Help/recommendations w/andropause symptoms

Discuss Help/recommendations w/andropause symptoms at the Men's Health Forum; Sorry for the long post. I've been haunting these forums, and it seems like there are some knowledgable folks here. ...

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Old 12-12-2012, 02:05 PM
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Default Help/recommendations w/andropause symptoms

Sorry for the long post. I've been haunting these forums, and it seems like there are some knowledgable folks here.

I'm 51, and have been in good health most of my life until about 2006. At that time started struggling with GI issues, first IBS, then reflux. The past twelve months other symptoms have escalated, and really snowballed since this summer.

- chronic, never-ending low-grade headache, that becomes migraine ~8x per month. Only responds to triptans...Maxalt MLT works best.
- joint and muscle pains, especially in hips and thighs. Limp when I walk. Neck pops and crackles when I turn my head, and pinches nerves painfully.
- "brain fog," lack of clarity, memory issues, difficulty concentrating. (Serious!)
- lack of motivation, loss of interest in normal activities or sex, apathy
- lack of restful sleep, wake up still tired
- weakness and fatigue, loss of strength and muscularity, muscles turned to mush
- sensitivity to cold
- puffy face and eyes
- occasional vision problems

I've had extensive tests. MRI scan of head was negative for abnormalities, ultrasound of thyroid was unremarkable, and thyroid blood panel was normal. Other blood tests showed some deficiencies. D3 @ 34 (30-100ng/mL) and pregnenolone @ 28 (13-208ng/dL). 24-hour saliva test indicated perhaps some things out of range, and an atypical curve that doesn't start declining until noontime. But the endocrinologist said that perhaps that's normal for me, since I tend to be a night person.

I'm somewhat confused by the estrogen and testosterone tests, because when I look online for more info, it seems that there are different standards and ranges posted. My total T came in at 851 (250-1100ng/dL), DHT at 51 (16-79ng/dL), and free T at 84.2 (35.0-155.0 pg/mL). Total estrogen at 88 (<130pg/mL), progesterone at <0.5 (<1.4ng/mL), prolactin at 11.1 (2.0-18.0ng/mL), and estradiol at 22 (<=39pg/mL).

Based upon these numbers, my endocrinologist recommended supplementation of the following:

- D3 4,000 iu
- pregnenolone 50mg
- DHEA 25mg
- Dim 150mg

Over a week later, I have noted absolutely no benefit at all from these supplements. As a matter of fact, after 35 years of weightlifting (from age 10 to 45...no energy since then), and trying just about every supplement there is (no steroids), I have never once noted any significant benefit from any supplement. The past few weeks as I have read ad nauseum just about anything on the web about T supplementation or estrogen/SBHG inhibition, what stands out to me is that everything seems to "work" in vitro, but not in vivo. At best, some note anecdotal benefit to some herbal supplements, but that they can also cause headaches. Not risking that!

The endocrinologist also had me do a 6-day course of prednisone as a diagnostic tool, to help indicate if my problems are endocrine or auto-immune. There was some benefit to the prednisone, most notably in eliminating most of my neck symptoms. However, it caused severe sleeplessness, something that I can ill-afford, as well as very loud thumping of my heart for several days.

Low T can cause inflammation, which could be the root of many of my symptoms. My headaches in particular are due to either my brain swelling against my skull, or elevated spinal fluid pressure. The efficacy of the vasoconstrictors proves this. But by the numbers, I don't really seem to have low T. What I'm wondering, though, is if the raw numbers don't really indicate a problem on their own...but if there has been a big change. Like, if my free T was always in the 80-90 range, maybe it's technically low, but fine for me. However, if I was normally 125-150 and dropped to 80, that would be a problem. Unfortunately, I don't have that baseline information. I also wonder if low T or SBHG issues could affect the strength of involuntary muscles...and perhaps be behind the reflux -- as that is due to weak lower esophageal sphincter pressure.

I'm not looking for medical advice, per se, but hopefully someone here can provide some insight, or suggest a different tack. I used to be able to spend hours composing music using complicated software...I can't even do a simple crossword puzzle any more.

Thanks!

-Bruce
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  #2  
Old 12-12-2012, 10:35 PM
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Default Re: Help/recommendations w/andropause symptoms

It's not andropause. It's more like u paused on the couch too long. Do the wirk and your body will respond. At test to a lazy party and you got an ugly crasher at best. And don't tell me you are active and nothing's changed. Write it all down and you will find a trend. But good newz. The company making Twinkees is closing shop in Texas. E'anhhh, that SAMs club brand is Better anyway. Anyone notice the cupcakes with the cream center dint cause the same heartburn..!?!???
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  #3  
Old 12-12-2012, 11:42 PM
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Default Re: Help/recommendations w/andropause symptoms

Thank you, BBC3, for responding to my post (I think?) Unfortunately, you've made some accusations that just aren't true. I eat a good, solid diet, albeit vegetarian, and have never had a Twinkie (not "Twinkee") in my entire life, no lie. I am 6'1" and currently weigh 185.

GERD is nothing to joke about. I had TIF surgery in August of 2011, which was successful in reducing some of my symptoms, but not the airway symptoms. I was a professional singer working on my first CD, but the reflux has taken my voice away.

I understand that there is a temptation to say something to try to be funny, especially to the "new kid on the block" because it gives one some status amongst peers.

This is serious business to me, and your joke wasn't welcome.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:25 AM
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Default Re: Help/recommendations w/andropause symptoms

Specifically what are your questions?
1) I AM CURIOUS ABOUT X
2) WHY IS MY X UP OR DOWN
ETC
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:18 AM
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Default Re: Help/recommendations w/andropause symptoms

Hi Dr Jim --

My endocrinologist has indicated that I have an estrogen/free T imbalance, and the blood tests show a couple of borderline deficiencies. The treatment she has suggested doesn't seem to be resolving the symptoms, and I admit I don't understand enough about this to ask the right questions.

I know there are dozens of different blood tests, of which I have already had many. Are there some specific ones that may help identify what's behind what I've outlined in my OP? I've tried to learn as much as I can about all this, which is new to me, but as I've noted, I can't concentrate very well any longer.

If I, in fact, do have an est/free T imbalance, why isn't the Dim helping? Or, is that just another supplement to add to the fuzzy science behind stuff like Chrysin? Why would pregnenolone be low? Is that somehow tied to D3? If I do have to go to hormone replacement, is there a better way of approaching what's going on, at least perhaps to assist in diagnosing?

Sorry...that's about the extent of what I can figure out to ask.

-Bruce
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:40 AM
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Default Re: Help/recommendations w/andropause symptoms

-First borderline deficiencies does NOT mean deficiencies!

-Second you seem preoccupied with lab tests detailing the etiology of your problem, when a very detailed history and physical is more likely to be revealing.

- Third lab ranges are norms are accurate within a confidence interval between 95-98%, so there is room for error.

-Fourth, because of number three, diagnostic accuracy of most labs is directly proportional to the number of signs and symptoms a patient has which are consistent with the particular disease under investigation.

-Fifth because you signs and symptoms are so nonspecific AND an extensive investigation failed to uncover an organic causation a formal neuro-psychiatric evaluation should be strongly considered, if not already performed, as the next step BASED ON THE INFORMATION PROVIDED

Regards
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:14 AM
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Default Re: Help/recommendations w/andropause symptoms

Your overall pattern of symptoms sound like CLASSIC food allergy-type problems (goddamn GRAINS giving you auto-immune problems): IBS, headache/migraine, joint pain, and generally feeling enervated and like shit.

You eat a vegetarian diet and come down with all kinds of GI/GERD/auto-immune/allergy-like issues.

Please consider: Maybe its your diet.
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Last edited by LW64; 12-13-2012 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: Help/recommendations w/andropause symptoms

Quote:
I'm somewhat confused by the estrogen and testosterone tests, because when I look online for more info, it seems that there are different standards and ranges posted. My total T came in at 851 (250-1100ng/dL), DHT at 51 (16-79ng/dL), and free T at 84.2 (35.0-155.0 pg/mL). Total estrogen at 88 (<130pg/mL), progesterone at <0.5 (<1.4ng/mL), prolactin at 11.1 (2.0-18.0ng/mL), and estradiol at 22 (<=39pg/mL).
As far as "andropause," there is NO confusion. You do NOT have andropause/LOH.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:10 PM
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Default Re: Help/recommendations w/andropause symptoms

Thank you, Dr. Jim, for your points. I don't have any psychiatric issues, and the neurological issues are directly correlated to the headaches/inflammation ...which can be severe.

Your belief contradicts what I have found elsewhere, and from the endocrinologist -- that lab results at the low limits of ranges can be problematic. I will keep what you say in mind, although I have nothing else to go on. At the risk of implying a preoccupation with lab results, like I said, that's all I have...plus what the endo has said and prescribed. I began with my GP, who referred me to the endo.

************************************

Thank you, LW64, for your suggestion. I actually began considering this a few weeks ago, but any information available on the web is so suspect because of all the quacks and others trying to swindle dollars from gullible folks, that I was left unable to learn anything that I could trust. I have had no diet changes over the years, which would make such a condition -- if true -- to be some sort of "adult onset" condition.

On a lark, I did get a bottle of bladderwrack because of its purported benefit in this regard. It does ease the constipation I seem to be experiencing (probably as a result of the Gaviscon tablets for the reflux), and the only other thing I noted was odd. On the third or fourth day in a row of taking it, I would start bolting awake after ~2 hours every night. I stopped and repeated this a couple of times to verify, which made me start suspecting the iodine...which began the thyroid testing. That proved to be a dead-end. So, I am nowhere with this.

The only thing I understand about intestinal food allergies is that they are notoriously difficult to diagnose. If allergies don't appear immediately like they do in some (kiwis, peanuts, etc.), then they are subtle, and perhaps don't appear with any degree until days after ingestion, which then makes tracking backwards nearly impossible. Also, food ingredients on labels are not always easily translated.

The only other conclusion I've come to is that the GMOs developed by Monsanto, if the claims are true with respect to allergies, are not healthy for the welfare of consumers. That said, I don't consume any GMO soy or corn (I checked with the manufacturers of the possible foods I eat), so I am not otherwise affected.

******************************

Thank you, Michael, for your input. I said, "andropause symptoms" in the subject line of this thread to quickly identify what I am experiencing...as they are typical symptoms. I understand that this also seems like a claim of diagnosis, but I didn't mean to imply this. However, this has been the claim of both doctors I have seen, and I admit I don't have a solid understanding of it all.

Thanks again, all of you, for your thoughts. I will try to move forward with your suggestions.

-Bruce
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: Help/recommendations w/andropause symptoms

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcfromfl View Post
************************************

Thank you, LW64, for your suggestion. I actually began considering this a few weeks ago, but any information available on the web is so suspect because of all the quacks and others trying to swindle dollars from gullible folks, that I was left unable to learn anything that I could trust. I have had no diet changes over the years, which would make such a condition -- if true -- to be some sort of "adult onset" condition.

On a lark, I did get a bottle of bladderwrack because of its purported benefit in this regard. It does ease the constipation I seem to be experiencing (probably as a result of the Gaviscon tablets for the reflux), and the only other thing I noted was odd. On the third or fourth day in a row of taking it, I would start bolting awake after ~2 hours every night. I stopped and repeated this a couple of times to verify, which made me start suspecting the iodine...which began the thyroid testing. That proved to be a dead-end. So, I am nowhere with this.

The only thing I understand about intestinal food allergies is that they are notoriously difficult to diagnose. If allergies don't appear immediately like they do in some (kiwis, peanuts, etc.), then they are subtle, and perhaps don't appear with any degree until days after ingestion, which then makes tracking backwards nearly impossible. Also, food ingredients on labels are not always easily translated.

The only other conclusion I've come to is that the GMOs developed by Monsanto, if the claims are true with respect to allergies, are not healthy for the welfare of consumers. That said, I don't consume any GMO soy or corn (I checked with the manufacturers of the possible foods I eat), so I am not otherwise affected.
-Bruce
Nothing you describe here is sufficient to rule out what I'm suggesting. It can take many years of eating a grain-laden diet before the signs and symptoms appear.

What about WHEAT?

Bruce, wheat has been a Frankenfood for the last 40 years:

My letter to the Wall Street Journal: It’s NOT just about gluten | Track Your Plaque Blog

"1) The gliadin protein of wheat has been modified by geneticists through their
work to increase yield. This work, performed mostly in the 1970s, yielded a form
of gliadin that is several amino acids different, but increased the
appetite-stimulating properties of wheat. Modern wheat, a high-yield, semi-dwarf
strain (not the 4 1/2-foot tall “amber waves of grain” everyone thinks of) is
now, in effect, an appetite-stimulant that increases calorie intake 400 calories
per day. This form of gliadin is also the likely explanation for the surge in
behavioral struggles in children with autism and ADHD.

2) The amylopectin A of wheat is the underlying explanation for why two slices
of whole wheat bread raise blood sugar higher than 6 teaspoons of table sugar or
many candy bars. It is unique and highly digestible by the enzyme amylase.
Incredibly, the high glycemic index of whole wheat is simply ignored, despite
being listed at the top of all tables of glycemic index.

3) The lectins of wheat may underlie the increase in multiple autoimmune and
inflammatory diseases in Americans, especially rheumatoid arthritis and
inflammatory bowel diseases (ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s)."



Give up ALL GRAINS (especially wheat but all the others too) for 15 days.

Monitor how you feel - it will be extraordinarily DIFFICULT as you will experience withdrawal cravings, but do it anyway. Then get back to us.

Last edited by LW64; 12-13-2012 at 12:35 PM.
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