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However, let's start by looking at the evidence that hypothyroidism actually lowers testosterone:
1. Decreased LH (Leutinizing Hormone). Researchers have found that hypothyroid men have a "subnormal response of luteinizing hormone (LH) to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) administration." Of course, GnRH is produced by the hypothalamus, which then triggers LH. LH, in turn, stimulates the testes to produce testosterone. This means that hypothyrodism sabotages the first step in the testosterone production assembly line.
2. Decreased Free Testosterone Levels. The same study and others have noted that hypothyroid men tend to have lower free testosterone concentrations.
3. Treating Hypothyroidism Often Increases Testosterone. A further sign of hypothyroidism's causal effect on low testosterone is the fact that treating men with thyroid medications can actually boost their testosterone back to normal. One study found that giving hypothryroid hypogonadal men thyroxine (T4) almost doubled their free testosterone levels!
4. More Than Doubling Total Testosterone. Normally one will not get a huge boost in testosterone from fixing his hypothyroidism. However, huge gains are possible as evidence by a case study of one man with both severe hypothyroidism and hypogonadism. This individual was able to increase his total testosterone by 150% just my standard thyroid treatment. His testosterone was still pretty low - in the low 400's - but it was an impressive gain nonetheless.
Let's look at some of the ways that are currently being used to find low thyroid function that are "out of the box":
1. TSH Between 3 and 5. TSH is the signaling hormone released from the pituitary that signals the thyroid to start producing more thyroid hormones. In some kinds of hypothyroidism (and in a manner analagous to rising LH in primary hypogonadism), TSH begins to rise. The old school definition was a TSH -5.0 to define hypothyroidism. However, a recent study showed that this should be revised down to 3.0. (From what I have read, the "ideal" TSH is roughly between 1 and 2.) On a practical level, this means that many patients with a TSH between 3 and 5 would receive treatment from a different physician who was using the more recent, updated number. For a more detailed explanation, see this article.
2. Thyroid Antibodies. What many men do not know is that the most common form of hypothyroidism actually is autoimmune in nature and is called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Basically, the body's own immune system attacks the thyroid and slowly destroys it over the years. This can usually be identified by a couple of simple thyroid antibody tests. The two most critical tests are Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOAb) Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb). For thresholds see this Medscape article.
3. Elevated rT3 (Reverse T3). Most men know that the two primary thyroid hormones are T4 and T3. TSH actually triggers the production of these in the thyroid at a ratio of 17::1, i.e. 17 T4 molecules for every one T3 molecule. A significant amount of T4, however, is converted into T3 in various body tissues. And, to further complicate matters, the liver converts about 20% of your T4 into something called Reverse T3 (rT3). rT3 is part of the body's feedback mechanism, but in some people it becomes elevated. And, as its name implies, rT3 reverses normal thyroid function, i.e. can make you hypothyroid. Again, someone with fairly normal TSH numbers but high rT3 can experience hypothyroid symptoms. Fortunately, you can test rT3 and see if this a problem for you.
4. Free T3 and Free T4. The thyroid hormones are similar to testosterone and estradiol in the sense that they have a bound and unbound form. If you have low or lowish free T3 and/or free T4 values, this can indicate hypothyroidism. And it makes sense as it is showing a low output of hormones from the thyroid.
For more - http://www.peaktestosterone.com/Testosterone_Thyroid.aspx
Herbs to help with Type 2 Hypogonadism
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