HRT, TRT, natural test production and test levels...

Discussion in 'Men's Health Forum' started by minuteman, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. minuteman

    minuteman Junior Member

    Well, just have a few questions. I see there are several doctors here... not looking for medical advice per say, but maybe a point in the right direction. I've been following this forum for quite some time without really joining in, but recently took the plunge. I guess part of the reason I started following this forum was due to the fact that I am definitely starting to feel the effects of my age. So I will give a little history of myself.
    I have never used any enhancement medication with the exception of supplements (which I am sure most do not work, and others tend to be more dangerous than their "controlled" counterparts.) My workouts have always been natural, even pre workout shakes give me the jitters. I prefer coffee and part of an aspirin. The only thing I use now is a daily vitamin, ISOPURE protein shake,and fish oil.
    I am 45 years old and lately (over the past year and a half) started gaining considerable weight, about 30lbs. I also noticed that my energy levels were in the dumps. My temperament and disposition changed a bit too. I seem to be more irritable and irritated, which is not really good since I have two sweet little girls and come across as a grumpy old bear with them sometimes. (I'm glad they are forgiving). Anyway, I was having other unrelated issues and kept going to see my doctor. Those issues include a sore left shoulder joint, which they gave me a cortisone shot and sent me on my way and other "age" related issues. I remember giving my doctor a whole slew of symptoms and recently got a huge blood panel done. My symptoms were severe fatigue and lethargy, my strength seems to have diminished, along with my motivation. My sex drive has not diminished however, but I notice that the refractory period is MUCH longer. Sometimes my erections can be "soft" as if I were not completely into it when mentally I am all there. So in my inquiries, one google led to another, and here I am.
    I have been working out and playing sports for a good portion of my life. Sometimes, due to my work schedule, (i am in construction) I have to take a long hiatus from working out and being physically active. You would think working in construction that you remain physically active, but that is not always the case.
    Anyway, I will get more to the point. On my last visit to my doctor, because of all the complaints I had, I finally got a blood panel done. It had everything from my test and free test levels, my b12, cholesterol, and more. I think it totaled like 15 different test done.
    So the results were interesting. I had a high ferritin reading, it was 500+ (normal is like 40-300). I was sent to a hematologist and they ran another test which came up to be like 660 ferritin level. I have noticed my joints are a bit more sore lately. I also have really bad fatigue, I nap like an 80 year old man. Also, I read that high ferritin can cause your testosterone levels to diminish too, but is not always the case. I am still on track to diagnosing this issue. I have an MRI scheduled for Monday.
    My testosterone level was considered "normal", but I feel is not. The results were 364. The "normal" range was between 348-1197 according to the lab. When I questioned my doctor about this I was told that my testosterone was normal and therefore required no action on their part. Also my cholesterol was a bit high too LDL 143, HDL 36, VLDL 24... not great, but not alarming.
    I was doing a bunch of research and the conclusion I have come to is that I need to be in the 500+ test range, preferably higher but no less than. Testosterone is also a natural way to bring down cholesterol levels since it also helps the body to metabolize it and sends the LDL to your liver to be processed out.
    I decided that maybe I need to see a doctor that will work with me on this testosterone issue. I am going to schedule an appointment this week to see one. I discussed and expressed my concern for TRT, as I believe my body is still producing it. I am afraid of TRT shutting my body down and saw that there are some very effective ways of getting my body to produce more T by taking hcg and or clomiphene (clomid). These chemicals convince your body it is not producing enough test and ramps up the testes, at least thats the way I get it. I also like the fact that they were interested in checking out my total andro makeup and balancing it all out, like estrogen and dhea too.
    So I guess my question is what do you guys think of the different T replacement/ enhancement therapies? Do any of you all have experience with TRT or other programs? What level of testosterone is optimal rather than just enough? I am sure as this thread picks up some traction, I may have a few more questions before it is all over. Thanks.:confused::)
     
  2. minuteman

    minuteman Junior Member

    Maybe my thread was too long? [:eek:)] Sorry to be so verbose, just wanted to know if anyone has had experience with HRT, TRT? What they thought about my test level being at 364? I think it is TOO low, especially considering the loss of motivation, constant fatigue, loss of strength, constant grogginess and brain fog, irritablity, and all the other symptoms of getting older and drop in testoterone levels. Is it better to start off with clomiphene (clomid) and /or hcg? I think so myself because Clomid and Hcg allows your body to do the production instead of shutting your natural test production down. I talked to the doctor over the phone and asked if an AI would also be perscribed because you never know what can happen. Also the fact that testosterone actually metabolizes higher LDL levels. I talked to my "potential" doctor about this and they seem to be more familiar with the HCG and not the clomiphene (clomid). Is Clomid liver toxic? The Hcg is injectable and so I doubt it is, but the doc says the term of use is in the 6 month range. Any feed back would be greatly appreciated! :confused:
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
  3. Cyberwolf

    Cyberwolf Junior Member

    maybe you have hemochromatosis and this is cause low TT.
     
  4. MR10X

    MR10X Member

    The hcg will suppress your own LH.You are not primary hypogonadal since your TT is 364 even though its low.clomid and nolvadex together will stimulate your own LH and increase your TT level.You should also have your Free Test also checked,i had TT 440 which is low but within range but my Free test was low and not within range.Your body can only use Free Test,that is the important level.
     
  5. minuteman

    minuteman Junior Member

    Hey Cyberwolf, thanks for your input. That was actually the very first thing my hematologist checked for and found no gene for the disease. However the symptoms I have are much like it.
     
  6. minuteman

    minuteman Junior Member

    That's good to know since the doctor I am going to see is more familiar with the HCG and usually only prescribes it instead of the Clomid. I actually asked if they were willing to prescribe Clomid and the doctor said they possibly would. I know that HCG mimics LH (and I guess is bioidentical) whereas the Clomid blocks the estrogen from stopping your body from producing LH which in turn signals your body to produce more testosterone.
    I also had my Free Test done the same time I did my other blood tests. These test results are a bit hard to decipher. I think my Free Testosterone (direct) is at 9.0, the range is between 6.8 - 21.5. I am thinking that is a bit low too.
    I apologize, My test serum level was at 362 and not 364 although I doubt that makes any difference at all. :)
    My free test is within range I guess, but 9.0 is way closer to 6.8 than 21.5. Also, my tests were done at Labcorp, so it may differ from other companies. I am going to push for NO HCG when I see the doctor.
    Also, from what I am gathering, I should not use the Clomid as a standalone but in conjunction with the Nolvadex? I was just reading up on Nolvadex like literally a second ago, I know for the body builder, it is a pct option as is the Clomid. But upon reading, (Nolvadex) it seems as if it does EVERYTHING the Clomid does, except much safer and at lower doses. Should I talk to the doctor about using Nolvadex as a stand alone? Will it accomplish the same as the Clomid? Should I keep an aromatase inhibitor handy as it does make sense that I am ramping up test production and the excess will turn into estrogen and I'm not really into man boobs, or is the Nolvadex an all-in-one kinda thing? :confused:
     
  7. Cyberwolf

    Cyberwolf Junior Member

    did you check thyroid, prolactin, corstisole? first you should be check if your testicles are sensitive to lh. is better to use clomid with nolva. i think you must try 100mg clomid ed with 20mg nolva ed for 6 week (second week labs to see if your TT has raised). also if you have atrophy you need hcg. you don't need ai.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014
  8. minuteman

    minuteman Junior Member

    I do not think I was checked for some of these other things. I'll give you a list of relevant things checked. I know my thyroid was checked because I got a TSH and T4 Free, but I am sure that is not a total thyroid check because I need the t3 also right? Anyway...
    testosterone, Free, Direct: 9.0 Range: 6.8-21.5
    Testosterone, Serum: 362 Range: 348-1197
    TSH: 2.650 Range: 0.450-4.50
    T4 Free (direct): 1.18 Range: 0.82-1.77
    As far as checking for LH sensativity, I think at the very most, I have secondary conditions due to my high ferritin readings. In other words, I may have a secondary hypogonadism due to the high iron stores, which in turn drive down testoterone levels. The high ferritin readings basically tell me I have a secondary hemachromotosis (which is curable) at least that is what the hematologist tells me. I just went for the MRI today and am awaiting the results that I suspect I will hear from my Doctor in a few days.
    As far as atrophy goes, do you mean muscular?
    The really bizzare thing is I have all the symptoms for low testosterone, with the exception of the libido. This is (at this point) not suffering too badly, with the exception of refractory time amd periodically the strength of the erections. Thanks again for all your input, the more answers I get, the better armed I am when I go to see this doctor.:notworthy: I don't trust most of them anyway. I know most of them want to get you on some kind of TRT or HRT and keep you there for the rest of your natural life. I have been shopping around for doctors too and when I ask them about temporary TRT or HRT, most scoff at that idea and try to tell me I will need it for the rest of my life.
    Of course I hang up the phone and try to find someone else who is not trying to scam and is not a bonified QUACK! [:eek:)]
     
  9. MR10X

    MR10X Member

    When Dr Scally started doing treatments for hypogonadism after using first hcg to test for primary hypo he was using clomid alone but later added nolvadex and said he got better results.Some people have bad side effects with clomid,it does have some really bad side effects especially with vision.I use use a lower dose of clomid 50mg a day along with 20 mg nolvadex for 4 weeks then drop the clomid and continue the nolvadex for an additional 2 weeks. Your sexual problems should improve while your on the clomid and nolvadex. You can have issues with erections with low TT and FT even though they are in range but on the low side. I went to an ando when my TSH was high 11.0,he put me on a starting dose of 88mcg of T4,and after 3 months when we rechecked my levels i were in range but TSH was still in the high range and T4 was still in the low range,but within range and i didnt feel much better and still had problem losing weight.he increased my dose to 122 mcg of T4 and i feel much better and can lose weight easier and have more energy now.I havent been rechecked on the new dose yet but he only checks TSH and Free T4 when he does blood test.I guess my point is you can still have issues even though your levels are with in range but low,he had no problem increasing my T4 even though it was in mid range,i was going to go to a differnt endo if he didnt ( i didnt tell him that but thoght it to myself) but he checked my relexes and said im going to increase your dose a little bit.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  10. MR10X

    MR10X Member

  11. MR10X

    MR10X Member

    Your body converts T4 to t3,which in rare cases you might have a problem with but usually not. T4 has a long half life ( about 7 days) compared to T3 so it takes a while to build up to steady levels so you have to wait a few months before you recheck your levels.Using T3 is a bit of a hassle,you have to be careful the way you dose it and when and have to taper it up and down.

    TSH Wars Part One - Jeffrey Dach MD
     
  12. minuteman

    minuteman Junior Member

    Hey MR10X, Thanks a lot. That is a lot of information for sure. :-bd It will take me a while to get through it all. There is NO doubt a lot involved in this. I just want to make sure I am well armed when I walk into the docs office and they try to blow smoke.
     
  13. minuteman

    minuteman Junior Member

    Well, got the results of my MRI back. Everything looks good. There is nothing wrong with my liver, which is a relief. The Hematologist thinks it may have been just a reaction to something,but that I should keep a close eye on the blood tests. Says I should come back in a month and get re-tested for ferritin levels. They drive test levels down and also make you really tired and fatigued.[|)]
     
  14. minuteman

    minuteman Junior Member

    Yeah, seems like T3 will start hacking away at muscle too beyond a certain dosage like 50mcg. There is SO freaking much there you really got to be on top of it... Seems like you go monkeying around with it, things can go south in a hurry. That's why I would rather do the clomid/ nolvadex treatment and stay away from the TRT and HRT. I think everything is functioning alright (at least according to the doctors), just have low levels of TT and FT, and I am sure some of that will pick up a bit as long as my ferritin levels drop too.