I’m 18 years old. Began weightlifting at 13, played football from 15-18, always been super passionate about fitness by lifting 6-7 days a week and maintaining a clean diet. Take pre-workout, creatine, BCAAs, whey protein, and casein protein regularly. Been lurking on this forum for months now. Have read all the stickies. Unfortunately, I have no prior blood labs. I was a very uneducated user. I apologize for the lack of bloodwork, it is very expensive and this TRT is already draining my small budget as a college undergrad. The next chunk of text is a summary of my steroid abuse.
Some background of why I started TRT: Steroid use started at age 16, just before the ban of the methylated prohormones. Was sold by the idea that it was “now or never” if I was going to cycle prohormones. With no education about steroids whatsoever, I ran my first cycle. I believe the PH was called M1A, ran it for 4 weeks. The PCT was some herbal blend bullshit that the nutrition store sold me. I felt like shit. Now I know that the shitty feeling was a result of complete shutdown. Regardless, I told myself I would never run a prohormone again and allowed myself sometime to recover. I began cycling SARMs, particularly LGD-4033, a very suppressive SARM. I would get a strong sense of well being, as well as a very strong libido and high energy the first 4-5 weeks of each LGD cycle, then this feeling would fade as my testosterone would shut down for the last 4-5 weeks of the cycle. I would run the same herbal PCT for four weeks, then get right back into another LGD cycle. I repeated this on/off SARMs cycling for about a whole year, totaling 4 LGD cycles and 1 RAD-140 cycle. I also would note that Cardarine and MK-677 were included in many of these cycles. Overall, I made great gains and progress in the gym. I’ve kept up my healthy lifestyle of weightlifting regularly and dieting very clean allowing me to keep most of the progress I’ve made over the past few years. I finally realized this year, however, after finishing my most recent LGD cycle, that this was a serious drug problem that I couldn’t keep up with for my whole life. I realized that I had an addiction to that “on” feeling and was jeopardizing my health. I stopped LGD in October 2018, ran the same herbal PCT which I blindly trusted, then remained natty for a month. I tried every aphrodisiac under the sun, but Erectile dysfunction dominated my sex life. I had low drive, low energy, constantly fatigued, brain fogged, and low confidence, no morning wood.
At this point, I realized I needed to become educated on this stuff. I first heard of TRT as a friend of mine’s father had been on it due to his own prior steroid abuse. I researched as much as I could about it, and genuinely feel I have a good, basic understanding of TRT. In late November, I decided I should see a TRT doctor and look into therapy. I knew TRT was a huge commitment, but I felt that bodybuilding has been and will always be a huge passion of mine and setting up a TRT protocol would be the best way to restore my hormone levels to a healthy point while continuing to make progress in the gym. I knew finding a doctor to prescribe testosterone to an 18 year old would be tough, but it was actually very easy. I drove to the next town over for a consultation with a doctor and laid out my entire history of steroids, then listed all of my symptoms. He wrote me a lab request form for Total T and Free T… that was it. “Your lab results came in, Total T = 412 and Free T = 79.4. On the low side for a patient your age. We will call in your prescriptions today.” was the email I received after the blood test. I knew that this was somewhat inadequate evidence for a need for a lifelong testosterone prescription, but was so eager to alleviate these symptoms that I started the therapy right away.
I began this protocol in late November, 2018:
200mg Test Cyp SubQ 1x weekly
1mg Anastrazole 1x weekly (taken on injection day)
250iu HCG SubQ EoD
I also supplement with 12 mg Boron, 450mg Magnesium, 30mg Zinc, 2000iu Vitamin D every morning.
Upon starting this protocol, all symptoms slightly improved. Had some more energy, higher confidence, improved gym performance, but still overall felt pretty shitty. Low libido and ED continued. On this protocol, I noticed I would look very vascular in the gym on the first few days after injection. No morning wood on these days, however, about 4-5 days after injection, I would start getting morning wood (not very strong erections, but definitely something to note).
Week 3, I noticed High Estrogen symptoms (moon face, water retention, emotional), emailed doctor, and upped it to 2mg Anastrazole 1x weekly. This fixed estrogen symptoms right away.
Week 6 got followup blood work, taken on injection day, prior to injection.
Total Testosterone: 561 ng/dl
Free Testosterone: 14.6 pg/mL
Estradiol (sensitive): 25.4 pg/mL
Got a CBC panel, everything was in range. Hematocrit and hemoglobin were on the upper side of the range, so I gave blood. After giving blood, I noticed that my face wouldn’t become so flushed and I wouldn’t get dizzy during workouts.
I told my doctor how my hormones had to be fluctuating between injections since my symptoms (like morning wood) would change based on time between doses. I also said that my Free Testosterone looked low and my symptoms were starting to get worse. I switched to this protocol:
100mg T Cyp Sub Q E3.5D
0.75 mg Anastrazole E3.5D w injection
250 iu HCG EOD
Continued Boron, Magnesium, Zinc supplementation (stopped Vitamin D and began tanning for ~30 min most days). Added 400iu Vitamin E and 5g Ashwagandha Root daily (thought that elevated prolactin could be causing low libido). I also experimented with L-Tyrosine and mucuna pruriens for awhile to see if my issues were dopamine related.
On this protocol, there were some notable changes. After a few weeks on this protocol, I noticed an increase in frequency of morning wood. I noticed my testicles seemed to shrink. I felt better overall on this protocol. Main symptoms that continued persisting are low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, brain fog, and fatigue. On this protocol, I was able to achieve erections and sometimes have sex without losing them. Always took longer than normal to finish, if I were lucky enough to not lose erection. Sex drive was still low.
My guess for low sex drive/erectile dysfunction was a low Free testosterone, and my guess for low Free test was high SHBG. In an effort to see if this was the problem, I bought proviron from a buddy of mine and ordered research-compoud Tadalifil Citrate (cialis). 60mg ED of proviron and 5mg ED of Cialis helped a lot with my energy, confidence, and erectile dysfunction. I decided against the long term use of Proviron, as I was injecting 200 mg Testosterone every week and knew this should already be plenty of testosterone to fix these symptoms. I stayed on Cialis, as it does help slightly with keeping erections, and I love the pump I get in the gym while on it.
I’ve decided to explore my Thyroid function as a cause for my symptoms. I researched Hypothyroidism and noticed many symptoms I have align with it, even those that I haven’t mentioned before. I had noticed the brain fog, fatigue, and low libido. I also get numb hands (often while heavy-squatting or laying in bed trying to sleep), get cold easily, and think I have sparse outer eyebrows. I believe that the LGD messed up my testosterone production, which I’ve since fixed using testosterone injections. I believe using Cardarine, a PPAR receptor agonist that boosts metabolism, may be have messed up my metabolism or thyroid function. I ordered Thyroid labs for TSH, Total T4, Free T4, and Free T3 and hope that these may reveal what is causing my symptoms. I should have results posted from these labs later this week and would greatly appreciate some help from you guys in interpretting the results.
In the meantime, I have some questions that I was hoping you could answer.
I ran Proviron because I assumed my free testosterone was low because my SHBG was high. I’m having second thoughts about my SHBG, however. I’ve read that an SHBG reading can be very helpful in setting up a protocol, however I don’t really have the money to be ordering all different types of labs and unfortunately have to struggle with playing things by ear. Anyway, I recently had the idea that perhaps my SHBG is low, which is why I require so much Anastrazole while on 200 mg Test. Could it be that after injecting the testosterone, so little of it gets bound to SHBG, so it all tries to convert to E2, which is why I need so much AI?
Just based on how I’ve responded to TRT so far, with weekly injections vs. E3.5D injections, is there any way to interpret if I should switch to EOD injections or ED injections based on SHBG?
Are there side effects to using Anastrazole? I’m not talking about side effects from crashing your E2. Is the actual drug itself in anyway toxic or able to cause problems? I can’t seem to find info anywhere on side effects besides those related to an E2 crash.
Besides Thyroid function, should I be looking into any other possible causes for these symptoms? And if my thyroid is the source of the problem, what types of solutions could I expect besides lifelong thyroid medication? I recently started a Thyroid support supplement this week containing 100mcg Iodine, 50 mcg Selenium, 500mcg copper, 500mcg manganese as well as 100mg CoQ10 everyday. I’ve so far noticed hypothyroid symptoms only grow worse (fatigue got worse, brain fog got worse, voice became very hoarse, dry skin especially knuckles) and am stopping this supplementation if they continue to grow worse. I also recently experimented with taking Tongkat Ali, Pine Pollen Extract, Tribulus Terrestris, and black maca to improve libido. These herbs have been shown to affect cortisol in different ways. I’ve stopped these since reading that cortisol can affect thyroid function. My doctor said I could raise T dose to 300mg every week, but I think my symptoms are rooted in thyroid problems or other problems. Oral thermometer is on the way in the mail.
I’ve researched Caffeine supplementation and learned it is generally safe up to 400mg daily in preworkout. I have never really cycled off pre-workout and use it with every workout. Could this be creating some sort of adrenal fatigue that leads to thyroid problems? I train intensely every day of the week, usually (Legs/Pull/Push/Legs/BackBis/ChestTris/ShoulderCore). Could this be straining my body too much, a reason why I’m not benefiting much from TRT and experiencing Hypothyroidism symptoms? I’ve trained like this for years and haven’t really thought of it as a problem, however this could be attributed to the PED use. Ideally, I’d like to not make any changes to my lifestyle and continue training like this.
I am saving so that I can get all my blood tests done at once to see what looks out of range, despite not having baseline tests to refer back to. Is there anywhere you recommend to get the cheapest possible bloodwork done? Currently been using DiscountedLabs.
Lastly, I greatly appreciate it if you took the time to read all this and answer some of my questions, or have any advice to offer. I’m aware I’ve been going through this whole process in a very questionable manner and that my doctor’s lack of testing can even be seen as malpractice. Its a shitty situation, but I’m confident that, in the long term, TRT will pay off as I will get my hormones in balance and feel great and be healthy my entire life. I’ve learned a lot from other’s accounts on this website and figured it was finally time I post my own situation and get feedback. Thanks again.