T3 is a mirror-image of a real T3 that plugs into the T3 receptors no problem, but has no effect other than blocking real T3. High reverse T3 is caused by stress. This was real cutting-edge 5 years ago when I started. The Reverse T3 test was considered experimental. But it has gone mainstream according to the last lab tech I talked to. This isn't something you can do yourself obviously, but do mention it if he goes to a bHRT/Life Extension doctor.
Last edited by ledgemoor on Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Next Steps?

Postby SquarePants » Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:24 am

I'm out or town for the next several days, but I'll respond when I can. Are are any other lab results, especially SHBG or bioavailabile testosterone? There's another lab that affects lightly bound testosterone, but I can't remember off the top of my head. I think that it starts with an "A." Has his thyroid been checked, and does he snore?

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Re: Next Steps?

Postby SeekingChange » Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:29 am

When we tested for testosterone, the above is all that was tested.

Several weeks ago we went to a health fair and had multiple blood tests taken, we haven't gotten the results back yet and I'm not even sure what all was tested, but I know the thyroid was checked.

He is not a constant or loud snorer, but he does occasionally snore.
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Re: Next Steps?

Postby ghostrider » Fri Nov 27, 2015 10:03 am

ledgemoor wrote:(50 mg zinc, 2 mg copper,

Are you sure zinc and copper can or should be taken together? This guy says that zinc and copper compete for absorption and that you should limit copper intake? http://www.muscle-health-fitness.com/ra ... vels.html/ Do you have another source I can read? Thanks

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Re: Next Steps?

Postby SeekingChange » Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:18 pm

Just wanted to let you know that his TSH is good. His numbers were on the lower end (hyper) side of normal.
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Re: Next Steps?

Postby ledgemoor » Sat Nov 28, 2015 8:45 pm

SeekingChange wrote:Just wanted to let you know that his TSH is good. His numbers were on the lower end (hyper) side of normal.
That's good to hear. Did he get FSH per chance?

ghostrider wrote:Are you sure zinc and copper can or should be taken together? This guy says that zinc and copper compete for absorption and that you should limit copper intake? http://www.muscle-health-fitness.com/ra ... vels.html/ Do you have another source I can read? Thanks
You are welcome!

Here is a link to another article that you asked for: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc- ... fessional/

You have done more reading on the topic than I have. Mom210 told me I should be taking copper with my zinc. I quickly vetted her advice with a quick internet search, and that was that.

Note that in the article you reference that the Opti-Zinc product that they are pushing includes zinc (4th paragraph under "Problems with too much zinc").

From reading this article, it looks to me like taking the copper and zinc separately won't help. You need an actual deficiency in zinc to increase copper uptake and vice versa.

Looking at it from a common-sense and creationist standpoint, you are taking 25 times more zinc than copper (50 mg zinc and 2 mg copper). If the copper interferes with the Zinc a little, that's OK. I can't find the article now, but Bicycling magazine recommends only about 30 mg of zinc.

God made us from the "dust of the earth", i.e. minerals. Our body needs both copper and zinc. Take sane amounts of both, and our body should absorb whatever you need and eliminate the rest.

For the most part, it is best to err on the high side for minerals and vitamins. This book lists each vitamin and mineral, and the amount needed for optimal health, along with overdose information.
http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Guide-V ... beth+somer
The RDA is the minimum amount to prevent illness. The amount recommended by this book for optimum health is typically several times the RDA.

This book is from 1996. If you are buying, I would look for something newer. Vitamin D requirements have been revised upwards since then, and who knows what else.
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Re: Next Steps?

Postby SeekingChange » Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:37 am

ledgemoor wrote:Did he get FSH per chance? 

I don't belive so.
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Re: Next Steps?

Postby SeekingChange » Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:31 pm

My husband was doing some research today, and I found this very interesting.

Too much fiber can lower your T.

Almost a year ago, he was having some colon issues, he, in the way he his, went kind of excessive with trying to help with his issues. He started taking Metamucil, plus grinding up some flax seed each day. The timing on his fiber intake and the T symptoms line up.

Of course there are other life factors that I am sure at play in this, but this could be at play in his situation.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: Next Steps?

Postby SquarePants » Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:48 pm

Those numbers are borderline, and it’s hard to make a judgment call in cases like this without some of the other labs. Total Testosterone is fair, and Free Testosterone is low.

Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG): If SHBG is high, then much of the testosterone in his bloodstream will be unavailable.

Albumin: This also binds to testosterone, and removes it from the “free” testosterone lab. However, it’s still only loosely bound, so testosterone bound to albumin is still bioavailable.

If Albumin is a little high and SHBG is normal, then I wouldn’t worry about the apparently low Free Testosterone lab.

If SHBG is a little high and Albumin is normal, then maybe some additional testosterone would help.

One source I’ve seen suggests that men with total testosterone levels below ~550 will benefit from testosterone therapy. On the other hand, if his sleep quality is affected by snoring or apnea, this can also lower testosterone. Bad sleep could be the root cause that needs to be fixed, and the low testosterone might only be a symptom. Both low testosterone and sleep disturbances can have similar symptoms. Does he seem sleepy during the day? Does he often want to nap?

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Re: Next Steps?

Postby SeekingChange » Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:56 pm

He has been very tired during the day, even in the morning, that was one major symptom that lead us to getting his T checked. I personally don't see a difference in how well he sleeps, once he's asleep, but he is lacking sleep because of how late he goes to bed and how early he gets up.

eta: another thing he read about, there is a connection between low cholesterol and low T. In the general blood tests we got done at a health fair, he was low with his total cholesterol, which I wondered when I saw that, if there were any negative ramifications from being "too low". Any opinions on that?
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: Next Steps?

Postby ghostrider » Fri Dec 04, 2015 11:57 am

Not sure what the blood cholesterol levels should be for good T levels, but I read that dietary cholesterol is the building block of testosterone. The author of ArtOfManliness.com did a series on T and his experiment in doubling his own T levels in 90 days naturally (he ate lots of eggs, lifted weights, among other things).

www.artofmanliness.com/2013/01/18/how-t ... naturally/

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Re: Next Steps?

Postby SeekingChange » Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:50 pm

That is the first and only link that *I* read on upping T naturally. My husband has done a much more thorough search.
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