T Nation

Advice on Recent Labs?

New here. 55 yrs. old and just finished six months on TRT @ 60mg Test Cyp E3D, 100iu HCG daily (Dr. Cristler’s regimen), and DHEA 50mg 2xED. Labs were a bit startling:

TT: 1219
FT: 276
E2 (sensitive assay): 84
SHBG: 41

Doc has backed me off to 50mg of Test Cyp E3D and decreased DHEA to 25mg 2xED, and maintaining the HCG at 100iu ED.

Of all of this, the most shocking is the E2, though it is just about a 15:1 ratio with TT. Thinking of moving to EOD test shots. Have had a little nipple sensitivity and some bloat, but nothing crazy. Appreciate any advice, thoughts, outbursts of righteous indignation, or other responses. Thanks!

How long after the last shot did you get blood taken for labs? You can’t compare bloods from an every 3 day protocol to that of someone taking once weekly shots and testing at trough. My E2 is basically the same as yours and I feel great. The whole point of TRT is that you didn’t previously have enough natural testosterone to have you feeling decent so you are injecting exogenous testosterone to get you there.

So how did you feel on the protocol that coincides with the labs you posted? The labs are to give you a visual snapshot of what levels are when you feel a certain way. They aren’t always the best indicator of anything and shouldn’t be the sole determinant of protocol decisions just a tool to help guide decision making.

Thanks for the response! I have read a number of your posts and always appreciate them.

Second day after the shot is when I had the labs drawn, so not quite 48 hours.

I have had some variation in how I feel frankly. Some days are crazy good (including libido), others not so much. Sometimes the good days are the day of the shot, sometimes the day after, never the second day after the shot. So I guess my thought is that more regular shots will even levels out a bit. However one chalks it up, I feel a helluva lot better than I did before I started, but I’m looking for regularity and candidly, the E2 and FT levels shocked me a bit.

Your levels are basically tested around peak so that’s probably around the highest they get. For instance I do 200mg/week divided into daily shots and my levels stay at 2000 T and 80 E2. That sounds extremely high compared to labs of someone that takes less frequent injections and tests at trough (doing bloods on the day of the next shot but before doing the shot). When I was on 220mg/week injecting once a week my trough levels were right below 1000 which is why I’m saying you can’t really compare the two.

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Your labs should be drawn at trough, not peak. DHEA can increase E2. In myself personally daily shots improves my T/E2 ratios over any protocol and as I move out to EOD and twice weekly shots, the T/E2 ratios worsen.

Those labs are fine. Not sure I would change anything, but that would be up to you. 100mg DHEA qd is a lot. Did he check that?

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  1. Don’t do labs the day after. Do labs the day of your next injection prior to injection.

  2. No idea why your doc is altering your dose of you feel better

  3. No idea why you find the results startling. 140mg a week and you’re doing labs the next day… Not sure what else you were expecting here.

  4. Why are you on HCG? Do you need to retain fertility at 55 years old? It also spikes estradiol in a lot of men.

  5. 100mg of DHEA a day is silly. 25-50mg a day is more than sufficient in most cases.

  6. You have nipple sensitivity and bloat because your body is adjusting to these new levels of hormones. It will pass in time.

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Thanks for your response! My labs showed DHEA at 515.

  1. Don’t do labs the day after. Do labs the day of your next injection prior to injection.

Mine were done not quite 48 hours after the last injection, but not the day of an injection immediately before. Thanks.

  1. No idea why your doc is altering your dose of you feel better
    He thinks the E2 and FT levels are too high.

  2. No idea why you find the results startling. 140mg a week and you’re doing labs the next day… Not sure what else you were expecting here.
    120mg/week actually, not 140mg. I didn’t expect my TT and FT or my E2 to jump that high.

  3. Why are you on HCG? Do you need to retain fertility at 55 years old? It also spikes estradiol in a lot of men.
    Dr. Cristler’s old regimen that he put me on many moons ago (for totally different reasons). At this point, it’s just to maintain testicular size. I do think I’m going to skip the HCG for now to see if it lowers my E2.

  4. 100mg of DHEA a day is silly. 25-50mg a day is more than sufficient in most cases.
    Agree. My doc backed me off to 25mg 2xED (every 12 hours). That should lower my E2 as well.

  5. You have nipple sensitivity and bloat because your body is adjusting to these new levels of hormones. It will pass in time.
    Good to hear! I will be happy to look a little more cut again! I’m at 13-14% body fat, so I can use all the help I can get!

If you drop the hcg, as an experiment, your test levels will go down as well. If you’re lowering your dose also, it may drop quite a bit. I’d rather you dropped the hcg by itself first and kept your dose constant, to see how that goes, but decisions may have already been made.

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60mg E3D is 140mg a week. Unless you meant to say you have been taking 60mg twice weekly which is 120mg a week. There is a difference.

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You are absolutely correct. I was thinking 3.5 day intervals, not 3. But I’ve been doing every 3 days. Apologies.

You know how you feel better than anyone. I still maintain those labs are fine, especially given the timing relative to your most recent injection. Nothing wrong with experimenting with different injection schedules to see if any are better for you. However, even on testosterone, there are days better or worse than others. There is more to life than testosterone levels and those events will have an influence on energy, mood, libido, etc.

Cutting DHEA in half is a good move. I assume you are using hCG to avoid testicular atrophy. If not, I would drop it, unless you started TRT without and now find you feel much better with it. Some do, but to me, it’s not natural for men to have high hCG levels so unless you are actively trying to conceive or overly concerned with testicular atrophy, I’d save my money.

Personally, I like labs to be taken at a consistent reference point, so the day of injections, and just prior to injections, is best. We metabolize testosterone at differing rates so I also think it best to make decisions based on where it is at its low point.

Whoever just read the above comment, go read it again, nodding while reading it (for good measure).