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CK Levels and Androgel

Hi all. I’ve tried the search button on the forum as well as other internet searches but havent found a real definate answer.

I’m on 2 packs of androgel a day… have been for just over a year. I’ve never had CK (Creatine Kinase) levels checked before but they have been more and more elevated each blood test taken.

reference range is 44-275 U/L. subsequent blood tests after starting protocol showed levels at 811, 940, 1638, and 1575.

I know heavy workouts can increase levels so i didnt do any real workout for a week prior to the 1575 results. regardless i really only consider myself an average gym rat… not killing it by any means.

now dr wants blood work after stopping androgel for a while to see if levels lower…

question is can androgel itself affect ck levels?

any help, as always is appreciated.

I’ll add a little of my experience with CK levels, but it has nothing to do with Androgel use. I never knew the reference range, but my doctor said it should be less than 200.

I was 48 years old and training for the Over 40 at the Southern States. I noticed redness on my knuckles and wasn’t getting stronger in the initial weeks of my AAS cycle, which always happened in the past. I upped the AAS’s to no avail. I just could not get the definition that I had always been able to attain in past contests. I followed through with the show, but did not place, and shouldn’t have.

I stopped the cycle and my strength dropped significantly and fairly fast. My muscles felt sore continuously. I went to a dermatologist that I knew from the gym and socially, thinking the redness in my knuckles might be a component of my problem. I said he had an idea what it was and sent for a blood test. My CK (which was called CPK back then) was 18,000. He told me I had dermatamyositis. He immediately put me on steroids, and not the good ones. I was taking 64mg of medrol a day. In five weeks I lost 40 lbs and not a ounce of it was fat. End of the story is it finally got under control, but left me significantly weaker. For many years I kept an eye on my CK, and it never dropped below 500. In the six years before getting my auto immune disease under control, if my CK rose above 1,000, I was back on medrol.

As I understand it elevated CK is indicative of muscle damage. I don’t know if this helps you in the least, but the “CK” in your title got my attention.

Elevated CK levels in people who work out are measured with a different range than normal people. For some activities they are 3x normal reference intervals. Nothing to worry about unless you were a couch potato.

ok. thanks for the replies… will see what happens next blood test. was thinking this was perhaps common with gels and I would be switched to injections…

Do you happen to have any baseline CK numbers from any time that included time you were doing resistance training?

Remember this comment:

You are wasting your time with androgel.

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But I bet you felt pretty happy right? Corticosteroid tend to make people fairly elated.

How long did it take to gain back all the lost mass?

Actually it works for a portion of men provided the gel is absorbed adequately, though it’s nowhere near as cost effective/convenient in comparison to the injectables. Clinical literature is indicative the highest dosages of androgel routinely induce a cavg of around 750ng/dl with FT at the top of the ref range.

I never regained the ability to successfully compete. At best, I regained 70% of my previous strength. My physique totally lost its look of power. My pecs experienced extreme muscle wasting and my chest has a strange fatty look. My dermatamyositis totally changed my life. The mirror was no friend of mine. Excessive corticosteroids cause Cushing’s syndrome, a puffy face.

On high doses of medrol sleep was a challenge. I never experienced any elation, but I was extremely depressed, especially if I crossed past a mirror. I had lost the very essence of who I was.

I have never encountered a symptom free man using androgel and you can imagine how many I’ve spoken to. I also started on androgel. When you want to fix a problem, you use the recommend solution.

unfortunately I’ve never had CK levels checked before going on TRT, so do not have a prior level to compare to.

And from what I’ve read on here I would much rather prefer injections over gels… However not sure endocrinologist is on the same page as long as T levels are improved on gel. TRT is 100% covered between Province and work benefits so not in as much of a position to demand things as I would be if I were paying out of pocket at a clinic.

That’s why I’m half hoping the increased CK levels could be related to gel absorption and a change can be made.

Paying out of pocket for testosterone should be like $150-250/yr, depending on dose and what your pharmacy charges you. Bloodwork is obviously another consideration, but that shouldn’t be more than $800, assuming you’re getting the most expensive tests out there, which you needn’t do. Needles might be another $50 for the whole year.