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Old 11-10-2007, 12:30 PM   #1
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no sex drive-been on T-shots almost 2 years - what could be the problem?

I have been on T-shots for about 2 years. My levels have been staying around 450-600. I have no sex drive. It has went kaput. Could the shots be affecting my drive?

Pat

Last edited by djpatd; 11-10-2007 at 12:31 PM. Reason: email notification

 
Old 11-10-2007, 05:40 PM   #2
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Re: no sex drive-been on T-shots almost 2 years - what could be the problem?

Pat,
Sex drive is the holy grail of hormone replacement. No one has the perfect solution for that yet. However, in your case I bet your T level is still too low. Do you know what your free T level is? My doctor tries to get that to 160 pg/ml to start with and if you still don't feel right he will go up to 200 or more on it. The other thing to watch is your estradiol. You would like that to be around 20 pg/ml ideally but definitely under 35. Of course raising your T more will probably raise estradiol too but I still think you would benefit from a higher T level. Do you have nighttime or morninig erections that are good? If not that would be another sign that T is too low. I don't think the shots themselves are the problem....its just getting all the hormones right which can be very difficult to do.

Another thing my doctor has me trying right now is to keep T around 650 or so and then spike it up an hour or so before sex. He has given me sublingual T drops to do this. I have also tried using androgel early on in the day. The theory is if T is always high the T receptors are always energized. In a healthy man T is going up and down all the time so they are not always energized.

Last edited by hayfarmer; 11-10-2007 at 05:42 PM.

 
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:14 AM   #3
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Re: no sex drive-been on T-shots almost 2 years - what could be the problem?

HF....what is the brand name of the T drops????

 
Old 11-11-2007, 01:31 PM   #4
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Re: no sex drive-been on T-shots almost 2 years - what could be the problem?

It is compounded so there is no brand name.....sorry.

 
Old 11-12-2007, 07:15 AM   #5
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Re: no sex drive-been on T-shots almost 2 years - what could be the problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hayfarmer View Post
Pat,
Sex drive is the holy grail of hormone replacement. No one has the perfect solution for that yet.
I have a very limited beginning knowledge of HRT and I am not disagreeing with you, but still find this to be ironic seeing as how many, if not most, men turn to HRT due to a low sex drive. I mean, we seem to put up with all the other symptoms of low T, lack of energy, depression, less desire to be sociable, etc., until our basic plumbing starts to disappoint us and we seek help.

If you go to any of the drug companys' sites that promote T therapy, their little quizzes almost always concentrate on male sexual performance symptoms. The anti-aging sites do the same. It seems you have to read the small print disclaimers (your mileage may vary, etc.), before you can see that HRT is not necessarily the be-all, end all fountain of youth.

After a few months of various therapies, and as I sit here waiting for results of yet 2 more Testosterone tests, I am beginning to think that the best thing for my sex drive is what I have been doing for a dozen years, take Zinc and Arginine. Problem is, that doesn't due a thing for my energy or other symptoms. Yesterday I spent only 1 hour cleaning the yard and I was pooped all day. So, I guess I will keep seeking the Holy Grail!

Last edited by AZMan07; 11-12-2007 at 07:17 AM.

 
Old 11-13-2007, 04:09 PM   #6
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Re: no sex drive-been on T-shots almost 2 years - what could be the problem?

AzMan, I don't mean to discourage anyone. For many men getting T to a good level is all it takes. But for some that doesn't seem to be enough....or at least they stiill have periods that are bad. No one seems to have the perfect solution that works for everyone. But for most men, getting T right does the trick. Also, I'm talking about about libido, not ED. I realize to some extent they are related but that are definitely different things. You can have great libido but no ability to have an erection. However if you have no libido it may not matter if you can achieve an erection or not.

Also, keep in mind there are many other diseases that can result from long term T levels that are too low. It's not something to be ignored. For example you can end up with heart problems and osteoperosis.

 
Old 11-13-2007, 06:37 PM   #7
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Re: no sex drive-been on T-shots almost 2 years - what could be the problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hayfarmer View Post
AzMan, I don't mean to discourage anyone. For many men getting T to a good level is all it takes. But for some that doesn't seem to be enough....or at least they stiill have periods that are bad. No one seems to have the perfect solution that works for everyone. But for most men, getting T right does the trick. Also, I'm talking about about libido, not ED. I realize to some extent they are related but that are definitely different things. You can have great libido but no ability to have an erection. However if you have no libido it may not matter if you can achieve an erection or not.

Also, keep in mind there are many other diseases that can result from long term T levels that are too low. It's not something to be ignored. For example you can end up with heart problems and osteoperosis.
I think you are hearing my frustration. I think BPH will be my big () issue. See, I can retain a sense of humor about it. Yes, libido is my problem as well as energy in general. Should have the test results (for those you recommended) in a few days. After looking at the Life Xtension guidelines for my tests 2 months ago, I am high in SHBG and both Estradiol and DHT. Getting those under control would most likely free up T without raising total T. But, I will wait and see what the new post AG results show. I am sure I say this for everyone here, Thanks for your support!

 
Old 11-13-2007, 11:43 PM   #8
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Re: no sex drive-been on T-shots almost 2 years - what could be the problem?

AZMan07 what did the doc determine the cause of your low testosterone was? Of did he just give you testosterone without testing for a cause?

Perhaps you actually have other hormone problems that have yet to be diagnosed. Have you had tests for thyroid, cortisol, prolactin, DHEAS and IGF-1? If any of these tests are abnormal then they will contribute to poor testosterone performance.

Last edited by orion; 11-13-2007 at 11:43 PM.

 
Old 11-14-2007, 12:36 PM   #9
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Re: no sex drive-been on T-shots almost 2 years - what could be the problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by orion View Post
AZMan07 what did the doc determine the cause of your low testosterone was? Of did he just give you testosterone without testing for a cause?

Perhaps you actually have other hormone problems that have yet to be diagnosed. Have you had tests for thyroid, cortisol, prolactin, DHEAS and IGF-1? If any of these tests are abnormal then they will contribute to poor testosterone performance.
Hi Orion & Hayfarmer,
my original tests are under the topic "Do I need more Free T?"
I am waiting on the results from the 4x Cortisol, Estradiol, DHEA, Progesterone, and Total T (all from saliva order by the doc but I don't see him until next month).

I took it upon myself to order additional blood tests due to I want to narrow down whether the cause of my apparent BPH while on AndroGel (urinary urgency, weak stream, dribbling, getting up at night) and increased acne and weight gain is increased estrogen or DHT. My other symptoms pre-AG include no libido, depression, social isolation, no nocturnal erections, some ED. I fear the results are somewhat confusing.

These are from LC:
TIBC 325 ug/dL (250-450)
UIBC 204 ug/dL (150-375)
Iron, serum 121 ug/dL (40-155)
Iron, Saturation 37 ug/dL (15-55)

LH 2.9 mIU/mL (1.5-9.3) *My LH b4 AndroGel was 4.2 with SQ lab* I was on AG only 1 month and only at 1/2 starting dose. It looks like, as per HayFarmer, my Pituitary had already started to shut down!

FSH 7.5 mIU/mL (1.4-18.1) No previous labs.

Serum Testosterone 671 ng/dL (241-827) *Total T pre AG was 511 ng/dL* I was off AG for 7 days b4 this test.

Free Direct T 59 ng/dL (30-85) **Free T pre AG was 61.3pg/mL. This is a different lab measurement. It was "Low" at 1.2% of Total with the SQ lab. Using the same calculation formula, this is *down* to 0.8% Although my Total T went up my Free T went down.

DHT 59 ng/dL (30-85)**It was 57 pre AG* LE's range is 30-50.

SHBG 42 nmol/L (13-71) *was 41 5 years ago* LE = "lower part of range."

Estradiol 24 pg/mL (<54) *It was 32 pg/mL (8-43) pre AG other lab* LE range is 10-30
Estrone, Serum 67 pg/mL (12-72) *not previously tested but looks high to me*
Estriol, Serum <0.3 ng/mL (no ref range due to a serial test)

Does Total Estrogen look at these 3 and add them together? LE's total range is 40-77. Mine would be 91 if this is how it is measured.

Cortisol 14.6 ug/dL (AM 4.3-22.4)

Insulin Fasting 5.7 uIU/ml(0.0-29.1)

Again, from 2 months ago:
Prolactin 8.3 (2.5-17.0) 4 years ago it was 5.4 and LE's range is 2.1-5
TSH 1.62 mu/l (0.45-4.50) 4 years ago 1.14


My God am I confused I hope this doesn't mean more tests!!!

Last edited by AZMan07; 11-15-2007 at 06:35 AM.

 
Old 11-15-2007, 10:20 AM   #10
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Re: no sex drive-been on T-shots almost 2 years - what could be the problem?

AZ, I think your numbers look pretty good. The iron numbers are fine so no need to worry about any of this being from hemochromatosis.

Your total T would not be considered low by almost any standard. Your Free T does seem low but there are different types of free T tests and you might be using the other type that I am not familiar with the range on as well. The higher SHBG will lower free T. I have a chart here that I can look up what your free T would be based on your total T and SHBG level. It should be about 130 pg/ml. I assume LC using a different test than I have had in the past.

I'm not sure how many estrogens there are in the total estrogen number. Estradiol is the most important because it is the strongest by far and your number there is about perfect.

If you can achieve this total T level with your low LH number than it says your testicles are working great. ALso note the FSH is more in the middle of the range. FSH is considered a better measure because LH and FSH are sent in pulses. LH has a much shorter half life so if your test happen to be right before the next pulse was due then it might read lower than it really is whereas FSH being in the middle of the range would indicate LH is probably really closer to the middle of the range. Anyway, you definitely should not be on androgel with these numbers. If anything maybe some HCG but even that might cause more problems than it would cure.

How do you feel with these levels? I would be concerned about your Free T being low but since the range you show is lower than the range for my test I think it is just because your lab is using a different test. But what all this boils down to is how you feel. If you're still not right than something else is likely going on.

I'm glad you ran these tests. You definitely should not be on any T replacement and if you were for a significant period of time your HPTA might stop working leaving you on it for life.

Last edited by hayfarmer; 11-15-2007 at 10:22 AM.

 
Old 11-15-2007, 04:38 PM   #11
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Re: no sex drive-been on T-shots almost 2 years - what could be the problem?

thanks HF,
How I feel is certainly key but since taking the test I feel like I am slipping down a slope again. My energy levels are dropping and I can't seem to sleep enough. I've gained 7 pounds through all this and I am no longer pumped up to exercise. The nighttime erections are gone again. My anger is rising.

Except for the spike in total T, everything else seems about the same. I am calling the doc tomorrow to see if he has my saliva results and compare those. They were taken just a day after stopping AG. I realize that the methods of measurement will obviously be different but if he tells me the T is about where he wants it, it will correspond with the blood test and mean the AG was holding on all the way through a week later.

I just can't understand how I can take a 160 jump in total T in 1 month on only 1/2 the *minimum* AG dose? Maybe I was just at the stage where my LH was just beginning to shut down T production as a result of the extra T from AG? Could that be a possibility? But you say that you don't think my LH dropping from 4.2 to 2.9 is of concern?

I am thinking that maybe my small Clomid Rx may have jump started my system as well? Or maybe when I was on it I had more energy and exercised more. On the Androgel I was forcing myself to exercise and not enjoying it and then the BPH symptoms kicked in so I quit AG. Although I am not "out of range" in anything, I am from a LE standpoint, low in Free T, and high in DHT, and Estrone.

What problems would HCG cause? More BPH?

Damn! I hope I didn't re-test too soon.

 
Old 11-16-2007, 07:49 AM   #12
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Re: no sex drive-been on T-shots almost 2 years - what could be the problem?

After a month on AG it is likely your testicles had shut down and the poor results you got were from a result of that. You were on a low dose. But I don't think you should be on T replacement. Waiting a week to test like you did should be plenty. I think it's supposed to be out of your system in like 3 days approximately. The reason I didn't think the LH drop mattered was because total T was good and FSH was middle range. Taking HCG would stimulate your testes to make more T but would also cause your HPTA to stop sending LH.....so you would have to keep taking HCG to keep the level higher. You could also risk shutting down your HPTA permanently if on HCG too long just like bodybuilders risk when taking anabolic steriods for too long. You could try HCG and clomid at the same time. That is a typical restart protocol. HCG keeps the testicles working and clomid keeps the HPTA working and sending LH also.

It is possible the clomid did you some good, that is a good point. I agree your free T looks low but I was assuming that was due to a different testing method. Free T is T that is not bound to a protein. The major protein being SHBG....and you do have a high number there. You could ask your doctor to test for albumin also. That is the next highest protein T will bind to. If too high it could lower free T and could indicate a kidney or liver problem......maybe that would explain why you feel so crappy too?

The high DHT can possibly be related to the BPH you had. AG can raise DHT and you can keep it lower by spreading the gel on a smaller area of skin. There is an enzyme (5 alpha reductase I think) in the skin that causes the conversion to DHT. It is especially high in the genital area so you would not want to apply AG there if DHT is too high.

Last edited by hayfarmer; 11-16-2007 at 07:52 AM.

 
Old 11-17-2007, 07:07 PM   #13
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Re: no sex drive-been on T-shots almost 2 years - what could be the problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hayfarmer View Post
After a month on AG it is likely your testicles had shut down and the poor results you got were from a result of that. You were on a low dose. But I don't think you should be on T replacement. Waiting a week to test like you did should be plenty. I think it's supposed to be out of your system in like 3 days approximately. The reason I didn't think the LH drop mattered was because total T was good and FSH was middle range. Taking HCG would stimulate your testes to make more T but would also cause your HPTA to stop sending LH.....so you would have to keep taking HCG to keep the level higher. You could also risk shutting down your HPTA permanently if on HCG too long just like bodybuilders risk when taking anabolic steriods for too long. You could try HCG and clomid at the same time. That is a typical restart protocol. HCG keeps the testicles working and clomid keeps the HPTA working and sending LH also.

It is possible the clomid did you some good, that is a good point. I agree your free T looks low but I was assuming that was due to a different testing method. Free T is T that is not bound to a protein. The major protein being SHBG....and you do have a high number there. You could ask your doctor to test for albumin also. That is the next highest protein T will bind to. If too high it could lower free T and could indicate a kidney or liver problem......maybe that would explain why you feel so crappy too?

The high DHT can possibly be related to the BPH you had. AG can raise DHT and you can keep it lower by spreading the gel on a smaller area of skin. There is an enzyme (5 alpha reductase I think) in the skin that causes the conversion to DHT. It is especially high in the genital area so you would not want to apply AG there if DHT is too high.
HF, thanks for all your help!
My albumin level is 4.3 (3.3-4.9). Can estradiol levels vary greatly in a short period of time? I mean 2 months ago it was borderline high and now is midrange.

I have read that my estrone that is borderline high can also be an issue but can't find a lot on this other than it can vary greatly from day to day.

I noticed that a few days after stopping AG my urinary symptoms improved but I also upped my Saw Palmetto supplement.

I didn't get the saliva test results but I think they will mirror my most recent blood test.

I don't think any T or HCG at this time is warranted and my Clomid went down the toilet due to sides. I'm going to hang in there and possibly try some herbal alternatives for a few months to see if they increase my Free T and help my symptoms and then I will re-test with a total "wellness" profile in 2008 with new insurance.

 
Old 11-18-2007, 12:24 PM   #14
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Re: no sex drive-been on T-shots almost 2 years - what could be the problem?

[/QUOTE] After a few months of various therapies, and as I sit here waiting for results of yet 2 more Testosterone tests, I am beginning to think that the best thing for my sex drive is what I have been doing for a dozen years, take Zinc and Arginine. Problem is, that doesn't due a thing for my energy or other symptoms. Yesterday I spent only 1 hour cleaning the yard and I was pooped all day. So, I guess I will keep seeking the Holy Grail![/QUOTE]


AZMan,

I am particularly interested in your experience with this combo since you've been doing it for a dozen years. Also, what doses, when, etc. do you take Zinc and Arginine? So, do you have good luck with erections/libido while on T therapy (while still taking this combination) or were you doing the T therapy and not doing the Zinc and Arginine?

Last edited by jkhh; 11-18-2007 at 12:29 PM. Reason: error

 
Old 11-19-2007, 08:33 PM   #15
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Re: no sex drive-been on T-shots almost 2 years - what could be the problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by judgejkh View Post
AZMan,

I am particularly interested in your experience with this combo since you've been doing it for a dozen years. Also, what doses, when, etc. do you take Zinc and Arginine? So, do you have good luck with erections/libido while on T therapy (while still taking this combination) or were you doing the T therapy and not doing the Zinc and Arginine?
Judge,
I take 30 mg zinc (as l-methionine) and 1,000 mg (1 gram) of Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate first thing in the AM. Somestimes I "feel it" by the evening, sometimes not until 4 AM. It use to work much sooner. Probelm is they do nothing for libido.

When the AG pooped out on the erection front, I continued taking these and I kept a strict record so I knew when to attribute my extra passion to the Arginine and zinc.

However, my Total T level was not all that low and my Free T was just below the low range when my doc put me on AG.

I tried some LJ100 for a few days after being off of AG for a full week. It seemed short-lived. Seemed to last a few hours but then poop out. I also had a few BPH symptoms with it, urinary urgency, getting up at night, weak stream, etc. Fortunately, it wore off after a few days off it.

Due to my SHBG and Estradiol and Estrone levels are slightly high I tried some Vitex for a week (by itself, no other supplements) and I was pleasantly surprised. Known mostly for women's use, this tricky little herb is suppose to "normalize" estrogen levels, even for men. Different studies report that if a man's estrogen level is high, it will help lower it and thereby free up Testosterone receptors creating more Free T. Studies also show that it directly acts on the Pituitary to increase LH instructing the testicles to create more T.

If estrogen levels are normal, it has no effect. It is also reported to have little, if any affect on FSH that is a good thing.

I took 225mg (standardized to 0.5% agnusides) once in the morning with breakfast and then again with dinner (this is actually double the dose on the bottle). I had absolutely positively *no* sides like I had with Clomid and with AndroGel.

What I did get, after 5 days, was increased energy (before I would be good for only a few hours yard work but did a full day's worth and was not pooped out like usual), a desire to keep going (and I still have sore muscles from the weekend!), and get out and do something, continual nighttime erections, morning wood like I haven't had since I was a kid, daily sexual thoughts, each producing erections, and wanting sex more than once each day. This is coming from someone who would take zinc and arginine almost a day in advance of "scheduling" sex twice a week at most.

I also noticed a stronger orgasm, more forceful ejaculation, and more semen volume.

Fluke? Coincidence? Placebo effect?
Several bodybuilding sites are now including this herb along with Trib, etc in there supplements and I think I am beginning to see why.

The problem becomes, do I have to cycle it? As I have read here from HayFarmer and others is that basically any attempt to change your body's current secretions of sex hormones can cause a shut down of your own. It makes sense that once levels are normalized it's effectiveness will wane.

I decided to take 2 days off from it or anything. Day 1, I had people at work ask me where I was getting my energy. I have never heard that before. I noticed that I was more attentive and seemed to get more done but by the end of the day, I seemed to be back to my old irritable self. Yet, libido, although not as high, is still more than normal.

I am hoping that I have stumbled upon something that may work for me, at least for now, without having to make a long-term commitment to TRT. I will do almost anything to keep from shutting down my nuts. That just doesn't seem to be good thing to do.

Sorry I got so involved with this but I am excited!
the experiment will continue.

 
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