T Nation

1 Year In, Severe Muscle Pain and Issues

Well it’s been around 1 year of TRT and it’s been a battle to get my blood work on par. I’ve tried every way of dosing protocol and tried just about every dosage to find my sweet spot, and still having issues. A brief history before we start… I’m 45 years old. I’ve been suffering from low testosterone since I was in my late teens, but never did anything about it till last year. I’ve always just dealt with the issues that came alone with it. Over the last few years I’ve started to get severe burning pain in my muscles after working out. Kind of like when you stop working out for a while and come back in heavy and just feel wrecked the day after. I get this every time I workout now or just have an active day using my hands at work with physical labor. I tried talking a break thinking it was over training, and also going light high reps… No difference. It’s gotten to the point to where now any muscle I use hurts, and even if I walk without shoes in my house on the hardwood floor it feels like I was running on the pavement barefoot for hours. I did a brake job on the truck yesterday and today my hands feel like they are on fire and are very stiff and hurt like hell.
It gets better… Some days I wake up and eat breakfast and it doesn’t matter what it is I feel like I want to sleep afterwards. Not just tired but exhausted… It’s like my food isn’t metabolizing to give me energy. It’s all I can explain as to why I feel like in not recovering from workouts and why my muscles hurt so bad all the time.
Some days are better then others.

It may be neurological or something else but the testosterone hasn’t helped me one other then being more aggressive mentally, physically and sexualy.
Yes I’m a fucking mess.
I’ve had every blood work my Dr’s could think of and have gotten no where. I went through many Dr’s over the past few years. None of them have any answers except go see a neurologist which I plan to do here eventually but I don’t want to be put on something like gabapentin or some neurotransmitters that are going to turn me into a zombie or a raging asshole.
I want to know the underlying issue to these problems…
Toosmy years of training with low test? Too much abuse on my body?

Anyone have similar issues? Could I be lacking a mineral or something stupid that I’m not getting from being gluten free, and dairy free that was over looked?

I have been diagnosed with non celiac gluten sensitivity about 6 years ago and have had a lot issues with certain foods and dairy. It got really bad to where I have esophagus erosion from acid reflux, and colon damage that has gone away since my diet has changed. My last Colonoscopy looked great.
I’ve had tests for thyroid thinking my food isn’t metabolizing correctly. I did have mineral tests.
Only issues they found was my hemoglobin was high and cholesterol was a little high but I’m currently giving special donations at a local blood bank every 1.5 months to regulate the high hemoglobin issue. I’m just one of those guys who needs to donate more frequently I am told. If I go past 2 it sky rockets.

I know this sounds like a lot but I take very good care of myself and I’ve tried everything to correct these issues. I was really hoping the testosterone was going to cure these issues, but it hasn’t made any difference.
I know you guys are going to say go to more Dr’s but I need some direction here I’ve been going to Dr’s for a long time and I just get sent out frustrated with prescriptions for pain and no answers.
I do have a lower back problem that has gotten worse over the years and a pinched nerve that acts up from time to time, but I highly doubt that would give me the intense pain in my hands and feet and muscles.
I just can’t accpet not lifting anymore. I’ve went down to every other day with light weights and I’m still in pain.
I’m lost here guys hoping for any answers. My life has been shit I’ve went from a lifetime of sexual disfunction and brain fog and weakness to this mess of a life of pain. It’s really brought me to wanting to give up all hope. I’m drinking now every night just to get done relief and I don’t want this kind of life.
Thanks for listening.
Really appreciate it…

Only thing I can think of is that this will make me tired and feel terrible every next day if the drinking is heavy enough. Even a modest amount (maybe 4 drinks) impacts my sleep and recovery.

I am not certain stopping drinking will solve all your problems, but it should give you a bit more energy, a bit more recovery, and will not make your issues worse.

I didn’t even consider that. The issues were still there when I wasn’t drinking but they have gotten progressively worse since this covid shit and being locked down. I have started drinking much more.
It’s only a few glasses of wine a night but it may be enough to make things worse. I don’t know. Going to be fun to try and sleep now without a buzz, but I’ll try anything at this point. Thank you for your response and giving the idea it’s much appreciated.

You could try benadryl before bed. It is supposed to have minimal impact on sleep quality. It usually puts me out.

How are things like body fat %? Sometimes people just don’t feel good if they are overweight.

Based on your list of stuff, I didn’t come to any conclusions that really jumped out to me. Just that the drinking is going to make things worse.

My body fat is 17 to 18% if that and that’s just because of the lock down and drinking. I’m usually pretty lean. I just found something that may be an answer… Although I haven’t considered drinking to be the issue because it’s usually just a glass of wine or 2 here and there. Not even every day but more lately… It’s seems that drinking in a 24 hour period before training can contribute to a build-up of lactic acid.
I then researched lactic Acidosis and found I have every symptom. Even the rapid heart rate associated with it. I have been complaining about this to my Dr and they cut my dosage way down to 50mg a week which had me feeling like complete shit. They also said it was because my hemoglobin was high but it still was happening when I was at a reading of 17 and lower. I stay about 16 now and it’s gotten better. I took it as the exhaustion and fatigue, cramps, weakness, and all the stuff associated with low testosterone was the issue. Which it was as well but it contributed to this issue now.
I am going to try thiamine which I just read lowers lactic acid and eat more leafy greens. Definitely going to stop the drinking.
If you or anyone has any pointers to quickly lower lactic acid please let me know. I’m praying this is what is going on and it’s a quick fix.

No tips on lowering lactic acid, other than don’t do or limit exercise that produces it. Maybe going high reps / low weight did more harm than good (if this is actually your issue). You could try doing reps around the 5-8 range for a bit to see if it helps.

Good idea regardless if it helps with lactic acid. Most people will feel a bit better if they do these things.

I would expect a little wine to help, not hurt in this case. I am interested in this though. I have wicked DOMS off and on since starting TRT, something I haven’t had much of ever. I couldn’t do anything productive last night as far as Clean and Press just too jacked in the wrists and shoulder girdle.
@highpull got any input?

Maybe in the glass or two range it is okay. From the original post I was under the impression it was more than that. Maybe it is moderate.

I have not had nearly as bad of DOMs since TRT. Joint pain has been consistent which is to be expected.

As I started reading this, I was thinking some sort of auto immune disorder. Reading further, I assume this has been checked out?

If nothing else, I would cut gluten, dairy and sugar, completely, zero gluten, zero dairy, zero sugar.

Joint pain? Or muscle?

Muscle, maybe tendon. EVERYTHING hurt once I cleaned the weight up, even 135. Wouldn’t settle down with a fewreps either so I killed it and did some plate curls.I feel totally fine walking around, but man, if I get some weight up in the clean position it’s on like Donkey Kong.

We used ice baths, no fun jumping in at first, but not bad after you were numb. Cryotherapy is good for this, three minutes in that and you’re good to go.

Another option is contrast showers. Three minutes as hot as you can tolerate followed by thirty seconds as cold as you can take it. Repeat three times. Seems simple, got that from Bulgarian coach Ivan Abadjiev. It worked well.

Symmetrical, right? Both shoulders feel the same? Hurt in the same places?

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Thanks for the input bud. I’ve always did heavy and in the 10 to 12 rep range. Maybe because I am getting older? I see guys all over doing a lot more then me and running, and all kinds of active stuff. I’m really not pushing myself hard.
So you thinking higher reps can possibly be the issue? I’m lifting light though so I’m not sure why this would be an issue. I’m seriously thinking it’s something to do with a build up of lactic acid. I can’t explain it otherwise. Whatever muscle I work is extremely sore even worse then when I started lifting. It’s muscle pain not joint pain. Even in my hands and feet it’s the se type of burning pain. It just doesentske sense. I think I’m going to see an allergist as well.

My joints are fine that’s what’s weird. Just sever burning in whatever muscle I work and not even the next day. It’s shortly after. It’s like extreme over training but I’m not doing much. It’s like my body just can’t handle working out anymore. I have abused my body pretty bad over the years doing heavy deadlifts and exercises hoping to naturally raise my normal testosterone levels which never really worked. I did pack on some mass and I was fairly strong even at under 200 total test and very low free T. I was just used to it from living like that for so long. So now I can’t even reap the rewards of having a normal testosterone level because I am walking around in pain all day. Fucking irony.

Thank you for your response. Not sure the test for auto immune disorder or the symptoms but I’ll definitely look into it. Everything pointed to low testosterone symptom wise but a year later there is no change in how muscles feel or recover. It’s like I have neuropathy all over my body when I work a muscle a little too hard. Which lately I’ve been taking it easy and still in pain. Now even typing on my phone my hands are killing me from fixing my rear brakes on the truck last night. Just turning wrenches for a few hours and I’m spent today. I wonder if it’s from living with low testosterone for almost 30 years and the damage that has done just now catching up with me? I just really need some solid direction before I go back to Dr’s that tell me nothing is wrong again. I am going to take another day off and drop reps down to 6 and go heavier to build some strength to see if that helps. I just went out and bought a ton of greens and fruits and vegetables as well. Started taking a B complex and a potassium supplement as well.
Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

How many calories are you eating a day and are you getting enough carbs and fats? You might want to try cutting out carbs even if you have been eating them. What is your blood pressure.

Alcohol partially metabolizes into acetone and that can sit in your joints and cause a lot of pain (usually more when people are drinking everyday or are alcoholics).

Alcohol is not healthy you’re better off taking grape extract or drinking grape juice. Just one night of hard drinking can mess up your hormones for a week.

Apart from the pain you are feeling (almost sounds like fibromyalgia) you sound really depressed man. I have been taking gabapentin since I was 17 and so far I am quite alright. I know it can make some people feel like they have had a drink but I would definitely recommend giving 600-900mg at night before bed a shot. It will definitely help with sleeping.

What does your doctor have to say about all this? Also are you actually being prescribed testosterone or are you using an ugl? Some are pretty nasty and will cause pain.

For starters, was CRP or ESR checked?

I would take @highpull advice. He has more experience than I do. Maybe just take a few training sessions off, and see if that helps.

Need to elaborate bud. Not familiar with the terms.

I’m being prescribed testosterone cypionate from a Dr. It’s pharmacy grade. I do 22mg eod subcutaneously. My total test stays around 750
Ive done every type of injection and this seems the best protocol for me. Otherwise my estrogen and hemoglobin are way off. I’ve had a lot of issues with the once a week and once every 2 weeks protocol. Even twice a week didn’t work for me. Definitely going to stop drinking until I find an answer… Just made a salad for dinner with greens and vegetables. I’ll take off workouts till Monday and see if that helps as well. Blood pressure the other day was almost perfect.
Who do I see to get tested for fibromyalgia? Is there anything that I can do home remedy wise for this? It took me 25 years to agree to doing something about my low testosterone because I don’t like medicine.