Any experience with low testosterone?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 07, 2009 2:53 PM GMT
    So... My doctor has recently informed me that I have low testosterone. Mine is 149, and he tells me that a normal level is 240.

    I don't appear to have obvious symptoms (no ED or depression, for example) but my bone density test shows thinning of some bones, which my on-line research indicates could be caused by low T.

    As a bit of related info, I have been on Propecia for several years. I understand that Propecia can actually raise testosterone levels (since it prevents testosterone from converting to DHT), which makes me wonder how much lower my T would be if I weren't on Propecia! icon_eek.gif

    So what I'm wondering is... given that I'm going to have to address the low T anyway, what mechanism has the best results? I.e., injection/pill/patch/gel/etc. I figure I should consider the muscle-building and anti-aging factors if I have to supplement my testosterone anyway.

    What about other factors, such as HGH? Would it be reasonable to explore those since I have to take testosterone anyway?

    Basically, I'm looking to make lemonade out of the lemons I've been given. I want to get the most benefit out of something I'm going to have to do.

    Thanks!
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    Jul 07, 2009 3:52 PM GMT
    I have had great luck with the gel (Androgel). My free testosterone levels had gotten below 100, and obviously as a 23 year old that was cause for concern. I was started on the lowest dose (4 pumps), but after getting rechecked, I moved up to the max dose of 8 pumps. Having been on it for 3 years, my levels have finally come up, but it is definitely a long term treatment for most people. There are definite advantages to being on it, most notably the ability to gain muscle and sex drive.

    Something else you might consider having tested is your estrogen levels. Propecia can sometimes cause testosterone to be converted to estrogen and adding a testosterone supplement would likely increase your estrogen levels as well. Just something you might want to mention to your doctor,
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 07, 2009 4:47 PM GMT
    A serum testosterone of 149 is low. Some physicians use 300 as the bottom limit. Others may use even a higher bottom number.

    Propecia will raise testosterone levels. Propecia has a recently discovered good side effect. It helps prevent prostate cancer.icon_biggrin.gif

    Testosterone levels are highest in the AM. The test should be done between 8 and 9 AM if possible.

    A low testosterone level may be due to andropause ( normal aging) but other medical problems need to be ruled out.
    A link to an article on WebMD about testosterone deficiency and the causes. The Article is still relevant even if one does not have ED.
    http://www.webmd.com/erectile-dysfunction/testosterone-replacement-therapy

    The most common method used to replace testosterone is transdermal.

    The need for replacement of growth hormone in the aging adult is controversial. Growth hormone needs to be given by injection and is very expensive.

    Regular application of GH may show several negative side-effects such as joint swelling, joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and an increased risk of diabetes.1

    1 Liu H, Bravata DM, Olkin I, Nayak S, Roberts B, Garber AM, Hoffman AR (January 2007). "Systematic review: the safety and efficacy of growth hormone in the healthy elderly". Ann. Intern. Med. 146 (2): 104–15. PMID 17227934
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    Jul 07, 2009 6:16 PM GMT
    fwguy85 saidI have had great luck with the gel (Androgel). ... Having been on it for 3 years, my levels have finally come up, but it is definitely a long term treatment for most people.


    Thanks for sharing your experiences fwguy85! Just to clarify... are you saying that your levels have finally come up even when you're not using Androgel?

    kneedragen (fun handle!), thanks for that info, though it's pretty much what I've seen online. Since I've been on Propecia for years, I can't help but wonder how much lower my testosterone would be if I hadn't been using it!

    Anyone else have personal experience with low testosterone treatments and how to turn taking them to your advantage?
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    Jul 07, 2009 6:22 PM GMT
    Last year I was diagnosed with low testosterone, when my bone density was observed to be decreasing. My weight gain, fatigue, and other secondary symptoms are also consistent with this diagnosis.

    I was given Testim gel to apply, and it appeared to raise my levels slightly. But the hassle of applying it topically (it really smells awful, like cheap cologne), not to mention the ridiculous cost, made me stop.

    I just do without at present, until someone comes along with a better alternative. icon_confused.gif
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    Jul 07, 2009 7:01 PM GMT
    FitExecutive said
    Thanks for sharing your experiences fwguy85! Just to clarify... are you saying that your levels have finally come up even when you're not using Androgel?


    I meant they have finally stayed in a healthy range now that I have been on it for 3 years. For some guys, you have to stay on it indefinitely, depending on its cause.
  • JohnG16775

    Posts: 235

    Jul 09, 2009 5:29 PM GMT
    Using Androgel .very happy with results icon_smile.gif)))
  • gibb

    Posts: 1

    Jul 09, 2009 6:17 PM GMT
    I was finally diagnosed with low T a year ago. For about 2 years I really didn’t know what was going on I gained weight, loss muscle mass and was suffering from depression. Read an article and got my levels checked. The Dr decided they were low enough at 300 for treatment. I was 31 at the time and he wanted to avoid causing my body from stopping producing testosterone so we avoided androgels and did the Clomid test. 25mg of Clomid, Clomiphene Citrate per day and my levels jumped I’m now at about 875. It’ll be a permanent treatment for me, which isn’t all bad it’s like being perpetually in puberty. Well I do need to work on the bouts of anger.
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    Jul 23, 2009 6:01 PM GMT
    Just following up on this thread...

    FYI, I've started taking AndroGel. I've only been on it for 3 days at the 4-pump (5 gram) dosage. There's been no especially noticable effect yet, though my dick has 'twitched' suddenly and for no apparent reason a couple of times. icon_lol.gif

    I may treat myself as a case study and update this thread if/when things change. Maybe that will be useful to someone else researching this topic in the future.
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    Jul 23, 2009 6:11 PM GMT
    What about those pills like Amidren and other T raising supplements that bodybuilders use?
    I would think diet could also help raise your T up, like eating red meat, eggs, broccoli and cauliflower, stuff like that.
  • outdoorjunkie

    Posts: 118

    Jul 23, 2009 6:23 PM GMT
    And here I thought I was this crazy rare case having low testosterone at 29! I thought I was depressed. No sexual drive, would practically fall asleep after dinner... I had all the usual symptoms.

    When I was first tested, I was at 128. I'm now at a happy 630.

    I've been on Androgel now for almost 90 days and it's amazing. It doesn't smell, and is the most natural way of taking testosterone, in that it mimics what your body would be doing anyway (as opposed to shots which spike your T levels or pills which are basically ineffective). Friends ask what it's "like," and I reply, "It feels like how I'm supposed to be feeling."

    Sexual drive is back in full force, mentally I'm back in the game, and the added musculature is a nice bonus. Speaking of, I should really put some new pics up...
  • bishop65

    Posts: 226

    Jul 23, 2009 6:42 PM GMT
    Wow... i was going to post a question about this. I'm going to have to do some research, but thanks to the guys who mentioned what meds they are taking.

    I understand that ZMA may be useful. Anyone try this?

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    Jul 23, 2009 7:07 PM GMT
    I see that you're sick with a chronic illness (HIV). A wide number of folks sick with HIV have seen extremely positive benefits by bringing their test levels up to 1000. Your doctor's limits seem low.

    Androgel is so weak as to really be effective. Androgel is also in patent and runs about $300.00 a month, and is typically 1%. For about $45 to $50 a month you can get 10% testosterone in EMU from a compounding pharmacist. Typical levels prescribed are from 700mg to 1400mg, topical, per week. I know guys with both. My doctor tells me the absorption is roughly 50%, so 1400mg topical, according to him is around 700mg per week of testosterone.

    It's difficult to get your levels high enough to do much good with Androgel. Go the compounded route. You should notice differences in as little as a few days, with marked improvements in your health over a period of months.

    I know doctors that will treat at 600 and below. Although some folks can function with levels as low at 250, you'll feel a pile better, especially since you're sick, with level at 1000 or higher.

    My test was at 1200 when I was 32. It's since dropped to the point I have a prescription for HRT. I'm 49, now, and have a psa of 0.4.

    For folks sick with HIV, HRT and other AAS can be a god send.

    Just FYI, most test boosters are BUNK (short of the hormones HCG and clomid). Take the natural thing, that your own body makes: testosterone.
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Jul 23, 2009 7:17 PM GMT
    What are the side affects of a testosterone regimen? Are they smiliar to steroids in this way?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2009 7:40 PM GMT
    fwguy85 saidI have had great luck with the gel (Androgel). My free testosterone levels had gotten below 100, and obviously as a 23 year old that was cause for concern. I was started on the lowest dose (4 pumps), but after getting rechecked, I moved up to the max dose of 8 pumps. Having been on it for 3 years, my levels have finally come up, but it is definitely a long term treatment for most people. There are definite advantages to being on it, most notably the ability to gain muscle and sex drive.

    Something else you might consider having tested is your estrogen levels. Propecia can sometimes cause testosterone to be converted to estrogen and adding a testosterone supplement would likely increase your estrogen levels as well. Just something you might want to mention to your doctor,



    Now I am making a doctor's appointment to look into this
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 24, 2009 9:35 PM GMT
    jarhead5536 saidWhat are the side affects of a testosterone regimen? Are they smiliar to steroids in this way?


    Steroids are all hormones that are soluble in lipids. E.g., estrogen, testosterone, cortisone, and a host of others. Some steroids are neutral, with regard to catabolic / anabolic state, some are catabolic (they reduce muscle, and often inflammation, like cortisone), and some are anabolic, like testosterone. All anabolic steroids (muscle promoting / preserving / helping protein synthesis) are close derivatives to testosterone. Some AAS are more masculinizing / androgenic than others. AAS are rated on anabolic / androgenic ratios. Testosterone is 1:1.

    Testosterone is an anabolic steroid that's 100% natural and produced by your body. Nothing is more natural than testosterone as it's what makes you a man, with its androgenic qualities.

    Injectable anabolic steroids (say testosterone) have very few side affects, which are manageable and transient, unless you were to get into extreme doses (over 5000mg weekly, and most folks wouldn't ever, even in extreme cases, use over about 2000mg weekly and clinical settings would likely be 1400mg weekly, or less). Oral anabolic steroids often have a carbon chain (C17) added to allow them to pass through your GI system, and have minimal impact on your liver. Not as bad as NSAIDS, but, they do have some impact. Injectables don't affect your liver in a negative way.

    It's important to make the distinction. Estrogen is a non-androgenic steriod. So is cortisone. Cortisone reduces inflammation but destroys connective tissue. It's highly catabolic.

    Testosterone, in that it's 100% natural, promotes a sense of well being, libidio, prevents diseases of aging, protects your heart, and preserves your lean muscle mass, and your brain. There has been no definitive research, EVER, to present otherwise. In fact, studies have shown just the opposite: that even the heaviest AAS users have lower mortality than the general public. (UNT 1999). Despite the science to the contrary about AAS, they were put on Schedule III in 1991.

    In fact, endocrinologists, have lobbied Congress to de-list testosterone as a controlled substance, for anti-aging, unsuccessfully.

    In 1991, despite unanimous advice from every agency at the table not to list AAS on Schedule III, Congress ignored the advice and passed the Omnibus Bill of 1991. Prior to 1988, AAS were not regulated.

    From a purely technical perspective, testosterone is THE male sex hormone, that just happens to be a steroid, and an anabolic / androgenic on, at that. 100% natural.
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    Jul 24, 2009 9:52 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]chuckystud said[/cite]I see that you're sick with a chronic illness (HIV). A wide number of folks sick with HIV have seen extremely positive benefits by bringing their test levels up to 1000. Your doctor's limits seem low.

    . For about $45 to $50 a month you can get 10% testosterone in EMU from a compounding pharmacist. Typical levels prescribed are from 700mg to 1400mg, topical, per week. I know guys with both. My doctor tells me the absorption is roughly 50%, so 1400mg topical, according to him is around 700mg per week of testosterone.

    Sorry, could you tell me what EMU is? Is that a prescription?
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    Jul 25, 2009 12:02 AM GMT
    Sure. I've taken time to create this link for you so that you can research EMU lotion further.

    http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=EMU+LOTION

    The lotion and the testosterone must be compounded by a compounding pharmacist, as I mentioned above. Of course, testosterone, and the compounding, require a registered pharmacist and prescription.
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    Aug 04, 2009 1:18 PM GMT
    Update on the "me using AndroGel" case study... icon_smile.gif

    I've been using it for just over two weeks; this morning I finished the first of the small pump bottles and started a second one.

    I've been using it *almost* as directed -- there have been a few times when I took a second shower later in the day and applied an extra 2 pumps (half-dose) after the second shower. The directions say to wait 5-6 hours before showering to get the full effect, and I decided I would rather get a slightly higher dose on some days than get too little. The extra 2 pumps of gel are still well within the acceptable use of the product, per the package directions... the only thing I'm not sure about is the effect of applying the gel twice in one day rather than once per day.

    I can now tell that it's having a subtle, but definite effect. Workouts and hard physical labor don't exhaust me the way they used to, and I find that I recover more quickly too. I still feel "worked out", but I actually *want* to get back in there next time, as opposed to having to force myself to get in there.

    The only side effect so far: I actually sweat when I work out now. My whole life, I've only had light perspiration, even when doing hard physical labor (other people have commented on it several times over the years). Now when I work out, I'm sweating to the point that my hair is wet and sweat is dripping off of me.
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    Aug 20, 2009 1:50 PM GMT
    Another update... I've been using AndroGel for one month now.

    I'm still using it as described in my previous post -- i.e., "almost" as directed. The caveat is that I'm working out a lot more now, which means more afternoon showers, which means that I'm applying that extra half-dose of AndroGel more often than not.

    My experience still confirms what I said in my last post: I'm a lot more movtivated to work out, and work out harder. My recovery from a workout is significantly faster than it was before I started HRT.

    I realize that AndroGel is considered to be weak in terms of its body-building benefits, but I'm pleased at the early results I'm obtaining simply as a result of being more able to work out effectively.

    I certainly wouldn't rule out switching to injections or a different (possibly stronger) product at some point, but I can't complain about the initial benefits. So far, I'm very pleased.
  • mynyun

    Posts: 1346

    Aug 20, 2009 2:01 PM GMT
    FitExecutive saidJust following up on this thread...

    FYI, I've started taking AndroGel. I've only been on it for 3 days at the 4-pump (5 gram) dosage. There's been no especially noticable effect yet, though my dick has 'twitched' suddenly and for no apparent reason a couple of times. icon_lol.gif

    I may treat myself as a case study and update this thread if/when things change. Maybe that will be useful to someone else researching this topic in the future.


    I've been on this same treatment for a few months now and I haven't really 'felt' a difference. I have scheduled an appt with my doc to get my levels tested again and see if it has made a difference or get on higher dose lvl. But good luck to any others on the same stuff. Diff people have diff needs and all.
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    Aug 20, 2009 2:23 PM GMT
    I have a routine doctor's visit this Monday, 8-24, at which blood work done this week will include testosterone levels. They were previously low, prompting the doctor to prescribe Testim topical gel.

    Aside from being ridiculously expensive, I hated the lingering smell, and the inconvenient protocol. I had to wait an hour after taking a shower to apply it to my shoulders, or alternately I couldn't take a shower for 2 hours afterwards. And I couldn't dress for 30 minutes after application. That's too restrictive for my daily routine. And did I mention the strong smell? People even commented on it, thinking I was using some kind of cologne, which I never do.

    My testosterone increased slightly, but I felt no different. Other problems included weight gain and bone density loss, which the doctor also ascribed to my hormone levels being low. If they are low again I will ask for alternative treatments, because this gel crap is unacceptable.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 20, 2009 6:23 PM GMT
    @Red_Vespa: FWIW, AndroGel is odorless after the first few seconds (while the alcohol is evaporating and the gel is drying on your skin). I put it on immediately after showering, then brush my teeth, then dress, and it's fully dry by the time I start dressing.

    You do have to wait 5-6 hours after applying it before you shower again to get a full dose, but that isn't normally an issue since I'm at work for longer than that.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 21, 2009 1:55 AM GMT
    Get compounded testosterone in EMU lotion. It runs about 30 to 40 dollars per month.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 05, 2009 9:42 AM GMT
    so does this increase the amount delivered to the body? Are they compounding androgel and the CMU lotion?