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Low Testosterone, Hypothyroid And Adrenal Issues


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#1 landslide

 
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Posted 10 June 2011 - 09:47 PM

I'm 26 and I've had problems with deoression, indigestion, low testosterone, hypothyroidism and poor functioning adrenals (although good enough to be considered "normal" by doctors) for about ten years. My brother has Celiac but I was told by doctors that eating gluten-free wouldn't help since I tested negative for Celiac several times. I was stupid enough to follow this advice for ten years, but about a month ago, I started eating gluten-free and recently noticed an improvement with digestion and energy levels. I'm no longer constipated, no excessive flatulence and my energy level has gone up. However, I still have low testosterone, low cortisol and hypothyroid symptoms (although I tested negative for Hashimoto's).

Now, here are a few things I've been thinking about:

1. Could non-Celiac gluten sensitivty be the cause of all of these problems?
2. If so, how much time should I give it to see if testosterone, thyroid and cortisol levels improve?
3. Assuming damage has been done to my body every single time I've eaten gluten for the last ten years, is there any chance at all my body will be able to heal?

I would really like to avoid having to go on any kind of medication for the rest of my life but the possibility is obviously there since it might be too late to reverse all this, owing to my own stupidity of listening to doctors and not trying out a gluten-free diet long enough to notice a difference. I did try it out for a couple of weeks now and then but when I didn't notice a difference immediately I figured my doctors were right. I feel so incredibly stupid...
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#2 ravenwoodglass

 
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Posted 11 June 2011 - 03:55 AM

Some of us just don't show up in blood tests. If your tests were 10 years ago then they might be positive by now also. However you don't need a doctors permission to eat gluten free. There is a good chance that the problems you are experiencing, if they are related to undiagnosed celiac, will resolve on the diet. You have nothing to lose by going strictly gluten free for at least a few months to see if things improve. If you don't plan on getting retested do just give the diet a good strict try. If you want more testing then stay on gluten until your testing is finished and then go gluten free no matter what the results.
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Courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying
"I will try again tommorrow" (Mary Anne Radmacher)


celiac 49 years - Misdiagnosed for 45
Blood tested and repeatedly negative
Diagnosed by Allergist with elimination diet and diagnosis confirmed by GI in 2002
Misdiagnoses for 15 years were IBS-D, ataxia, migraines, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, parathesias, arthritis, livedo reticularis, hairloss, premature menopause, osteoporosis, kidney damage, diverticulosis, prediabetes and ulcers, dermatitis herpeformis
All bold resoved or went into remission with proper diagnosis of Celiac November 2002
Some residual nerve damage remains as of 2006- this has continued to resolve after eliminating soy in 2007

Mother died of celiac related cancer at 56
Twin brother died as a result of autoimmune liver destruction at age 15

Children 2 with Ulcers, GERD, Depression, , 1 with DH, 1 with severe growth stunting (male adult 5 feet)both finally diagnosed Celiac through blood testing and 1 with endo 6 months after Mom


Positive to Soy and Casien also Aug 2007

Gluten Sensitivity Gene Test Aug 2007
HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0303

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0303

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 3,3 (Subtype 9,9)

#3 Skylark

 
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Posted 11 June 2011 - 05:46 AM

Now, here are a few things I've been thinking about:

1. Could non-Celiac gluten sensitivty be the cause of all of these problems?
2. If so, how much time should I give it to see if testosterone, thyroid and cortisol levels improve?
3. Assuming damage has been done to my body every single time I've eaten gluten for the last ten years, is there any chance at all my body will be able to heal?

Welcome. No sense crying over spilled milk! You are not stupid; we are raised to listen to doctors.

1. Yes.
2. A few months of eating strictly gluten free.
3. Yes, you may very well heal. A lot of folks with thyroid problems improve off gluten and if one part of your endocrine system straightens itself out, sometimes the rest follows.

By the way, you're not on a cholesterol-lowering drug are you? Those can cause low testosterone.
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#4 landslide

 
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Posted 11 June 2011 - 10:19 PM

Some of us just don't show up in blood tests. If your tests were 10 years ago then they might be positive by now also. However you don't need a doctors permission to eat gluten free. There is a good chance that the problems you are experiencing, if they are related to undiagnosed celiac, will resolve on the diet. You have nothing to lose by going strictly gluten free for at least a few months to see if things improve. If you don't plan on getting retested do just give the diet a good strict try. If you want more testing then stay on gluten until your testing is finished and then go gluten free no matter what the results.

Ok, thanks for the info. I was a bit unclear by the way - I was tested ten years ago and also just recently and I was negative both times. Either way, I am definitely continuing the gluten-free diet even if my endocrine problems don't resolve, simply because of how much better digestion I get.

Welcome. No sense crying over spilled milk! You are not stupid; we are raised to listen to doctors.

1. Yes.
2. A few months of eating strictly gluten free.
3. Yes, you may very well heal. A lot of folks with thyroid problems improve off gluten and if one part of your endocrine system straightens itself out, sometimes the rest follows.

By the way, you're not on a cholesterol-lowering drug are you? Those can cause low testosterone.

Thanks for the encouragement! I'll give it a few months and see what happens. It's difficult though since I sometimes hear it might take up to a year before endocrine problems resolve, if ever... What's worse is that most doctors don't have a clue themselves. Either way, I'm sticking to gluten-free no matter what happens.

Nope, I'm not on any cholesterol-lowering drugs, thank god!
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#5 JAMR

 
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Posted 12 June 2011 - 12:30 AM

Welcome to the forum of stupid people with gluten. Many, if not most, people have had false starts with gluten. It is complicated and hard for the combined efforts of docs and patients to unravel its confusing symptoms and all the associated disorders.

I am 53 yrs old and my testosterone and DHEA levels have probably dropped (having them tested now), demostrated by loss of libido and impotence. Aftr a few when I get my diet to work, its recovers. I have had health issues for around 20 years, and after dealing quite efectively with dust mite allergy, food issues became prominent around 4 years ago. I suspect my health issues of 20 years link back to gluten as the rot cause. Given your age you should recover faster and more completely that someone of my age.
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#6 landslide

 
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Posted 12 June 2011 - 12:24 PM

Welcome to the forum of stupid people with gluten. Many, if not most, people have had false starts with gluten. It is complicated and hard for the combined efforts of docs and patients to unravel its confusing symptoms and all the associated disorders.

I am 53 yrs old and my testosterone and DHEA levels have probably dropped (having them tested now), demostrated by loss of libido and impotence. Aftr a few when I get my diet to work, its recovers. I have had health issues for around 20 years, and after dealing quite efectively with dust mite allergy, food issues became prominent around 4 years ago. I suspect my health issues of 20 years link back to gluten as the rot cause. Given your age you should recover faster and more completely that someone of my age.

Sorry if I came across as insulting anyone else on this board by stating that I feel stupid for not trying out a gluten-free diet long enough. I really didn't mean that!

Anyway, chances of recovery do sound promising assuming they all stem from the gluten problem. I've decided to wait a full year to see if my endocrine issues resolve, before going on any kind of medication (I've been offered Levythyroxine now by my doc but I've declined so far). I'll obviously keep on investigating other areas as well in the meantime, but I think 12 months is a good cut-off point for when I should start seeing improvements in lab values if gluten actually is the root cause.
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#7 Skylark

 
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Posted 12 June 2011 - 10:23 PM

My latest thing to help my thyroid is switching to bottled water. My water district fluoridates the water and apparently fluoride is bad for some people's thyroids and you can get enough to have trouble if you drink tap water. I've also learned that if you're hypothyroid your adrenals will not work well either.

This is an interesting read.
http://thyroid.about...oridechange.htm
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#8 landslide

 
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Posted 13 June 2011 - 02:03 AM

My latest thing to help my thyroid is switching to bottled water. My water district fluoridates the water and apparently fluoride is bad for some people's thyroids and you can get enough to have trouble if you drink tap water. I've also learned that if you're hypothyroid your adrenals will not work well either.

This is an interesting read.
http://thyroid.about...oridechange.htm

Thank you, I'll take a look at that.

Regarding my possible recovery: I think I will try to get a biopsy and ultrasound of my thyroid to see what kind of damage has been done. I did test negative for Hashimoto's but one never knows with lab errors etc and considering I've had this for over ten years, my thyroid gland could've been chewed away ages ago... If so, I would know for sure that there's no point waiting for a recovery just by going gluten-free.
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#9 landslide

 
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Posted 19 June 2011 - 10:12 AM

Here are some of the results from the latest blood test I had from the 16:th of June. I thought I'd post this as a starting point to compare with in a few months to see if there's any improvement from going gluten-free. I've been able to figure out that hormones are out of whack (low testosterone, low cortisol, low thyroid) and that blood is weak, albeit not terrible, but if anyone spots anything else I should investigate, please let me know!

TSH: 2.82 mU/L [0.2-4.00]
Hemoglobin: 141 g/L [134-170]
Thrombocyte count: 141 [145-348]
White blood cell count: 4.1 [3.5-8.8]
Bilirubin: 31 mcmol/L [<26]
AST: 0.76 [<0.76]
Iron: 13 mcmol/L [9-34]
TIBC: 59 mcmol/L [47-80]
Iron saturation: 0.22 [0.15-0.60]
Ferritin: 83 mcg/L [30-200]
Cortisol: 270 nmol/L
Testosterone: 9.2 nmol/L
fT4: 13 pmol/L [9-22]
fT3: 3.2 pmol/L [2.5-5.6]
TPO antibodies: <0.5 [<5.6]
TR antibodies: <0.9 [<1.0]
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#10 Skylark

 
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Posted 19 June 2011 - 12:28 PM

Things aren't too bad!

You can't judge cortisol from a single blood test like you can thyroid or testosterone unless yours is very, very low. (You didn't post the reference range but it doesn't look too far out of whack to me.) That TSH of 2.8 could have you feeling pretty rotten, and if you're hypothyroid your adrenals won't work well either. It's nice that the Hashimoto's tests are negative. Low testosterone can definitely be caused by celaic - it's thought to be a result of poor nutrition from malabsorption.

Overall it looks like you're not absorbing nutrients. I would wonder about B12, D, and B6. Lack of iodine will slow down your thyroid, and it looks like you don't have a lot of iron around either. You could consider adding a multivitamin/mineral. I was was sick for many years with gluten intolerance or celiac (never tested) and I have to take a lot of supplements to feel well. You need a good supplement - One-A-Day or Centrum won't cut it for us because cheap forms of minerals are harder to absorb. Consider something like Solgar Omnium or VM2000, or Metagenics BX Essentials. BX Essentials looks really nice because it's supposed to be easy to absorb. Also take some good, mercury-free fish oil.
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#11 landslide

 
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Posted 19 June 2011 - 11:51 PM

Things aren't too bad!

You can't judge cortisol from a single blood test like you can thyroid or testosterone unless yours is very, very low. (You didn't post the reference range but it doesn't look too far out of whack to me.) That TSH of 2.8 could have you feeling pretty rotten, and if you're hypothyroid your adrenals won't work well either. It's nice that the Hashimoto's tests are negative. Low testosterone can definitely be caused by celaic - it's thought to be a result of poor nutrition from malabsorption.

Overall it looks like you're not absorbing nutrients. I would wonder about B12, D, and B6. Lack of iodine will slow down your thyroid, and it looks like you don't have a lot of iron around either. You could consider adding a multivitamin/mineral. I was was sick for many years with gluten intolerance or celiac (never tested) and I have to take a lot of supplements to feel well. You need a good supplement - One-A-Day or Centrum won't cut it for us because cheap forms of minerals are harder to absorb. Consider something like Solgar Omnium or VM2000, or Metagenics BX Essentials. BX Essentials looks really nice because it's supposed to be easy to absorb. Also take some good, mercury-free fish oil.

1. Reference ranges were missing on a couple of those tests and cortisol was one of them. A bit weird... A value of 270 nmol/L is just below 10 mcg/dL, which is very low I think. It seems to fit in with the theory that hypothyroidism causes low adrenal function (or the other way around).

2. TSH has risen a bit since I started iodine supplementation which is to be expected from what I've read.

3. I agree there's some kind of malabsorption issue going on. I was eating a lot of iron-rich foods for a couple of months before this blood test (but NOT gluten-free) and levels haven't changed at all... Let's just hope gluten is the culprit.

4. In March, B12 was 355 g/L [180-700] and Vit D was 20 ng/mL [20-72] but I've been able to increase them to optimal levels with supplements.
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#12 GFinDC

 
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Posted 20 June 2011 - 01:04 AM

I was going to suggest you make sure you are using iodized salt, but I see you are taking a supplement already. It is possible to get too much iodine so don't overdo it. Natural sea salt is not a good source of iodine, and neither is garlic salt.

Another thing you might find helpful is to research goitrogens, Goitrogens are foods that inhibit the thyroid's ability to use iodine and make thyroid hormones.

List of goitrogens on Wiki

There is quite a long list of foods to avoid, and a short list to add. Avocadoes are good for your thyroid. Soy is a goitrogen and should be avoided.
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Proverbs 25:16 "Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it."
Job 30:27 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me.
Thyroid cyst and nodules, Lactose / casein intolerant. Diet positive, gene test pos, symptoms confirmed by Dr-head. My current bad list is: gluten, dairy, sulfites, coffee (the devil's brew), tea, Bug's Bunnies carrots, garbanzo beans of pain, soy- no joy, terrible turnips, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and hard work. have a good day! :-) Paul

#13 landslide

 
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Posted 20 June 2011 - 03:09 AM

I was going to suggest you make sure you are using iodized salt, but I see you are taking a supplement already. It is possible to get too much iodine so don't overdo it. Natural sea salt is not a good source of iodine, and neither is garlic salt.

Another thing you might find helpful is to research goitrogens, Goitrogens are foods that inhibit the thyroid's ability to use iodine and make thyroid hormones.

List of goitrogens on Wiki

There is quite a long list of foods to avoid, and a short list to add. Avocadoes are good for your thyroid. Soy is a goitrogen and should be avoided.

Ok, thanks for the info. What do you think about the possibility of gluten being the root cause of all this? For me it would be nice but it sounds almost too "good" to be true. On the other hand, I've had an MRI which showed no tumor, checked for intestinal pathogens and found nothing, chest X-ray was ok and thyroid antibodies are negative.

I've got three things left: thyroid biopsy, abdomen ultrasound (liver,m adrenals etc) and a sleep study. Provided there are no anomalies there, I'm completely out of ideas as far as root causes go besides gluten...
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#14 Skylark

 
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Posted 20 June 2011 - 08:00 AM

Yes, it's possible gluten is the root cause, especially with celiac in your family. Malabsorption and autoimmunity can really make you sick. It takes some time for it to work, so give yourself a few months eating strictly gluten-free.
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#15 landslide

 
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Posted 20 June 2011 - 10:19 AM

Ok, let's hope so. In the meantime, I'll post the results from the biopsy, ultrasound etc as soon as I get them!
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