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Thread: testosterone--weird lab results

  1. #1
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    Default testosterone--weird lab results

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    Hey Rip,

    Inspired by the podcast with Jay Campbell I got lab work done through my GP. I just turned 50 and I am not overflowing with what JFK called vim and vigor. And I have developed a real tendency to put on fat, especially visceral fat. I used to be a guy who lost weight unless I consciously ate to gain it. But during the covid quarantine I gained 15 lbs in just a couple of months (to about 270 at 6'6"), all belly.

    I got the lab results back today and they are weird. My total testosterone is 554 on a range of 250 - 827 , which is considerably higher than it has ever been in prior tests. In 2011 it was 407, and in 2013 it was 473, both on a range of 348-1197. So 7 years ago I was toward the bottom of the range and now I am in the middle, and the absolute number is higher? WTF?

    Also, I have always had good cholesterol levels, but now my total and bad cholesterol are elevated and my good cholesterol is down.

    My doctor apparently didn't ask for free testosterone or at least I don't have those results yet, so that's an obvious thing I'll ask for. But does this suggest anything? Cholesterol goes from good to bad, total testosterone goes up? My understanding is that testosterone does not go up over time in the aging human male.

  2. #2
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    What are the actual lipid numbers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    What are the actual lipid numbers?
    The first number is from December 2019, the second number is now:

    Cholesterol 169............ 234 mg/dL

    HDL-Cholesterol 49............ 42 mg/dL

    Triglycerides 118.......... 200 mg/dL

    LDL-Cholesterol 99............ 156 mg/dL (calc)

    Chol/HDLC Ratio 3.4.......... 5.6 (calc)

    Non HDL Cholesterol 120......... 192 mg/dL (calc)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tompaynter View Post
    The first number is from December 2019, the second number is now:

    Cholesterol 169............ 234 mg/dL

    HDL-Cholesterol 49............ 42 mg/dL

    Triglycerides 118.......... 200 mg/dL

    LDL-Cholesterol 99............ 156 mg/dL (calc)

    Chol/HDLC Ratio 3.4.......... 5.6 (calc)

    Non HDL Cholesterol 120......... 192 mg/dL (calc)
    Does this suggest anything?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tompaynter View Post
    Does this suggest anything?
    This suggests that your lipids are going the wrong direction, and you should research this and talk with your doctor about interventions that could improve your lipid profile, for the purpose of reducing cardiovascular risk.

    I don’t think it has anything to do with your testosterone.

    Also, testosterone levels fluctuate widely, even during the course of a day, and different lab assays have different sensitivities (which is why the “normal” ranges vary from lab to lab. I wouldn’t worry about the T test from 7 years ago. Make decisions based on what the T is now.

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    I tested my testosterone couple years ago in a 15 day interval. The first I had slept poorly (5/6 hours) and test was 400, the second one (15 days after) I slept 8h30min and my test was 530.

    About your questions, I wouldn´t worry about LDL, but HDL and TRIG aren't.

    I´m no expert but I read things on the internet. So, no medical advice here..

    I´ve heard that the important data is the TRIG/HDL ratio, should be close to 1, yours is 4,7 and that´s not ok. As far as I can see, I would suggest you to cut some carbs of your diet and to get tons of protein (red meat).

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfsully View Post
    Testosterone levels fluctuate widely, even during the course of a day
    Lipid values fluctuate as well.

    Paynter, if you want useful labs, you'll need to read up on the actual tests the labs are using, how the tests are affected by factors, and approach things systematically. Otherwise, you'll just be holding an ambiguous handful of shit, getting questionable solutions from your doctor, and still be asking questions on a lifting forum. Take responsibility because the lab and medical system won't, no matter how much you pay them, and it's your ass, not theirs.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfsully View Post
    This suggests that your lipids are going the wrong direction, and you should research this and talk with your doctor about interventions that could improve your lipid profile, for the purpose of reducing cardiovascular risk.

    ......

    Also, testosterone levels fluctuate widely, even during the course of a day, and different lab assays have different sensitivities (which is why the “normal” ranges vary from lab to lab. I wouldn’t worry about the T test from 7 years ago. Make decisions based on what the T is now.
    Lipids are always good values upon first inspection, but testosterone fluctuates. I refuse to believe you're this dense. Please explain.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by stef View Post
    Lipid values fluctuate as well.

    Paynter, if you want useful labs, you'll need to read up on the actual tests the labs are using, how the tests are affected by factors, and approach things systematically. Otherwise, you'll just be holding an ambiguous handful of shit, getting questionable solutions from your doctor, and still be asking questions on a lifting forum. Take responsibility because the lab and medical system won't, no matter how much you pay them, and it's your ass, not theirs.
    Yeah, I am pretty much just hoping to get some good questions to ask my doctor--or more likely, a specialist.

    I know that cholesterol and testosterone are connected in that cholesterol is a building block for T. Based on reading Jay Campbell's book and my liberal arts education, I am wondering if something like this is going on: my T is either over-aromatizing or overly bound up so that I have little free T. My body is trying to compensate for the low free T by producing more T overall, and by producing more cholesterol. In other words, my body is trying to compensate for low output (free T) by increasing the inputs (total T, cholesterol). This is obviously a wild-ass guess, but it does seem like the kind of biological feedback loop that can happen.

  10. #10
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    Were you fasted when you got these done? If so how long and what was your last meal the day before? Were you increasingly sedentary during the lockdown compared to before the lockdown? Was that a direct LDL or estimated?

    I don't think that we have enough data to suggest that your theory is in fact what is happening. No need for that complexity yet.

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