Sleep apnea and low testosterone

Discuss Sleep apnea and low testosterone at the Men's Health Forum; I have obstructive sleep apnea. I am 29 years old and am a competitive powerlifter who weighs 250lbs at around ...

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Old 05-17-2006, 12:24 AM
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Default Sleep apnea and low testosterone

I have obstructive sleep apnea. I am 29 years old and am a competitive powerlifter who weighs 250lbs at around 5'11, drug free my whole life. My problems with sleep apnea have been going on for about 3 months, but I've always snored. It has been worsening so I finally made the decision to visit the doctor. We ran a bunch of blood tests, and did a sleep anea study and it is severe, my score was a score of 74 on the sleep apnea test and 97 sleep apnea events occured throughout the night. Oxygen to the brain dropped below 80 percent about 30 times. According the blood tests my total testosterone was 220 ng/dl. However my free test was normal. Everything else was ok according to the doc. I will be geting the comlete labs soon. So I don't have exact numbers right now. I will also be getting the CPAP machine soon to help with the sleep apnea. So with my labs showing low testosterone and with me having the symptoms of low testosterone(bad mood,low energy, low sex drive, pre-hypertension at times) my doctor just put me on 200mg of test cyp. every 3 weeks, that's what he does to most his patients. I don't qualify for gels or patches. My brother told me that was a bad idea because testosterone can worsen sleep apnea and that the trt regimen should be more like 100mg a week or I will go through the rollercoaster effect doing shots every 3 weeks. Today I got my first shot of 200mg of testosterone, but I was wondering if I made a good decision to start the trt in the first place or should I have waited? The low t could just be caused by the sleep apnea, from what I have been reading. Are there natural ways to raise the total testosterone?

Last edited by zoso; 05-17-2006 at 12:31 AM.
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Old 05-17-2006, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: Sleep apnea and low testosterone

Correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't it usual to take a shot of Cyp every 7 days?
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  #3  
Old 05-17-2006, 12:08 PM
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Default Re: Sleep apnea and low testosterone

I too have sleep apnea and have been using a CPAP for 4 years now. What a difference it makes! I was a zombie before then. I too had the sleep study which revealed a pretty severe case of apnea. Your apnea is most likely caused by having a large neck. Any size over 17 inches puts you at risk for apnea. The only way you can cure your apnea is to stop lifting weights, lose weight, and shrink your neck...no joke I was faced with that decision 4 yrs ago and refused to become a pencil neck geek I did increase my cardio (started running), and over a long period of time lost 20 lbs. This did not cure my apnea but did improve it much.(when going for follow up sleep studies) As far as your TRT i would stay with 200 mgs since your going to have to have the CPAP anyway, even with a lower dose of T or even no TRT. Get my point, you're going to have apnea either way, why not feeling as good as possible from hi T. ie. libido, mood, leaness, muscle, etc. I hope this helps. The CPAP is difficult to get used to but stick with it cause you'll feel like a million bucks! My doc has me on 300 mgs Test Cyp every 3 wks. I dont understand the thinking of infreq injections so I have tweeked it, and of course added a few mgs Or you could go the Clomid and HCG route to jump start the boys but yes, sleep apnea does lower T. As far as natural alternatives, I would not even bother, if you're going to use something don't use OTC...there's a reason that they are OTC. Good Luck!

Last edited by BRICK; 05-17-2006 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: Sleep apnea and low testosterone

Ok here is my spin on this I would not go on TRT and take T meds your Free T was good. But what some Dr.'s call good is low normal range. So could you post your Blood test with the ranges and units. Sleep Apnea will lower your T levels and going on a CPAP machine if you can use it will in time bring your levels back up to normal. Any Good Dr. that knows about this would not put you on Shots like this CPAP machine or not. You are going to drive up your Estradiol levels doing shots this big. And adding the T meds can make your Apnea worse. I would stop the T meds and give the CPAP machine treatment some time to see if your levels come back up. One more thing if your workout is at a pro level you need to back off on it over doing this when your sick will make it worse. You need to listen to your body and when it is sick give it a rest. I see this all the time over training can lower T levels.
Read posts by Dr. Marianco he talks about this.
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Old 05-17-2006, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Sleep apnea and low testosterone

You are a man after my own heart! I am 34 5'10 and 234. I have a 19" neck and the sleep Dr. measures it everytime I go in and shakes his head and tells me it can't get any bigger. He's a good Dr though. I have had sleep apnea for at least 4-5 years. I was given a CPAP about 3 years ago but could not use it. I started waking up gasping for air and a cold sweat. I lost my libido and energy and wondered what was wrong so, I went to my Dr. and was diagnosed with low T. I have spent the last 3-4 years trying to find a good Dr. that knows about T replacment. I finally went back to the sleep Dr. about a year ago and the put me on a CPAP w/Cflex so, I did not have to breath back against the pressure of the CPAP and that made all the difference in the world.

In regards to T therapy. There are articles that say if you are truly low because of sleep apnea then getting the apnea fixed will fix the low T. Although I can tell you this was not true in my case.

200 mg of Test every 3 weeks will put you on a hormonal roller coaster. It will spike your T as well as probably cause excess estrogen. See if he will do 100 to 125 once a week. That is what most people are doing on the board. Some a tad more, some a tad less.

One thing about T is, it can make apnea worse. There is no one that knows why this happens in some and not others. There is some speculation though. It is not because of weight gain or water retention because it happens to quickly. It is more of a neruological issue. Testosterone seems to have an effect on ventilatory drive. There have been cases where women have had a Testosterone producing tumor and began showing signs of apnea. Once the tumor was removed they returned to normal. Estrogen and Progesterone seem to have a positive effect on sleep and apnea but, as a man you don't want to go around taking Progesterone. Being on a CPAP can keep the T from making your apnea worse. I am not taking direct T replacment but rather HCG right now because I am trying to see if my testis can make enough T on there own to keep me in the upper normal ranges. My wife and I have also not had children so, I want to keep the testis good in that area as well.

If you don't mind, I have some questions for you for my own benefit.

1. How did you know you had apnea?

2. What were your symptoms at night? Waking up gasping etc.... ?

3. How have been since the Dr. gave you T? Were your symptoms worse or better?

I would be curious to see what your sleep study is while on CPAP and T replacement. Please keep us updated on your status. This is an area I am very interested in for obvious reasons. I wish you the best of luck.


Paul

Last edited by pcgizzmo; 05-17-2006 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 05-18-2006, 10:57 AM
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Default Re: Sleep apnea and low testosterone

Thank for all the info guys, it has helped allot in understanding my problem...

1. How did you know you had apnea?
At first I didnt, like the doctor had old me usually you dont, it is something that has to be brought to your attention by someone else who monitors your sleep, and can hear you breathing irregular.My brother and girlfriend convinced me I had a problem.

2. What were your symptoms at night? Waking up gasping etc.... ?
Nightly symptoms could change from day to day, but the lose of air and having to gasp for at least a minute was the thing that would wake me up the most. At first it was quite scary I didnt know how to catch my breath quickly, As time went on all I had to tell myself was to relax and it would come back faster. Acid in the thought area is something I also noticed. Something that does happen daily is that I am always tired throughout the day. I wake up about 7 am, have breakfast and the around 11 am I would feel tired and have to take a nap. Naps usually consisted of 2-3 hours and waking up sill not rested.

3. How have been since the Dr. gave you T? Were your symptoms worse or better?

Ive only been given a shot once and I still haven't received my CPAP machine. When I had a sleep study the CPAP machine helped tremendously. I remember waking up alert and full of energy, I never expected it to work so well. Im hoping once I receive my machine and start using it on a regular basis everything will feel better and back to normal.
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Old 05-18-2006, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: Sleep apnea and low testosterone

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoso
Thank for all the info guys, it has helped allot in understanding my problem...

1. How did you know you had apnea?
At first I didnt, like the doctor had old me usually you dont, it is something that has to be brought to your attention by someone else who monitors your sleep, and can hear you breathing irregular.My brother and girlfriend convinced me I had a problem.

2. What were your symptoms at night? Waking up gasping etc.... ?
Nightly symptoms could change from day to day, but the lose of air and having to gasp for at least a minute was the thing that would wake me up the most. At first it was quite scary I didnt know how to catch my breath quickly, As time went on all I had to tell myself was to relax and it would come back faster. Acid in the thought area is something I also noticed. Something that does happen daily is that I am always tired throughout the day. I wake up about 7 am, have breakfast and the around 11 am I would feel tired and have to take a nap. Naps usually consisted of 2-3 hours and waking up sill not rested.

3. How have been since the Dr. gave you T? Were your symptoms worse or better?

Ive only been given a shot once and I still haven't received my CPAP machine. When I had a sleep study the CPAP machine helped tremendously. I remember waking up alert and full of energy, I never expected it to work so well. Im hoping once I receive my machine and start using it on a regular basis everything will feel better and back to normal.
I am just taking HCG to raise my T levels so, I am not taking a direct T replacment although I do see that eventually happening. I think the HCG is working although I have not had my blood work yet. Testis are full and I have more energy and better workouts. I also seem to recover a little better. Since I have gotten my CPAP I feel lots better as well.

I was wondering when you got your T shot. Did you notice any difference with your apnea? Did you sleep better with the T shot or worse? Just curious if you thought the external T effected your apnea in any way.

Paul
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  #8  
Old 05-18-2006, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: Sleep apnea and low testosterone

I have only gotten one shot and that was a couple of days ago, I have not noticed any difference and its hard to tell if it has effected my apnea, since I am suppose to be getting the shot once a month I dont think it will be helping me at all, I am probably going to discontinue it and see if the CPAP will help reach levels that I want. I am still eaely in the game but I will keep you posted.
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