Hi fellas, I wanted to get a little insight from those "in the trenches" concerning male HRT.
First a little background.
I am a 42 year old that has always led a healthy lifestyle and I have always shied away from allopathic treatment except in the cases of acute need.
A few years ago I went through a divorce and I believe that it was the hardest thing I have gone through psychologically. During this period I went through depression and all the issues (gained 15 lbs, insomnia, and just feeling blue) that go with it. In the last year I felt I was getting back to my normal self, I have a girlfriend, started racing mountainbikes again, and got back into good shape.
During the last year I noticed my thinking was foggy, particularly in the afternoons. I was also noticing I was periodically grumpy and I would have days that I was exhausted for no reason. I would have good days where I could bust out a three hour ride with 4000 of elevation and run the youngsters into the ground and then I would have a day where it was hard to go grocery shopping because of exhaustion, achy muscles, headaches etc. Concerned I had my blood work done (I'm in the health field) and everything was normal, great in fact. I was talking to another doc and he asked if I had my testosterone checked. I had that checked and it was 360. I went to my friend who is also my GP and she wanted to redo the test and a few others. These are the results.
After seeing these results she suggested supplementation with Androgel or Testim.
My concern is this, I don't want to shut down my innate production and I would really rather not do injections of HCG. It is amazing the ignorance of HRT as it relates to the male population in the medical profession. I'm in orthopedics where things are straight forward, hormones are too much like voodoo to me. lol
All of this leads me here. I have been lurking on this forum and reading and have been very impressed with the knowledge and consideration of some of the folks that have been through things like this and post here. I just wanted to see what thoughts you all might have about my position.
My idea is to start off with androgel at a small dose and escalate it until I see a positive change in symptoms. I am hoping by doing this I won't shut down my normal production. I have read too many stories of folks taking testosterone and feeling great for a few months only to crash when their own production shuts down. I'm hoping to find that "sweet spot" where I can bump up my testosterone without shutting down or doing HCG injections. Does anyone here have experience doing this? If you do were you able to forgo using HCG because you were using a minimal dose?
I would value any other opinions or experiences you would like to share.
HRT is not something to do lightly.....you are smart to do research. Most Doc's including most Endo's don't know jack about it.
TRT is for life....you don't just try it out. Many docs will try to help you out and give you some androgel......big mistake!
First thing I would do is look for a doc Who actually treats with TRT regularly, I have suggestions, second a knowledgable doc will do a complete hormonal panel on you. Rule out pit. Tumor, thyroid issues, adrenal issues, etc. once you begin TRT it will mess up the tests.
Reality is if you do need TRT, you should combine it with HCG and some combination of other supplements based upon your needs.
I like your thought about just doing a little androgel, with hope to hit sweet spot and not shut your normal production down. Reality is that is not realistic. Soon as you start any dosge your body will compensate by,lowering your normal production and you will remain at your low suffering level. If you up dosage to a level where you are at sweet spot you will be shut down and therefore need HCG or you will end up with raisin testicles and other issues.
Remember the T range is 250-950 or 350-1150 depending on lab but that is from an age range 18-80 year old men. You want to be in the upper 80% of the range. Many docs will say even if you're at the bottom of the range your Ok?.....BS you want to feel 80?
Once you begin TRT you need monthly labs to fine tune your dosage until such time you hit sweet spot and stabilize.
Bottom line you are either in or out on TRT
I know I do it.....and it's made a huge improvement in my life.....but it's work and it's tiring....but I would never go back to how I felt.
I wasted over a year with incompetent docs prior to finding a good one.
Second to what Boscot says. Find a good doctor, someone who knows what he's doing. Most of us have wasted months or years looking for a good doc. Get a complete panel to rule out other options.
That said, clomid works for some without immediately shutting down natural production. I was on it for about 4 years, with gradually decreasing results.
About 6 years ago I was diagnosed with low T (220-250 on a 260-1000 test range) by my family doc after he put me on Crestor for high cholesterol. I had brain fog, memory issues, difficulty pronouncing words, fatigue, mood swings, night sweats, you name it. First thing was to quit Crestor which made total T rise to the upper 300s - quite an improvement. All of the other symptoms improved, too. My cardiologist no longer argues with me, but he really wants me on a statin.
Next I saw a urologist who ran all kinds of tests including the clomid test, which showed a good rise (800s). He wouldn't use clomid as therapy because it was unproven, so he started me Androgel 5 mg/day. Androgel got me up into the low 500s initially but in 3 months I was down to the low 300s and the doc wanted to double the dose. I didn't like the Androgel application process and it was really expensive.
Changed docs. Dr. Shippen put me on clomid which got me up into the 700s. Over 4 years that dropped into the 400s, so he recently prescribed T cyp injections. First set of labs on T cyp showed total T in the 800s. I donated blood recently and total cholesterol was 205, lowest it's been in years. Wait til the cardiologist sees those numbers. I also just started hcg injections to keep the testes active.
For me this board was a huge help - providing information and encouragement. Keep asking questions and reading posts. Hayfarmer posted a lot of good information back in 2006-2007 when I was first looking that was a big help for me. Good luck.
Last edited by Administrator; 03-31-2015 at 09:59 AM.
I was curious if you could maybe explain how you felt before going on TRT, and how you now feel after?? Also, I know you mentioned you experienced anxiety, how did TRT effect this, and did TRT have any other psychological effects/benefits??
Can't wait to hear from you.
Last edited by Administrator; 03-31-2015 at 10:00 AM.
My TRT issues came in conjunction with getting sick, GI issues and Adrenal failure/Fatigue issues.
That said even after my GI issues etc were better I still felt no where near like I used too.
• I had following symptoms
• Lack of muscle tone
• Low energy
• Low Libido
• Brain Fog
• General lack of lust for life and mental energy to want to do anything.
Mental issues were just as bad as physical ones…..Since addressing issues with TRT I would not say I am 100% better but I am SIGNIFICANTLY better in all areas than I was 2 years ago.
Now TRT isn’t for everyone nor is it something you just “try out” also unless you have a great doctor who knows how to fully evaluate and implement and monitor TRT you are sure to fail. A lot of people see it as just take a shot or smear some gel on everyone once in a while and you will be better if not super. If only that were the case…..TRT is a life altering decision. I deal with it daily, just as a diabetic would, and it is a key component to my quality of life. It takes time energy and expense. I has helped me both physically and mentally but at a huge cost of time both physical and mental.