Hi, I’m Dr. Jared Nielsen. I’d like to talk to you about testosterone and the use of testosterone. A lot of men are asking about their testosterone levels and how they can increase their testosterone levels.
What I’d really like to talk about today is, if you’re already using some type of a testosterone replacement, an AndroGel, a testosterone replacement tablet, that’s you’re really setting yourself up for some potential problems. Let me explain.
In our bodies testosterone has a very specific role. Testosterone, when we look at it’s correlation to thyroid today for our discussion, testosterone will actually increase our conversion of T4 to T3. What that means is, we’re going to take more of our inactive thyroid hormone and we’re going to push it very strongly into active thyroid hormone.
You might think at first, “Wow, I feel really good on this testosterone because it’s like I’ve got all this energy,” which on the onset maybe true. Every single cell in the body has a receptor for T3. If we over produce T3, now after a while this T3 excess actually makes the body desensitized to its presence.
Consequently, your energy levels starts to taper‑off as your T3 levels climb. What this looks like on our lab, is our T4 total should be between seven and nine, and our T3 free should be between two and four and you’ll actually start to see where the mid‑range is at three, you’ll start to see the T3 will slowly increase. You’ll see T3 levels now of 3, 3.5, 3.8. That means that we’re just trending those thyroid hormones that direction.
What’s really interesting of that is, after a while that starts to feel like to the body an excess so it desensitizes or cripples these receptors sites so that they aren’t as efficient to actually allow the metabolic activity of the cell or the mitochondria to actually be stimulated by the normal T3 production.
When we look at this also, the other aspect of this T3 response means now that not only are we feeling less energy, but now we actually will start to gain weight. We’ll have increased weight gain.
How does this apply to the female? When we look at a woman with elevated testosterone we call this polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS. The ovaries start to produce an excessive amount of androgenic hormone, and we get the testosterone elevation. Similarly then, the T4 conversion to T3 rapidly within this gradual desensitization of cells and now we start to see again, weight gain.
When we see polycystic ovarian syndrome, we’ll see an increase in weight, or insulin resistance, or metabolic syndrome as it’s referred to. This polycystic ovarian symptoms or syndrome is actually going to be manifest as the weight gain, the inability to change my body composition, the feeling that I am swollen, this feeling like my cells aren’t functioning, or in other words, that they aren’t able to maintain energy.
If you’ve had testosterone advised or recommended and you’ve been using this now for quite some time, for males the testosterone should also be measured with the thyroid hormones. Thyroid stimulating hormone, T4 total, and your T3 free.
Of course when you measure these if you can have those evaluated appropriately we can actually see where the breakdown is in this metabolic presentation. The other key is though, when testosterone levels are elevated it will suppress from the pituitary gluttonizing hormone, which then suppresses the natural ability to produce testosterone in the male body. That consequently then, leads to that suppression of this cycle.
The key here is there’s an alternative. First of all, measure your testosterone levels, measure your adrenal function, and measure, as a priority, your thyroid function. Don’t go just to the end product of replacing testosterone.
We need to actually look, is this more of a thyroid dysfunction that you’re feeling loss of energy, feeling depressed, or decreased metabolism? Not just the testosterone link because the reverse is actually true. Meaning, if your thyroid is already being naturally suppressed then naturally your testosterone levels will also begin to plummet.
This is important because if you sustain testosterone elevation from an exogenous or outside source you’re going to begin to get a headache, particularly an AM headache associated with this change in thyroid. You’ll also develop breast buds. This is really important to notice because advanced testosterone, or long‑term testosterone use is when it’ll lead up to that type of a symptomatology.
Options then, treat the thyroid, treat the adrenals, and then evaluate. Does the testosterone not respond by treating those more important, or vital levels that can actually lead to a healthy outcome?
I hope that’s a help for you as you contemplate utilizing testosterone, men. Especially, if you’ve been using that for a period of time where you start to notice, “Gosh, I don’t get the effect that I used to have and now as I continue I actually start to feel more sluggish again, and that I’m gaining weight.” There’s a better alternative to the excessive use of testosterone as an exogenous or external influence.
For ladies, polycystic ovarian syndrome should be at the top of our thought process when we’re saying, “I’m gaining weight. I don’t have that regular menstrual cycle.” We need to be looking for this type of a response in the body where we become desensitized to our normal metabolic activating hormone called T3.
I hope that’s a help. Thanks for watching.