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Old 07-28-2009, 12:00 PM   #1
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Testosterone and Effects from meds

Do opiates in anyway affect a mans T levels.

Also is there any man here on T therapy.

I'm very tired all the time, don;t sleep well, have low libido, I sometimes feel just down right bad, I;m in a somewhat depressed mood alot of times, I'm in my early thirties and should feel very in the mood if you know what I mean. But I have pain and I;m on opiates and I know those two things can affect the libido and my sense of well being as well.

The only time I feel good is after the Gym. Now my muscles are growing and have actually grown quite large and obvious as been frquently commented ob by many of my friends. "Wow, look at his Arms and chest", LOL -

So I wonder if I had low T would my muscles still have grown that much. But its really a struggle at the Gym, I think I have too put three times the effort of a regular guy. If my T levels were normal I think my work out would go alot easier. I really have to give alot to get a good workout going, its just hard to explain.

How do you check your T levels - Is it just a simple blood test?

If my T levels are low what can expect from T therapy. I'm already losing my hair so I;m worried about additional or speed up hairloss. Are there any other negative side effects I might have to worry about.

Any advice and help would be appreciated.

 
Old 07-28-2009, 02:07 PM   #2
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Re: Testosterone and Effects from meds

Opiates directly effect testosterone in men and women. I was having the EXACT same symptoms as you and asked my family doctor to test my testosterone level. I told him my symptoms and that I was concerned the pain medications were lowering my T level way too much. He did a simple blood test and the level came back at 188 (now the range is 300-900) and I am 35 years old so it should be at least in the mid range (400-600) you know. I started on T therapy (Androgel). You can look it up and check it out but I can tell you that it comes in a pump and little packets (which i use). You tear open the packet(each one is 5 grams) I think. I have to use 2 packets because my T level did not come up to normal after using 1 packet for over a month.

I had my level checked after a month and I think it was up to 320 and I was still feeling terrible (low energy, fatigue, depression, low libido, exhausted). So I moved up to 2 packets per day and after a month things really started getting better (my level was 480). I am still on 2 packets per day and doing alot better with more energy, less tired, less fatigue, alot less depression, not sleeping 12 hours a day like I was and my libido came back. You will definitely know when you start feeling better. I would definitely recommend you ask your doctor to check you. MAKE SURE YOU GET THE TEST RESULTS INCLUDING THE T LEVEL (THE ACTUAL NUMBER). My doctor had told me my results were normal after 1 month (320) and I was like NO I AM NOT BETTER and I knew that my normal level should have been at least higher for my age (35 years old). So make sure you get the actual number.

As for the side effects, it can effect your prostate gland and if your T level is too high it can cause prostate cancer. Please don't let this scare you because if the level is normaly you have little to worry about. Plus you might realize it is too high if you experience urine hestitation or you can actually feel the prostate is swollen. I would highly recommend you get it checked and I am sure if you have been on opiates for awhile it is going to be below normal.

brian

Last edited by brianpain33; 07-28-2009 at 02:10 PM.

 
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:14 PM   #3
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Re: Testosterone and Effects from meds

Thank You for that response.

Wow scary!

Who knows what is going on with my body and the hormone levels.

How long did it take you to get the results of you T test?

 
Old 07-28-2009, 02:29 PM   #4
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Re: Testosterone and Effects from meds

Brian,

Two more question:

Are you going to have to do T Therapy forever to keep your T levels normal, How does the treatment work?

And your Libido came back, like how much did it come back, are you excited to have sex again do you mind describing a little more.

- For me it's like I love women and still look all the time but I don't get that you know that heightened sexual feeling anymore, even if I see a naked woman. It's hard to explain, I just want my libido back. And with my ex girl friend I had to take a Viagra, which helped me perform but I was not enjoying it half as much as I used to enjoy sex.

Honestly it's almost as if I feel I can live without sex now.

- Sorry for the explicit details.

my concern is will my testosterone levels ever be normal without T therapy so long as I continue to take opiates.

Last edited by Leo123; 07-28-2009 at 02:35 PM. Reason: Changed question

 
Old 07-28-2009, 03:29 PM   #5
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Re: Testosterone and Effects from meds

As long as you are taking opiates, your T level is going to be low or below normal (which really sucks). Why would you not want to feel better? Plus testosterone can have effects on the heart too. I don't remember exactly what but I know Executor knows about this and that T plays a HUGE role in many bodily functions.

As for being able to perform, I don't have a girlfriend and I am having a difficult time even dating due to my chronic pain and having financial problems right now too. But I can say that I take things into my own hands if you know what I mean quite frequently. I almost always wake up with an erection too and I know that if I don't then maybe my T level is starting to slip.

One other thins to mention is you must be careful that you don't rub the Androgel off onto your girlfriend. It can cause hair growth, acne, and other things on the woman and I'm sure your girlfriend does not want this so you usually have to wait like 6 hours after you applied it or wear a shirt since you apply it to your shoulders, upper arms, or abdomen. Since I use 2 packets (which is alot of gel to apply) I use all three areas. I usually apply it after getting out of the shower so it stays on and absorbs until I take my next shower. Hope that helps.

brian
p.s. if your girlfriend knows any single ladies, no just kidding

 
Old 07-28-2009, 03:44 PM   #6
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Re: Testosterone and Effects from meds

Brian,

You are really a funny guy. Unfortunatley I broke up with my lady about 6 months ago and have also not had much luck with the ladies since.

One of the reasons we broke up was definitley the lack of sex. We would have sex about once a day, which I would think is plenty and she was mad at why we weren't having it more often. Like honsetly I just did not feel like having sex, I would just be content lying down and holding her.

________________________
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But I can say that I take things into my own hands if you know what I mean quite frequently.
________________________________________

I sure am glad to hear your feelng that way again (As I hope to get that libido back), because "if you know what I mean" I have not done what you mentioned for like almost a month)

Which is crazy.

Wow, you rub this Gel on, I have to look into this androgel, I thought Testos... treatment was a pill or an injection.
____________________________
QUOTE:
Plus testosterone can have effects on the heart too. I don't remember exactly what but I know Executor knows about this and that T plays a HUGE role in many bodily functions.
________________


When you say effects on the heart, do you mean while your levels are low or from taking the adrogel you can have some sort of negative affect to your heart.

Also I just made an appointment with my doc for a physical, the appointment is not till Aug 27, but I'am finding out if they can send me to get a lab test for my T levels, so they can see the results when I come to my appointment.

 
Old 07-28-2009, 04:39 PM   #7
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Re: Testosterone and Effects from meds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo123 View Post
When you say effects on the heart, do you mean while your levels are low or from taking the adrogel you can have some sort of negative affect to your heart..
Yeah if you have low levels of testosterone that is what negatively effects the heart so there is even more reason for you to get on the T therapy. My doctor told me he doesn't like to prescribe the pills because they tend to have more side effects like nausea. He does not like doing the shots either because:
1. they hurt like h*ll
2. you have to get one once a month
3. your testosterone does not remain constant, it will rise rapidly, spike, and then fall off quickly (similar to short acting medications)
4. you have to bare your butt to your doctor to get them (yep in the booty) - ouch

I also found out that testosterone effects bone density(causing osteoporosis with low levels, energy levels, libido, energy levels, depression, your voice can become higher(more like a womans), develop more abdominal fat, and you start to lose hair.

However, once you start on the T therapy these tend to turn themselves around. I forgot that my voice actually got a little bit lower after a couple months on it. Plus my hair started growing a little faster and I lost alot of my abdominal fat and gained muscle. Now if I could only find a girlfriend.

brian

 
Old 07-28-2009, 08:19 PM   #8
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Re: Testosterone and Effects from meds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo123 View Post
Are you going to have to do T Therapy forever to keep your T levels normal, How does the treatment work?
As Brian explained, treatment usually starts off with a Gel...Rubbed on like hand lotion to your shoulder area. Literally takes 30 seconds to apply it, and is applied every morning. This usually results in significant increase in one's T level. Shots are only used when the Gel no longer works, or doesn't work at all. As Brian stated, shots usually result in ups and downs because it's a ton of T at first, and then wears off from there. Conversely, the Gel is a more constant state day in and day out.

T is critical in both men and women. Many think of T as just the sex hormone, when in fact, it does much more. T is responsible for warding off depression, protecting the entire cardiovascular system, bone strength, and a host of other things. Low T can kill you.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) does not cause cancer or prostate cancer. A prostate exam is usually done when starting HRT to establish a baseline from which to measure or compare to later in life. The only real concern with HRT is that as people age, they may develop cancer (in general). HRT essentially reverses the aging process in many ways. It speeds up your metabolism, reduces your body fat, increases libido, and all sorts of things. Thus, if one were to develop cancer at some point, it is thought that HRT may advance it faster than normal. Thus, if one does develop Cancer somewhere in their body, HRT is usually discontinued for that reason. Because prostate cancer is prevalent in men (in general) and one of the first cancers men get, this is why they do a prostate exam first to (1) ensure you already don't have cancer there, and (2) establish a baseline as previously explained.



Quote:
And your Libido came back, like how much did it come back, are you excited to have sex again do you mind describing a little more.
It should return full force. In fact, many men report that they feel like a teenager again. Early morning erections are one of the best signs of proper T levels. The absence of one usually means low T.



Quote:
my concern is will my testosterone levels ever be normal without T therapy so long as I continue to take opiates.
Probably not. As Brian stated, the narcotics suppress the Pit gland, which tells the testicles to produce T. As you already know, pain meds suppress many bodily functions, such as digestion, metabolism, and many other aspects, including T. I helped Brian get up to speed a while ago, and recommended that he get tested for low T, and sure enough, he was a victim of low T. As he reports, his turnaround has been profound. I heard my Doc once say that just about every male he treats for PM, ends up on some aspect of HRT at some point or another.

Lastly, I will say that there is much debate about HRT in the medical community. It is one of the fastest growing areas of medicine. Female HRT has been around for quite awhile, but male HRT has not. Research has also indicated that many females can benefit from T replacement. Women produce T as well, just not as much as men.

If you are serious about pursuing HRT, I would highly recommend either a URO or ENDO Doc. Most GPs know little to nothing about it and think any number is "average", as Brian indicated. Furthermore, if a Doc is negative on the idea, see another for a second opinion. I hate to be stereotypical, but since HRT is a new and emerging field, many older Docs are against it, while younger Docs are very much for it. Middle aged Docs are in between somewhere.

Hope all this helps.

Regards,

Ex

 
Old 07-29-2009, 09:00 AM   #9
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Re: Testosterone and Effects from meds

Thank You so Much Guys,
This is something I really need to look into.

Yesterday after Brian comments, I set up an appointment with my GP. I just got Kaiser insurance so I have to go through refferals there to see a specialist.

First available appointment is Aug 27.

All the heart issues I;ve been having recently who knows, looks like T may have something to do with it. I wonder if I;am in any kind of danger doing intense gym work out with low T levels. I wonder if anybody has any comments on that.

Also Brian, Ex mentioned that its better to see a Endo or URO doc for this. Who are you getting your treatment from?


I'm worried with my new Kaiser insurance what kind of care I will get, I still plan to see my current PM who is not affliated with Kaiser? I wonder how metioning that to my new Kaiser Doc will roll over, do I have anything to be concerned with, will they I have to start therapy with one of there docs. (I know that does not sound reasonable i'm just wondering here if anybody has any knowledge with see a kaiser doc for all there regular health need and seeing a private PM doc, while getting treated from a Kaiser Doc and keeping him involved with you PM treatment? (If that makes any sense, I'm writing superfast)

Thank You again for all your informative replies. (i;m so glad I came to this board.)


P.S.: On another note it's funny that if opiate therapy will lower mens and possibly womens T levels, why isn't anything mentioned about this, If anybody is going to be on long term T therapy I think that PM's should be mentioning this to there patients, to get there levels checked with an Endo and possible be on T therapy. I've never heard about this really till yesterday. I don;t even see it listed as a side affect on any of the opiate meds info sheets.

 
Old 07-29-2009, 10:39 AM   #10
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Re: Testosterone and Effects from meds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo123 View Post
Ex mentioned that its better to see a Endo or URO doc for this. Who are you getting your treatment from?
A GP is technically qualified to handle this and some do. However, most know little to nothing about it. That's why I suggest a URO or ENDO.

A simple blood test will determine your T levels. Some Docs go by "free T" while others use "total T." Most use "total T." The key is to make sure your T level is compared to men in your age group, not the overall sample size. Most Docs make the mistake of the latter. They see a number of say 300 and the range being 80-1200, with the average being 350 and say "you're in the average range." Conversely, you want your T level to be at least average of your age group, if not upper third of the percentile.

The problem is that the sample size from the lab contains all patients, kids to 100 year old men. A T level of around 300 is that of a 75 year old man.

Best of luck to you.

Regards,

Ex

 
Old 07-29-2009, 10:59 AM   #11
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Re: Testosterone and Effects from meds

Thank You Ex, appreciate those extra tips. I'll make sure the Doc compares my levels as you stated.

And I was just curious were Brian got his treatment from, I;ll talk to my GP, if he seems uneducated about hormone levels and stuff, I'll ask for a refferal to an Endo or Urologist.

As matter of fact which one would be better to go to?

 
Old 07-29-2009, 11:57 AM   #12
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Re: Testosterone and Effects from meds

I get my T therapy treatment and testing from my GP doctor. He is very knowledgeable about many, many areas and is relatively young doctor maybe 45 years old. If it was not for this site here, I probably would have not known about the lower T level with opiate/opiod medications. After I got mine tested I was kind of ****** off that my doctor never mentioned this possibility. Many PM doctors are starting to inform their patients, especially the guys, and will test and treat them. You have to remember that before 1996 there were no Long acting pain medications and I belive that is when Oxycontin came out. So the doctors have just recently been learning about the long term effects of opiate/opid therapy. Try getting the testing with your GP and doing a search for Androgel. The manufacturer of Androgel has a lot of good information on their site and even a discount card to sign up for (which I did) that will get you up to $20 off your prescription. good luck and let us know what the results are (the exact number of Total or Free T)

brian
p.s. when my levels were rock bottom, there was no way I could even get the energy to possibly work out(much less barely feel like getting out of bed) so yours might not be as low as mine are but they will be if you keep going on opiates without T therapy

 
Old 07-29-2009, 12:35 PM   #13
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Re: Testosterone and Effects from meds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo123 View Post

As matter of fact which one would be better to go to?
I can't recommend one over the other....Both would be good. Endo's specialize in all the bodies hormones / chemicals and how they relate together. Uros specialize in the areas you're familiar with.

I would "test" your GP out first like you say and then go from there. Brian was lucky...Most GPs aren't knowledgable...Especially older ones.

Regards,

Ex

 
Old 07-29-2009, 12:52 PM   #14
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Re: Testosterone and Effects from meds

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianpain33 View Post
p.s. when my levels were rock bottom, there was no way I could even get the energy to possibly work out(much less barely feel like getting out of bed) so yours might not be as low as mine are but they will be if you keep going on opiates without T therapy
By the way it takes so much energy from me to get a good work out, I was just thinking this week this can;t be normal, cause if it was almost nobody would be going to the gym.

And I wanna thank you guys so much, coming to this site was so great just on account of discovering my likely T problem. I know Ex helped Brian discover his low T count.
Like I said my appointment is on Aug 27, I'm trying to get the office to send me for a blood test, so they can have my T count when I get there rathjer than haning to go on Aug 27 and wait another 6 weeks to find out.
I will for sure keep you guys informed about this and I just can;t wait to start the Andro Gel (Which I will look into as well), because I strongly suspect my T count is pretty low based on how I feel.

I just hope Kaiser will give me the therapy I need, knowing all the stories I've heard about how they are cheap and may look upon T therapy as some kind of luxury.
Is anybody on the Forum getting T therapy from kaiser by any chance, or know somebody that does.

Last edited by Leo123; 07-29-2009 at 12:52 PM.

 
Old 07-29-2009, 01:36 PM   #15
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Re: Testosterone and Effects from meds

Leo

A few things to comment on..

I am a bit scattered brained today so I am going to do the list thing.

1) T Levels. My husband is in his mid forties and his T levels are around 300. He has low energy, weight gain esp in the gut area, mild depression. He also has a benign heart arrythmia issue (as I posted about before).

They are considering Gel to up his levels. His libido is low but it has been since I met him 11 plus years ago. So I guess I never associated it with his T levels.

Regardless of the reason of low libido (in a man or a woman) it often puts pressure and stress on a relationship. If you were able to be intimate once a day..to me...that is a lot...and I'm not sure I consider that low libido. But in your case your partner wanted more so it became an issue (or so it sounds like).

Its funny even though my man's libido is very low I never ever once felt like my marriage has no intimacy. To me true intimacy is expressed in a thousand ways and when done with love and respect is beautiful and amazing.

I am in no way saying you should just live with or put up with low libido. I understand for the desire and need to increase it I really do.

2) T levels and The Heart. From what we were told by his doc plus the cardiologist, chronic low T levels can indeed hurt the heart. The cardiologist explained that in my husband's case and in most men under 45 who have low or "low normal" T levels can exercise safely. Just listen to your body. Let it dictate what you do. Not every gym session as to be an extreme type workout.

If I remember right you are wanting to get a stress test done and maybe a halter monitor test done to make sure that the PVC's you are experiencing are indeed harmless, right? So maybe keep on track with that meanwhile let your body set your exercise limits.

3) Kaiser. We have Kaiser and though it has its ups and downs we like it very much. One cool thing is blood tests and xrays don't take forever to get the results back. The longest has been a week and the quickest 4 hours.

For me it was easy to get referrals to specialists but I think my first aneurysm kinda set the tone for my case. I am known as high needs and since then have gotten referrals quite easily.

Anyways, I am having what I call "Lupie Fog" today which means I'm kinda spacey and bit out of it from lupus today so please excuse any typos or words in wrong places lol. The heat makes my brain mush and its 107 today so....definate Lupie Fog today.

Peace,

SW
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SW

 
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