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Thyroid and Testosterone - Low T3, T4, and Testosterone - seeking natural remedies

by (10)
Updated about 20 hours ago
Created May 24, 2011 at 3:36 PM

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!

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe
1159 · September 29, 2011 at 2:26 PM

He's a genius. Light-years ahead of his time :)

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10 · May 25, 2011 at 6:45 PM

Thank you for relating your story. My Vitamin D level is 51 (20-150 ng/dL), I supplement with 8000 IU D3 from Costco. I recently heard a SuperHuman podcast with Dr. Matt Lalonde that indicated a diet too low in fat could cause a rise in SHBG and a drop in Total Testosterone. Maybe my increased fat intake will slowly reverse this condition.

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10 · May 25, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Yes, I have ordered Dr Kharrazian's book and look forward to reading it. Thanks, If nighttime cortisol is potentially the issue I will wait before ordering any dessicated thyroid.

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10 · May 25, 2011 at 6:39 PM

I plan to get a Spectracell nutrient analysis and a 4x ASI test. It is also my understanding that Armour Thyroid is made from US factory farmed pigs and the supplement I linked to is from grass fed NZ cows and contains T1, T2, T3, and T4.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930
5232 · May 25, 2011 at 4:26 AM

Get Dr. Kharrazian's book Why do I still have thyroid symptoms?

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540 · May 24, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Ah... thank you

Ef4c5b09fdccf73be575d3a0c267fdd9
2544 · May 24, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Yes, too low in carbs can be stressful for some.

2e841984c55e1f346f6e38f60c1620a6
540 · May 24, 2011 at 6:44 PM

If I could get through the interview or an article of Rays without falling asleep, I might be inclined to listen to him. How does a very strict paleo diet aggravate the problem?

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25467 · May 24, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Your rT3 is the issue. It's com stove inhibitor to T3. Replacing thyroid won't help. Two causes of high reverse T3 is leptin resistance and high night time cortisol.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · May 24, 2011 at 5:06 PM

You need diurnal cortisol......AM is not enough. Get a salivary one done. Measures you four times a day. I bet your elevated at dinner and at bedtime with the high reverse T3. Taking thyroid replacement will do nothing with a highrT 3.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · May 24, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Just saw your labs.....reverse T3 is high.....that is a competitive inhibitor of T3 so there is a problem. Major cause is leptin resistance or hypercortisolism and elevated insulin levels

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · May 24, 2011 at 5:01 PM

Do not treat this until you get a work up first.....

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · May 24, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Chronic elevated cortisol caused down regulation of thyroid and sex steroid hormones at the pituitary level. Get a SAlivary cortisol checked at zrtlabs.com. You can get it checked yourself then have your doc treat it

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6 Answers

Ef4c5b09fdccf73be575d3a0c267fdd9
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2544 · May 24, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Depending on how long you have had this... I would say add a few things to your routine.

  1. No Fasting
  2. Keep lifting to 2 brief heavy sessions twice a week
  3. Only other exercise should be light walks.
  4. Extra Vitamin C to lower cortisol
  5. 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.

http://www.thinkmuscle.com/articles/incledon/diet02.htm

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.

Also,

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.

8a9ede912f62689248960b886586be5d
10 · May 25, 2011 at 6:45 PM

Thank you for relating your story. My Vitamin D level is 51 (20-150 ng/dL), I supplement with 8000 IU D3 from Costco. I recently heard a SuperHuman podcast with Dr. Matt Lalonde that indicated a diet too low in fat could cause a rise in SHBG and a drop in Total Testosterone. Maybe my increased fat intake will slowly reverse this condition.

2e841984c55e1f346f6e38f60c1620a6
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540 · May 24, 2011 at 6:47 PM

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.

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78422 · May 24, 2011 at 4:51 PM

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.

Ef4c5b09fdccf73be575d3a0c267fdd9
2544 · May 24, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Yes, too low in carbs can be stressful for some.

2e841984c55e1f346f6e38f60c1620a6
540 · May 24, 2011 at 6:44 PM

If I could get through the interview or an article of Rays without falling asleep, I might be inclined to listen to him. How does a very strict paleo diet aggravate the problem?

2e841984c55e1f346f6e38f60c1620a6
540 · May 24, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Ah... thank you

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe
1159 · September 29, 2011 at 2:26 PM

He's a genius. Light-years ahead of his time :)

A949600d4816eb27253611428da40a20
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0 · October 09, 2012 at 10:31 PM

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.

Cdece563f6e79efd0f65d892b3eebe0c
0
0 · May 25, 2011 at 7:31 AM

Sotto Pelle works great. Only need to do it 2 times a year.

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2765 · May 24, 2011 at 4:37 PM

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.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · May 24, 2011 at 5:01 PM

Do not treat this until you get a work up first.....

8a9ede912f62689248960b886586be5d
10 · May 25, 2011 at 6:39 PM

I plan to get a Spectracell nutrient analysis and a 4x ASI test. It is also my understanding that Armour Thyroid is made from US factory farmed pigs and the supplement I linked to is from grass fed NZ cows and contains T1, T2, T3, and T4.

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