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Low Testosterone Treatment- Success or Failure?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

I had an extended period of time recently during which I put on some weight and had a definite lack of energy.  I also had some sleep disturbances and a general bad attitude about things that I normally wouldn't let bother me.  I don't know if it's the same everywhere, but in Houston there are tons of radio and TV commercials for low testosterone diagnosis and treatment, so I went to my doctor and got the appropriate blood tests.  I found that my testosterone level was REALLY low.  I've been on treatment for a couple of weeks now and I have to tell you, the fatigue that I felt for the last couple of years while doing the simplest things like hitting a bucket of 110 balls is just GONE.  I'm hitting the ball a bit longer and have more energy than I've had for years.  I'm posting to see if others have had good success with topical testosterone (I'm on AndroGel) but also to see if anyone has had any of the long list of side effects that have led you to stop treatment.  I have high hopes for this treatment improving my life but wonder about the manifestation of negative effects and what I might be on the lookout for, and how long it took before any side effects showed up.

post #2 of 32
Interested ...
post #3 of 32
One problem I've seen is that general practioners are ignorant as hell when it comes to hormones, if something isn't way out of range they leave it alone. The normal ranges for test levels are between 1000 all the way down to 400 ng/dl of blood. My dad was tested at 430 and asked for a replacement dosage and was denied by his general. His point was that he wanted to be in normal range, but on the high side, finally the doctor relented and gave my dad 100 mg of test enanthate every three weeks, which if you know about this stuff, is far, far to infrequent a dose. You need at least weekly injections, probably about 50 mg of a long acting Esther a week. If you wait three weeks you levels will spike up and down. While some doctors abuse trt, and prescribe like 400 mg a week along with hgh, I think the best idea is to find a reputable endocrinologist and consult with him or her. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be on the high side of normal, and plenty of research points to this improving most major health markers. The drawback, insurance will fight you like hell to pay for it. I think my dad, out of pocket, pays 100 bucks a month, still cheaper than Viagra.
post #4 of 32

Testosterone Levels are based on age;

Table: Normal Testosterone Levels

 

Age

Average

95% Range*

<25

692

376-1008

25-29

669

257-1081

30-34

621

233-1009

35-39

597

219-975

40-44

597

201-993

45-49

546

220-872

50-54

544

170-918

55-59

552

204-900


 

A common misconception is that while your levels might be in the "normal" ranger you can still feel symptoms of low testosterone.  Reputable doctors are very hesitant to prescribe TRT because of all the negative press steroids and PEDs are getting.  Ideally you want your levels at the average number or higher, not below average. 

post #5 of 32

Why does it go up for the 55-59 age range?

post #6 of 32

OP, similar story here. Low levels. Given same rx. Found I had more energy after tx (golf, tennis, run 3 miles all in the same day after a few weeks). I never had follow-up labs to see how much my levels were corrected. I stopped it after about 6 months and think the energy decreased again, so recently started up again. Don't know if there's a placebo effect involved. Don't notice any side effects. My medical covers it 100%, so no concerns there, but understand it is very expensive.  Don't like the idea of having to be on it indefinitely.

post #7 of 32

Theory is if you get healthier (reduce body fat) your testes are more likely to produce more testosterone.  That doesn't mean it will increase your levels to the point that TRT is still not required, so it's possible it's something you will have to be on indefinitely if you wish to maintain the proper levels.   

post #8 of 32

Other than being an all-around entertaining website, this guy followed a non medicated plan that worked for him to raise his T: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/01/18/how-to-increase-testosterone-naturally/
 

post #9 of 32
I think going the natural route to increase test levels is a great idea. I have no affiliation with Charles poliquin but as an avid reader of his material, and observer of the results he gets, I believe his supplement program is the most effective and proven program to produce results. The major problem, IMO, is that going the natural route, and buying quality supplements is just so much more expensive than drugs. I believe the drug companies are so powerful we are led to believe by doctors that we can't produce drug like results with quality supplements and food. Just decreasing body fat and strength training, and eating certain types of fats is shown to create a favorable hormonal environment. Estrogen binds to fat cells, so the less fat you carry, the more favorable the hormonal environment you can create.
post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pholmes View Post

One problem I've seen is that general practioners are ignorant as hell when it comes to hormones, if something isn't way out of range they leave it alone. The normal ranges for test levels are between 1000 all the way down to 400 ng/dl of blood. My dad was tested at 430 and asked for a replacement dosage and was denied by his general. His point was that he wanted to be in normal range, but on the high side, finally the doctor relented and gave my dad 100 mg of test enanthate every three weeks, which if you know about this stuff, is far, far to infrequent a dose. You need at least weekly injections, probably about 50 mg of a long acting Esther a week. If you wait three weeks you levels will spike up and down. While some doctors abuse trt, and prescribe like 400 mg a week along with hgh, I think the best idea is to find a reputable endocrinologist and consult with him or her. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be on the high side of normal, and plenty of research points to this improving most major health markers. The drawback, insurance will fight you like hell to pay for it. I think my dad, out of pocket, pays 100 bucks a month, still cheaper than Viagra.

My level, when last tested, was 114 ng/dl.  Insurance does a good job for me with a $10 co-pay and their is people also have a coupon on www.androgel.com so that no one pays more than that.  I'm on injectable Humira for my arthritis and their Co-Pay program limits my financial responsibility for it to $5/month.  I think that it's great when Big Pharma steps up to help out those of us who need their products.

post #11 of 32
I should have beem more clear, at 114 insurance has no choice but to cover. My point was that the normal range is too broad and if you are on the low end of normal, which still creates problems, insurance and doctors will usually try to claim you are still in healthy ranges. Healthy is kind of a subjective term and I would say optimal is a better idea to look for. I'm glad you feel better and happy with your experience. I also, only through reading and observation, believe that the gel is much less efficient than the injections, but I don't know exactly, maybe people with experience can shed ome light.
post #12 of 32

I’ve used Ageless Male testosterone booster in the past and it worked amazingly well for me. No side effects at all! It contains plant-based ingredients that stimulate the body’s internal mechanism to produce more testosterone. If you’re looking for a safe and genuine ingredient, just go online and find Ageless Male supplement reviews to know more.
 

post #13 of 32
Thread Starter 

I've been on testosterone replacement therapy for three weeks but I'm now looking for a different treatment.  My energy is great and the AndroGel is working but I'm experiencing a side effect that I was really hoping wouldn't happen.  I have left ankle swelling that I didn't have before starting treatment, so I likely have blood clots in my left leg.  I'll have to find a natural remedy.  The chances of this side effect happening with AndroGel treatment are less than 0.1% so I guess I'm just the one in a thousand that develop that issue.  If only my golf game was that special!  I just felt like crap before I started treatment and hope that I can find something that works for me.   Any other suggestions in addition to those above will be appreciated.  Wish me luck in getting rid of the occlusion.

post #14 of 32
Mike I'm no doctor but I'm pretty sure bloating is a side effect of testosterone maybe you could try a natural diuretic
post #15 of 32
Along with diet, a trainer advise me to do a lot of Dead lifts and heavier weights
post #16 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hope I just overreacted to what the doc said on the phone before I saw him today. He gave me lasix this morning and told me that if he swelling went down that it likely wasn't a clot. So far so good. I'm not usually a hypochondriac but when I heard "blood clot" I apparently stopped thinking.
post #17 of 32
Glad to hear the lasix worked I would try to make the trt work if you can. Better living through science
post #18 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pholmes View Post

Mike I'm no doctor but I'm pretty sure bloating is a side effect of testosterone maybe you could try a natural diuretic
 

 

It's never too late to go to medical school!

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