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Sex And Thyroid Hormones, Iodine, Cortisol, Low Libido

Discussion in 'Blood Work, Labs' started by healthnut123, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. healthnut123

    healthnut123 Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm a 26 year old male and I've been struggling for the past couple of years with low libido. I would say that is my main mystery health issue, but I struggle with fatigue, brain fog, afternoon crashes, cold hands/sensitivity, trouble losing fat, compromised gut/sensitive stomach, and anxiety. Lately the last two have improved through supplements and lifestyle changes, but I've still been struggling with the other issues.

    I conducted various blood tests in March and found that my Testosterone was on the low end (582 ng/dL ref range 250-827), SHBG was high (60 nmol/L ref range: 10-50), Free T 76.9 pg/mL (ref range 35-155) was on low end. Thyroid hormones were leaning towards hypothyroidism - TSH : 2.15, Free T4: 1.3 (ref range 0.8-1.8), Free T3: 2.9 (ref range 2.3-4.2), RT3: 14 ng/dL (ref range 8 - 25). TPO was 1 IU/mL (ref range <9). I also found that my serum iodine was low (49 mcg/L, ref range 52-109). My other hormones, cholesterol, iron, B12 etc levels were all good (ferritin was 43 ng/mL - I think that's considered good?).

    Given my low iodine result and the lowish thyroid hormones, I began supplementing with Lugols iodine. Started with 1 drop of 2% a day for about a week, then increased to 2-3 drops and after about a month was taking 5 drops. I then switched to iodoral 12.5mg at that point and continued taking it daily. From the very beginning of incorporating it, I noticed increased energy, better sleep, radiant clear skin (except for a few cystic bumps, perhaps detox?), warmer hands, and I seemed to have leaned out a bit too. Libido wasn't great but it definitely did improve. I was a bit weary of taking relatively high doses given the conflicting information about it, but it definitely did seem to help me.

    Given the low T result from before, I decided to retest (about a month after starting iodine). I remember around the time I went to the lab I noticed abnormally high libido, and I received the following notable results - Total testosterone 836 ng/dL (ref range 264 - 916), Free T 26 ng/dl (ref range 5-21), TSH 4.8 uIU/mL (ref range .45-2.5). The only thing I had changed consistently was the iodine. I had taken some boron supplements as I read that helps with high SHBG but I don't recall feeling like that helped much, and I didn't take it consistently. I believe my TSH shot up due to the iodine? I was feeling much better at the time, with most of my symptoms gone.

    I continued supplementing with the iodine (still at 12.5 mg a day) and while I was feeling better with more energy, the low libido seemed to return and overall I didn't feel the iodine was "working" as well as it had been when I first started taking it. I got a random urine iodine test (at this point after about a total of 1.5 months of supplementation) with a result of 822 mcg/L (ref range 34 - 523). I had been supplementing with the iodine until a day before (my doctor wanted to see my levels with supplementation). So I'm not sure if that result is actually concerning? I've since stopped taking the iodine and have slowly started feeling worse. I also retested some thyroid hormones and got the following results - Total T4: 5.4 mcg/dL (ref range 4.5-11.7), TSH 3.8mcIU/mL, Free T3 2.6 pg/mL (ref range 2.0 - 4.4). TPO also increased to 15.5 IU/mL (ref range 5-34)

    My doctor said my thyroid hormones are sub-optimal and has given me a prescription for Nature-Throid. I also had my 4x cortisol tested and my levels were found to be low, especially evening and night time levels, indicating adrenal fatigue. So my doctor also prescribed some adaptogenic herbs to take with the Nature-Throid.

    I'm curious, based on this info: 1. What do you make of the fluctuating testosterone levels? 2. Am I hypothyroid and is that what is most likely causing my symptoms (alongside the adrenal issues)? 3. Should I continue with iodine supplementation, or is there another way to accurately asses if I need to supplement? 4. Is the iodine what might have caused the TPO and TSH to increase and is this concerning? 5. Does Nature-Throid seem like a good approach? Any other comments? Feel free to ask about other specific lab results, I probably got them done but just didn't list there.

    I really appreciate any inputs or guidance!
     
  2. Joeyd

    Joeyd Member

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    First off is 580 for total T actually considered low? I thought 200-300 was considered low.

    With regards to Iodine, I have used lugols with great positive effects, but I don't take it every day, just as and when I feel like I need it. Iodine is one of the areas where I don't agree with peat. There's a great thread on this topic of iodine use and it's benefits if you use the search function.

    One thing I've read is that the more you sweat, the more you need to replenish iodine levels.
     
  3. Prosper

    Prosper Member

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    Could it be that you are running low on other cofactors like selenium or magnesium? Taking iodine when low on these may be counterproductive.
     
  4. OP
    healthnut123

    healthnut123 Member

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    Well it's all relative. For a young guy in his 20s, 580 may not be "low" but it's not optimal either. Also, given the high SHBG, the Free T was on the less optimal side as well. Good to hear the iodine has helped you too!

    I would take the iodine with a multi-vitamin which had both. I think it's odd that the iodine helped me with my hypo symptoms but apparently didn't impact thyroid hormone levels.

    I think I'll start with the nature throid and then maybe add in a thyroid support supplement like Thyrotain (with iodine, selenium, zinc, tyrosine etc) later on?
     
  5. Aleeri

    Aleeri Member

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  6. Douglas Ek

    Douglas Ek Member

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    I was in exactly same position as you couple of years ago. What i did to fix it was quit all supplements? Have you used high doses of zinc supps? That depletes ferritin stores which is actually needed for thyroid and thyroid is needed for testosterone. So could just be a case of low iron. I know it goes against ray peats view of iron. But testing and supplementing iron did the trick for me. Another thing you need to do is eat a lot. Eat carbs and fat. Before i go to bed sometimes i eat 6-8 eggs and **** loads of honey for fructose. All increase cholesterol a lot and man the morning wood i wake up with is insane. Dunno if its just me but really works everytime. The vitamin A, choline, sugar and cholesterol really great combo for thyroid and testosterone. Try it out

    My testosterone was 114 couple of years ago. Last time i tested it was 980 and i seriously believe i would test higher now

    In my opinion taking multis without testing is dumb since the minerals interfer with each other. Supplemental zinc ***** your copper and iron. And they are equally if not more important for your thyroid.

    Saw your ferritin was 43. Mine was 50 and i felt just like you described. I took and raised it to 150 and i feel better than ever now. Do you have restless legs?
     
  7. Douglas Ek

    Douglas Ek Member

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    Im serious drop all multis and minerals and start taking iron bisglycinate from thorne. 50mg a day and you will be back to normal within a month dude i swear it. Iron is needed for iodine metabolism aswell. Your ferritin is way to low. Athelets are usually in the 150 range. You need to get yours up to at least over 100.
     
  8. OP
    healthnut123

    healthnut123 Member

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    Interesting, will do. So far I'm on day 5 of the NDT and I have noticed a bit more energy and libido. So I'd say so far it seems to be helping!

    Here are all of my iron labs. They all seem fine except for the ferritin? I don't know if supplementing iron would raise my iron levels too high.. These numbers are without any iron supplementation (besides a few mg in my greens powder supplement) and little to no red meat.

    IRON 120 mcg/dL (range 50 - 195 mcg/dL)
    TIBC 329 mcg/dL (calc) (range 250 - 425 mcg/dL (calc))
    IRON % SATURATION 36 % (calc) (range 15 - 60 % (calc))
    FERRITIN 43 ng/mL (range 20 - 345 ng/mL)
     
  9. Douglas Ek

    Douglas Ek Member

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    The only one that matters is ferritin. Serum iron is the iron in your blood that score fluctuates through out the day depending on the foods you eat. Ferritin is your bodies stored iron. Generally men in good health usually have range between 100-200. Above 130 for optimal thyroid. Below 50 is serious for a man. I can swear on my life that you will feel so much better if you started supplementing iron. With a ferritin like that you dont need to worry at all that you would get iron overload. It would take a lot of supplementing way more than you think. I would recommend you take 50mg or more of iron bisglycinate. I swear you will already feel better within 2-3 days. And after a month you will be back to your normal self again. Ive been through the exact same thing. My girlfriend had same problem and now my sister also diagnosed with low ferritin. They had 30 and they,re women. You are seriously low buddy

     
  10. Douglas Ek

    Douglas Ek Member

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    Men have much higher ferritin than this without any problems. The ray peat ferritin hype is overexaggerated. If your ferritin is below 200 you dont have to worry

     
  11. OP
    healthnut123

    healthnut123 Member

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    Gotcha. When you had these issues were you hypothyroid as well or were you also taking any thyroid meds?
     
  12. benaoao

    benaoao Member

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    You should drop all supplements since your first bloods were fine; eat more lean beef or other natural sources of iron, maybe zinc too (beef has it) and stuff like spinach (cooked) to balance it out with calcium magnesium vitamin K etc. And more iron.
     
  13. OP
    healthnut123

    healthnut123 Member

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    So you're saying you don't think I have a thyroid issue? Just low iron?
     
  14. Douglas Ek

    Douglas Ek Member

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    If you do a bit of reading you realize that a ferritin level like that will make you hypothyroid. Minerals are crucial for thyroid function. Specially iron and copper. Zinc antagonizes both of them depleting your body both on a cellular level and a intestinal level. Multis today have a to high dose of zinc. And also i can imagine that you also taken zinc in the past since its been touted as a testosterone booster? Do you have joint pops and cracking as symptoms? Specially neck, hands and upper back?

    If i was you i would stop all supplement. Focus on eating clams, liver and beef. Supplement with iron and copper bisglycinate untill you start feeling better. I think a bit of retinol wouldnt harm either since it so important for the function of ceruloplasmin a copper carrying protein that also convers iron to its usable form in the body. Zinc supplements deplete ceruloplasmin. This screws both your copper and iron so that you cant utilize it. A multivitamin is enough to do this. And a pure strong zinc supp in 15mg-25mg would defo do that. If youve taken zinc up to 100mg at a time for awhile you without a doubt shot yourself in the foot
     
  15. OP
    healthnut123

    healthnut123 Member

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    Some of the supplements I take do have zinc, yes. I don't have joint pops or cracking. I don't have cold feet, just slightly cold hands (but that seems to be improving with the NDT).

    In prior lab work a few months back it looked like I was slightly anemic, but after retesting all of my CBC levels are in range. MCV is still on the higher side though. Maybe that's related to the iron issues.

    If my symptoms are related to iron is it bad that I've started taking the NDT?
     
  16. OP
    healthnut123

    healthnut123 Member

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    Also, the iron levels were taken at a fasted state in the morning, so would that still have been affected by what I ate the day before?
     
  17. Douglas Ek

    Douglas Ek Member

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    Your hemoglobin etc usually all fine even though iron deficient. Ferritin is the first to drop. Once your ferritin gets really low your hemoglobin drop. But you could still be iron deficient. Only reliable marker is ferritin. Iron is so important for dopamine function and for thyroid function. Being low in both obviously lowers your testosterone. And also the fact that dopamine is so crucial for libido and motivation
     
  18. Douglas Ek

    Douglas Ek Member

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    No thats good. Thats how you want it.
     
  19. OP
    healthnut123

    healthnut123 Member

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    I'm going to talk to my doctor but if I add in the iron, should I still continue on with the NDT?
     
  20. Douglas Ek

    Douglas Ek Member

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