How treating my underactive thyroid is increasing my low testosterone, here’s my story. I’ve had subclinical Hypothyroid symptoms ranging from brain fog through to Low T – basically the whole shooting match. It’s like the chicken and the egg thing. Low Testosterone is often caused by the thyroid being under-active. The Testosterone and thyroid connection has long been known about. But often not always linked as related issues by Doctors especially when you are sitting opposite one in your rushed 5 minute production line-esque appointment.
Treating my Hypothyroidism has not been easy, getting actual treatment was difficult enough as it is. I cannot believe just how reticent my doctor was to even consider the fact that I may be Hypo. She said “Nope, men don’t get thyroid problems.” and “Your TSH of 6.7 is only just outside the normal range of <6, you can’t possibly be underactive” While she admitted that I was technically classed as ‘subclinical Hypothyroid’ she certainly would not even consider any treatment until my TSH reached the magical arbitrary figure of 10.
Treating my Low Thyroid has fixed my Low T and my Testosterone level is now in the ‘Normal’ range at last!
Since being diagnosed with: Empty Sella Syndrome, Secondary Hypogonadism and High Prolactin, oh silly me lets not forget Subclinical Hypothyroidism!
(Try saying those really quickly when you have had a drink or two! ) I’ve thought all along that since the sudden onset of my illness they must all be related. Well YES Sherlock, all of them have the pituitary gland in common.
I think my Doctors thought that because my thyroid T4 is low – low but still in the normal range. and my TSH is over 6 they didn’t need to do anything. It was only when I asked my Endo to trial Levothyroxine to see if it would lower my high prolactin levels (this was done after finding a report link here to ‘does thyroxine lower prolactin‘ . I thought that yes I certainly have some thyroid issues. BUT I think that maybe I have put down too many symptoms to being Low T and NOT Hypothyroid, but when you look closer alot of the symptoms are very similar.
Brain Fog is one of the most annoying symptoms that both these conditions share. I can walk into my kitchen and I find myself actually muttering to myself like an old man. Actually asking myself out loud “so what did I come in here for!”. Worse still I have actually forgotten to collect my youngest child from nursery! Thankfully I had only ‘forgot’ her for about an hour. Terrible I know, but the staff at the nursery weren’t sure either if she was to stay late. So I called the nursery and told them of my error and they laughed thankfully.
But anyway I’m digressing again aren’t I ? As since being on TRT I hadn’t improved much. I still felt like a bag of shite and I wasn’t happy that my Prolactin was still high and I wasn’t getting any treatment for my thyroid, after all despite the fact that my doctor’s ‘didn’t think’ there was a problem with my thyroid I just had to ask them to trial some thyroxine. My thinking was that if I trialled Levo then it would ‘rule out’ thyroid issues and that would mean then I too would stop nagging my Endo- which I’m sure was the reason he agreed to the trial. I started out on 50 mcg then went to 75 and now currently at 100mcg and awaiting further blood tests.
Thanks to Levothyroxine treating my Hypothyroidism my Testosterone has increased by over 50% in less than 5 weeks.
My total T was 6.3 just 10 days after stopping TRT and another 5 weeks later my Testosterone is now classed as ‘normal’ at 13.4. That’s the first time my testosterone has been in the normal range since getting ill. The normal range is 11-36.
So although it’s really early days for me on my road to recovery I have taken some heart in knowing that by stopping TRT I have managed to raise my own natural testosterone back into the normal range. Even though it’s low normal, I hope to get up to around 23-26 which is where it should be given my age.
Why the ‘normal’ testosterone range may not be so normal..
So please don’t get me wrong here though, my testosterone may now be in the ‘normal’ range. But for my age it is definitely far from normal.
So according to that chart I should be between (on average) between 84 to 85 years old!! The problem with all normal ranges especially when these ranges are applicable to all ages and those people that make up the sample could well have a low reading thus skewing the results even further!! we can clearly see that this is not right.
When you go to the doctors always ask for a printed copy. Don’t just accept the doctor saying your results are normal- ask them what the range is and work out roughly where you should be in that range. Don’t take shoddy service from your healthcare provider.
Just to confirm, I am not fully fixed yet.. But it does indeed look like Hypothyroidism is indeed responsible for my Low Testosterone levels and I will continue to try and increase them. If you have any tips or are also going through this I would love to hear from you. Let’s get out of this Hypothyroid low Testosterone trap together comrades!Drew