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Thread: Interesting SHBG/Thyroid test results

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    Youthful55guy is offline Senior Member
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    Interesting SHBG/Thyroid test results

    A while back I mentioned that I ran across some interesting research that showed that thyroid hormones (either T3 or T4, did not matter) can increase SHBG levels. It got me thinking that I've seen a progressive increase in my SHBG over the last 6 years and it does seem to have a correlation with my increasing doses of Armour Thyroid over that same period of time. My SHBG was high to begin with, but it has progressively increased. This got me to thinking that perhaps I should try some experiments with reduced Armour Thyroid doses.

    My standard dose of Armour for the past couple years was 90mg per day. At this dose, my SHBG was 94.4 (normal range 19.3-76.4). I've been using Winstrol at 10mg per day to keep the SHBG in the 20-30 range so that I can reduce my T dose to prevent my hemoglobin from getting out of control. However, at 10mg Winstrol per day, my liver labs are on the border of being high (if it's not one thing it another).

    So, about 6 weeks ago, I begin to drop my Amour dose; first to 75mg and then 60mg. Concomitantly, I dropped my Winstrol dose to 5mg per day (2.5mg AM and 2.5mg PM). My plan was to do some interim testing before I dropped my Armour dose any further to see where I was at with both SHBG and with the liver labs. I seems that I found the sweet spot right away. My SHBG was 26 even though I cut the dose of Winstrol in half. My liver labs were all in the normal range and my T3 and T4 were all in the normal range too.

    Interestingly, my SHBG was actually a little lower than it was at 10mg Winstrol with the higher Armour dose, and that resulted in higher than normal Free T. looks like I can adjust my T dose down to control hemoglobin, by adjusting my Armour dose down and still keep thyroid hormones in the normal range.

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    kelkel's Avatar
    kelkel is offline HRT Specialist ~ AR-Platinum Elite-Hall of Famer ~ No Source Checks
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    Interesting stuff YG! There are some studies out there but most seem from the 80's and 90's.
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    Youthful55guy is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelkel View Post
    Interesting stuff YG! There are some studies out there but most seem from the 80's and 90's.
    I haven't researched the literature extensively, but the one definitive paper involving a controlled cross-over clinical trial in humans was from 1988. The main flaw I found in the study is that they used an old RIA technology to measure Testosterone , which indicates that they were measuring Total testosterone and not Free testosterone. This lead them to draw in incorrect conclusion that T3 and T4 increase testosterone product. We now know that when SHBG increases, measurable testosterone does increase but it is in a worthless bound state. SHBG protects the testosterone from liver metabolism, so yes it does increase, but the more important Free testosterone decreases. Here's the reference:
    Cavaliere, H., Abelin, N., and Medeiros-Neto, G. (1988). Serum levels of total testosterone and sex hormone binding globulin in hypothyroid patients and normal subjects treated with incremental doses of L-T4 or L-T3. J Androl 9, 215-219. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3403362

    I did find a fairly recent in vitro trans genetic mouse study that studied the enzymatic pathway stimulated by T3 and T4 to increase SHBG. It seems to corroborate the earlier research and links it to an enzymatic pathway. My guess is that Stanozolol (Winstrol ) and Anavar inhibit this pathway, which is why I have found them both to be highly effective in lowering my SHBG. Here's the reference for the mouse study:
    Selva, D.M., and Hammond, G.L. (2009). Thyroid hormones act indirectly to increase sex hormone-binding globulin production by liver via hepatocyte nuclear factor-4alpha. J Mol Endocrinol 43, 19-27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19336534

    Both studies are available with free full text in PubMed.

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    Quester is offline Knowledgeable Member
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    That's great YG! I have heard that exogenous test can have a positive effect on Thyroid hormone levels. Good to hear that it worked for you and thanks for sharing the info.

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    Youthful55guy is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quester View Post
    That's great YG! I have heard that exogenous test can have a positive effect on Thyroid hormone levels. Good to hear that it worked for you and thanks for sharing the info.
    Just to be clear, I've not experienced an increase in thyroid hormones from TRT, which is why I treat it with Armour Thyroid. What I'm saying is that there is a negative influence of Thyroid hormones on Free T because thyroid hormones stimulate the production of SHBG. It's finding that sweet spot of keeping both Thyroid hormones and Free T in balance that is the challenge. I believe I've found it and that will help with also keeping hemoglobin and liver enzymes within normal ranges. I believe a key to my success is taking the initiative (and absorbing the cost) to do my own labs and manage my own treatment based on objective lab values.
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    FreshStart is offline New Member
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    So then for someone whose SHBG is very low and is taking NatureThroid to also treat hypothyroidism, is it reasonable to assume that increasing the dose of dessicated thyroid could help raise SHBG?

    I have bloodwork and a consultation with my doc in a few weeks but this is something I want to have a better handle on before talking to him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Youthful55guy View Post
    Just to be clear, I've not experienced an increase in thyroid hormones from TRT, which is why I treat it with Armour Thyroid. What I'm saying is that there is a negative influence of Thyroid hormones on Free T because thyroid hormones stimulate the production of SHBG. It's finding that sweet spot of keeping both Thyroid hormones and Free T in balance that is the challenge. I believe I've found it and that will help with also keeping hemoglobin and liver enzymes within normal ranges. I believe a key to my success is taking the initiative (and absorbing the cost) to do my own labs and manage my own treatment based on objective lab values.
    I'm defo filing this info back in the brain and bookmarking this thread. Although my Dr. had been relatively easy to work with over the past year or so, I find that I'm more comfortable managing the tweaks and monitoring certain details to keep me in my "happy" range .It seems tweaks are inevitable as we age.
    Thanks, Y55G!
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    Youthful55guy is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreshStart View Post
    So then for someone whose SHBG is very low and is taking NatureThroid to also treat hypothyroidism, is it reasonable to assume that increasing the dose of dessicated thyroid could help raise SHBG?

    I have bloodwork and a consultation with my doc in a few weeks but this is something I want to have a better handle on before talking to him.
    I believe it is a reasonable assumption. I have the opposite problem of having high SHBG and borderline low thyroid hormones. When I treat the thyroid, my SHBG goes way up and I have to use low does Winstrol or Anavar to bring it back down. My gut reaction (without any research), is that increasing your desiccated natural thyroid hormone dose might also treat your low SHBG.

    Let us know if you attempt this and your results.

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    Good Stuff!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreshStart View Post
    So then for someone whose SHBG is very low and is taking NatureThroid to also treat hypothyroidism, is it reasonable to assume that increasing the dose of dessicated thyroid could help raise SHBG?

    I have bloodwork and a consultation with my doc in a few weeks but this is something I want to have a better handle on before talking to him.
    You should regulate your thyroid meds according to thyroid bloodwork (TSH FT4/3) not SHBG. If your hypothyroidism is already fixed then increasing any further is not recommended for the purpose intended and I doubt it would help with SHBG.

    I had both hypothyroidism and high SHBG to start with but neither levothyroxine nor T3 ever dialed it any higher. We are all different...

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    FreshStart is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bizzarro View Post
    You should regulate your thyroid meds according to thyroid bloodwork (TSH FT4/3) not SHBG. If your hypothyroidism is already fixed then increasing any further is not recommended for the purpose intended and I doubt it would help with SHBG.

    I had both hypothyroidism and high SHBG to start with but neither levothyroxine nor T3 ever dialed it any higher. We are all different...
    I completely agree. I'm on a low starting dose of the dessicated thyroid. It is going to be titrated up according to pending labwork - was basically just asking if this might help to increase SHBG.

    YG I will update regarding whether the increased dose has any effect on SHBG, though it won't be a very clean test case. I'm going to be starting on either HGH or Sermorelin shortly, and some of my other meds will be adjusted. Additionally, as I continue to lose weight I believe that my SHBG will naturally begin to rise. But I will report back.

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