Advice for a person with borderline low T?

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    Nov 12, 2012 5:58 AM GMT
    What advice would you give to a person with borderline low testosterone that has some of the symptoms of low T? My level is 400 ng/dl which is about half of what it should be for a person my age. I would like to go on TRT, but there isn't an endocrinologist or a urologist who would put me on TRT with a level that high. I'm currently supplementing with DHEA (I don't even know if I should be taking this because I heard that it boosts estrogen as well) and Zinc which helped a little but I feel like I would be feeling much better if my levels were normal. I don't know what I should do at this point. I know that a lot of you guys are on TRT so let me know if you have any suggestions.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Nov 12, 2012 3:11 PM GMT
    Hey guy. Ya 400 is low for really any age. I'm not sure why your doctor won't proscribe it but obviously you need a new doctor. There are a couple of manufacturers. Look on their websites and I'd bet they have a referral service to a doctor who isn't afraid of it. Or a phone number. They also have an introductory cost support deal but I don't know how long it lasts. Most insurance won't pick it up and the stuff is expensive. Good luck!
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    Nov 12, 2012 7:26 PM GMT
    The scale for T blood levels is like 300-800(?) if I remember correctly. I bet it's because of your age the Dr. won't prescribe supplemental hormone replacement(?). Also depends on your motives and general health. If your sex drive is dead and you are picking up body fat then a DR. should be listening to you. Usually men in their 50s+ have this issue. The gel replacement has worked wonders for several friends. Negative side affects can be a bit of a bummer though. Acceleration of male pattern baldness, more body hair, personality alterations/anger and temperament issues. Swings in the level until you get the dosage correct for you. Positive side affects are loss of body fat and enhanced muscle growth potential than your normal is now. Plus back to getting good wood and being horny lol
    Good luck.
  • wild_sky360

    Posts: 1492

    Nov 12, 2012 7:29 PM GMT
    You need a more thorough blood work up. Free testosterone is the key number. While 400 is a bit low, it could be quite adequate if other factors aren't limiting it's availability.

    Excess SHBG: sex hormone binding globulin can sequester an otherwise healthy amount of testosterone.

    High estrogen, being a more dominant hormone, can negate the effects of your somewhat limited total T.

    Both of these are factored into an equation that yields your Free T.

    Another factor is time of blood draw, as levels vary throughout the day; highest in the am.

    I'm assuming this wasn't a random blood test, and that you are experiencing symptoms. I'd otherwise say don't worry about it. Normal is different for everyone, notwithstanding the variables mentioned above.

    If you are having symptoms, getting to the answer can change your life dramatically. From experience, I have two primary points of advice.

    1. Get a complete hormone panel before ANY changes or treatments are started. The information can become near worthless once you start tinkering. You'll need a solid baseline for an accurate assessment.

    2. Less is more
    It seems unlikely in a lean young man, but if too high estrogen is the cause of symptoms an ultra low dose of a simple aromatase inhibitor will cut down the estrogen and therefore boost your free t and make you feel fine. I say unlikely because this process usually occurs in middle aged men, carrying too much fat. The conversion from test to est takes place in that fat and in proportion.

    If supplementation is determined to be necessary, try HCG first..human chorionic gonadatropin. This will boost your testosterone in a more natural way and may not need to become a lifelong crutch. It stimulates testes to produce testosterone.

    The reason this would be preferred first choice is it would also act as a diagnostic tool to assess where the dysfunction lies. Also, once started on testosterone supplementation, your natural production will cease. If you go that route eventually, HCG is still a useful tool for periodic breaks in supplementation...to restart and keep viable, your natural production. This is important because you may eventually figure out what is wrong, resolve the problem, and stop supplementing. If your testes have wasted away after years of supplements they may never restart.

    Again, most important is a complete snapshot for baseline. You'll never get that indispensable information again once you start messing around with your hormones.

    If your doctor won't cooperate at least to this degree, you need to find another. Keep in mind as a talking point that 400 is low normal for the general male population on average....a population that is over 50% past middle age. The number for comparison is where you fall in the range of healthy YOUNG men.
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    Nov 12, 2012 7:33 PM GMT
    Find another Dr., if you are having problems gaining/holding on to lean muscle, you are tired (lots of naps), or libido is low (meaning wanting to beat off twice a day at your age). Then you would be a candidate. The ONLY side effect I found is balls shrinking, but hey thats a price to pay for all the benefits. I have always had low T, even at your age, but in my 40's finally got the gel
  • wild_sky360

    Posts: 1492

    Nov 12, 2012 7:43 PM GMT
    On the point of estrogen dominance in my last post...

    Increasingly over the past few decades we are literally being bombarded with environmental endocrine disruptors. The population as a whole is affected but more so among individuals...so called canary in the coal mine. As a young man you were surely exposed upon conception and continue the exposure in daily life.

    Excreted birth control hormones, as well as all the other drugs taken by the most heavily prescribed nation in the world, all wind up back in the water supply, as well as a lot of the food we eat. A good filter would be a first start in mitigating the damage. A good idea for anyone, but especially for someone exhibiting unusual symptoms. Your choice of vessel makes a difference too. Plastics are known disruptors. Supposedly the worst of them are being phased out of water and baby bottles but it's too early to tell if their replacements are better or even worse.

    just something to think about and all the more reason to get a complete assessment.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endocrine_disruptor
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 12, 2012 8:26 PM GMT
    Lots of squats and deadlifts?
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    Nov 12, 2012 8:31 PM GMT
    JR122 saidWhat advice would you give to a person with borderline low testosterone that has some of the symptoms of low T? My level is 400 ng/dl which is about half of what it should be for a person my age. I would like to go on TRT, but there isn't an endocrinologist or a urologist who would put me on TRT with a level that high. I'm currently supplementing with DHEA (I don't even know if I should be taking this because I heard that it boosts estrogen as well) and Zinc which helped a little but I feel like I would be feeling much better if my levels were normal. I don't know what I should do at this point. I know that a lot of you guys are on TRT so let me know if you have any suggestions.


    Years of study show remarkably improved outcomes at levels 1000 or higher. Whoever you are dealing with medically is clueless.

    DHEA will raise your estrogen and has some other sides. You're better off to take the real thing.

    400 is NOT high.

    Any doctor who knows his stuff should not have issues putting you on on HRT. You're not talking to the right folks.

    If you don't want to inject, ask for a compounded prescription at 10%. Androgel and the like are over-priced ripoffs at too low of potency to be all that effective.
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    Nov 12, 2012 8:32 PM GMT
    mileshelvetica saidLots of squats and deadlifts?


    This is STUPID AND IGNORANT advice. Heavy lifting can lower your test levels to near zero, hence, the attraction of "juicing" to lifters.

    If you had ANY study on this, you would know this already.
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    Nov 12, 2012 8:37 PM GMT
    HRT does not lead to a life-long crutch any more than any other medicine. Years of high androgen correct themselves in about 21 days, or less, no matter how long you were using (Yes, this, too, has been studied.).

    With stuff like T3 / T4 (thryroid) even years of being on the med fixes itself in DAYS.

    Some of you folks know nothing on what you are talking about.

    HCG will bump up your hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, a bit, but, it's not the same thing as exogenous test.

    With regard to living longer, test is good medicine for blood pressure, exercise recovery, libido, a sense of well being (not being depressed), prevention of diseases of aging, fat metabolism, lean muscle mass, and prevention of bone loss. This all very well documented. That's why test replacement ads are all over the TV.

    Not smoking, not being obese, keeping your blood pressure at bay, daily exercise, proper hormone levels, brain stimulation, and avoiding loneliness are what make you live as long as your genes allow...and LAUGHTER.

    As little as three weight bearing exercise sessions a week are enough to keep your bones strong and completely prevent type 2 diabetes (100% preventable disease).
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    Nov 12, 2012 8:47 PM GMT
    At 23, you really shouldn't be low, but, 400 is...I was around 1800 in my late 20's. (I've watched mine for years.)

    Eat. Likely, your nutrition is off, too.
  • musclmed

    Posts: 3284

    Nov 12, 2012 11:04 PM GMT
    chuckystud saidHRT does not lead to a life-long crutch any more than any other medicine. Years of high androgen correct themselves in about 21 days, or less, no matter how long you were using (Yes, this, too, has been studied.).

    With stuff like T3 / T4 (thryroid) even years of being on the med fixes itself in DAYS.

    Some of you folks know nothing on what you are talking about.

    HCG will bump up your hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, a bit, but, it's not the same thing as exogenous test.

    With regard to living longer, test is good medicine for blood pressure, exercise recovery, libido, a sense of well being (not being depressed), prevention of diseases of aging, fat metabolism, lean muscle mass, and prevention of bone loss. This all very well documented. That's why test replacement ads are all over the TV.

    Not smoking, not being obese, keeping your blood pressure at bay, daily exercise, proper hormone levels, brain stimulation, and avoiding loneliness are what make you live as long as your genes allow...and LAUGHTER.

    As little as three weight bearing exercise sessions a week are enough to keep your bones strong and completely prevent type 2 diabetes (100% preventable disease).


    I have to challenge your continued notion that levels of 1000 of testosterone are safe for anyone but the young under 30 crowd.

    There are several reasons why a seasoned experienced clinician would want to see if there are other reasons for the testosterone being low . Insomnia, depression , alcohol intake before condemning a young 23 year old to injections/ topicals for the rest of his life.

    Testosterone can be low and recover.

    Testosterone supplementation can effect fertility.

    Obviously you like testosterone, I hope you live a long life. But in many other threads you take a one sided view of it. Its not all roses. And there is a good reason why it is a controlled substance.

    Maybe your HP-gonadal axis recovered in 21 days, congrats. However you may not be aware ( ehemm) of the people who abused testosterone and anabolic steroids , they are a documented patient type and some experience life long hypogonadism.

    FYI your assertion that the thyroid recovers in 21 days is also bunk.


    My advice to this young OP. Have several testosterone panels done over a period of 2 months. Try to improve sleep, nutrition and exercise. If depression is an issue begin to address it.

    Make sure its not just a testosterone level being done. But the free testosterone as well with albumin . Typically this is a TESTOSTERONE PANEL.

    Also if you are taking other medications , including Propecia, that can be a factor. You need a DHT level.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 13, 2012 7:51 PM GMT
    musclmed said
    chuckystud saidHRT does not lead to a life-long crutch any more than any other medicine. Years of high androgen correct themselves in about 21 days, or less, no matter how long you were using (Yes, this, too, has been studied.).

    With stuff like T3 / T4 (thryroid) even years of being on the med fixes itself in DAYS.

    Some of you folks know nothing on what you are talking about.

    HCG will bump up your hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, a bit, but, it's not the same thing as exogenous test.

    With regard to living longer, test is good medicine for blood pressure, exercise recovery, libido, a sense of well being (not being depressed), prevention of diseases of aging, fat metabolism, lean muscle mass, and prevention of bone loss. This all very well documented. That's why test replacement ads are all over the TV.

    Not smoking, not being obese, keeping your blood pressure at bay, daily exercise, proper hormone levels, brain stimulation, and avoiding loneliness are what make you live as long as your genes allow...and LAUGHTER.

    As little as three weight bearing exercise sessions a week are enough to keep your bones strong and completely prevent type 2 diabetes (100% preventable disease).


    I have to challenge your continued notion that levels of 1000 of testosterone are safe for anyone but the young under 30 crowd.

    There are several reasons why a seasoned experienced clinician would want to see if there are other reasons for the testosterone being low . Insomnia, depression , alcohol intake before condemning a young 23 year old to injections/ topicals for the rest of his life.

    Testosterone can be low and recover.

    Testosterone supplementation can effect fertility.

    Obviously you like testosterone, I hope you live a long life. But in many other threads you take a one sided view of it. Its not all roses. And there is a good reason why it is a controlled substance.

    Maybe your HP-gonadal axis recovered in 21 days, congrats. However you may not be aware ( ehemm) of the people who abused testosterone and anabolic steroids , they are a documented patient type and some experience life long hypogonadism.

    FYI your assertion that the thyroid recovers in 21 days is also bunk.


    My advice to this young OP. Have several testosterone panels done over a period of 2 months. Try to improve sleep, nutrition and exercise. If depression is an issue begin to address it.

    Make sure its not just a testosterone level being done. But the free testosterone as well with albumin . Typically this is a TESTOSTERONE PANEL.

    Also if you are taking other medications , including Propecia, that can be a factor. You need a DHT level.

    Thanks for the replies guys. Exactly how can it be low and recover? I got my test levels taken over a year ago and it was 400. Last month the Dr. checked it again and it was 420. There really isn't any thing that I could think of that's causing my levels be low. I get about 6-9 hours of sleep a day, I exercise, and I definitely eat enough food (I'm currently trying to bulk up to I have to). As far as alcohol intake and depression, I don't drink at all and I'm not really that depressed either. I guess you could say I have mild depression, but I think that has more to do with my T levels than anything else.
  • musclmed

    Posts: 3284

    Nov 13, 2012 8:19 PM GMT
    then there is a real possibility you can be low.

    Ask for a Testosterone panel. Not just the regular testosterone.

    ( includes albumin and free and total testosterone)

    Not everyone is created equal. Some people have lower testosterone levels and high DHT levels. Dihydroxytestosterone is responsible for secondary sex characteristics. Male hear growth, male pattern baldness etc

    Never just follow a number. Testosterone is a hormone. Some people have a endocrine system that responds to lower levels of the hormone.

    You may want to try a short term "reset", try getting something OTC called Tribulus terrestris combine with Indol 3 carbinol or Diim ( Di indole methane) .

    This helps boost testosterone, take it for 3-4 weeks then wean off and see if you feel better. Sometimes the new set level of testosterone "Sticks".

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 13, 2012 10:36 PM GMT
    musclmed saidthen there is a real possibility you can be low.

    Ask for a Testosterone panel. Not just the regular testosterone.

    ( includes albumin and free and total testosterone)

    Not everyone is created equal. Some people have lower testosterone levels and high DHT levels. Dihydroxytestosterone is responsible for secondary sex characteristics. Male hear growth, male pattern baldness etc

    Never just follow a number. Testosterone is a hormone. Some people have a endocrine system that responds to lower levels of the hormone.

    You may want to try a short term "reset", try getting something OTC called Tribulus terrestris combine with Indol 3 carbinol or Diim ( Di indole methane) .

    This helps boost testosterone, take it for 3-4 weeks then wean off and see if you feel better. Sometimes the new set level of testosterone "Sticks".


    My urologist gave me a testosterone panel and he said it's normal. I have a hard time believing that because this is the same guy who said 400 is normal and that the lab considers 260 -1080 normal. He never gave me the exact numbers of the albumin and the free test so I can't tell you what they are. I could try and get those numbers if they are really important. As for Tribulus, I took that and it didn't do anything for me. The only thing that I noticed a difference on was zinc, but it seemed like my body got used to it after about a week.
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    Nov 13, 2012 10:53 PM GMT
    chuckystud saidAt 23, you really shouldn't be low, but, 400 is...I was around 1800 in my late 20's. (I've watched mine for years.)


    I've watched mine for years too. I don't know if we are using the same scale, but at 20 my T was around 610 and now in my late 20's my T is around 510. My libido always functioned normally, in fact I would hate if it were higher -- I like being picky. icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 13, 2012 11:06 PM GMT
    The test levels of 1000 are well documented in HIV research.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Nov 14, 2012 6:59 AM GMT
    intensive exercise will raise iticon_idea.gif
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Nov 14, 2012 7:02 AM GMT
    I seriously doubt a qualified Dr will put you on supplemental testosterone. You're 23. Also read about those medications and increased prostate cancer.icon_idea.gif
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    Nov 14, 2012 7:17 AM GMT
    How do you know you even have borderline low T if you don't have a baseline? If this is your first test for it, you don't know what is normal for your body rather than what is normal for the reference population they base "normal" levels on? You don't look like a western European white male, probably the type they base normal values off of. Sleep (even if you aren't sleeping at the same time each night could have an effect), alcohol, workouts, nutrition habits, stress, mental states such as anxiety/depression, socializing, etc. all have effects on testosterone levels.

    Quit the DHEA and other stuff you're taking. That's not doing you any good. DHEA has been really slammed by researchers as not doing anything beneficial and only having negative side effects.
  • musclmed

    Posts: 3284

    Nov 14, 2012 2:25 PM GMT
    chuckystud saidThe test levels of 1000 are well documented in HIV research.


    since i am involved in HIV research , please do not misunderstand the endpoints of HIV research and extrapolate that onto someone without HIV.

    This is where you are making the mistake.
  • musclmed

    Posts: 3284

    Nov 14, 2012 2:30 PM GMT
    JR122 said
    musclmed saidthen there is a real possibility you can be low.

    Ask for a Testosterone panel. Not just the regular testosterone.

    ( includes albumin and free and total testosterone)

    Not everyone is created equal. Some people have lower testosterone levels and high DHT levels. Dihydroxytestosterone is responsible for secondary sex characteristics. Male hear growth, male pattern baldness etc

    Never just follow a number. Testosterone is a hormone. Some people have a endocrine system that responds to lower levels of the hormone.

    You may want to try a short term "reset", try getting something OTC called Tribulus terrestris combine with Indol 3 carbinol or Diim ( Di indole methane) .

    This helps boost testosterone, take it for 3-4 weeks then wean off and see if you feel better. Sometimes the new set level of testosterone "Sticks".


    My urologist gave me a testosterone panel and he said it's normal. I have a hard time believing that because this is the same guy who said 400 is normal and that the lab considers 260 -1080 normal. He never gave me the exact numbers of the albumin and the free test so I can't tell you what they are. I could try and get those numbers if they are really important. As for Tribulus, I took that and it didn't do anything for me. The only thing that I noticed a difference on was zinc, but it seemed like my body got used to it after about a week.


    The zinc may have effectively acted as increasing free T, and reduce converstion to estrogen.

    DIM or indol3-cabinal are natural aromatase inhibitors.

    The question is why are you seeing a Urolgosit? Did you get referred because of your concern? or some other issue.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2012 11:39 PM GMT
    musclmed said
    JR122 said
    musclmed saidthen there is a real possibility you can be low.

    Ask for a Testosterone panel. Not just the regular testosterone.

    ( includes albumin and free and total testosterone)

    Not everyone is created equal. Some people have lower testosterone levels and high DHT levels. Dihydroxytestosterone is responsible for secondary sex characteristics. Male hear growth, male pattern baldness etc

    Never just follow a number. Testosterone is a hormone. Some people have a endocrine system that responds to lower levels of the hormone.

    You may want to try a short term "reset", try getting something OTC called Tribulus terrestris combine with Indol 3 carbinol or Diim ( Di indole methane) .

    This helps boost testosterone, take it for 3-4 weeks then wean off and see if you feel better. Sometimes the new set level of testosterone "Sticks".


    My urologist gave me a testosterone panel and he said it's normal. I have a hard time believing that because this is the same guy who said 400 is normal and that the lab considers 260 -1080 normal. He never gave me the exact numbers of the albumin and the free test so I can't tell you what they are. I could try and get those numbers if they are really important. As for Tribulus, I took that and it didn't do anything for me. The only thing that I noticed a difference on was zinc, but it seemed like my body got used to it after about a week.


    The zinc may have effectively acted as increasing free T, and reduce converstion to estrogen.

    DIM or indol3-cabinal are natural aromatase inhibitors.

    The question is why are you seeing a Urolgosit? Did you get referred because of your concern? or some other issue.

    From what I read, urologists are the doctors that administer TRT. Would I be better off seeing an endocrinologist?
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Nov 15, 2012 9:50 AM GMT
    Endocrinologist is better!!
    JR what are your symptoms?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 15, 2012 9:53 AM GMT
    What's the T bitch?!

    icon_eek.gif

    I went to the salon girl and told her to give me an NURSTY bun!