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  1. #1
    thisAngelBites's Avatar
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    Thyroid problems in men with suspected testosterone deficiency

    Hey guys,

    In the short while I have been here, I have been surprised at how many (and such a high percentage) of guys who post their blood work here have signs of thyroid problems.

    It was not very long ago when thyroid problems were considered far more common in women and relatively rare in men. And maybe they still occur much more disproportionately in women, but I have really been surprised at how many men who come here, presumably worried about T levels have thyroid issues - either overt, or clearly brewing.

    Now it strikes me that it could be that symptoms overlap, and men generally think of T probs before they think of thyroid. But quite a few have both things going on.

    Are the two related in some semi-direct way? If there is a sticky or something than explains this, please could you post it for me? Why so much co-incidence of these problems?

  2. #2
    Times Roman's Avatar
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    well, anyone coming here to this board, testosterone is primarily what's on their mind. that's part of it. are you just talking thyroid levels out of range?

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    Yeah, that's what I mean - they are thinking testosterone , and lots of them are indeed low, and the symptoms are so similar anyway. But I was not expecting to see so much actual thyroid involvement, especially as this was historically considered a woman's problem and rare in men. And it's not just the case of thyroid problems being mistaken as low T, but a lot of incidence of both together. That's why I am wondering about whether they are more related than I thought.

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    Times Roman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisAngelBites View Post
    Yeah, that's what I mean - they are thinking testosterone, and lots of them are indeed low, and the symptoms are so similar anyway. But I was not expecting to see so much actual thyroid involvement, especially as this was historically considered a woman's problem and rare in men. And it's not just the case of thyroid problems being mistaken as low T, but a lot of incidence of both together. That's why I am wondering about whether they are more related than I thought.
    You seem to be fairly knowledgeable about this topic. Is this an issue you struggle with?

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    I have hypothyroidism, yes. I don't have low testosterone , although I wondered if I did, but it was actually fine and the problem was (allegedly) my adrenals (treating that now so we will see). I was just struck by the coincidence of these two issues as I have been noticing them in men who post on the board and wondered if it was some well known thing that I simply didn't know about (not that I know much about men's hormones, but I learning some on this board), or whether it was just a pattern I was noticing. I'm interested in patterns and what they mean, particularly in health.

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    The thyroid and testes are both stimulated by the result of the hypothalamus stimulating pituitary and the release of GnRH -> FSH/LH (for the testes) and TRH -> TSH (for the thyroid). So it reasons that there would be overlap in affected populations, although I've never read any literature to that effect. Also, they both demonstrate age related decline in function to some extent. Test production seems to decrease with age. While thyroid function does not have a clear age-related decline, the prevalence of thyroid disease (namely Hashimoto's) does increase with age.

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    Thanks very much for your response. But then I would want to ask why the pituitary is releasing low amounts of fsh and lh, but elevated TSH if the conditions overlap? If the conditions overlap due to pituitary problems I would think that it would be producing less of both, and you would have low T and thyroid symptoms (and low T3 and T4) in spite of the fact that TSH looked ok, but lots of these men have elevated TSH.

    Perhaps it's a mistake to presume that pituitary probs mean it is producing less of all hormones, and that it is possible it is producing too much of one and not enough of another?

    I'm just brainstorming a bit so thanks for the indulgence. Also I thought thyroid problems did increase with age. For years (even non hashi's) hypothyroidism was a middle aged female problem. I'll have to read a bit more about that. Thanks for mentioning it.

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    it's probably in part just the general state of health. our bodies are very interconnected and, generally, if someone has one thing wrong, it's usually linked with other things. something like the thyroid is very complex and plays a part in everything in the body.

    in general, the people on this forum do not have a frank disease, but they are "merely" operating at sub-optimal function. quite often, this is across the board and not just a matter of "low testosterone ". low testosterone is probably just the low hanging fruit - easy to spot, easy to treat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thisAngelBites View Post
    Thanks very much for your response. But then I would want to ask why the pituitary is releasing low amounts of fsh and lh, but elevated TSH if the conditions overlap? If the conditions overlap due to pituitary problems I would think that it would be producing less of both, and you would have low T and thyroid symptoms (and low T3 and T4) in spite of the fact that TSH looked ok, but lots of these men have elevated TSH.

    Perhaps it's a mistake to presume that pituitary probs mean it is producing less of all hormones, and that it is possible it is producing too much of one and not enough of another?

    I'm just brainstorming a bit so thanks for the indulgence. Also I thought thyroid problems did increase with age. For years (even non hashi's) hypothyroidism was a middle aged female problem. I'll have to read a bit more about that. Thanks for mentioning it.
    To difficult to answer from phone. Not at all that easy to answer from laptop :-). I think HRT did a good job an explaining the general idea.

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    Ooo I really think this is a great discussion! I just spent all my time in another thread typing up basic biology (ugh), and so don't have adequate time to post anything thought provoking at the moment.

    But I want to ask about thisAngelBite's thyroid and adrenals. What are your symptoms? And how are you determining adrenal insufficiency and/or treatment? I ask, basically, because I am being treated for hypothyroid and (allegedly) have hypoadrenalism. I have a cosyntropin stimulation test next week, but in the interim was prescribed hydrocortisone and feel immensely better.
    Last edited by phaedo; 06-02-2013 at 02:17 AM.

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    oscarjones is offline Banned
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    http://forums.steroid.com/hormone-re...why-fails.html

    While the above link doesn't necessary touch directly on testosterone levels and how it's related to the thyroid gland, however, it will supply some important information on metabolic effects of the thyroid in relation to the adrenals, and the article hopefully will provide you with some additional information which you can use to corroborate any current accounts of hormone replacement therapy, or give a foresight into possible accounts.

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    I think after 6 years on trt i have developed hypothyroidism. This is because I didn't include hcg preg or dhea in my protocol. After reading and studying in this forum (thank you) and supplementing with preg, hcg and dhea after my DR and i noticed low dhea, preg and pro, my t4 t3 and TSH numbers have started to bounce back. Adrenal fatigue is lessening and I'm feeling a lot better. Theory: hcg stimulates testes. Testes assist in producing preg. Without preg you could get pregnenolone steal witch can cause adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue brings down thyroid. Just my 2 cents. Sure is an interesting convo though.

  13. #13
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    I both have hypothyroidism, hypogonadism, and hypoadrenalism. I can neatly sum it up in a word: panhypopituitarism.

    I think a lot of these problems compound themselves individually, regardless of treatment or "protocols." Granted, if someone treats hypothyroidism and their low testosterone comes into range, then woe to them and off they go. However, you must remember which sample (type) of the population this board pulls (meat heads, anybody? lol)

    This is my opinion (not theory), which I admit has no special qualifications nor rightful place as fact. I'm parochially explaining what could be, and such an account may not explain noticeable trend at all! I've posed this idea in the vernacular, voiding any expectation of scientific efficacy.

    I think (emphasis on that second word) that a large portion of users resort to TRT to ameliorate self-induced hypogonadism. In other words, the persistent combination of over-training and harsh dieting hammers the pituitary and results in low testosterone , hypothyroid, and adrenal insufficiency. Chronic over-training and dieting are, in essence, forms of intense demand similar to starvation and perpetual hormonal trauma. The gonads are the first to fail, given fertility comes second to survival. Once the user is placed on TRT, the over-training continues, likely in greater effort with new found energy, gains, and sense of well being. But the thyroid can only compensate so far before it, too, reaches exhaustion. Thyroid replacement accompanies TRT, and the user, once again, finds the incessant energy to train harder and harder. Recovery at this stage is an after thought. Testosterone is artificially pushed to peak levels and robust thyroid hormones maximally induce energy metabolism. But adrenals cannot indemnify the cost of such stress and the demands of a conditionally hyperactive thyroid. It puts considerable strain on the body's cortisol requirements. And subsequently, the adrenals fail.

    What we see is modern medicine addressing the symptoms and not the ultimate cause. I don't mean to take away from those that have hypopituitarism from unfortunate causes (tumor, cancers), natural considerations (old age), or even "self-induced" causes. I'm merely positing an idea that may account for the rise in hormone replacement therapy. My quagmire is of similar iniquity.

    There is a fine line between virtue and vice. And fitness, perhaps one of the greatest virtues mankind can attain, is too often degenerated by our unsatisfying sense of the good life. Moderation in all things.
    Last edited by phaedo; 06-08-2013 at 05:02 AM.

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    ^^^ Very interesting view and thought provoking!

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    I agree with the very interesting and thought provoking!

    But I will point out that there seem to be plenty of guys who work out to be healthy but are in no way excessive who seem to have issues with both thyroid and T and so this is (to me) an interesting thing as well. But your point deserves some looking into for sure.

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