T Nation

5 Weeks on Gel

Hello!
I have been on testosterone gel for 5 weeks now (5 grams of a 2.5% gel). I just had some labs done which I am waiting for. So far I cannot say that I feel mentally better. Many guys say they immediatelly feel better under TRT, but I don’t and I don’t know why that is.

What do I do now? I don’t know if the status quo is permanent of if the shrinking will go on. Already at this point it’s pretty strong. My testicles feel totally soft, too.

Hi Wally. Welcome to the forum.

It took me a little while before I started noticing any mental or physical changes. Probably almost three months. I started with the patch and switched over to the gel not long after. I’ve heard of guys feeling effects much quicker when using injections, which I switched to not long ago. I would suggest switching over as well ASAP. You’ll do much better if you use the injection protocol suggested on this forum.

Your doctor is an idiot if he thinks that this only happens after years of abuse. After two months, I noticed mine were like small balls of dough and I had NEVER supplemented testosterone. Exogenous testosterone shuts down the body’s ability to manufacture testosterone; Rendering your testicles useless, essentially. Enter hCG.

hCG restores function of the testicles. I’m assuming you have secondary hypogonadism, so supplementing hCG would bring about a host of beneficial things. Read the “hCG update”.

His comment on hCG being “expensive” was probably directed towards using hCG as mono therapy, where you would inject much larger amounts on a weekly basis. In the protocol suggested here, you’ll inject 250iu(.25ml) 2x/week, or 250iu every other day. My vial of hCG is 10,000iu, and cost me $40 WITHOUT insurance. I inject 2x/week, so that vial will last me four months. $10/month. Not expensive at all and WELL WORTH THE COST.

Kaynon, good stuff.

Need to point out that it does not take much T to shutdown LH/FSH. If you inject 500 mg per week, you still get LH/FSH–>0

Some guys react more to LH=0 than others and some react more quickly than others.

So doc is not thinking, but that is a normal thing for a doctor. Endos are mostly stupid about TRT.

hCG in low doses [250iu SC EOD] does not spike E2 except for rare cases. So do not dwell on that now, not productive.

Get labs done:
FT
TT
E2 [not total estrogens]
TSH
fT3
fT4
DHEA-S [not DHEA]
fasting cholesterol [more worried about been low than high]
ALT
AST
CBC
hematocrit
fasting glucose

Normally we add PSA and DRE, but never needed for young guys.

Take 5000iu vit-D3 per day, get tiny oil caps, walmart has these
Eat healthy fats, olive oil
Need EFA’s nuts, flax seed, flax seed oil, fish oil etc.

You need to use iodizes salt, not sea salt [unless it states iodized]

List all of your medications, Rx or OTC, and supplements

Any extremes of diet?

Note everything in the advice for new guys sticky and all of the stickies are useful.

Hi thanks for your replies!

A few points:
I don’t know if I can get hcg. If I go to my doc and tell him that hcg isn’t that expensive when used in small
amounts I don’t know if he’ll agree or still say no. I also thought about clomid. Would that be another option?
But I read clomid has a bad rep because of side effects like depression and stuff like that. I already have depression.

I could switch to injections but then I’d either have to get nebido every 3 months or 250mg enthanat every 2-3 weeks.

Salt: I use totally unrefined “natural” salt which comes straight from the salt mine. I thought that this is healthier than refined salt with added iodine. They even have salt with added fluoride! I don’t want this stuf. I’m not sure if I lack iodine.

Diet: I do not really follow a certain diet and also don’t count calories. So I can’t really
say how my macros look like. My diet isn’t good I admit that. Since I became depressed and couldn’t work
out anymore due to health issues I lost all interest in eating healthy and counting calories.
I try to at least eat some healthy things every day and also take 2 grams of fish oil daily and
also sometimes throw in a multi vitamin.

Vitamin D: I do take D3. My D3 is relatively high at 55ng/ml.

Hi thanks for your replies!

A few points:
I don’t know if I can get hcg.

I could switch to injections but then I’d either have to get nebido every 3 months or 250mg enthanat every 2-3 weeks.

Salt: I use totally unrefined “natural” salt which comes straight from the salt mine. I thought that this is healthier than refined salt with added iodine. They even have salt with added fluoride! I don’t want this stuf. I’m not sure if I lack iodine.

Diet: I do not really follow a certain diet and also don’t count calories. So I can’t really
say how my macros look like. My diet isn’t good I admit that. Since I became depressed and couldn’t work
out anymore due to health issues I lost all interest in eating healthy and counting calories.
I try to at least eat some healthy things every day and also take 2 grams of fish oil daily and
also sometimes throw in a multi vitamin.

Vitamin D: I do take D3. My D3 is relatively high at 55ng/ml.

I suggest injections i went from a 121 level to 1000 steady and feel so young again and have so much energy!

I’m certainly no expert but I felt a very noticeable improvement in my mood and anxiety within a few days of taking the gel(5gr). Three people in my office even commented on my “good mood”. Four weeks later I felt terrible and my T levels dropped below what they were before TRT. Fast forward 10 months and I am still trying to get my protocol straightened out. Armed with information I learned from this site and from the vast majority of peoples experiences I switched to injectable T this week and am hoping for the best.

Clomid has estrogenic side effects in some and is not to be used long term as in the case of TRT. Nolvadex cycles every few months are recommended for young guys trying to preserve fertility on TRT and to stimulate endogenous FSH and LH, to prevent FSH receptor degradation.

HCG will imitate LH and keep endogenous production. It is safe at the recommended low dose for the long term. Some guys don’t even need T with HCG if they were mostly secondary.

You need HCG at all times to preserve testicles, not just when you want to become fertile. If they are atrophied for long they can become damaged. Not to mention you disrupt other hormones produced by the testicles.

You are probably iodine deficient.

Your pre TRT labs seem to indicate secondary. You had an E2 disbalance which can suppress the HPTA.

How old are you?

If you are young I would have tried a SERM restart + AI
HCG monotherapy + AI
If all failed T + HCG + AI

All of this after correcting your low cholesterol and thyroid. If that alone did not correct T.
Before starting TRT root causes need to be checked and addressed. Low T can be an indication of other health problems.

I don’t know, but KSMAN is more qualified, maybe trying a SERM restart is still worth trying.

BTW VID D is good at 55 65-80 is considered excellent, be sure to take some MK-7 to keep the calcium in the right places.

“I use totally unrefined “natural” salt which comes straight from the salt mine.”

My wife switched to that and I became iodine deficient, felt like crap and body temps were low. Took large amounts of iodine and temperatures and well-being were restored. Docs do not ask about iodine, they prescribe drugs.

I am very certain that you are iodine deficient. Read this!
https://www.google.com/search?q=ksman+has+a+thyroid+problem

Your body temps were possibly probably low. Your thyroid meds will improve that. If you get to 98.6 in the afternoon, does is adequate. Given that your fT3 and fT4 were good, your TSH might have been up just because of low iodine and perhaps you do not need thyroid meds at all. Was your thyroid gland enlarged, asymmetric or lumpy? If your thyroid felt normal, it seems strange that you had an ultrasound. But there may be concerns for the doc that he did not tell you about.

If iodine deficient, TSH will get higher as you loose more and more iodine.

Note everything in the advice for new guys sticky and all of the stickies are useful.

You were very estrogen dominant. Starting TRT will only make that worse. You need watch that with labs. Watch for starting signs of gyno.

Endos are mostly all useless about TRT. An enthusiastic GP is better. Your world is bigger than endos.

Hi guys. Merry christmas!

I have some bad news. I’m so confused right now and also worried.
I feel like things are slowly getting out of control.

I got a letter from my doc with my latest labs.
It turns out that now suddenly my TSH is low again.

Also my T levels are still way too low.

And why is my ACTH low? Does this mean something?

cortisol 55 Norm: 25-250 ng/ml

ACTH 13 Norm: 10-48 pg/ml

Btw, the labs were taken in the MORNING!

Did I now also mess up even more hormones by going on t-gel?
I read that low ACTH can have something to do with the pituitary.
But I had a pituitary MRI this summer which was normal. Oh boy, this is
exactly what I was afraid of when I went on TRT that I might end up with
a long list of hormonal issues and then not know what to do and freak out. :frowning:

I started on 5 grams a day of Androgel and gradually moved to a max dose of 10 grams. My TT levels never changed and I am switching to Test E when my gel runs out. My testes have also become high and tight to my body while my T levels never changed. I do think I am getting some benefit from the gel as my libido and mood have improved quite a bit. From reading as much as I can on the site I’m switching to shots and hoping for the best. I will let you know if my levels improve. Best wishes with your protocol.

Effective TRT always takes LH and FSH --> 0. Anyone who is surprised by that is really lacking basic understanding. That is the reason that your testes are shrinking and up tight. hCG will deal with that.

Taking thyroid drugs will lower TSH. Anyone who is surprised by that is really lacking basic understanding. You were taking thyroxine for that lab result?

“TSH 1.2 Norm 0.4-2.5 uU/ml” is not low!

Adjust thyroxine dose by monitoring your body temperature.

If you want steadier T levels, in inject SC as per the protocol for injections sticky. You will need to inject at least twice a week. Injecting every three weeks is a sign of ignorance and stupidity. Do not do that. You need to self inject and manage the frequency your self.

Find out what the lab range for cortisol is for an 8AM sample. Read my post above from 12/17/2012

ATCH levels change a lot. It has a 10 minute half life. So one cannot be solely interested in the magnitude. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrenocorticotropic_hormone

FT for natural guys is highly variable. For transdermal TRT, it is also highly variable. But TT should show strength.

It is classic that guys with hypothyroid problems do not absorb T very well, if at all. The mechanistic explanation does not exist. Interesting that your DHT is strong, great for libido.

Guys typically have to apply 100mg T per day transdermal to get decent high-normal results.

So are you treating a thyroid disease or an iodine deficiency?

Hi!

No I was NOT taking thyroid meds when the blood was drawn.

@ hook

Good luck to you, too!
Man I wish TRT wasn’t such a pain in the ass. I just want to get better and not get worse.