I am seeking suggestions and/or comments from others on initial natural courses of treatment for lowish T3, T4, and Testosterone. I am working with my Doctor but he does not seem to have a clue about this topic (it was very difficult to convince him to test T3, RT3, etc). I have searched the forum, read the overview documents, and believe I have the common T4 to RT3 rather than T3 conversion issue. I briefly tried HRT in 2009 but would like to try more natural options first so as not to downregulate natural production and maintain fertility.
History: 38yo male, 6???5??? 190 pounds, ~12%bf, very athletic. Previous periods of overtraining and undereating/low cal/low carb.
Symptoms: low libido, low motivation, and muscle recovery issues after heavy lifting
Current corrective efforts: Strict Paleo w/ organ meats, sweet potatoes PWO, Zinc 50mg, Iodine, Selenium, Magnesium, Omega 3, Vit C, DHEA 50mg, R-ALA, and lowering stress (more rest days, sleep 8-9 hrs, meditation, etc.)
Considering taking NZ desiccated thyroid since both my T3 and T4 are low? http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Sources-Raw-Thyroid-capsules/dp/B00014DK9I/ref=pd_sim_hpc_3
QUESTIONS: Should I wait a while to see how the above supplements and lifestyle changes may improve my numbers? Do my labs indicate any other potential issues? Should I get some form of mineral analysis to see if I am deficient in any other particular nutrients? Should I get a 4x ASI to further test for cortisol irregularities?
5/3/11 Labs Total T 412 (300-1080 ng/dl) Free T 81.4 (47.0-244.0 pg/ml) Total T3 57 (80-200 ng/dl) LOW Free T3 1.9 (2.4-4.2 pg/ml) LOW Total T4 6.21 (5.10-14.10 ug/dl) Free T4 1.11 (.9-1.6 ng/dl) TSH 1.48 (.4-6.2 mIU/L)
5/16/11 Total T3 66 (80-200 ng/dl) LOW Free T3 2.5 (2.4-4.2 pg/ml) Total T4 6.48 (5.10-14.10 ug/dl) Free T4 1.03 (.9-1.6 ng/dl) TSH 1.36 (.4-6.2 mIU/L) Reverse T3 265 (90-350 pg/mL) Antibodies (TPO, TPA) - negative 8am Cortisol Serum Free .91 (.31-1.19 ug/dL morning)
Other labs from 6/2/10 IGF 1 183 (77-323 ng/mL) Ferritin 138 (48-420 ng/dL) SHBG 57 (11-80 nmol/L) FSH 2.3 (1.5-12.4 IU/L) Estradiol 12.5 (10-42 pg/mL)
Any input is greatly appreciated!
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Depending on how long you have had this... I would say add a few things to your routine.
- No Fasting
- Keep lifting to 2 brief heavy sessions twice a week
- Only other exercise should be light walks.
- Extra Vitamin C to lower cortisol
- Eat more carbs. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, even some white rice. I would switch up the ratios and go high carb for a bit and see how that affects you. Of course, take the R-LA and maybe some chromium with your high carb meals cause your blood sugar might go out of control. This article concludes that the optimum testosterone ratio for diet is 15/55/30 pro/carb/fats.
For the record, I had/ maybe still have because I havent gotten tested although symptom wise everything is improving... low testosterone and high rt3.
My labs were intially 309 for Total T. After 30 days of this crazy raw milk diet (5-6 quarts of raw milk a day, nothing else but rest)I did my T levels were up to 453 and this was in the late afternoon, when T drops, so morning levels were probably much higher.
Don't do what I did with the milk but the take home here is overfeeding... mostly from carbs.
Check your D levels. How are they? What does your daily diet look like? What kind of Iodine are you taking and what is the dose?
At 6'5 and 190... you could put on some muscle. More muscle mass will promote higher T levels.
Clomid is often used for low T as well... works for some but I have never seen someone follow up if their levels stayed high after treatment or not. Depending on what my levels test this week I will definitely consider it. I am only 22 and my T probably still isnt optimal. Like you, I spent a good 2 years in high school overtraining and undereating while doing cross country. Probably was a bit insulin resistant before that as my diet was super shitty.
It is my understanding that a paleo based diet is good for autoimmune disease in general. Being Hypothyroid (hashimoto's) I am always looking how I can improve my condition. I am curious to see how paleo could be harmful but over all I feel a lot better when I eat paleo.
Ray Peat is really good on this question (I think). Check out this long interview he did specifically on Thyroid on Blog Talk radio. Whatever you do, stay clear of VERY STRICT Palo, it will only aggravate your problem.
I know this is old, but you should definitely look into loading up on soluble fibre. Soluble fibre ferments into butyric acid and SCFAs, which have been shown to significantly improve T3 levels (along with cholesterol and lots of other things).
You could possibly switch your magnesium over to a magnesium butyrate for an extra few grams of SCFAs per day.
If you are worried about digestion issues from upping soluble fiber too much, seperate your meats from your fiber, have all your carbs from fiberous fruits and veg for lunch supplemented with chia or psyllium husk, and then only eat offal/seafood for dinner and breakfast, making sure you have at minimum 4h fasting between each meal.
Do some research into it, you might be surprised. Aim for 40-60g soluble fiber a day, but work your way up by a gram each day, do not just plummet 60g down your gullet or you will get blocked real quick.
Sotto Pelle works great. Only need to do it 2 times a year.
If your physician is willing, get them to prescribe you Armour Thyroid. It's a prescription but it is natural. It's simply dessicated porcine thyroid. It increases T3 and T4 directly, not indirectly like synthroid (synthetic t4) that has to be converted to T3. Talk to your doc about treating you based on how you feel instead of by the lab values. The lab values are simply a range of what is normal for many people...not what is normal for you.
I'll give you a personal example. When I was 24 years old, my baseline natural testosterone level was 1200. The "normal" range is 200-800. When I was 30 years old, mine dropped to 250 (early viropause) so it was still in the "normal" range, just not where expected for a man my age. So I was "normal" but I just wasn't me anymore. It took over ten years to get the right doc to treat me correctly, give me the right testosterone dosage, and return me to MY NORMAL level so I could be me again.
If your physician isn't willing, don't forget that they work for you...you are responsible for your own healthcare decisions...fire them and get another.