Q. I am having low testosterone with high SHBG. Why?

Answered by
Dr. Shaikh Sadaf
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on Oct 22, 2019

Hello doctor,

I got bloodwork done for possible low T.

My SHBG is higher, out of the normal range, even though the rest of my blood work is very good to excellent. My doctor told me that this is uncommon. I am curious as to how concerned I should be about this?

Dr. Shaikh Sadaf

Diabetology Endocrinology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I read your query and seen your lab reports. (attachment removed to protect patient identiy).

Your report does suggest some concerning things such as high creatinine and low GFR (glomerular filtration rate), which suggest kidney dysfunction and a high SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin).

Increased SHBG levels may be seen in liver disease. I did not find any problem in your reports, but only with the knowledge about your health issues and with a proper medical history, I can find out if there is any underlying cause prevailing.

Overactive thyroid: your thyroid test results are good and suggest a normal thyroid function.

Eating disorders: I need more history from you to rule it out.

Decreased sex hormone production in men: that aspect is good in the test results.

So clearly it narrows down to your kidney function test which might be a possible reason here. Do you have any family history of kidney problems? Any Diabetes? Any excessive alcohol consumption or any over the counter medication intake?

Answers to these questions could shed some light on the reason for high SHBG.

I hope this helps.

Thank you doctor,

1. No family history of kidney problems.

2. No diabetes.

3. Alcohol consumption has increased in the last few months. I have also been taking Tylenol Cold and Flu medicine (approximately 1.5 boxes past month). Approximately 20-25 drinks in a week. Mostly on weekends. Two to three drinks on a weekday. At times, I would take Tylenol Cold and Flu, sometimes in conjunction with alcohol, sometimes not in conjunction.

4. No eating disorders. I take approximately 180 gm of protein a day, and it varies by the day. This is an average. I do an intermittent fast. Do workout early in the morning (5 am) with a protein shake and a black coffee, both before and after the workout. Then for lunch and dinner, I have lean protein, a lot of veggies, and some fruits.

My blood pressure is 112/71 mmHg. I am muscular, lean, and very active. Supplements that I take are vitamin pack, high dose fish oil, creatine (5g a day), protein.

Dr. Shaikh Sadaf

Diabetology Endocrinology


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Then your creatinine and low GFR are due to a high protein diet. I would strictly advise you to avoid such a high protein diet. Just avoid protein extras and eat what is available in a normal routine diet.

Your drink must be less than 14 units a week.

Increase the intake of water.

Repeat your tests in a month and see if your results improve.

A visit to a nephrologist might be beneficial.

I hope this helps.

Ask a QueryAsk a Query Consult by PhoneConsult by Phone Video ChatVideo Chat
Also Read Answers From:

Related Questions & Answers

I am a 22 year old male, with a body structure of a 15 year old boy. Why?

Query: Hi doctor, I am a 22 year old male, who has a body structure of a 15 year old boy. I do not have a beard or a mustache. I have thin hands and legs, small face, low IQ level, and small rib cage. I have acidity problem and pass semi-solid stool.  Read Full >>

Answer: Hello, Welcome to icliniq.com. It is most likely a hormonal problem. It can be male hypogonadism which occurs due to low testosterone levels and has multiple reasons. You need to get your serum testosterone level tested. The standard range for adult men in most laboratories is around 300 to 800 ng/...  Read Full

Besides weight management, what can I do to improve my testosterone level?

Query: Hi doctor, I am a 28 year old male. My height is 5’10”, and weight is 280 lbs. Yes, I know that I am overweight and I am addressing the issue. I recently performed some blood work on myself, so I could have a baseline as I have started a new ketogenic diet. Before 15 days, I ordered a CBC with...  Read Full >>

Dr. Purushottam Sah
Obstetrician And Gynaecologist

Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. I have reviewed your reports. Your free testosterone is on the lower side and lipids are not much abnormal. Your problem is excessive fat in the body that converts testosterone to estrogen. You also may have fatty liver causing low SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin...  Read Full

Please suggest a medicine, which can cure erection problems and low libido.

Query: Hi doctor, I am a 33 year old male, who has schizophrenia and depression from the last 12 years. My current problem is low libido and erection-related issues. I do not wish to take any medicine like Viagra or other similar medicines. Please suggest a medicine which can cure my problem. I also need...  Read Full >>

Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. I read your query and understand your concerns. From the available description, there are following things which are responsible for decreased libido and erection problem: Obesity. Diabetes. High blood pressure and medications. Low testosterone level. I suggest the follow...  Read Full



Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask an Endocrinologist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.
Enter Your Health Query
You can upload files and images in the next step.



Disclaimer: All health Q&As published on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek the advice from your physician or other qualified health-care providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website.