IGF-1 (growth hormone) Levels too high?

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    Feb 26, 2009 12:03 AM GMT
    I went to see an endocrinologist because I thought I had low testosterone as did he since I've been experiencing some symptoms of such (particularly irritability, low sex drive, total fatigue etc.)

    Unexpectedly it showed that my testosterone level was actually high (something in the 400 range) and everything else was normal, except for my IGF-1 (insuline-like growth factor)

    That also was high, which he briefly mentioned could be from a pituitary gland tumor and could also be the cause of my symptoms. But that doesnt make sense really, because upon some research I discovered that IGF-1 levels are raised from supplements like HGH which is supposed to do the opposite of how I feel.

    Has anyone ever heard of this, or have any input?

    I'm quite honestly fed up with conventional doctors, medicine, and their inconclusive results.

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    Feb 26, 2009 4:09 AM GMT
    400 is NOT HIGH.

    Who on earth told you that?

    Don't sweat the IGF. You're 20 years old! Doh!

    Get a different doctor.

    Shit...when I was 32, my testosterone was 1250. Your testosterone SUCKS.

    Go get yourself some crunchy peanut butter.

    Ever heard of mono (the disease)?
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    Feb 26, 2009 4:32 AM GMT
    I love how people on these forums are so quick to offer their own personal opinions on medical issues when the specialists have already been consulted. I'd HIGHLY recommend you stick with what your endocrinologist told you instead of putting stock in what you might see in forums on this site. We can all do "internet research" (huge oxymoron) and come up with whatever diagnosis we want.
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    Feb 26, 2009 4:36 AM GMT
    I feel like most doctors are the same - you wait for thirty minutes, and see them for 30 seconds, and if they cant prescribe something, they're pretty much obsolete.

    I didn't know 400 is low, I don't think I'll go back to him

    and I prefer almond butter

    also - I've had mono, 3 years ago
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    Feb 26, 2009 4:40 AM GMT
    I'm afraid you've received some bad information from some preceding posters.

    For the record:

    Age Average Male Testosterone Level
    15-24 750 ng/dl
    25-34 700 ng/dl
    35-44 650 ng/dl
    45-54 600 ng/dl
    55-64 550 ng/dl
    65-74 500 ng/dl
    75-84 450 ng/dl
    85-99 400 ng/dl

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=typical+testosterone+levels&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq=

    I encourage you to take an active role in own health care and not be completely trusting and dependent of others.

    Just FYI, in studies with HIV patients, those over 1000 ng/dl have 50% less muscle wasting and it's part of the cocktail that makes HIV no longer the short death sentence it once was, albeit that it is still a contagious disease that is pandemic, and that kills millions.
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    Feb 26, 2009 5:14 AM GMT
    Labcorp's 'normal' range for a man's testosterone level is 241-827. This is for 'total' testosterone. The 'free' testosterone level is around 6.8 - 30 or so. These ranges includes men of all ages. The values should be higher at younger ages.

    'Free' testosterone (i.e. testosterone 'unbound' to sex hormone binding globulin) is the type that is helpful. It does at least four things: 1) ensures adequate production of red blood cells, 2) helps maintain emotional well-being, 3) ensures adequate energy levels and 4) maintains sex drive.

    Your testosterone level is in the middle of the 'total' range (i.e. it's 'normal'). You need to know your 'free' level to know if your level is inadequate.

    HGH exerts its influence in the body through IGF. As a younger man, your levels of IGF are probably on the high side. I would be careful about drawing any conclusions about a tumor based on your IGF level... that seems quite a leap. I would need to know your IGF value to know if it's high, but we supplement patients with HGH if they exhibit signs of wasting (most of our patient's are HIV+) AND their IGF level is below 150.

    Your symptoms are consistent with depression... particularly the 'irritability'. I know nothing of your case, so you should always get 2nd opinions regarding your health when you are uncomfortable with your health care provider.

    Best of luck!

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    Feb 26, 2009 5:19 AM GMT
    andrewps saidUnexpectedly it showed that my testosterone level was actually high (something in the 400 range) and everything else was normal, except for my IGF-1 (insuline-like growth factor)

    400 is NOT high. Normal range (depending on what reference source you are reading) is about 300-1000. But that includes middle-aged men. 400 is terrible, but is still low for your age.

    Find a new endocrinologist.
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    Feb 26, 2009 5:20 AM GMT
    Andrew - If you are predominantly aerobically trained, you may have low testosterone syndrome...and the only way to have it checked and verified is by an endocrinologist. But from your values, I don't suspect you have that. However, in males who do a lot (and I mean a LOT) of endurance training, basal testicular testosterone production is decreased. Free testosterone (the active kind) can be low if you're not getting enough calories...ie: if you're dieting or, once again, doing too much endurance training. Specifically, not consuming enough saturated fat can decrease free testosterone as well, since our bodies use cholesterol and saturated fat to make testosterone. All of these things could contribute to having low testosterone in men who have been clinically diagnosed with LTS. Don't rely on Google, or someone who can perform a Google search, to tell you what's going on with your body.

    Oh yeah, I have advanced degrees in physiology, so this is pretty much my area. Even so, listen to your physician, even if you have to get a second opinion. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Feb 26, 2009 7:09 AM GMT
    Remember, whatever you do, don't listen to a clueless bookworm doctor. I've done that a couple of times.

    I've had doctors dry me out to the point my heart rate was over the top, and over-medicate me with all the things that make a person grow old, FAST.

    I've had doctors want to do completely unnecessary surgery on several occasions.

    Only when I was able to throw results in a couple of doctor's faces was I able to get them to straighten up. There's a huge difference between common sense, and listening to the patient, and pushing pills.

    It's essential that you take an active role in your health care. Many doctors are flat out idiots.

    If it seems wrong for you, it likely is.

    Study, google, and google some more, to educate yourself about everything about your issues. Don't rely on some guy who has three screaming kids, a malpractice suit, a big house, and a boat to pay for and spends all of ten minutes on your issues. Google, google, and google some more!

    It's important to let common sense and logic prevail and not put it in the hands of some guy who is completely distracted.

    Don't forget, low testosterone can lead to horrible depression, as one of the prior posters mentioned. Testosterone levels, when high enough, promote a sense of well being and have been documented as doing such for over 40 years.

    400, any which way you look at it, is horrible.

    Here's a story from HBO's award winning Real Sports (Episode #99)


    And, "Bigger, Stronger, Faster"
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    Feb 26, 2009 2:25 PM GMT
    Couple of things

    my levels were:

    Total testosterone: 407
    Free testosterone: 2.27%
    Free testosterone: 92.4

    (don't know why there are two results for that - I got these from the secretary becuase the DR was "unavailable" of course)

    and esterone: 73

    As far as exercise I pretty much only work with kettlebells at the moment, and run

    As far as diet goes - I don't do any fad, or "extreme diets, I keep it simple. Whole, organic food. High fat, complete protein, vegetables...

    I don't know really, I might start looking for another endocrinologist
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    Feb 26, 2009 11:55 PM GMT
    the problem with that is that its gonna run a bill if you keep going to doctors, i totally support seeing a medical professional, but its tough to find a good one.

    my test results came back and i was at 860ish, which is rather high, i'm also on ATD which you might want to give a try. Though I kinda experiment on myself right now and keep a journal of all the changes, one done at a time. It may not be the best idea, but its practical for now.

    Diagnosis of a tumour or other things is pretty harsh and vital to figuring out your body so if you think that it may really be something serious, i'd request an MRI, but from the sounds of it, it's just hormonally off balance, not because of a tumour.


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    Feb 27, 2009 12:41 AM GMT
    your free testosterone is not 92.4 but 9.24 which is on the low side

    Total Testosterone X Percent Free Testosterone = Free Testosterone

    Reference Intervals for Free Testosterone from LabCorp
    * 20-29 years 9.3-26.5 picogram/mL
    * 30-39 years 8.7-25.1 picogram/mL
    * 40-49 years 6.8-21.5 picogram/mL
    * 50-59 years 7.2-24.0 picogram/mL
    * 60+ years 6.6-18.1 picogram/mL

    Testosterone levels can vary during the day so some endocrinologist may repeat them..
    Since free testosterone is abnormal you need to followup with an endocrinologist that your are comfortable with.
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    Feb 27, 2009 4:32 AM GMT
    ANDRE_4000 saidi'm also on ATD which you might want to give a try.


    What is ATD (excuse the ignorance)?
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    Feb 27, 2009 7:17 PM GMT
    http://www.anabolicandsteroid.com/atd/

    an estrogen inhibitor.... somewhat.


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    Feb 27, 2009 8:09 PM GMT
    Not everyone has a high sex drive.

    If it bugs you, and you want to have a higher sex drive, like anything you want to be stronger, you need to exercise it. Force yourself to get off at least once a day, and your sex drive will perk right up. This works for couples with incompatible needs, too. If one guy likes it frequently, they need to not touch themselves as often, and the other with the infrequent needs needs to work at doing it more often.
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    Feb 27, 2009 8:58 PM GMT
    I love how the guy who looks like hes been binging on testosterone thinks that doctors are idiots. Well this idiot is getting paid alot more than you do and I dont look like I'm on roids. See you in the hospital with CHF, Renal Failure or an MI.
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    Mar 01, 2009 4:34 PM GMT
    As a general rule...if the the word tumor is mentioned I would get a second opinion just to make sure both doctors agree.