How treating Hypothyroidism is fixing my Low Testosterone

How I am increasing my Low Testosterone levels by treating my subclinical Hypothyroidism symptoms.

six_million_dollar_man

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!

getting well again, is there light at the end of the tunnel

Could this be the light at the end of the tunnel?

(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.

testosterone decline with age chart

 

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!

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  • ASB

    Hi, I’ve only just found your excellent site.  The news that treating your Hypothyroidism is increasing your testosterone is very very encouraging. The following are problems I have – brain fog/confused thinking, erectile dysfunction, anxiety, hair loss, hot flushes, irritability, testicular atrophy and probably more.  I am  39 and live in the UK.  I have been to the doctor to have my testosterone and other levels checked.  Yes, surprise, surprise they said everything was ok.  My testosterone level was 14.5 on the scale of 9-45.  It’s probably even lower now as that was 2 years ago.  It’s probably closer to that of an 80 year old.  I don’t blame the doctor as such, there just going by their training but it leaves me with no option at the moment other than to do a lot of research whilst keeping a good diet and exercising etc.  I  got my estrogen checked independently and it was high, 5.2, it should be between 1-3.  I think my fsh was high when the doctor did the tests, and have since read that high fsh and low testosterone is a classic sign of having Hypothyroidism.  So, I am going through the same nightmare that you and countless other’s are having.  I am not the person I would be if my testosterone and other hormones were all at the correct level and balanced.  Your post is very encouraging as it shows that with the correct treatment of the underlying cause things can improve.  This seems a MUCH better route than testosterone gel etc.  I believe my prolactin is high but won’t know for sure without a test, but it does seem to cause the same problems I suffer from when high.  I occasionaly take 50mg zinc supplements which is supposed to reduce prolactin and this does slighly improve erectile dysfunction.  I did express concern about having hypothyroidism when I visited the doctor and my guess is that my hormone levels do show I have it but that the doctor is trained to think everything is normal.  What a position to be in, were going through hell but the doctor dismisses it.  I often wonder if the doctors son was going through this hell I bet they would take it much more seriously.  I am interested to know if your increased testosterone level has increased further after taking Levothyroxine.  I’d like to say your site has given me more hope about treating this hell than any other and I have visited a lot.  I believe my thyroid is causing my underlying problems, I will be changing doctors in the future but until there is a massive change in the way doctors view this I don’t hold out much hope from them.  My first priority is getting my prolactin level checked thanks to your excellent site.

  • Anonymous

    Hey ASB,

    Thankyou for the kind words mate, Just glad that this blog helps to highlight to other men out there just what a minefield that thyroid and testosterone problems can be.
    I’m not medically trained so my advice is just that. I am just working from my own limited (perhaps slightly jaded) experience.

    The way I see it is that as the pit gland is classed as the master gland and controls all other aspects of cell action and metabolism through the body.  For me it was pretty much overlooked until I asked to ‘trial’ Levo to see how I felt. If I were in the US or Germany I would have been put onto thyroxine without any question.. It’s all down to the TSH numbers used by the NHS.  For most the TSH value is <6 is Normal. That is just way too high.

    MY ADVICE for you is as we are the same age with pretty much the same results you must make sure that your Thyroid hormones are well into the normal range. There are a couple of doctors in the UK that are well respected in this field that may treat you on symptoms and not just the numbers but they are mainly private practice now.  I can give you their names if it should help.

    But first you must get these tests done NOW at your own GP's. If they refuse request a second opinion.  Get your TSH, T3,T4, FT3, FT4 . Testosterone and Prolactin done at the very least (or at least try and get them to do these)

    Once you have the numbers then you can work out your own plan. But you do need these baselines really before anything else. Also make sure you get the actual numbers and the ranges.. don't just accept the doc saying err Normal.

    I am still struggling with increasing my Testosterone levels. You can see my all my labs on my latest post here.  The only difference is my latest Testosterone level was 10.6   But I have only been treating my thyroid for the last 3 months and off TRT for 3 months. Perhaps I will fail but I am giving myself a year to recover.

    Go toy see your GP and don't accept their excuses, insist on those blood tests and tell them that if they do them, you will stop requesting them!!

    But I'm sure that in my case and others most likely  High Prolactin and Low Thyroid can and will cause Low T..

    Do not give up!

    Best of Luck

  • ASB

    Hi, thanks for your reply.  I will certainly get the tests done that you mentioned in your post.  And like you say ask for the actual numbers not just take it from the Doctor that there ‘normal’ (like they did with my testosterone).  I think your correct on the high prolactin/low thyroid causing low T.  I feel like printing the evidence out and taking it for my Dr to read!!  I dread to think how many men have this condition and are not treated.

    I would like the namesnumbers of the Dr’s you mentioned if possible.  Even if they diagnose my problems and I take it from there it will be very helpful for me.

    How are you getting on with your own battle against this nasty condition?

    Thank you
    ASB

    • Anonymous

      Hi there, thanks for your message, not sure how I am getting on at the moment. Things always go too slowly! I will write up a page soon with how I have been getting on.
      All of the information is available on this page, with relevant links to the pubmed articles. You can print these off and show your Doc. I certainly did and I think the Doctor then had to take me more seriously.

      I hope this helps you and best wishes.

  • LifeWithLowT

    Congrats on the great results! Unfortunately, trying the same to treat my subclinical hypothyroid isnt having the same results. 125mcg Synthroid daily and my TSH  is down to 0.661 (0.45-4.50 range) and T4 has shot up to 1.88 (0.82-1.77 range). Still Free T 1.4 on a range of 1.5 – 3.2.

    Now looking elsewhere for answers…cabergoline didnt work for me (i remember reading you said the side effects were too much for you?), no side effects, lowered prolactin, but no bump in T.

    Doc is talking about Sermorelin next…

    • Anonymous

      Hey LifewithLowT !! Thanks for your reply, sorry to hear that it’s not been going well. Will you be staying on the synthroid? It may take quite a while for your body to get back to where it should be regards testosterone wise..

      I have stopped the Cabergoline for now and my own T has lowered to 7.8. I am going to do a post on my progress shortly. This lower reading has been taken 4 weeks after stopping Cabergoline.

      I thought I would just stay off the Cab and see what happens to my high prolactin. (I was hoping that now my thyroid has started being treated that my PRL would lower) But it’s not looking like that is the case. My PRL went back up to 900 normal range <350 for a man.
      I have been prescribed Norprolac (Quinagolide) instead of Cab to see if this helps me,.

      I can be pretty sure in saying that I have noticed a big drop in libido and less erections with the higher PRL. So I am going to start on the new drug and get some bloods done in 4-5 weeks and see what happens then!!

      I still don't want to go down the route of TRT again unless I REALLY have to!

      Wishing that things improve for you. Perhaps the Sermorelin is worth a shot, I just googled it and it's'a growth hormone. What is he trying to achieve?

      Best wishes

      • LifeWithLowT

        So I just posted an update on my blog explaining why Serm+GHRP-6. Simply put, my most recent blood draw showed glucose at the high end of the normal range, but more importantly HBA1C (a lab test that shows the average amount of sugar in your blood over 3 months) was above the high end of the range placing me at risk for diabetes. At 5’10.5″ 175lbs and somewhere between 11-13% body fat, its hard for me to believe that I am pre-diabetic so this raised a number of new questions and most answers point towards stress and a lack of sleep being a main culprit.

        The thought is:
        stress = lack of sleep > lack of sleep = elevated glucose + reduced T

        I found this info posted on a blog published by a Dr. Lawler (no clue who he is, but the results were interesting):
        “Researchers studied 9 healthy adults in a sleep lab environment. 
        Sleep lab technicians were able to monitor their sleep, and by
        evaluating their brain waves, were able to determine when these healthy
        adults were entering into slow wave sleep. 
        At the moment of transition between lighter sleep and slow wave sleep,
        the sleep technicians caused a sound to be emitted from speakers near
        the bed of the sleeping subjects causing them to revert to the lighter
        sleep stage.  By this method, and for 3 successive nights, the subjects
        were deprived of slow wave sleep.

        At the conclusion of the study, blood samples were taken on each of
        the subjects.   8 out of 9 of the test subjects had blood glucose levels
        that showed a pre-diabetic condition as a result of slow wave sleep
        suppression for only 3 nights!  Sleep related breathing disorders,
        causing a repeated interruption of deeper levels of sleep, have a
        similar effect as the interruption of sleep by an emission of sound in
        the sleep lab.  To learn more about this fascinating study, go here.”

        Obviously, its known the impact of sleep on hormone levels, but this is a new interesting take my situation. It seems crazy to think that the answer could be something as simple as sleep and stress, but I guess we will find out shortly. However, it might just be that simple. I found this from peaktestosterone.com (which is a great resource also):
        “Just this week (6/22/2009) one of the most important testosterone-related
        discoveries was uncovered, although it was one of those things many of us were
        saying, “I always wondered!” It was found that glucose lowered
        testosterone. As you may know, a glucose drink is often given before a fasting
        blood sugar test and researchers, commissioned by the Endocrine Society,
        administered the standard 75 gram glucose test and monitored testosterone after ingestion of the
        drink  The results surprised everyone:  testosterone was whacked for
        hours after the glucose drink.

        The extent of the hormonal effect was shocking. First of all, testosterone was
        diminished by up to 25% regardless of whether the men were diabetic,
        prediabetic or healthy.  In other words, glucose greatly decreased
        testosterone in everyone.  Secondly, 98.6% of the study participants had
        significantly lower testosterone two hours after taking the glucose! 
        Finally, 15% of the subjects were actually driven into the hypogonadal range,
        i.e. their testosterone would have been flagged as clinically low.”

        Sorry for the long post…i just found it interesting and somewhat encouraging.

        • Anonymous

          Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, really grateful for that lead. It sounds like it may be worth looking at quality of sleep.

          BUT, here’s the big problem for me, because my T is low my sleep is always pretty poor. Aching joints and muscles etc tend to make me quite restless. So it’s a bit catch 22 for us.

          Do you think that maybe adrenals have an impact here?  Stress itself can cause adrenal fatigue and this can impact thyroid and sex hormones. I have been off PRL lowering drugs for a month or so and I feel the Low T stuff getting worse so I’m sure that this must be having some effect on me.

          One of my worst symptoms is dizziness and lightheadedness/ sinus pressure etc. I keep wondering what particular aspect is causing all this?

          I hope you are getting closer to feeling better. About time we both got a break huh!

          best wishes

          Low T man

          p.s I will indeed get my Endo to look into running those tests, it would be interesting if there was a link.

      • Wordie

        Been going through same thing. Originally dx with hypothyroidism been on 75 mcg synthroid. Felt better the first few months but then dwindled back into a state of fatigue and here I am a year later. I went to my doc to run some levels and found out today I have low T I think my number was 11. My TSH was in 7′s and I also have a vit d deficiency. What’s weird about my thyroid is my T3 was normal but my T4 was low. Hmm so we’re doing some experimenting I’m switching to thyroid armor 30 and taking oral vit d drops 1000 u. We’re not messing with T replacement until we rule out everything else. I currently have no libido issues but, actually my only current issues are fatigue and decreased self esteem. I’m extremely healthy so none of this makes sense. On top of that. I’m an RN so I am more aware then most. I’m gonna Be using myself as a test dummy and try to figure this out. I despise taking medication, even more so when it doesn’t fix the problem!

  • LJB

    Fantastic Site, Thanks for the record. I sitting here reading it and Having Flashes and Palps. Im 34 yr old male and have been Diagnosed with Hypo Thyroid and Major Vitamin D deficiency

    Also Had Low T at start But cant remember my numbers.
    Im getting much Resistance from GP to test T levels? Why the fight everytime i go to quacks??

    Been on 50mcg Levothyroxine for 3-4 months and while i had started to feel better. Im now feeling much much worse than i ever was. BAD palps bad Flashes, (and i mean pull over when driving bad) I suspect i have gone Hyper even though the GP says Im not.

    I will be walking in on monday and getting printouts of all my levels.

    • mytestosteronetherapycom

      Hi LJB, Sorry that I never replied sooner, somehow I didn’t get a notification of a new reply. So please accept my apology! I understand exactly where you are coming from. It’s an awfully nasty way to feel for any period of time. I have found myself changing my routines etc. Because I DONT want palps etc in public. I think it may be the Vit D or B12 /ferritin levels that are not allowing your body to process the Levo. Especially as 50mcg is really a low dose. It could be the Low T causing the hot flushes. I think the best thing is to see what your bloods reveal. If your TSH is now really low then maybe. But without results you are shooting in the dark! Good luck and please keep us informed.

  • dna

    44 male

    height 5’10

    weight 190

    Estrone 102 pg/mL range 65mg/mL

    Total E 149pg/mL range 109pg/mL

    Estradoil 47pg/mL range 45pg/mL

    test cyp 125mg 1xaw……

    total t 750

    free t 16.6

    Component Standard Range Your Value

    Triglyceride <150 MG/DL 254

    Cholesterol 40 MG/DL 27

    LDL <100 MG/DL 140

    Cholesterol/HDL Risk 0 – 4.0 8.1

    And feel like crap, any input would be helpful. Thought it might be due to my e levels but not sure.

  • Buddy 41 male

    I have been going down for a while now. Here lately I have these sweating spells and I’ll have to change my shirt 3-4 times. And it’s all I can do to get off the toilet or put on my shoes because my joints hurt so. And yes I am overweight, but I’ve been walking on a treadmill for 30mins a day and dieting successfully! But still I have almost every symptom for hypothyroidism or LowT. When I was 11 or 12 my mom took me to a fat doctor in Mississippi and I remember losing weight and my PE coach inquiring about my size. But when I started asking questions about stunting my growth to my mom she stopped giving it to me. (And you know what part of my body concerns a young boy) anyway the doctor got busted and he was on TV pushing the cameras out of his face! And of course my dad was clowning on my mom for ever seeing that quack! But I really don’t know what he gave us could that have messed up my thyroid? On the LowT my dad and elder brother are doing LowT therapy, but they both have Insurance and make quite a bit more money than I do. From the research I’ve been doing I’m wondering if I may be better of ordering some Euthyrox (Levothyroxine Sodium) and or Methyltestosterone to see if this will fix me? Because bodybuilder take these for 6wks. Or is this dangerous and needs a dr opinion?

  • reggiepv

    Thank you for sharing, I think I have the exact same issue.

  • carlos

    I am 24 years ild and was diagnosed with hypothyroidsm one year ago. I dint make a big deal of all this and dint take the medicine and now that it started affecting my sexual life meaning no interest in sex and ed too
    I was on levothyroxine & discontinued it because I was having lots of side affects so I am now on armor thyroid 30mg I dont get all bad now and I am still struggleing with sex problems. I have an appointment with my doctor and gona have him do all the test I think he needa to do and see what happens.
    But most indeed I think I do have low testosterone levels and prolactin problems lets see how all this goes!!!

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