I've been visiting this forum off and on for at least a year trying to educate myself at least a little bit. Here's my background: I'm 43 and have noticed symptoms of low testosterone for about 10 years. Increased irritability, low energy, low libido, loss of body hair on my legs, memory loss.
Not wanting to waste my time with a doctor with a provincial mindset, I followed a link provided in this forum to the BodyLogicMD website which led me to a doctor in the DFW Metroplex.
Here's my blood work:
Testosterone total 736 sex hormone binding globulin 53 testosterone free 127 testosterone free and weakly bound 268 estradiol, ultrasensitive LC/MS/MS 57
The Doc said the good news is that my total testosterone is pretty high, but my sex hormone binding globulin was high as well as my estradiol. So she prescribed an aromatase inhibitor. It is an herbal supplement called Meta I 3 C, made by a company called MetaGenics. Its main ingredient is Indole-3-Carbinol. My daily dose is 300 mg.
I'm supposed to take this for two months and then get more blood work and have a follow-up appointment. I've been taking it now for one month and have noticed very little difference, if any. (It's been more than two weeks since I've felt sufficiently motivated to have sex with my wife.)
Anyway, y'all's thoughts are appreciated. Thanks in advance and thanks to all the posters on this forum who've shared so much information and insight.
"Can anyone speak to the relative efficacy of this vs. say, Arimidex?"
This is what I would like to know. My follow-up appointment with the doctor is in about a month. After one month on this supplement, I'm starting to think it is a waste of money. And if I don't notice any difference in my symptoms, why take another blood test (dropping another $600+) and then sit down with my doctor ($250) to have her do what she probably should have done in the first place: Prescribe Arimidex.
I have no idea. You'd think my doc, who prescribed the stuff and is an expert (or at least she claims to be!) in analyzing and treating hormone issues, wouldn't waste my time having me take something for two months that is ineffective. Maybe it works for some folks, not others. Anybody else on this forum try this stuff? Anybody try it, and then move to Amiridex?
I believe DIM or Diindolymethane is supposed to be 3x more potent similar product if you are looking for natural herbal. I also remember reading that you should take more than what is suggested. From what I know about it, it is supposed to bind the bad estrogen thus triggering more free test therefore increasing libido. Not real sure, but may be worth some extra research. Hope this helps.
Thanks z1maxx. I'm not necessarily looking for something that is natural or herbal, just effective. Preferably not too expensive either. I'm perfectly willing to pay for Arimidex, but if I3C or DIM will get the job done, then all the better. I'm seriously considering canceling my next blood test and doctor appointment and giving DIM a try first. As I mentioned, after one month of I3C, I don't notice any difference in any of my symptoms. So I'm thinking, why go get my blood tested again (which is not cheap) and pay for a follow-up appointment with my doc just to tell me what I already know: the I3C ain't working!
I was not able to learn much more through googling. The discussion groups were not loaded with exciting testimonials for DIM. Sooooo, anybody on this forum tried it?
My pre liquid a-dex E level was 105. After 14 days on a-dex my E level was lowered to 47. I have not had current (2 months) b/w done, but I stay on 1.5mg/week of a-dex to be safe. When my E level was that high, (105)I had no libido. I am glad to say it has returned, and liquid a-dex is really cheap btw, $1.00/mg vs. $9.00mg at the pharmacy...
Very interesting, KNB. In another thread, you mentioned buying liquid a-dex at C1. I couldn't find a website... please forgive my ignorance and supply a web address. And now I'll really demonstrate my ignorance: is it legal to take a-dex without a prescription?
Prescription Arimidex requires a prescription. I was discussing research chemicals. The RULE on research chemicals is, they are legal to own, buy, and sell, and they are not for human consumption. I of course, did not consume the "non-legal" a-dex, I used the prescription only variety...
The individual dose-response to herbals is all over the map and may not work for you. Arimidex/anastrozole has a very well understood dose-response. It simply works. Prescription arimidex is expensive. You would probably start on 1mg/week at $9.00 per mg.
Insurance may not pay for it as you would not be under treatment for hypogonadism or any other "pathology" and it would be considered unnecessary. You doctor may be trying something alternative because of such issues. But if your E2 is in a 0-53 range, she might be able to prescribe for a condition of abnormal E2 levels.
Elevated E2 levels can kill sex drive when T levels are high or even very high. A known problem. Some will have brain fog, low energy and all or any of the symptoms of hypogonadism when their T levels are not an issue. Good T levels alone are not sufficient for wellness.
If you were to start 1mg/wk of arimidex, I would expect that you would have a strong increase in libido in 10-14 days.
You do not need a ultra sensitive E2 test, serum 0-53 range is fine for driving therapeutic decisions and dosing.
Irritability is classic for low T, or for E2 poisoning. When you get the E2 levels down, that will clear up. Libido will tell you quickly that something is going right. Brain changes follow and it takes a while for habits of thought to evolve into the new brain-space.
While thought patterns are in a state of flux and malleable, a positive and hopeful attitude will probably have a significant effect on how you feel in the end. Major mental changes will probably be mostly in place in two months and that process should be complete in 3 months.
E2=17-20 is thought to be optimal from a libido point of view. 1mg/wk might not get you there, but that would be a good target for dose adjustments. That level has no health risks for CV or cholesterol. At those levels of E2, you might find that your emotions are a bit dry and that you are less passionate about some things... more male perhaps. One could determine that they feel best overall perhaps with E2 perhaps closer to 25.