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Thread: Pregnenolone/Testosterone Lab Results page

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    StarCharm's Avatar
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    Pregnenolone/Testosterone Lab Results

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    Last edited by StarCharm; 06-13-2014 at 05:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StarCharm View Post
    I'm wondering if someone can help me interpret my salivary hormone tests. I am a 24 year old female. Here's a look at what came back out of range:

    Low - out of range
    Testosterone Free (1.9 pg/mL)
    Testosterone (<20ng/dl)
    Pregnenolone (6 ng/dL)
    Saliva Cortisol measured low in the morning and afternoon and high at night.


    Here's what I'm confused about:


    My (DHEA-S 229 ug/dl) and DHEA (3.83 ng/ML) came back within range as did my progesterone and estrogen levels. Why would my testosterone levels be so low and my estrogen/progesterone normal? Can I rule out progesterone steal since my estrogen levels are normal? Can I rule out estrogen dominance since my progesterone is normal?

    Why would my pregnenolone be so low if my cholesterol numbers are high?


    Background info: I have a history of anxiety My results showed that I am slightly hypothyroid as well according to the TSH-post test. I have been eating Paleo for a year and a half.

    Thank you!
    To start with hormone testing in general is very inaccurate since the hormones are in a constant state of fluctuation and levels can fluctuate in an instant. Salivary testing for hormones is the least accurate.

    For example, something that does not make sense is that your pregnenolone levels are so low yet your DHEA and progesterone are normal since these are synthesized from pregnenolone.

    Pregnenolone is formed from cholesterol, but simply having high cholesterol does not guarantee hormone formation. A problem with the glands that form certain hormones or problems with the enzymes needed for conversions can both cause problems with hormone synthesis.

    As far as your testosterone goes this could be from high progesterone of a high aromatase expression.

    Progesterone is an antagonist to testosterone. Unfortunately tests for progesterone cannot detect fat stores of progesterone.

    Aromatase is the enzyme responsible for the conversion of testosterone in to estrogen. Therefore, over expression of aromatase can lead to lower testosterone levels as well.

    Problem still goes back to that there are no real accurate tests for hormone levels. Symptoms can help determine what might be out of range, but it is complicated. Many of the symptoms of progesterone dominance and estrogen dominance are the same such as weight gain and water retention. To make matters more confusing progesterone marketing companies have made numerous false claims as to the side effects of low progesterone. For example, claiming that low progesterone causes a lack of libido. Actually it is high progesterone that kills the libido by antagonizing testosterone. And both high progesterone and high testosterone can cause acne since they are both androgen hormones.

    Your best bet is to start with making a list of your symptoms and take in to consideration things like your age, are you in natural or surgical menopause, etc. Then do a lot of research from non-sales sites to find out what the symptoms can come from and mean. It's not going to be easy and it is time consuming, but it will tell you a lot more than the highly inaccurate saliva tests.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesS View Post
    To start with hormone testing in general is very inaccurate since the hormones are in a constant state of fluctuation and levels can fluctuate in an instant. Salivary testing for hormones is the least accurate.

    For example, something that does not make sense is that your pregnenolone levels are so low yet your DHEA and progesterone are normal since these are synthesized from pregnenolone.

    Pregnenolone is formed from cholesterol, but simply having high cholesterol does not guarantee hormone formation. A problem with the glands that form certain hormones or problems with the enzymes needed for conversions can both cause problems with hormone synthesis.

    As far as your testosterone goes this could be from high progesterone of a high aromatase expression.

    Progesterone is an antagonist to testosterone. Unfortunately tests for progesterone cannot detect fat stores of progesterone.

    Aromatase is the enzyme responsible for the conversion of testosterone in to estrogen. Therefore, over expression of aromatase can lead to lower testosterone levels as well.

    Problem still goes back to that there are no real accurate tests for hormone levels. Symptoms can help determine what might be out of range, but it is complicated. Many of the symptoms of progesterone dominance and estrogen dominance are the same such as weight gain and water retention. To make matters more confusing progesterone marketing companies have made numerous false claims as to the side effects of low progesterone. For example, claiming that low progesterone causes a lack of libido. Actually it is high progesterone that kills the libido by antagonizing testosterone. And both high progesterone and high testosterone can cause acne since they are both androgen hormones.

    Your best bet is to start with making a list of your symptoms and take in to consideration things like your age, are you in natural or surgical menopause, etc. Then do a lot of research from non-sales sites to find out what the symptoms can come from and mean. It's not going to be easy and it is time consuming, but it will tell you a lot more than the highly inaccurate saliva tests.

    James- I really, truly appreciate you taking the time to answer my question. Thank you!

    A couple of follow up questions for you -

    Do you know of any hormone testing that is more accurate than salivary testing? Is it worth it to get these done?

    I have already started reading up, and you're right it is VERY time consuming. Are there any non-sales sites or books that you would recommend for further reading?

    Off the top of your head, do you know if there is a specific hormonal situation that is associated with anxiety and panic attacks? I know that this is a super broad question that probably has a super broad answer, but I figured I would ask!

    Thank you again for your help.

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    two data points dont tell the whole story.

    also you have not listed the range

    notwithstanding the foregoing, there are plenty of actual women who can coach you on what to ask for and how to read the results.

    PM me for details
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarCharm View Post
    James- I really, truly appreciate you taking the time to answer my question. Thank you!

    A couple of follow up questions for you -

    Do you know of any hormone testing that is more accurate than salivary testing? Is it worth it to get these done?
    Blood tests are more accurate, but they still are not accurate enough to be of any use. The problem still remains that hormones fluctuate and can do so in a second. For example, when a man is watching his favorite football team the team scoring can cause a sudden surge in testosterone levels. If the team loses there will be a sudden and significant drop in testosterone levels. Therefore, hormone tests only show what the blood hormone levels are at that particular moment.

    The other problem is that neither blood nor saliva tests can determine the hormone levels stored in the body fat.

    Therefore, there are no accurate hormone tests and in my opinion they are not worth getting.

    Quote Originally Posted by StarCharm View Post
    I have already started reading up, and you're right it is VERY time consuming. Are there any non-sales sites or books that you would recommend for further reading?
    The best book I have found on understanding the role of hormones and there effects throughout age is The Alchemy of Love and Lust by Theresa L. Crenshaw, M.D.

    Quote Originally Posted by StarCharm View Post
    Off the top of your head, do you know if there is a specific hormonal situation that is associated with anxiety and panic attacks? I know that this is a super broad question that probably has a super broad answer, but I figured I would ask!

    Thank you again for your help.
    Anxiety can be be triggered by an excess of lactate in the blood or an excess of epinephrine without sufficient acetylcholine to balance it out. It can be difficult to differentiate between the two, but an increase of epinephrine will also result in a significant rise in blood pressure.

    Nettle leaf and suma great for lactate as well as deep breathing exercise. If there is some problem leading to lowered oxygen levels such as COPD or congestive heart failure they will need to be addressed.

    Allergic responses can increase epinephrine output as can stress. The nettle and suma will also help with allergies and stress by strengthening the adrenals. Ashwagandha is also a good choice since it not only strengthens the adrenals, but it also elevates GABA levels thereby reducing anxiety. The adrenals are also highly dependent on vitamin C so foods high in vitamin C would also be a good idea. And avoid stimulants like caffeine and nicotine.

    Supplementing with lecithin granules will increase acetylcholine levels.

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    Much appreciated, James. I will look into all of the information you provided.

    Thank you much!

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    Quote Originally Posted by StarCharm View Post
    Much appreciated, James. I will look into all of the information you provided.

    Thank you much!
    Hi StarCharm,
    Just came across your post but notice it's 2 years old! How are you getting on with your hormones now? And what prompted you to get tested? I suffer from PMDD and get my blood levels checked every 6 months. These have always shown low testosterone and lowish oestrogen levels (for two years before i went on HRT), and i do get symptoms relating to low oestrogen - depression and lack of motivation and migraines. Also low testosterone increases sex drive and lack of assertiveness.

    Since being on HRT for 7 years, (but testosterone implant only 2 years) - i found my depression went away and my assertiveness increased dramatically on the testosterone. Altho one sideeffect i dont like of the testosterone is it makes me TOO talkative sometimes! Altho since i came off oestrogen implant, i am more depressed and therefore can control the babbling!!

    I would say as a guide from personal experience: if you have low oestrogen you will be depressive/lacking motivation (since high oestrogen correlates with high serotonin), low testosterone - lacking assertiveness, low progesterone - can't say for sure but i think it would make you quite anxious as progesterone gets converted to allopregnanolone which is a neurosteroid that exerts a calming effect on the brain.

    I've read the book Alchemy of Love and lust and it is very interesting!
    Liz

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesS View Post
    Nettle leaf and suma great for lactate as well as deep breathing exercise. If there is some problem leading to lowered oxygen levels such as COPD or congestive heart failure they will need to be addressed.

    Allergic responses can increase epinephrine output as can stress. The nettle and suma will also help with allergies and stress by strengthening the adrenals. Ashwagandha is also a good choice since it not only strengthens the adrenals, but it also elevates GABA levels thereby reducing anxiety. The adrenals are also highly dependent on vitamin C so foods high in vitamin C would also be a good idea. And avoid stimulants like caffeine and nicotine.

    Supplementing with lecithin granules will increase acetylcholine levels.
    I get allergies but not anxiety. What is suma please??

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