Thirty-one women with severe premenstrual syndrome had low sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) binding capacities 30.2 +/- 9.4 nmol DHT bound/l. The SHBG binding capacities rose when they were treated with three different doses of progesterone. On 400 mg (17 women) SHBG level was 45.11 +/- 11.80. On 800 mg (8 women) SHBG binding capacity rose to 64.75 +/- 14.30 and on the six women who took 1200 mg progesterone daily SHBG binding capacity was 78.5 +/- 23.10. These results are discussed.
Where are they discussed? What do you make of this info?
What I make of it is that progestins increase SHBG and I have high blood levels of 17 hydroxy prog and also fairly high levels of SHBG and thus low free t.
I really wish I knew too. SHBG seems really mysterious, even to experienced steroid users on bodybuilding forums. And endocrinologists I’ve been to brush it off as inconsequential or just a sign that you need to increase T. BUT – my last endo also said that he’s reluctant to mess with SHBG because it’s produced by the liver, and any drug that is messing with SHBG would also mess with a liver. Not a good thing, apparently. The only productive suggestion I’ve gotten in this department is a prescription for 50mg Danazol, which acts on gonadotropin-releasing hormone. Too bad that I got intense brainfog from taking the stuff. Perhaps I’d fare better now that I can control the fog more predictably with B12. Anyways, I don’t think I’m ready to mess with directly with hormones right now.
Did a test last last July. The result was:
Glucose, Serum – 78 mg/dL (65 − 99)
The doctor said that I was “borderline hypoglycemic”. Don’t know if he was looking at just this value or other things as well.
Last time I tested those was in November 2012:
Progesterone – 0.9 ng/mL (0.2 − 1.4)
17 OH Progesterone – 43 pg/ml (22-100)
Both normal. But around this time my free testosterone was actually above range, so my hormonal milieu has clearly changed a lot.
"P17-OH 17-OH Progesterone - 43 Normal (Optimal: 22-100 pg/ml, Borderline: 101-130 pg/ml, Elevated: >130 pg/ml)
Was this siliva or blood?
I am in a similar boat. I took 5 pills, and seem to have similar issues with my bloodwork. I scanned the thread, and had some slightly different symptoms than you, one being some moderate gynecomastia development. In the last 2 weeks, I have seen some very encouraging improvements, so I figured I’d post quick. I have a longer post on here about some of my symptoms, and I figure I’m going to post a recovery effort thread with my experiences. I’m not recovered, but I sure feel great these last couple weeks.
Bloodwork, most recent 4 months ago (I bolded the ones I think are the issue):
Testosterone (241 to 827): 628.3
Free T: 11.2
Estradiol (<39.8): 37.01
Cortisol (4.3 to 22.4): 23.24
SHBG (11 to 56): 53
DHT (16 to 79): 46
Random Thoughts For Discussion (I am NOT a doctor…but have googled a lot. Just what I think may be an issue, and I’m basing how I try to recover on this. LMK your thoughts, as I’d love to discuss and try to optimize/speed up my recovery) – if anyone knows areas of this that are wrong, please copy/paste and correct it:
I am planning on changing some lifestyle habits and diet, in an effort to lower my estrogen levels naturally, and then resume exercise when it may not be such a huge shock to my system, as a further method of improving my levels.
Here is what has worked so far for me, and, in the 2 years since the 5 propecia pills, I feel the best I ever have for a 2 week period.
1-I temporarily stopped the exercise, I plan to resume in about a month; with the slight gyno development, I could feel tenderness in my chest when all of my symptoms would worsen, at any point during the day, including when I would exercise. This has been a rollercoaster over the course of a day, and has naturally been getting better since I have taken propecia. Time seems to help. I would say that I felt this discomfort in my chest about 10 hours per day right after taking propecia, maybe about 5 hours after about a year, and down to about an average of about 2-3 hours a few weeks ago, and now I’m going days without feeling it at all. I take this to mean that things are going better, and I’m using this discomfort (what I believe to be breast growth) as a sort of signal on what seems to help. I am assuming that this means my Estrogen levels are too high when I feel this, and better when I do not.
2-I changed up a very health diet, into a healthier one, focusing on Estrogen reducing foods and hormone free/farmers market. Note: I modified my diet about a year ago to accommodate for a food intolerance also. This seems to have been the thing that may have just pushed it over the top. I feel great these last 2 weeks. I am sourcing all foods from local farmers markets, and selecting hormone-free options, and organic produce, and avoiding any other chemical crap. Here is my grocery list basically:
Seafood, all, wild caught
Meat, all, hormone-free
Eggs, cage free, hormone free
Nuts and Seeds - I limit this, due to a food intolerance, no more than about 20 per sitting, no pistachios, added: pumpkin seeds
Vegetables (limited due to food intolerance): tomato, peppers, zuchini, spinach, carrots, cucumber, broccoli (limited)
Fruits: pineapple, all berries, banana, oranges (lots), kiwi, avocado (limit), lemon/limes, all citrus
Grains: white rice, gluten free pasta (once every other week or so), potato, oatmeal, corn tortillas (I question this one)
Spices: all except garlic/onion
Oils: Olive Oil, EVOO, butter: sweet cream/EVOO mix
Sauces: Pasta Sauce, no garlic/onion, very rare
Beverages: Rice Milk, Water
I had to tailor my diet to a food intolerance, so there are many other estrogen reducing foods I found that I am not sure if I can eat or not. I haven’t listed these, but did make up a full list of them. I am only eating/drinking the things on this list (ie no alcohol!, etc), and making the vast majority of all meals.
Change in symptoms to date:
Energy levels have greatly increased
Gynecomastia has improved; although on this, the part that has improved was the loose, almost bloated like areas on my chest. This is completely gone, and my gyno looks better. The part that has not improved was what seems to be harder/rubbery areas around my armpits. If I slip up, this bloated area seems to return within a few hours. I do not believe it is fat at all, and it caused by an increase in Estrogen levels. I must be on the borderline of too much estrogen for my body.
Sex drive is improving, and I had a couple morning erections for the first time in forever
I no longer feel slight joint pain, which also came and went
I am able to think clearer, quicker; I basically feel like I did before propecia for 2 weeks in a row now, with the gyno still there/sex drive still lower
Basically, all symptoms have improved from my other thread, maybe on a scale of 10, from a 3 to a 6.
My plan is to:
Continue this hormone free, organic, very tailored diet, when I stop feeling the discomfort in my chest when working out, I am going to add back in exercise. Note: I had already changed my sleep schedule to be more consistent, increased water intake to avoid any dehydration, ensured my micronutrients were being met, reduced stress levels, etc. I’m going to get bloodwork done as often as I can, to see if these changes are helping. I am trying to lower E, which will then hopefully lower SHBG, and improve the free T levels, and lower my cortisol. Hopefully these changes help.
Please lmk your thoughts. This got a bit longer than anticipated. I’ll probably turn this into a recovery thread to get other people’s opinions.
@OneTerribleIdea – I’m sorry I didn’t see this earlier in the year. The interface of this forum isn’t great for knowing who’s replying to threads + I’m not spending a lot of time on the forum (it’s a pretty depressing place).
But your plan looks sound. Any recovery regimen starts with eating better and exercising. I’ve been doing it for three years now, and while my situation have improved, I’m nowhere near where I was before finasteride. So diet/lifestyle is part of the answer, but it doesn’t seem to be enough.
Your bloodwork is indeed very similar to mine, apart from the cortisol (I’ve always tested normal on that.) How are you doing now?
SHBG – 71 (13-71 nmol/l)
Free T - 42.3 (47-244 pg/ml)
Bioavailable testosterone 112.5 (128-430 ng/dl)
DHT 598 (106-719 pg/ml)
IGF-1 155 (109-307 ng/ml)
Transforming Growth Factor Beta - 2202 (3465-13889 pg/ml)
These are the “highlights” from an array of tests I’ve taken in the last few weeks that also included thyroid and cortisol tests. (Both tests were normal, btw. The thyroid tests were encouraging, since I quit T3/T4 supplementation cold turkey a few months back. Good to see that at least some system can bounce back to normal.)
I’ve had similar results a few times now, and the pattern is clear – normal/high DHT, low testosterone across the board, high SHBG, and normal estrogen.
The tests explains my current symptoms pretty well – very low libido and penile sensitivity. Poor memory, energy, motivation. Still, I can have sex with good stamina and erections, since DHT-dependent tissue is concentrated at the “core” of the penis (responsible for erections and ejaculation), and testosterone dependent tissue is on the “surface”. Continuing hair loss is also consistent with the test results.
Disclaimer – wild speculation below –>
Why the DHT/T imbalance? It could be that somehow 5AR is overactive, and converting T to DHT way to quickly. SHBG has higher affinity to DHT, which could lead to the high SHBG levels, which also serve to depress T.
The IGF-1 and TGF-beta results are also interesting. They are related to the release of HGH, which is in a negative feedback loop with DHT. Many people here report good improvements on HGH (although it doesn’t seem like a cure). It seems like HGH (or sermorelin) supplementation could be a good alternative for me. It could increase cell repair and put the body in an anabolic state (which could increase T output), and put a light downward pressure on DHT.
In any case, I’m doing a test for HGH next week.
Test for HGH came back: 0.2 on a 0-10 scale. Definitely room for upwards mobility.
My doctor has a good case for prescribing it now, so I might give it a try. Expensive as hell, though – $900.
Blood tests from 10/27/15
Testosterone 920 (348-1197 ng/dl)
Free testosterone 17.2 (8.7-25.1 pg/ml)
DHT 86 (30-85 ng/dl) – HIGH
SHBG 60.3 (16.5-55.9 nmol/L) - HIGH
For the first time, my free T is normal!
my gh was 0.2 the range was 0 to 30.
What did GH help with?
My urine GH is also very low.
But I kind of sceptical that this is the root cause.
What benefits did u get from GH.
My shbg is now over range and free t below range.
Why is SHBG high?
Overall energy and well-being. But the effect was minor, the drug was expensive, hard to administer, and had some unpredictable side effects.
That’s been my situation for years. SHBG was gradually inching upwards, while free T was going down.
That’s the million dollar question. I’ve asked that question myself for five years now.
Thanks for that…
I am also pretty sure that low GH is not the root of the problem.
Are you going to remain on GH?
I stopped taking it because of cost/convenience/side effects. Didn’t seem worth it.
Now that I’m cancer free, I can go back to working on PFS issues – here’s the result from my recent blood test:
Bioavailable T (without SHBG) – 661 (348-1197 ng/dl)
Bioavailable T, S – 112 (128 -430 ng/dl) LOW
Bioavailable T Percentage – 17%
Testosterone, Total – 720 (348-1197 ng/dl)
Free Testosterone – 5.7 (8.7-25.1 pg/ml) LOW
Dihydrotestosterone – 81 (30-85 ng/dl)
SHBG – 104.8 (16.5-55.9 nmol/L) HIGH
Progesterone – 0.5 (0.2-1.4 ng/ml)
Pregnenolone – 21 (<151 ng/dl)
Estradiol – 18.4 (7.6-42.6 pg/ml)
Prolactin – 7.7 (4.0-15.2 ng/ml)
LH – 4.1 (1.7-8.6 mIU/ml)
FSH – 27.2 (1.5-12.4 mIU/ml) HIGH
Vitamin D – 51.8 (30.0-100.0 ng/ml)
TSH – 1.560 (0.450-4.500 uIU/ml)
Reverse T3 – 17.7 (9.2-24.1 ng/dl)
Free T4 – 1.41 (0.82-1.77 ng/ml)
Free T3 – 3.3 (2.0-4.4 pg/ml)
The trend of rising SHBG has been going on for years now – 104.8 is a new high for me. It’s a very confusing result, given that I have top of range DHT, normal E, and a reasonable total T level.
My thyroid levels look OK, but with the fairly high RT3 I end up with a 1.9 RT3/T3 ratio – it’s supposed to be more than 20. I don’t know how much of a problem this is.
I have high FSH – I don’t know what to make of that either – it seems like a measurement that’s connected to sperm production and fertility. Does anybody have a good resource to read about high FSH?
High iron can raise SHBG, have you ever tested your iron levels?
I just had my iron/ferritin levels checked again, and it came out fine.
Got some new tests taken. I asked for DHT to be included, but the incompetent doctor forgot to put it in.
Testosterone, Serum – 661 ng/dl (264-916)
Testosterone, Free – 13.22 ng/dl (5-21)
DHEA-S – 201 ug/dl (102.6-416.3)
FSH – 8.0 miu/ml (1.5-12.4)
LH – 3.0 miu/ml (1.7-8.6)
SHBG – 91.1 nmol/L 16.5-55.9 HIGH
Estrogens, Total – 113 pg/ml (40-115) HIGH
Insulin – 33.9 uiu/ml (2.6-24.9) HIGH
What’s new here is that my free T is back in range (always used to be low), and estrogen has increased, and is almost out of range. SHBG is very high, as usual.
Any advice appreciated… this is confusing.
I also have very higher shbg, 123 at my last tests few weeks back, I also had high oestrodiol was 80 I think and my T was off the charts
What was your DHT?